The PFA awards took place this past Sunday with Eden Hazard picking up the award for Player of the Year and Harry Kane picking up Young player of the Year. Earlier in the day the PFA released the Team of the Season. With six of the players in the team making their first appearance in a team of the season, the team had a bit of a freshness to it, despite being dominated by Chelsea players. The team did end up looking like this:
There are always a host arguments about who should have got in to these teams and who shouldn’t have got in, that’s why we love them. Some people say these kind of individual awards should not exist in such a team oriented sport, but they do exist so we debate them. There are a lot of different ways to go about this, but I’ll just go position by position.
Winner: David De Gea
Snub(s): Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris
Considering the kind of season David De Gea has had, it’s very tough to say anyone was a snub, but cases can be made for both Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois. Courtois is in many people’s opinion the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, is the goalkeeper in the side that is going to win the title, and have the joint best defensive record in the league. Hugo Lloris is the goalkeeper in one of the worst defenses in the Premier League. Yet, the Frenchman has been phenomenal and if it wasn’t for him Spurs could be closer to mid table mediocrity than the top six. All in all, De Gea was probably a just choice for this position, but both Courtois and Lloris could arguably have been in the team in a different year.
Winner: Branislav Ivanovic
Snub(s): Nathaniel Clyne
Again, Ivanovic is a worthy winner, but I do think this one is very close as Clyne has had a very good season. Both the Englishman and the Serbian played the modern day full back role consistently and at a very high level. Statistically, Ivanovic was a bit more creative going forward, but both were very good. Again Ivanovic was a very good choice for the team of the year, but Clyne can feel hard done by not getting in.
John Terry, Gary Cahill
Snub(s): Jose Fonte
I can’t even make an argument against John Terry being in the team of the year because he has been a rock in the middle of that Chelsea defense. Gary Cahill on the other hand, I can absolutely make a case against him. Cahill was one of the biggest surprises in this years team and there’s a reason for that. After a very good 2013/2014, the English centerback has dropped off this season. He has made the joint third most defensive errors among defenders in the Premier League this season behind only Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren. This compared to making none last season and compared to only one made by Jose Fonte of Southampton. At times Kurt Zouma has been picked over the Englishman because of his struggles, while Fonte has played all but one of Southampton’s matches this season. The Portuguese defender has been a key cog in Saints joint best defense and probably should be in the team of the year.
Winner: Ryan Bertrand
Snub(s): Cesar Azpilicueta
Ryan Bertrand has a very good year in the solid Saints defense, but Cesar Azpilicueta should have been in the TOTS over him. Bertrand had a slightly better season going forward, but, statistically, the Chelsea left back was much better defensively. He is arguably the best one on one defender in the league and should have got in. I think, had the other three defenders not been Chelsea players, the Spanish left back would have been in the team.
Winners: Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez
I don’t really see any case for anyone getting into this team over Sanchez and Hazard. Hazard is the PFA player of the year and arguably the best player in the Premier League. Alexis Sanchez carried Arsenal through some periods this season and has been incredible this season. No one really could possible rival these two for the wing spots.
Winners: Nemanja Matic, Philippe Coutinho
Snub(s): Morgan Schneiderlin, Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla
Central midfield has been a point of contention. Matic has dropped off a bit in the second half of the season, but he’s been good enough to warrant his inclusion. Coutinho on the other hand really didn’t deserve to be anywhere near this team. The Brazilian has come into some good form is the latter stage of the season, but really he has’t been team of the season worthy. He’s scored some belters, played some great passes, and shown some great moments of skill, but he hasn’t been anywhere near consistent enough. He has only been involved in eight goals all season and his chance creation rate is far inferior to the likes of Fabregas and Cazorla. Schneiderlin has also been fantastic for Saints and has been one of the best two way players in the league. Any of the three could easily replaced the young Brazilian in the team.
Winners: Harry Kane, Diego Costa
Snub(s): Charlie Austin, Sergio Aguero, Olivier Giroud
Striker was a position where there was a surplus of good candidates and there were always going to be snubs. Both Kane and Costa have been fantastic for their respective teams, but so have the likes of Giroud, Austin and Aguero. Aguero is currently the top scorer. Charlie Austin, despite being at QPR, has scored 17 goals and has scored 45% of his teams goals. Giroud has a better goals per 90 minutes rate than Harry Kane and has been one of the players responsible for Arsenal’s upturn in form. In the end, I would have picked Kane and Aguero, but I think both Kane and Costa were worthy winners.