After a long season the players of the Premier League (well some anyway) have given their all, so by the end of the season they can receive the accolade of being chosen to the bm23 Premier League Team of the Season, but who has made this incredibly prestigious list?
Keeping ten clean sheets for a team like Burnley is absolutely huge, it’s the difference between staying in the league and relegation. Heaton has made the most saves, had the most shots against and there’s an incredibly good argument to be made that if Burnley didn’t have him between the sticks they would be spending next season in the Championship.
There seems to be a dearth of quality right backs in the Premier League, however one man stuck out above the rest and that was Antonio Valencia. It is incredible to think that only a few years ago Valencia was an out and out winger, his transformation into a quality right back has been quite spectacular. Valencia marauds up and down Utd’s right wing, offering something in attack whilst also being a competent defender, the complete full back.
Azpilicueta is such a special talent, he is the league’s best right back, yet he never actually plays in position. Despite that Azpi is incredibly competent at whatever role he is placed in. This season Azpi took up the right centre back position for Chelsea, a position where he dictated the teams play and led from the back. I would say that Azpilicueta was Chelsea’s best player this season and one of the biggest compliments I think I could give him is that he reminds me of a Spanish Philipp Lahm.
I don’t think there is a standout for the second centre back position, it could have been Bailly, Rojo, Van Dijk, Alderweireld, David Luiz, Gibson but ultimately I have stumped for Michael Keane. Keane was a massive part of Burnley’s defence, a stalwart at the back in a team who very often sat deep and absorbed pressure. Keane looks like he has bundles of potential to go on to bigger and better things, solid on the ball, good in the air, strong positioning and a leader at the back, everything you would want in a centre back. To put the impact which Brunley’s defence had on their season you only have to look at the defensive records of the teams around them, conceding 63, 70, 68 and 80, in comparison Burnley conceded only 55 goals, Keane played a key role in the record.
If you had told me that James Milner would play the entire season at left back I wouldn’t have believed you, if you then told me that he’d be in my team of the season I’d be having you committed. As far as I’m aware Milner has never really played left back his entire career, with that being the case for him to perform as well as he did (particularly in the first half of the season) is spectacular. I do think Milner’s play dropped off as Liverpool’s results started to fall away but I find it hard to ignore that a central midfielder at Milner’s age was able to convert to the most physically demanding position in football, on his opposite side and do so whilst producing a number of high quality performances. Milner is a massively underrated reason for Liverpool making top four this season.
Christian Eriksen is often the forgotten man when it comes to Tottenham, yet without him the team quite simply wouldn’t click quite the same. 8 goals and 15 assists from the quiet Dane is another fantastic season. If he played for another team he would be receiving non stop plaudits for his play, however it almost seems to suit him that he flies under the radar. Eriksen’s passing is sublime, he creates numerous chances in a match and even in games where he isn’t performing to his high standards he is still a threat to come up with a moment of magic.
Probably the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League took a bit of a step backward this season with numerous appearances sitting in a deeper role and he excelled at his new role. I’m not sure that De Bruyne could be as successful a central midfielder if he played in a different system, however under Guardiola physicality is much less important for those playing in the middle and De Bruyne’s passing range and intelligence make him the perfect man for that role. 6 goals and 18 assists make for another really good season for De Bruyne, a player who it feels can still delver so much more and that is a testament to his quality.
Kevin De Bruyne
Alli’s 18 goals and 7 assists helped propel Spurs to 2nd in the league and for a second season he was absolutely outstanding in doing so. He had a slow start to the year, however he grew as the season went on, the sign of a quality player. It’s crazy to think that Alli is still only 21 yet he is already one of the league’s best midfielders, another great season from him.
This is the second season which Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s main attacking option in a championship winning side. When Hazard is on he is shit hot and Chelsea desperately needed him to fill the hole which Diego Costa left when he decided he couldn’t be arsed any more, Hazard duly obliged. 16 goals and 5 assists in what was a massive contribution to the title winning side, not quite as good as he was a couple of years ago in my opinion, however certainly a step in the right direction after last seasons disaster.
29 goals in 29 starts, involved directly in 36 goals in a season which was interrupted with some injuries. Kane has scored 20+ goals in his first three seasons in the Premier League and if not for injuries he almost certainly would have joined the select group of players to have scored 30+ in a single season. Kane doesn’t really look like a footballer, he doesn’t even play like a footballer but fuck me the boy is one hell of a footballer. In my opinion the Premier League’s best player this season.
In many ways Sanchez could very well have been the league’s best player this season because he carried Arsenal for most of the year, scored 24 goals and assisted another 10 in a season where he seemed to be the only Arsenal player who looked capable of playing at a top level, however despite that Sanchez pretty much went missing for chunks of the second half of the season as his team disappointed and it looked like he went into a huff. Arsenal’s disappointing season would have been catastrophic if it wasn’t Sanchez, yet it still feels like his play should have been better when it really mattered. In many ways Sanchez’ season was typical Arsenal, puts in performances when the team really doesn’t deserve the result, put the team in a position to do something, before ultimately disappearing at a key moment in the season and showing up again for a strong finish when it doesn’t matter any more. Shame for Sanchez because he deserves better than what he plays with, I can’t see him being there next season.
If you’re counting that makes 3 Spurs, 2 Chelsea, 2 Burnley, 1 City, 1 Utd, 1 Liverpool and 1 Arsenal players in the team of the season.
So what did you think of the Premier League Team of the Season? Who are the biggest snubs? Who shouldn’t be there? Leave a comment and share those thoughts!