The PFA Team of The Year

A short time ago the PFA Team of The Year was decided, which is considered as the primary ‘team of the year’ award in English football.  Of course it’s a list that not everyone is going to agree on, but all the same it does bring up some interesting talking points.  Before we go any further, here is the list:

Joe Hart

Age: 23

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Birmingham City

Sky Sports Season Rating: 6.9

Has been an integral part of Birmingham’s season, helping them towards most likely finish in the top ten.  Consistently proven to be the best English goalkeeper in the league.

Thomas Varmaelen

Age: 24

Position: Defender

Club: Arsenal

Sky Sport Season Rating: 6.8

Has enjoyed a very good debut season in English football, scoring an impressive 7 Premiership goals – a lot of those from open play rather than from set pieces a lot of defenders score from.

Branislav Ivanovic

Age: 26

Position: Defender

Club: Chelsea

Sky Sports Season Rating: 6.6

Despite taking a while to get going in the Premier League he’s cemented his reputation as a solid, versatile and reliable defender.  He can successfully partner anyone else in the Chelsea back four.

Patrice Evra

Age: 28

Position: Defender

Club: Manchester United

Sky Sports Season Rating: 7.0

Evra makes his third appearance in the PFA Team of the Year.  Aside from a few problems at international level he generally keeps his head down and works hard like the defenders of old.

Richard Dunne

Age: 30

Position: Defender

Club: Aston Villa

Sky Sports Season Rating: 6.9

Despite consistently being named as Manchester City’s best player Dunne joined Aston Villa for a paltry £6 million at the start of the season, immediately showing what City were missing with some world class performances.

Antonio Valencia

Age: 24

Position: Midfielder

Club: Manchester United

Sky Sports Season Rating: 6.9

Although he was never going to outshine Ronaldo on the Manchester United wing, Valencia has added a different style of play for the team.  He may have only scored five league goals but he’s provided plenty for the likes of Wayne Rooney.

Francesc Fabregas

Age: 23

Position: Midfielder

Club: Arsenal

Sky Sports Season Rating: 7.5

Injuries have taken their toll on Fabregas’ season, but even though he’s only played in 27 matches he’s nearly always put in a first class performance and helped guide Arsenal to another top four Premier League finish with 15 goals.

Darren Fletcher

Age: 26

Position: Midfielder

Club: Manchester United

Sky Sports Season Rating: 6.8

It’s taken Fletcher a long time to maintain a regular place in the United first team, but now he’s finally earned his spot he’s repaid the faith shown in him with a string of workhorse-liker performances in the heart of the midfield.

James Milner

Age: 24

Position: Midfielder

Club: Aston Villa

Sky Sports Season Rating: 7.1

One of the hardest working players in the league today, James Milner has earned recognition from England manager Fabio Capello and has played a few times under him this season.  He’s settled well at Villa since moving from Newcastle.

Didier Drogba

Age: 32

Position: Striker

Club: Chelsea

Sky Sports Season Rating: 7.4

The oldest player on the list but still one of the best, Drogba makes a second appearance in the PFA Team of The Year having scored 26 goals in 31 appearances.  This season he’s used his raw power and athleticism to great scoring effect.

Wayne Rooney

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Club: Manchester United

Sky Sports Season Rating: 7.5

Very little separates him from Drogba, they’ve both scored 26 goals and he also makes his second appearance in the PFA Team of The Year.  Rooney has proved to be talismanic this season and his team barely function when he doesn’t play.

~–~

Personally I think that’s a fairly accurate list of players, however there are one or two names I’m surprised to see excluded, the most noticeable for me being Chelsea’s Frank Lampard.  As exceptional as Cesc Fabregas has been this season he has missed almost 1/3 of it due to injuries, so based on that alone I’d have put Lampard in there for his sheer consistency.  There’s his impressive goal tally as well, he’s by far the highest scoring midfielder in the Premiership with 21 in 35 appearances which has been hugely significant to Chelsea’s title push this season.

The one inclusion I am surprised with is that of Antonio Valencia.  He’s had a decent enough season but ultimately comparisons were bound to be made between him and Ronaldo, but he stated almost immediately after signing that he was a different type of player which was fair enough.  Certainly for the latter part of the season he’s put in a lot of good performances but it took him quite some time to settle initially, and for that reason I’d have left him out of the Team of The Year if it were up to me.  My first thought for a suitable replacement was Gareth Bale, but like Fabregas he hasn’t played much but does seem to stand out whenever he does.  After a bit of thought I settled with Florent Malouda, another Chelsea player but again one who has put in some outstanding performances in for his team and finally found his way in English football.

But still, other than that I’m fairly happy with the list overall.  Comments are most welcome if you have any thoughts to share, perhaps there’s a name (or more) missing who you feel deserves a spot.

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Posted on May 6, 2010, in Sport and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. James McLean

    Great post mate – I’ve been away from WordPress for a little while but this was thoroughly enjoyable to read.

    I agree Valencia was a bit of a surprise inclusion, but I do agree – I’d have left him out of the team based on his earlier performances. After all – it’s not meant as a criticism if someone doesn’t make the team of the year – just simply that someone else performed more consistently for a longer period.

    One thing I WILL ask though, is whether or not you have the image file for those photo frames? I presume it is a PSD with the layers, or is it simply a PNG file? If you have it I’d love to snatch a copy if I could 😛

  2. Cheers for the reply, glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

    As for the image file I don’t have it exactly, but it wasn’t anything fancy. I’m fairly sure I used this image – http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/l/le/leollama/619753_blank_polaroid.jpg

    I simply found the player pics I wanted and slapped them on, changing the layer to ‘lighten’ I believe and then rotating it slightly for effect. If that’s not quite what your after a Google search of ‘blank polaroid’ should give you what you need.

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