After almost 10 months of (sometimes) amazing action, another EPL season
has come to a close. And while we all count down the days to the beginning of what will surely be an amusing 3 games for the English National team, the fine staff at Four Five Two decided to put together a few end of season lists that are voted on after the season ends shockingly enough. Today we have our EPL Team of the Year, and appropriately enough our formation of choice is a 4-5-2.
Wayne Rooney: Though Rooney had a few dry spells this season, the forward was key to Manchester United’s ultimately unsuccessful bid for a 20th championship in England. With Boobatov relegated to the bench, and El Stupid Pea not being able to replicate his inaugural season in the EPL, it fell to Rooney to carry the attack. He was also able to begin forming what can hopefully be a lasting partnership with youngster Danny Welbeck up top.
Robin Van Persie: The only unanimous pick for our team, the Arsenal forward was simply brilliant for the Gunners, and without him the team would have been more likely to languish in the bottom half of the table rather than securing yet another third place finish at the expense of Spurs. The real question for the club is what happens if RVP decides to leave this summer. With no real quality up top after the Dutchman, Wenger would have to spend some serious cash to replace this talented lad.
Gareth Bale: The Welsch Dong followed up last year’s brilliant season with another quality campaign. Fellow winger Aaron Lennon seemed to be oft-injured, and Spurs leaned on Bale and his gallivanting down the flanks. Of course many Spurs fans will grumble that his gallivanting turned into meandering into the middle, but finishing in 4th is an excellent accomplishment given the talent at some great clubs such as Liverpool
David Silva: The Spaniard is one of Manchester Arabia’s most talented players, and his performance was a bit of a bellwether for the club. His dip in form at the turn of the new year coincided with a rough patch for City, but his final game performance was part of the reason they were able to come back from a goal deficit and claim the title over their red half of the city. With the Euro’s this summer, questions will arise about how tired the midfielder will be in August, but intelligent use by Mancini should see Silva fit for a season where the club attempts to retain their crown.
Clint Dempsey:American’s have long known the amazing talent that is simply
known as Deuce, and this year the Texan finally got props from the established media in England. Though only a midfielder, Dempsey scored over 15 goals this season, and helped lead Fulham to a fantastic ninth place finish, level on points with Liverpool. Although an older player, Dempsey seems all but poised to make a move to a Champions League club, and it would be interesting to see how he performs against the best competition in Europe
Yaya Toure: For all the credit that his midfield partner Silva gets, Yaya Toure is the player whom keeps City calm and composed. With his departure during the African Cup of Nations, the defensive side of the club seemed to be a bit flustered. Toure provided a calm influence in the face of some potent attacks, and many fans had to be worried when he left the final match of the season due to injury. Mancini would do well to look for another midfielder who can stay calm and composed, not only to partner with Toure, but also to spell him during the long season.
Valencia: Paul Scholes got many accolades for helping to prop up a flagging United midfield, but Valencia’s pace and crosses were some of the biggest reasons that a less talented side was able to keep pace with the juggernaut of spending that is Manchester City. In a season when Nani and Anderson both seemed to be a bit lackluster, it fell to Valencia to pick up the slack. Though United needs help in the center of the park, as well as in defense, finding an opposite winger to Valencia would certainly help the club, and make Wayne Rooney a happy man.
Leighton Baines: The Everton defender was his usual self at left back, but really came into his own with the return of Stephen Pienaar to the club. Baines does extremely well with a left midfielder who enjoys cutting into the center of the pitch (Hello Gareth Bale?), and he was actually the club’s leading scorer until the arrival of the Croation Sensation Jelavic. Rumors of interest from some of the big clubs have once again cropped up, but my guess is the price is going to have to dramatically increase for Moyes to approve the loss of such a talented player.
Joleon Lescott: The dirty good for nothing center back finally got his title, and performed well in winning it. While Kompany gets most of the recognition from the media and fans, Lescott has always been the guy who goes about his business of stopping the attackers.
Fabricio Coloccini: Because I can’t read or count, and I also hate Lescott, our second center back spot goes to Colo. Much like our goalkeeper of the season, Colo was instrumental in Newcastle’s success, and he manages to pull off the freaky hair in a non-rapist way.
Vincent Kompany: The stalwart and captain of Manchester City, this was a fantastic year for the man. City’s defense suffered tremendously when Kompany was forced to miss time during the winter, and his leadership helped turn the club around when they could have packed it in after losing such a large lead over United. Still an ugly SOB, but I will begrudgingly give him some respect.
Kyle Walker: The lack of quality right back’s in the EPL, or the blatant homerism involved in the voting here at FourFiveTwo, gives this spot to Kyle Walker. The 21 year old had an excellent season for his first as a full time starter, and many Spurs fans will be happy that he actually scored on a free kick, something ‘Arry doesn’t believe in doing. At this rate it only seems like a matter of time before he is called up to the unrealistic expectations that are the English National Team.
Tim Krul: The Dutch keeper was at the heart of Newcastle’s amazing season, and the scary part is that he is only 24 years old. Krul has now had a good season and a half of good play, and may only be a question of time before one of the large clubs tries to steal the talented keeper from Newcastle. Though the Demba’s may take most of the limelight, any manager will tell you the key to qualifying for the Champion’s League is a solid defense, and Krul made sure any holes that appeared in the backline were quickly snuffed out.
Roberto Martinez:Sometimes the good guy does get rewarded, and Roberto
Martinez’s insistence on staying at Wigan this season payed off over the final weeks as Wigan handily secured another season in the EPL. Though the beginning of the year saw the club deep in a relegation fight. Victories against the top part of the table saw the club stay afloat and finish in 15th. With Aston Villa likely to take another look at Martinez, as well as a few other clubs needing managers, it will be interesting if Martinez finally moves on to better pastures or if he continues to show some admirable loyalty.
Honorable Mentions: Vorm, Cisse, Cabaye, BAE, Aguero, Ben Arfa, Lescott