Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Best of the Rest

When the 2006-2007 PFA Team of the Year was named at the end of last season, I was a bit shocked, to say the least, to see 8 players from Manchester United. The Red Devils won the Premiership last season; it made sense that they had the most players on the Team of the Year. That's how postseason awards work in every sport. The succesful teams, the teams that win something, usually receive the accolades and deservedly so. If you took a look at the recent MVP's, Rookies of the Year and all-league teams in the professional and college sporting leagues here in America, a large majority of the winners played for teams that either made the playoffs or won the title.

However, to have 8 players out of 11 was a joke. To be completely honest, I would argue that the only Manchester United players who earned a spot on the Team of the Year were Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs. Each of the other players were/are good players in their own right, but to say that they had better seasons than some of the players from other teams who didn't finish in the top four wouldn't be true in my estimation.

I understand that awards like this are often based more on reputation than anything else. It's hard to judge center backs because they don't put up eye-popping statistics; they're just rock-solid and steady in the back.

It's time to recognize the players who have the individual talent but don't play on a team good enough for their performances to be honored. Remember, this isn't based specifically on last year or even this year, it's based on their entire body of work. Each of the players all currently play in the Premier League and not for a "Big Four" team; players who played in the Premier League last season but moved to another country this summer and players who played for one of the other 16 teams but transferred to one of the "Big Four" aren't eligible for my team. Give me these 11 players and I guarantee you'd have yourself a team to be reckoned with. With all of this in mind, the following is my Premiership Best XI (minus players from last season's top four).

GK: Tim Howard (Everton; USA)
RB: Vedran Corluka (Manchester City; Croatia)
CB: Micah Richards (Manchester City; England)
CB: Joleon Lescott (Everton; England)
LB: Nicky Shorey (Reading; England)
RMF: Aaron Lennon (Tottenham; England)
CMF: Pedro Mendes (Portsmouth; Portugal)
CMF: Kevin Nolan (Bolton; England)
LMF: Ashley Young (Aston Villa; England)
ST: Obafemi Martins (Newcastle; Nigeria)
ST: Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham; Bulgaria)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where is micheal owen? sure he gets injured but he is a shoo-in for the national team.