Now, we all know the names in the PFA Team of the Year. Here’s my alternative team of the year, players who were almost just as good as the ones in the original team.
GK – Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
Goalkeepers are often the unsung heroes, and Vorm is one such hero. He has been in absolutely top form for Swansea, since signing from Dutch club Utrecht, for a meagre £1.5 million. He is a great shot-stopper and has been instrumental in Swansea’s breakthrough season in the Barclays Premier League.
A close second(s) – Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
LB – Benoit Assou-Ekoto (Tottenham Hotspur)
Assou-Ekoto has been a revelation for Spurs this season. Constantly bombing down the left, and stingy in defence, he has been consistently turning out good performances for Sp*rs this season. This has allowed Gareth Bale to shine, on the left, and play his usual attacking game.
A close second(s) – Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Jose Enrique (Liverpool), John Arne Riise (Fulham)
CB – Daniel Agger (Liverpool)
Agger has been one of the foremost defenders in the league this season. Despite Liverpool’s miserable run of home draws, Agger’s towering presence in the centre of defence alongside Martin Skrtel has been one of the positives for the Reds.
CB – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Koscielny has been one of the most improved players this season in the league. He has rarely put a foot wrong, and despite the early maulings that Arsenal suffered, Koscielny has been an ever present for the Gunners. Composed in the tackle, and probably the best one-on-one defender in the league, he has formed a cohesive partnership with Thomas Vermaelen, the reason for Arsenal’s late season rise to 3rd place.
A close second(s) – Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City)
RB – Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
The Serbian, who is a centre-back by trade, has been constantly played as a right-back at Chelsea, in view of the inconsistency of Portugese right-backs Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira. Always a goal-scoring threat, his defending has been consistently good.
A close second(s) – Danny Simpson (Newcastle United)
LM – Juan Mata (Chelsea)
In a disappointing season for the Blues, Spanish winger Juan Mata, signed from Valencia for £23 million, has been one of the brightest talents to ply his trade in the Barclays Premier League. His sudden bursts of pace, trickery and at times, brilliant goals, are a treat to watch.
A close second(s) – James McClean (Sunderland)
CM – Alex Song (Arsenal)
Alex Song has been central to Arsenal this season. Playing as a central defensive midfielder, Song has chalked up a whopping 14 assists to his name, and his ability to link between defence and attack has made him one of the first names on the team sheet for the Gunners.
A close second(s) – Cheik Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
CM – Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
Dempsey’s consistent performances this season have attracted the interest of the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the USA midfielder. He has scored 16 goals for Fulham in 33 games, as well as a further 6 in other competitions.
A close second(s) – Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal), Paul Scholes (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
RM – Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
A bull of a winger, the modest Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia has been prolific this season for Manchester United. A constant menace to wingers with his pace and power, he has made the right flank his own.
A close second(s) – Junior Hoillet (Blackburn Rovers), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland)
ST – Demba Ba (Newcastle United)
In an era where exorbitant amount of money is exchanged for strikers, Demba Ba is a breath of fresh air. Signed from West Ham on a free transfer, the Senegalese striker has gone on to score 16 goals for the Magpies, including hat-tricks against Blackburn and Stoke.
ST – Aiyegbani Yakubu (Blackburn Rovers)
Nigerian striker Aiyegbani Yakubu has been consistently scoring goals for beleaguered Blackburn Rovers, all season. 18 goals in 25 games in what can be described as an average side in the BPL, is no mean feat.
A close second(s) – Grant Holt (Norwich City), Danny Graham (Swansea City), Nikica Jelavic (Everton), Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Papis Demba Cisse (Newcastle United), Peter Crouch (Stoke City)