by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Last Sunday, at an exclusive event, professional footballers in England voted Robin Van Persie and Kyle Walker as their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively.
The FA also unveiled their Team of the Year, dominated by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspurs players.
We do not completely agree with a few inclusions and have come up with our Team of the Year. What do you think about our choices?
Joe Hart – We’ve gone for Joe Hart, slightly ahead of Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczensy. The City stopper has had his rough patch this season, but the England number one is one of the reasons why they are contenders for the EPL.
Kyle Walker – The Spurs right back deserves his place in our team for an impressive breakthrough season, which included him scoring the winner in the North London derby at White Heart Lane.
Laurent Koscielny – In only his second season in England, the French central defender has shown why Arsene Wenger bought him from the relative obscurity of Ligue 1. Arsenal fans haven’t stopped counting how many defenders he has pocketed this season.
Vincent Kompany – The Belgian has been a rock and a leader for Roberto Mancini’s men, with a series of outstanding performances at the back. City have struggled to find their way when he was either suspended or injured.
Leighton Baines – There is probably no other left back in the division that comes close to Baines when it comes to assists and goals scored. The diminutive defender has been an ever present fixture in Everton’s side this campaign.
Alex Song – Cesc who? The new name on the lips of the Emirates faithfuls is Alex ‘Songinho’. This season, the Cameroonian has combined his defensive work in midfield with some assured offensive displays, lofting in delicious passes for Van Persie and Walcott to feed off.
Yaya Toure – The younger Toure brother was sorely missed at the Etihad when he departed for the African Cup of Nations in January. City struggled for balance, invention and presence in the midfield of the park and came off with some bad results in that run.
David Silva – Silva has been at the centre of some fantastic football in the Eastlands, orchestrating play with prescient passes and threading sublime through balls with his cultured left foot.
Juan Mata – Another delightful little Spaniard who has done well this season is Juan Mata. And it is rather surprising, as this is just his first season in the Premiership. But he is gradually cemented his place as Chelsea’s go-to man.
Robin van Persie – Well, let the stats do the talking – 34 goals in all competitions, 27 goals and 10 assists in the league. Van Persie has been nothing but lethal upfront for the Gunners and was crowned as the PFA Footballer of the Year on Sunday.
Wayne Rooney – He has had a topsy-turvy season, but on many occasions, Rooney’s quality has shone brilliantly. The Englishman overtook George Best on United’s all-time scoring charts last weekend, and with many more seasons to come, the possibilities are limitless.
Premier League Team of the Year: Joe Hart (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Leighton Baines (Everton), David Silva (Man City), Yaya Toure (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd).
YNaija’s XI (4-4-2): Joe Hart (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspurs), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Leighton Baines (Everton), Alex Song (Arsenal), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Robin van Persie (Arsenal) & Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
Special recognition: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Wojciech Szczensy (Arsenal), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) and Scott Sinclair (Swansea).