Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Premiership Team of the Season - 2012/2013

I'm going to do a few team of the season's in the next few days just to round the season off, most of the decisions are pretty self explanatory looking at what they have done for their respective sides but still here we go.

GK - David De Gea

- There weren't many keepers who essentially were in the running for this, purely because defensively teams have been all over the place this season and keepers have made key errors which has been punished. David De Gea joined United in June 2011. Since then he's had two seasons in the Premier League but it still feels like yesterday that the nimble shot stopper flew north from Spain. His first season was slightly error strewn due to the unaccustomed nature of the Premier League. Whether it be the flight of the ball or the physical aspect of the game, the ex Athletico-Madrid man was struggling. The problem he had was the errors he did make were high profile and in the spotlight.

This season has been slightly different, Not only has De Gea built himself up physically but he's accumulated plenty of experience which will serve him well in the future. This season on average it has taken opponents 3.55 shots on target per game to beat him, which is a pretty decent record. He played 28 games this season and made 84 saves in the Premier League alone. 11 clean sheets isn't too bad considering the pressure to succeed he's under. Starlet.

RB - Pablo Zabaleta

- Another position which doesn't shower itself in glory, consistency is key in this position and many players this season have fallen short here. Rafael and Azpilicueta have had strong displays but not all the way through which is why i've gone with Zabaleta. Same goes for Kyle Walker and Glen Johnson, strong showings but defensive frailties often exposed at key times. All talented players in their own right but consistency was key in this decision and that's why I've gone with reliable Manchester City right back Zabaleta. Played 22 times in an injury hit season but his positioning and consistency combined with his ability to bomb forward is a reason why this man was picked.

CB - Jan Vertonghen

- Easy decision for me here, Vertonghen in his first season since signing from Ajax and he has proved a hit since day one. Not only is his versatility across the back vitally important but he is good in the air and with the ball at his feet. What really makes him stand out from other defensive units is the fact he scores a lot of goals from defence. 48 appearances in his debut season across the board and 7 goals which is a great return for a defender. 47 appearances for Belgium and at the age of 26 there are plenty of years to come from Vertonghen. Other players which could have made this position is, Ashley Williams, Phil Jagileka and David Luiz.

CB - Matija Nastasic

- A surprise one here considering the form of Rio Ferdinand but we know the quality of the ex England man and he just stepped it up this season but for me it's the rise of the Manchester City Serbian newcomer Nastasic. He was bought initally as a replacement for train wreck defender Stefan Savic in an exchange plus money. 15 euros were parted with to Fiorentina for his services and his performances have been a real strong point in an otherwise disappointing season for Man City. He brings the ball out from defence and is comfortable but his tactical astuteness and positioning for such a young man is commendable. With Vincent Kompany injured for great lengths this season the emergence of the Serb has been justifiable. 25 appearances and holding off the challenge of Lescott and Kolo Toure in addition to this.

LB - Leighton Baines

- A pretty straightforward choice here, it could have been a straight shoot out between both England left back's Ashley Cole has been superb defensively for Chelsea but what separates Baines from Cole is the fact he not only bombs forward but his crossing and decision making is excellent. Baines created over 100 chances which is the highest all over Europe and that's from a defender. In a better side he would have been able to win things his performances surely deserved. His relationship with Steven Pieenar has been vital to Everton's success this season. His consistency as well has been vitally important having been involved in every game of the Premier League season. Outstanding.

LM - Gareth Bale

- Another position which was pretty much sown up early doors. Gareth Bale has been mesmeric at times this season and unplayable. We all know about his physical fitness and his ability to run up and down the touchline and of course his speed and power to beat a man has been commended in the past. This season he has developed even more characteristics which make him the hottest property in world football. When signed from Southampton we knew about his dead ball ability particularly free kicks but he has developed a technique similar to Cristiano Ronaldo which makes him technically gifted on all fronts. Also this season Bale has played on the right hand side of midfield, since he plays a fleeting drifting midfielder role. This has given him the license to cut in and unleash some absolute world class strikes. Most notably against West Brom, Southampton and West Ham. All of these were winners remember. Bale has played 44 games this season and scored 26 goals in that time. 21 In the league. That's astounding for a winger.

