Webster: Team of the season

BY foxsports • May 23, 2011

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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