It’s that time of year again, the Premier League has finished, so it’s time for my several part review of the season. Starting with my Team of the Year.
GK – David Marshall. Cardiff may have finished bottom, and been easily the worst team, but goalkeeper Marshall was a rare bright spark for them. He pulled off so many top quality saves over the course of the season, easily more than any other goalie, and was probably responsible for quite a lot of the 30 points Cardiff did manage to scrape together. Also there wasn’t really any other stand out candidates for the best goalie this season, so it has to be given to Marshall.
RB – Seamus Coleman. This kid has come on massively this season. He started looking like a very promising right back toward the end of last season, but this season he’s been far an away the best in the Prem. His endless energy in attacking down Everton’s right hand side has been pivotal in their success this season, managing to score a very impressive 6 goals from right back.
CB – Gary Cahill. For me Cahill’s been the stand out centre half in this seasons Prem. A lot of pundits have being putting Terry ahead of him, but I think that Cahill has edged that battle. He’s always stood out in the few Chelsea games that I’ve seen as the one who makes the big goal saving tackles far more that Terry has. Also he didn’t score a crucial own goal that cost Chelsea any chance in the title race.
CB – Laurent Koscielny. Whilst I do still have reservations about Koscielny and Mertesacker’s partnership, mainly because they have no pace and we’ve seen how teams with pace can tear them to shreds, such as Liverpool. But this shouldn’t detract too much from the fantastic season Koscielny’s had at the heart of the Arsenal defence. He’s become something of a leader back there in a team short of leaders, and whilst he’s still a send off waiting to happen, Arsenal don’t even look like half the team without him there.
LB – Luke Shaw. A lot of people will argue that Azpilicueta has had a better season, but for me Azpilicueta has always performed much better playing on the right hand side of the defence than he has on the left, so I’ve gone for Shaw instead. This is the first season I’ve really watched Shaw and I have to say I’m hugely impressed with him. He’s the only defender outside of the Chelsea back 27 (or however many defenders they had on that bus at Anfield) whose managed to compete with Sterling, and he’s also formed a hugely dangerous partnership with Lallana down that Southampton left.
CDM – Steven Gerrard. Many people were writing off Gerrard this season, saying he was passed his best ect. But a change of position to a deeper lying midfielder and 13 goals and 13 assists later, and most people are saying this is one of the best seasons of his career to date. It’s hugely disappointing for him to have missed out on a Premier League title, but if he can replicate his level of performances next season, he may still lift one yet.
AM – Adam Lallana. I was agonising between Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling. In the end I’ve gone for Lallana simply because he has performed right through the season, where as Sterling wasn’t played a lot in the early part of the season. Lallana is a player with a hell of a lot of ability and is really the linchpin of that Southampton side. If the rumours of him moving to Liverpool prove to be true, then I’ll be over the moon, because he can achieve great things in his career.
CAM – Yaya Touré. Yaya has had a sparkling season in terms of goalscoring, with 20 goals from midfield, a hugely impressive return. He has nearly everything you’d want from an attacking midfielder, great ability, vision, strength, finishing, pace. And whilst the defensive side of his game isn’t amazing, the fact he’s been given the free reign from Pellegrini to go forward and attack has made this comfortably the best season of his career.
AM – Eden Hazard. There was a couple of months in the middle of the season where Eden Hazard was completely unplayable. And whilst his performance did dip towards the end of the season, there is no questioning that this lad could become on the elite with Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez. He upped his goal return this season, managing 14 in the league, and if he can just sustain the level of his performances then Chelsea wouldn’t even need a top class striker.
ST – Luis Suarez. There’s not much surprise here. Suarez has far and away been the best playing in the league this season. 31 goals equals the record for a 38 game season, and he’s broken so many more records that I cannot be bother to list here, all whilst missing the first 5 games of the season. He’s also seeming sorted out his attitude, even captaining Liverpool a couple of times, most notably in the 5-0 win at Spurs. There isn’t much anyone can say about Luis that hasn’t already been said, so I won’t try.
ST – Daniel Sturridge. The other half of the SAS partnership. With numerous LFC records of his own and an understanding with Suarez that often has seemed to elude the strike duos of the Manchester clubs, Sturridge had to go into my TOTY. His tally for the season of 21 making him the second highest scorer behind Suarez is reason enough for him to be in, especially when you see how important he was when Suarez wasn’t playing.
Manager of the Year – Brendan Rodgers. The turnaround in Liverpool’s fortunes has been ridiculous. From 7th last season to 2nd, and in the title race until the last day, this season. That kind of turnaround requires something special, and in Rodgers thats what Liverpool have got. A great tactician and coach, he often tinkers with his formation and players to great effect. He has also helped many players seen as not good enough vastly improve, just look at Henderson, Allen, Skrtel and Sterling. The only logical choice to be the manager of the season, here’s hoping to one better next season.