Last week the Players Football Association announced it’s team of the year for each division of English football. The main event was the one for the Premier League team pictured below.
As always, there have been plenty of takes on the team since it came out. Like every year there were a few players that can feel hard done not to get into the team. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest snubs of this season.
Goalkeeper and Defence
There weren’t actually too many arguments for the back five of the team. Still, even with the most convincing teams there are a few guys that can feel hard done by.
Adrian: West Ham’s Spanish shot stopper has been one of many fantastic performers at Upton Park. While the Hammers conceded 43 goals, tied for ninth worst in the league, Adrian was second in the league in saves per 90 minutes, according to WhoScored. On top of that, West Ham are third in the league on save percentage, according to FootballInTheClouds.
Robert Huth: Toby Alderweireld was a lock for the team of the year, so his partner was going to be one of Wes Morgan or Robert Huth. The two are tough to separate, their partnership is the reason they are both so good. The big advantage Huth could argue having over his centre-back partner is the goals. The big German has three goals, including two away to Manchester City, on the day people finally started to take Leicester City seriously.
Mesut Ozil: Ozil is probably the biggest omission this year. The German is missing out on the team of the year despite having the most assists per 90 minutes (0.6 according to WhoScored) of anyone in the Premier League since Opta started collecting data in 2009. He has also created the most chances per 90 minutes in the Premier League (4.3 according to WhoScored) of anyone since 2009.
Those numbers measure the number of chances he’s created, but when it comes to quality, he’s still been phenomenal. Expected goals is a statistic that measures the quality of a chance. Expected assists work the same way, it just gives credit to the passer creating the chance. All expected goal and expected assists data is from Paul Riley.
Ozil leads the league by a large margin in expected assists with 12. In second is Dimitri Payet with 7.74 expected assists, less than 66% of the expected assists of Ozil. Even taking out set pieces, Ozil has 8.64 expected assists, with Moussa Sissoko in second with 5.99.
Sergio Aguero: Aguero has somehow never made a Premier League TOTS in his career. His season has gone under the radar a bit due to Manchester City’s disappointing season, but Aguero has probably been one of the two best strikers in the league this season.
The Argentine is tied with Harry Kane for the most non penalty goals in the Premier League this season (19), according to WhoScored. He has scored those goals in significantly less playing time, meaning he has the most non penalty goals per 90 minutes in the league. Aguero has put in some mesmerising performances, like his five goal game against Newcastle, and there is definitely a case to be made that he should have been in the team over Jamie Vardy.
Overall, the PFA did a pretty good job with their team this year. The biggest omission was probably Ozil, but other than that there weren’t too many eyebrow raising picks. Still, while there weren’t too many picks that were making people lose their minds, there were some players that can feel that they could have made the team this year but didn’t.