What’s the second team of the year I hear everyone scream at their screens? Well it’s the guys who couldn’t quite sneak into the Premier League Team of the Year but had a really good season that deserves to be recognised.
You might be able to guess the players which will slot into my team of the year by their absence in this list, or maybe not because it doesn’t really match any of the official lists that I’ve seen kicking about. Anyway here is the unlucky 11 who were good but not quite as good as someone else for this season.
GK- Hugo Lloris
Good keeper in what has been a very poor Spurs team. You watch him make save after save, he is good in the air and doubles up as a very good sweeper for the team. Will more than likely move on to a bigger club next season.
RB- Pablo Zabaleta
He is a quiet man in a team full of overpaid prima donnas, he doesn’t do anything particularly flashy but what he does he does well. Zabaleta has been good going forward his season but more importantly he has been good going back. He has been the one rock in a City backline which has chopped and changed all season and has had the trouble of playing with Martin Demichelis on a regular basis.
LB- Luke Shaw
A tough one because it feels like Shaw has had a really good season, but I think at times his contribution gets over exaggerated because of where he’s from. One thing that is undeniable is that at 18 he looks like a real talent and has been a stalwart in the Southampton backline all season, quite a feat for someone of his age.
CB- Per Mertesacker
I’ve been a critic of Mertesacker in the past because I didn’t think he was good enough to play for Arsenal, not because he’s a bad player but rather because he is sooooo slow (I mean really slow). Mertesacker reads the game well and is good in the air but something that he has improved drastically this season is not being caught out with his lack of pace. I’m not sure how he has managed this (maybe it is a greater understanding between himself and Koscielny) but he has went from being a liability to a rock at the back. Yes he is still capable of going back to his bad old habits but his play this season has been very good.
CB- Vincent Kompany
The best centre back in the league just misses out on the team of the year because he had too many poor games where he cost his team points. I don’t think it is his fault but rather that City are so reliant upon Kompany that he ends up playing in games with injuries when he really shouldn’t be. When he is fully fit (which doesn’t seem very often) he is probably the best centre back in the world, sadly for him he has come up just short of making the top list this season.
RM- Kevin Mirallas
He might not get the headlines which other players get at Everton but Mirallas has put in another very good season this year out wide. He has contributed with 8 goals and 8 assists, a very good return from a wide man.
LM- Jay Rodriguez
Was putting in an excellent season for Southampton and looked like he might just nab a spot in England’s World Cup squad before getting hurt. Scoring 15 goals, Rodriguez was an ever present for Southampton either up front or out wide this season, and that’s where this is kind of a cheat, I think he’s a striker but he does (or can) play out wide for his club, hence his inclusion at left midfield here.
CM- Aaron Ramsey
There isn’t much I need to say here, if he hadn’t missed half the season then he could’ve had a real chance of winning the player of the year award. Sadly he did miss half the season, and despite that he only just missed out on team of the year honours, tells you how good he was in that first half of the year.
CM- Ross Barkley
I thought a while about who I would put in as my next central midfielder and I decided to go for Barkley because I think he has had a very good season. Granted Barkley’s season hasn’t been as good as the press makes it out to be (typical English press) and his actual statistics aren’t anything special or remarkable, but whenever I watch Everton and he didn’t start they played like a different team. They lacked the same drive and ambition going forward, and for a young player to have that kind of impact on a team already is quite impressive.
ST- Sergio Aguero
If he could stay fit he would have challenged Luis Suarez for player of the year, but sadly for Aguero he is incredibly injury prone. Potentially the best player in the league, but he never seems to play a full match or season, so we still don’t know.
ST- Olivier Giroud
He hasn’t had a remarkable season (only 16 goals and 7 assists) but he is vitally important to Arsenal. It is easy to forget how good Giroud was in the first half of the season, sadly for him (and Arsenal) he dropped off in the third quarter before picking it up again in the fourth. It is a shame for Giroud because I imagine his production would be better if he had someone to rotate with so he could get a rest, sadly for him Nicklas Bendtner is your main competition. Giroud had a good season and showed vast signs of improvements from his first year in England.
So there you have it, the almost made its, the got pipped to the posts and the that other guy shagged my wife’s of this seasons Premier League. I know you won’t be able to contain your excitement to see who will be coming in to take the crown for the Premier League Team of the Year 2013/14 (by the way there was a clue a couple of lines above to one of the players).