Webster: Team of the season

The Barclays Premier League consists of 20 teams and hundreds of

players, but only 11 can make my team of the year. The criteria is

simple, be the best at your position: creatively, functionally or

statistically.

My team is defensively sound with a midfield that combines

heart, commitment and no small measure of skill, while my attacking

line-up was good for 51 league goals.

Playing a 3-4-3 formation, if you’re looking for entertainment,

look no further.

Goalkeeper

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Edwin Van der Sar (Manchester United): The Dutchman says

he’ll play his last professional match next Saturday in the UEFA

Champions League Final. He’ll be missed by football fans the world

over. His handling, distribution and awareness has been spectacular

this campaign; however, it’s his athleticism that has taken my

breath away.

They say a goalkeeper improves with age. Edwin van der Sar is

the vintage.

Defenders

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Vincent Kompany (Manchester City): Defensively, City has

been much improved over the course of the season, and that is down

to their player of the season. Kompany has displayed remarkable

consistency and resolve in a team that at times struggled to

believe in itself. They believe now, and at 25, the Belgian should

be part of this club for years to come.

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Leighton Baines (Everton): I think that Baines is the best

English left back in the country. It’s time for Ashley Cole to move

over, because this Toffee not only defends like a tiger, but he

makes and scores goals week-in, week-out.

He’s also as reliable as your old family Honda. He’s not missed

a league match this season.

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Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United): Every great team needs a

great center back and the Serbian is all that and more. With the

captain’s armband thrust upon him, Vidic has led United with a

certainty and resolve that I’ve not seen before.

Midfielders

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Charlie Adam (Blackpool): When Blackpool’s player of the

season handed in a transfer request during the January window, his

form took a dip. That dream move to Liverpool would have to be put

on hold; however, the dip didn’t last long as his character

would come to the fore.

This is the kind of player you need in a battle, because he has

guts and no small amount of skill. His services will be in high

demand.

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Luka Modric (Tottenham): Gareth Bale may have got the PFA

award but it was Modric who was the architect of this Spurs team.

The Croatian appeared in more Premiership matches than any member

of the squad and showed that you can mix the technical side of

football with the resilient. There were many who initially doubted

his $20 million price tag, you no longer hear from them.

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Scott Parker (West Ham): The Football Writers Player of the

Year strolls into this XI. At 30 years-of-age and with a number of

high profile moves in his past, Parker could have mailed it in this

season as a number of his West Ham colleagues did, but this man is

the ultimate professional. Not only did he give his all to the

cause but he forced his way back into the England squad. Give me

ten Scotty Parkers and I’ll rule the world.

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Raul Meireles (Liverpool): The much maligned former Red

boss, Roy Hodgson, should be lauded for one of his buys: Portugal’s

Meireles. Like many foreign buys, he initially struggled to find

his feet in England due to a different style of play and being part

of a Liverpool team that was going through some huge changes, on

and off the pitch. Once he found his rhythm, though, he oozed class

and demonstrated exactly what kind of a player he is.

Forwards

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Javier Hernandez (Manchester United): To me, Chicharito is

the epitome of what a deadly striker should be. He’s sneaky fast.

His movement is varied and deceptive, and he scores the majority of

his goals in the six-yard box. Gary Lineker made a career out of

those qualities, and this Mexican will do the same. If he stays

injury free for any length of time at United, he will break every

scoring record.

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Carlos Tevez (Manchester City): It’s been an emotional

season for the City skipper. Family turmoil, bust-ups with

management, sneaky agents, and injuries, but it did finish on a

high. His club won their first trophy in close to four decades and

qualified for the Champions League while he finished tied for the

golden boot. There is no doubting Tevez and his commitment when he

crosses that white line, as long as you can look past his mercenary

tendencies.

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Darren Bent (Aston Villa): Changing clubs successfully in

midseason is never the easiest thing to do, except when you’re a

striker that just scores goals. Bent is such a player. Despite the

tag put on him by his former boss, Harry Redknapp – you know, the

one about his missus scoring – the England international is the

most consistent English goal scorer in the Premiership, a fact that

Fabio Capello has noted.

This XI is as cosmopolitan as they come: Four Englishmen, a

Belgian, a Dutchman, a Portuguese, an Argentinean, a Croatian, a

Serb and a Mexican. I fancy their chances against anyone.

Enjoy the off-season. Summer friendly matches start stateside in

a little over five weeks!

Nick Webster is a senior writer for FoxSoccer.com covering the

Barclay’s Premier League and the English national team.