Editor’s note: The Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Season will be released this weekend, so here at World Soccer Talk, our Kartik Krishnaiyer has put together his list of the best team of this memorable 2013/14 season.
Tim Howard was a difficult selection over the likes of Petr Cech and David DeGea. Ultimately though the organization of Everton’s back four in addition to the improvement of what was a mistake-prone keeper the past few seasons gives him the nod.
These picks were fairly straight forward though cases could be made for the likes of Leighton Baines, Everton’s left-back, and John Terry whose bounce-back season under Jose Mourinho reminded all of us why England would be wise to swallow its pride this summer and find a way to reintegrate the former Three Lions skipper into the squad. Also strongly considered was Curtis Davies, Hull City’s defensive stopper who has played a critical role in his side’s probable survival after promotion last season.
This is where the decisions were especially difficult. Fernandinho has been a remarkable two-way player for Manchester City all season while Jordan Henderson’s improvement and contribution to a likely title-winning side put him on this team. Despite missing half the season, Aaron Ramsey’s impact on Arsenal cannot be understated, and he earned a place in this squad. Eden Hazard was an easy pick though Raheem Sterling’s late season surge could cause some doubts among voters.
What about Yaya Toure? The Manchester City midfielder has scored 18 Premier League goals but has also been at fault for many of the Blues defensive woes and midfield breakdowns throughout the season. This was the reason I opted for Henderson over Toure.
No controversy here. Easy picks and nobody in the league is close to the Liverpool duo. Sergio Aguero, had he stayed fit, may have pushed Sturridge for the other striker spot.
This will be more controversial as Tony Pulis did not take the reins of Crystal Palace until December and is managing a side that currently sits 11th in the division. But when Pulis was named manager, the Eagles sat at the foot of the table and since then have secured 39 points in 24 matches, a remarkable haul for any side outside the title contenders. This has been done with a squad some would argue is the 20th best in the division. Other strong contenders for this honor were Brendan Rodgers and Steve Bruce.