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Football News: My Premier League Team Of The Season, So Far

Premier League Team Of The Season, So Far

I am going to base this on the old fashioned 4-4-1-1, but only because it is easier to pick that way, rather than it is suited to the players I am picking. This is not the best team, if I was picking a team, merely the best in terms of their performances this season in those areas of the pitch. So right back could be a right back or right wing back from a team that plays a 3 at the back. Right mid could be a right winger as well as a right midfielder or even a right sided forward.

There are the obvious choices, Manchester United's David de Gea, Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois, Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris or Petr Cech of Arsenal. For me though, none of those have been playing to the best of their ability, in de Gea's case the defending has improved and so lessened his workload. Jordan Pickford lost any chance of making this list due to injury, so I had Ben Foster of West Bromwich Albion, Joel Robles of Everton and, my choice, Tom Heaton of Burnley as my three to pick from. While the obvious choices are better keepers, none of them are having particularly outstanding seasons, for them. Heaton, on the other hand, is having the season of his life.

Right Back:
For me this came down to Antonio Valencia of Man Utd, Spurs' Kyle Walker, Cedric Soares of Southampton or Seamus Coleman of Everton. Walker just lacks quality in the final third and can be caught out defensively too often for my liking. Coleman has had too many off days this season, while he was getting to grips with Ronald Koeman's system in the main, but still it is an issue. Valencia has been excellent but I am going with Cedric, though it is very close. Cedric has been good both on and off the ball, but it is his delivery in the attacking third that stands out.

Centre Backs:
If I was just picking a pair to play together then the choice would be simple, it would be the Spurs backline of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. However, that is not how I am picking this team. Instead, as I am going for players who are playing particularly well as individual players, that really drops Vertonghen out, as he has had a few poor performances this season. It does bring Hull City's Harry Maguire, Jonas Olsson of West Bromwich Albion, Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough, David Luiz of Chelsea, Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal and Michael Keane of Burnley into the equation, along with Alderweireld. Maguire has had a good season, but those highlight reel charges forward always lead to him turning over the ball while stranded high up the pitch, leaving a hole behind him. He needs to learn to release the ball. Gibson and Olsson are aided by the way their teams play, particularly Gibson as Boro are so negative it is mind-numbingly boring. Koscielny, on the other hand, plays for an Arsenal team who offer him little in the way of protection. Having seen how the Arsenal defence goes to pieces each time he is out, I am going to pick him alongside Alderweireld.

Left Back
This choice really came down to two. While Charlie Daniels of Bournemouth has had a decent season, he is far too weak defensively. Marcos Alonso has been excellent at left wing back, but his defensive work has left a lot to be desired, at times. Andrew Robertson of Hull and Ben Mee of Burnley have played well, but just not quite well enough to get in this list. Then there is Christian Fuchs, he has had a very good season for Leicester City again, but just not as outstanding as he was last season. That left Danny Rose of Spurs and Ryan Bertrand of Saints. Bertrand has been exceptional this season, and is, in my opinion, the better player, but Danny Rose deserves the slot due to the difference he has made to Spurs. Without him in the side, they look half the team going forward.

Right Mid
This was a difficult choice, it was easy to rule out the Arsenal right sided players, as they just offer little over the course of the season. Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City is out as he has been a shadow of the player he was last season. However there are a group of players who were all in the mix. Raheem Sterling of Manchester City has been very good, but he just misses the cut for me. West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Robert Snodgrass, Liverpool's Sadio Mane, the Chelsea trio of Willian, Victor Moses and Pedro, plus West Bromwich Albion's Matty Phillips are still left. As Hull City have looked as good, maybe even better, without Snodgrass, means I am going to look past him. Antonio has been excellent, Hammers top scorer, but he has played so many roles, I am not sure which one is his best. The Chelsea trio have all had a good season, but none have stood out above the other in a great team performance. Sadio Mane just about edges it for his quality on the ball and goal scoring. Also the difference in the Liverpool team is marked without him, the quality dipped noticeably while he was at the AFCON.

