The Professional Footballer’s Association team of the year was announced this week, and, as expected with the league table looking the way it does, it was dominated by Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur players.
Most players can’t be quibbled with. However, it seems that the PFA have focused on trying to reward Leicester and Spurs for having great seasons rather than rewarding individual players for having an amazing season.
Take the strikers for example. One of Harry Kane or Jamie Vardy should be able to make the team. They have both had great seasons and scored over 20 goals thus far. But what about the striker with a better goals/minute ratio than both?
|Player||League Goals||Shots on Target||Minutes per goal|
Sergio Aguero is the best striker in the Premier League, and although injuries have limited his appearances, he still has played over 2000 minutes. If anything, it is further proof of his ability that Harry Kane, with over 1000 minutes more, has only managed one more goal (and one less assist).
Manchester City have had a mixed season, to be sure. The satisfaction of a trophy in the form of the League Cup and a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League have been tempered by a very early exit from the Premier League title race. However a team of the year is rewarding 11 players for individual excellence in a team sport, and having Vardy over Aguero, while somewhat heart-warming, isn’t right.
A similar argument could be made with the selection of Dimitri Payet. West Ham are a club on the up and up, massively over performing this season regarding their league position, and preparing to move to a fancy new stadium next season. Arsenal by contrast, have had a typically Arsenal season, top of the league in January before a collapse that will hurt all the more this season because it is to an underdog and their North London rivals.
|Player||Goals||Assists||Key Passes per game||Pass Completion|
First of all, saying that Sanchez or Ozil couldn’t be a winger in an orthodox 4-4-2 is irrelevant as really it should just be around picking 11 of the most deserving players in a reasonable mix. Whether the team of the year lines up in a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-5-2 shouldn’t matter.
According to WhoScored data, Sanchez is the most potent goal threat out of the three and Ozil is by far the most creative. Applying the metric of minutes played still doesn’t see Payet top Ozil as the German has played around 400 minutes more. The fact that Ozil is Arsenal’s most creative hub, constantly playing defense splitting passes and still manages such a high pass success rate is simply amazing.
Danny Rose seems the biggest beneficiary of Spurs’ fabulous season that’s seen them achieve the league’s meanest defence. While Rose is extremely talented and at still only 25 only going to get better, he’s not been the best left back this campaign.
Truthfully, there hasn’t been a really outstanding left back this season with Leighton Baines spending lots of time on the treatment table, but comparing to Rose to some other players in his position he seems middle of the range.
Both Moreno and Kolarov are much better offensively, and Moreno also matches Rose on tackles and betters him on interceptions. Granted Spurs have conceded nine goals less than Manchester City and 18 less than Liverpool but comparing the relatively calm and injury free campaign of Tottenham to those two clubs it would be a stretch to say that Rose was responsible.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family