by ‘Ifreke Inyang
The front three automatically picks itself. There is no way anyone would leave out the sensational trio of Gareth Bale – who scopped both the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year, Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez.
However, some of the selections in the PFA Team of the Year, is puzzling. In goal, David de Gea is not a bad choice. The former Atletico Madrid safe hands, is a fantastic shot stopper, but Asmir Begovic [Stoke City] and Simon Mignolet [Sunderland], have excelled in ‘smaller’ teams, that do not boast of great defenders.
In defence, Leighton Baines, Jan Vertongen and Pablo Zabaleta deserve their spots. Rio Ferdinand has had a decent season for United, but Zabaleta’s team mate at City, Matija Nastasic, has been an absolute revelation in the heart of defence for Roberto Mancini. The former Fiorentina man has kept seasoned EPL defenders like Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure on the bench all season. That’s no mean feat.
Michael Carrick is an interesting choice in midfield. I feel the England international has kept things moving nicely for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, as superstar forwards like Van Persie hugged the headlines. His composure on the ball has been brilliant, his vision is excellent and his passing has been marvelous. If I’m pushed however, I’d take Yaya Toure. The Ivorian has been immense for City, as they struggled to retain their EPL crown this season and his goal against West Ham last week, was a stunner.
Hazard has no business in that team. The Belgian has shown glimpses here and there, but has not been consistent or influential as Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla. His fellow midfielder at Chelsea, Mata, has become the architect-in-chief for Chelsea and his numbers say it all. He makes the list without a question.
PFA Team of the Year: De Gea; Zabaleta, Vertonghen, Ferdinand, Baines; Hazard, Mata, Carrick; Suarez, Bale, Van Persie.
My Team of the Year: Begovic; Zabaleta, Vertonghen, Nastasic, Baines; Cazorla, Mata, Yaya; Suarez, Bale, Van Persie.