Centre Mids
Picking two from all the ones available in the Premier League is not easy, even though a lot can be dismissed fairly easily, such as Paul Pogba of Manchester United, who has not settled in properly just yet. While he has not been particularly poor, he has just not lived up to his hype yet. Jordan Henderson, while he is vital to the Liverpool midfield, has had an injury disrupted couple of seasons and Adam Lallana goes missing against too many of the smaller sides to deserve inclusion. To be honest, it really has to be a case of N'Golo Kante of Chelsea and A N Other, just a case of picking the other, as Kante has been, again, incredible this season. He is quite simply on another level to all the other midfielders in the Prem right now, and is the best at the role he plays in Europe. That means immediately ruling out Man Utd's Ander Herrera, Everton's Idrissa Gueye and Southampton's Oriol Romeu, who are all excellent, but are a step down from Kante in the same role. In the first few weeks of the season Watford's Etienne Capoue would have had a very good case, but he has faded badly as the season has gone on. Sam Clucas has shown quality in small flashes, but just not enough to deserve the pick. Since signing for Swansea City in January Tom Carroll has been excellent, but it is too small a portion of the season to get my pick. Joe Allen has had some great moments since signing for Stoke City in the summer, following a good showing in the summer Euro's, but he just does not offer enough to get a spot for me. I am sure that Tom Davies, the young Everton midfielder will be in the reckoning in the future, but he has not yet earned a pick. Darren Fletcher has been steady for West Bromwich Albion again this season, but my pick has to go to the Rolls-Royce of central midfielders, Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Dembele, who makes them tick. Spurs look half the team without him and his ability to glide past opponents almost at will.

Left Mid
This was a toughie, Leroy Sane of Manchester City has begun to make a case for himself in recent weeks, but he is still too inconsistent and his finishing is often wild. Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho went through a poor patch of form in recent weeks, following a return to the team from injury and Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City has not been at his best this season. That ruled those three out of the running, really leaving just three players to pick from: Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth, Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal. Fraser made a huge impact following a return from loan, but he has not played enough games to deserve the place, in my opinion. So a straight shootout between two of the very best players in the Prem over the last few seasons. Both players have been outstanding this season, but I am going to edge towards Sanchez, just, not just for his workrate, but mainly because of the impact he makes on the team. While Chelsea are certainly a lesser threat without Hazard, they are still a top class team, while Arsenal look a midtable team without Sanchez. He takes them up a level. The only thing that nearly gave it to Hazard is that he has played so many games as a centre forward rather than a winger this season. I do feel that is harsh on Hazard though, as he fully deserves to be in this team as well!

Attacking Mid
There is a glut of attacking midfielders right now in the Premier League, which probably explains why so many of them are playing in other roles on the pitch. There are many that are just not playing well enough, such as Ross Barkley of Everton or Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur, to deserve the pick. Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne has too many off games, Liverpool pair Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho have struggled in recent weeks and Manchester United's Juan Mata has been outshone be Henrikh Mkhitaryan, when the Armenian has been fit. Normally I would go with the one who makes the biggest difference to his team, which would be Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson, but he offers little in open play for such long periods it is difficult to pick him. Far too often he is on the pitch not doing enough to help out defensively and creating little, but then pops up with a beautiful delivery from a dead ball situation. That is just not enough when you consider there is David Silva of Man City and Dele Alli of Spurs to consider. Both have been sensational at times this season, which makes it difficult to choose. David Silva is one of my favourite players of all time to watch, he is just a joy on the ball, and he makes the whole Citeh team tick when on form. Alli is much more physical, a British-type player, if you like, over the fancy-dan continental smoothness of Silva. However Silva is more central to City's play than Alli is to Spurs' play. Despite his edge in the goalscoring stakes, I am just going to pick Silva. Just.

There were lots of players to choose from, Manolo Gabbiadini of Southampton has been excellent since he arrived in January, Jermaine Defoe of Sunderland had a good start to the season but has since faded. Man Utd's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has popped up with important goals and has knitted their play together. Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has been excellent, but not scored enough, while Everton's Romelu Lukaku has scored plenty of goals, but is far too often terrible in his all round play. Sometimes his first touch controls the ball further than most players can pass it and he just looks like he is not bothered. The incredible Sergio Aguero of Man City is still sensational, but he is only playing because new signing Gabriel Jesus got injured. Two stand out above the rest this season, Harry Kane of Spurs and Diego Costa of Chelsea. Kane has been immense, once again, scoring goals for fun, every season being even better than the previous season. However, this season it has to, just, be Diego Costa, as he has been the difference between Chelsea being free and clear at the top and them being mixed in the dogfight with the other top six teams.

That makes my team:


Cedric Alderweireld Koscielny Rose

Mane Kante Dembele Sanchez



Written by Tris Burke March 12 2017 08:04:02