james debate
james debate

Thursday 5 June 2008

After much careful deliberation and consulting a panel of experts to assist with the tricky decisions, I have now finally compiled the ultimate 'best xi' of the season in English football. The official team is screwed over by the vast quanitity of idiots who vote out there and the offical computer calculated 'player index' team is biased towards defensively minded teams. This one is the real deal. Enjoy.

Goalkeeper- David James- Once again David James has been by far the most consistent goalkeeper in the premiership. Even if he does occasionally make the odd catastrophic blunder, it's generally far less than most other keepers, and he is absolutely impeccable the rest of the time.

Right Back- Bacary Sagna- The finding of the season in my opinion, has been a fantastic right back for Wenger's team, both going forward and defensively.
Centre Back- Nemanja Vidic- Rio Ferdinand may get most of the plaudits in the media (he's English, what do you expect?) but all the top pundits will agree, Vidic has been the real key man in that backline. When Rio is injured, United held strong, but without Vidic, they failed miserably.
Centre Back- Ricardo Carvalho- Simply the best player on Chelsea this season. Mr Consistent. We saw glimpses of his talent last season, but with captain John Terry injured for half the season this year Carvalho has really come into his own and held that backline firm on his own, and even outshone his famous captain when the two were in the same lineup.
Left Back- Ashley Cole- The truth of the matter is, if Ashley was turning in performances for any other team like he has for Chelsea this season, he'd be getting praised as the best left back in the world, no contest. Even if that seems a bit unlikely in this world it speaks volumes that the majority of the hacks who declare how much 'worse' he is at Chelsea do so in ironic tones nowadays, much like how they chanted 'boring boring chelsea' 2 years ago when we kept winning every other game 4-0. So consistent, and really shone in the big games against United and Arsenal. A massive improvement from his final highly anonymous years at Arsenal.

Right Winger- David Bentley- It was hard to imagine him hitting heights like this after being rejected by Arsenal and shunned to Norwich, but Bentley has definitely risen to one of the top wingers this season, and almost certainly a future Beckham replacement for England. Wenger's wingless wonders wish they had him now thats for sure.
Central Midfield- Michael Ballack- Back again to his commanding top form. Ballack has at times carried his Chelsea team today through dark periods. Faced against relentless injury crises and the African CUp of nations, Ballack stood up as Chelsea's 3rd choice vice vice captain and managed to lead his team through what would turn out to be their most consistent period of the season, helping his team with goals, strength in the midfield, and leadership when they needed it most.
Central Midfield- Cesc Fabregas- Has made the transition from promising novelty act to world class creative engine in the Arsenal midfield this season. And still so young, it's scary to think what experience will bring this young man. Can cut a defense wide open with a pass, can shoot, and is one of the most intelligent players in the league.
Left Winger- Cristiano Ronaldo- Well what more can you say about this man. more than 40 goals this season when he's not even an out and out striker, dazzling football skills, impeccable freekicks, and can play on both sides of the pitch. Simply the best player in the league this year. You can even ignore some of the less admirable sides to his game in light of how much ability he has elsewhere.

Striker- Fernando Torres- Had somewhat of a slow start to the season at Liverpool, not helped by Benitez's rotation policy. However in the second half of the season he really set the country alight with his incredible speed and imperious strength and quickly turned himself into the goal machine liverpool fans hoped he'd become. Still young too, he can only get better from here on in. One to look out for next season.
Striker- Wayne Rooney- Along with Ronaldo, this is the man Manchester United fans can thank for their title. He may not be the most prolific of goalscorers compared to other strikers, but he can do so much for the team as well. He can defend, he can set up his teammates, he can pull magic out of nowhere to completely change the game. Still one of the brightest talents in football, still so young.

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