CM - Santi Cazorla

- Arsenal's season hasn't exactly been lifting the world alight but the emergence of Santi Cazorla has really given Arsene Wenger optimism for the following season. Santi has the ability to carry the ball, but also to distribute it well. If you add this to his creativity and the fact he chips in with a few goals it's the perfect combination for a centre midfielder. His partnership with Ramsey and Wilshire when put together has offered Arsenal reassuring displays that they can challenge for top honours again. Having played 49 games this season since signing from Malaga and having scored 12 goals and creating 16 goals, you could say it's been a real highlight for Arsenal. 52 caps for Spain show he is a world class talent and at the age of 28 he still has plenty to offer for seasons to come.

CM - Juan Mata

- The obvious suprise package this season would have been Miguel Michu for Swansea as an attacking midfielder with 22 goals to his name but i've gone with Spanish ball player Juan Mata purely because of his creativity and the sheer amount of games he gets through. Chelsea paid 23.5 million for Mata from Valencia and he has definitely paid them back through sheer appearances alone let alone assists. He has played 64 games this season due to the demanding Europa League schedule and has created 35 goals this season that's sheer class. Remember that's more than Robin Van Persie has scored all season and he finished top goalscorer. When you add that to the fact he's scored 12 goals in the league and has 17 assists in addition to this. Juan Mata is simply superb. Only played 23 games for his country which just shows the sheer quality of Spain's midfield.

RM - Eden Hazard

- "Eden Hazard could be just as good as Messi over the next couple of seasons" - Paul Scholes

- Eden Hazard shocked the world when he signed for the then European Champions Chelsea for 32 million pounds and it looked like a gamble for both sides. Would Hazard get used to the physicality and have Chelsea overspent. Well the answer is yes and no. What he has over many other players except perhaps Gareth Bale is age. He is only 22 which means he hasn't even hit his peak yet and in his debut season he has been world class. Hazard has played 62 times this season only 4 behind star man Mata and this all in his first season. The EL campaign has forced these players to play through burnout and that has given Chelsea fans numerous chances to see this man mature. Having only missed 4 games in the Premier League, Hazard's importance to the team is overwhelming. 11 assists in the Premier League so only 6 behind Mata in his debut season show how vital he has become.

LS - Luis Suarez

- A controversial choice but let's be honest it's a pretty obvious one at that. 44 appearances this season before he controversially bit Branislav Ivanovic. 30 goals and 11 assists were yielded from that figure and for a striker that's pretty much at the top level. Only Van Persie scored more in the league and he was with the league champions not a side that finished 7th. If it weren't for his transgressions then he would be the complete footballer. As it stands he's the complete striker and is courting interest from Real Madrid and Bayern although the other slightly wavering. His ability to dribble the ball and find the net is almost 5 a side - esque. He has scored some wonderful goals this season including that long ball close control finish he showed against Newcastle. Now that Liverpool have given him more support in their side with the signings of Sturridge and Aspas. You can bet he won't be solely relied on anymore.

RS - Robin Van Persie

- A pretty nailed on choice, Last season he scored 30 goals for Arsenal as they clinched top 4 but once United came calling and offered the Dutchman the move he took it with both hands. He hasn't scored as much this season but what he has done is create much more as a striker and that's why United fans have taken to him so well. They have reclaimed the title straight back from their neighbours this season and much has gone down to the efforts of this man particularly early season before he suffered a blip. 8 assists isn't monumental for a striker but his general hold up play and finishing which has been his trademark through his career were impecable throughout the season and that's why he's in my team of the season. Crucial goals against Man City and Liverpool also make him fan favourites. A top buy for 24 million and will keep Arsene Wenger up at night after losing him.

Thanks for taking a read and leave a comment or just tweet me at @Daniel_John08 on what you think, these are just my opinions and everyone's entitled to their own.

Daniel John

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