The players themselves have had their say, and so it’s high time that we should all give our view on the 2012/13 Premier League team of the year.
There are plenty of matters to take into consideration – this isn’t just going to be a team of eleven players who picked up the most Fantasy Premier League points – and so with that in mind take a look at the XI and tell us just what yours would be.
Get involved in the comments section and on Twitter @FantasyYirma.
David De Gea – Manchester United
A tough category and one in which the likes of Simon Mignolet, Asmir Begovic and Brad Guzan deserve mentions, but it is Manchester United’s Spanish shot-stopper who takes the No. 1 jersey.
De Gea had a tough start to life in England and hadn’t really got over those problems by the beginning of this season, but he has gradually learned more and more about Premier League and Old Trafford life and only looks like getting the confidence to do better and better.
Having a league winners’ medal around his neck will do that for you.
Rafael – Manchester United
De Gea’s Old Trafford teammate gets the nod at right-back at the end of a season in which he was forced to grow up.
With his twin brother Fabio shipped out on loan to QPR, Rafael grew into his position in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and even popped up with important goals at venues such as Anfield and against his brother’s team at Loftus Road.
At just 22 years old, United look to have found their right-back for the next few years.
Matija Nastasic – Manchester City
A name that will surprise many, but Manchester City’s Serb deserves recognition for a fine first season in English football.
Nastasic only turned 20 last month, but the composure and quality he showed during a campaign in which he ousted Joleon Lescott from the side makes you believe he’s much older.
City kept five clean sheets in Nastasic’s first six Premier League 90 minute appearances, and that wasn’t a coincidence.
Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham
A stellar first season in England for Tottenham’s Belgian, who has scored five goals as well as showcased his fine defensive attributes.
The highlight of those goalscoring exploits came with two goals in a 3-2 defeat at Anfield, but Vertonghen has been a key man in the many games that Spurs have won this season and looks like being around in these teams of the year for years to come.
He’s set the bar pretty high for himself.
Leighton Baines – Everton
There have been plenty of calls for the nation to recognise Baines as the No. 1 left-back in the country for the past couple of years, and this has been the season in which he’s confirmed those beliefs.
An ever-present threat from set pieces, Baines is so important to everything that Everton do, and can arguably be viewed as the key attacker in David Moyes’ side.
He’s likely to attract plenty of attention this summer.
Juan Mata – Chelsea
The twinkle-toed Spaniard has faced competition from teammate Eden Hazard this season, but he remains the best thing about the current Chelsea side.
A player with gifts which would light up any team in the world, Mata has registered 10 goals and an astonishing 17 assists in the Premier League alone during the campaign, and there is little wonder that Stamford Bridge fans love him.
Whoever the Chelsea manager is next season will be inheriting a gem.
Marouane Fellaini – Everton
Previously seen by many as merely a clumsy figure who could often look like a foul waiting to happen, Fellaini silenced any remaining doubters with a fine season which began with a stunning display and the winning goal against Manchester United.
He and Everton went from strength to strength from there, and with Fellaini playing in a variety of positions the Blues went on to enjoy surely their most consistent season under Moyes.
The Belgian was the key figure behind that, and is another who could attract bids this summer.
Michu – Swansea
Easily the most impressive of the Premier League players in their debut season, Swansea’s Spaniard had a terrific campaign and provided the inspiration for a comfortable top half position and success in the Capital One Cup.
Often used as a forward – although squeezed into midfield here – Michu’s penalty area predatory instincts frequently saved Swansea in tight contests, as the stylish Spaniard followed up strong goalscoring seasons in his homeland as he took to Premier League life like a swan to water.
The task now is to repeat it again next season.
Gareth Bale – Tottenham
The professionals’ choice as Player of the Year was arguably the first name on our teamsheet following a season which saw him elevate his game to yet another level.
There was a time over the campaign when the Welshman looked simply unstoppable, and even if he doesn’t reach that level again in the closing weeks of the season a total of 19 league goals and nine assists is pretty special.
Bale can seemingly be as good as he wants to be, and next season he’ll be fascinating to watch again.
Robin van Persie – Manchester United
When last season’s second best team buys the forward and main source of goals from the third best team then what do you think will happen?
The title happened for Manchester United in the most emphatic of manners, with 25 goals from their Dutch forward going a huge way towards sealing a 20th domestic league triumph for the men from Old Trafford.
The outlay on a player who will turn 30 before the start of next season doesn’t look so silly now, and Van Persie will already be eyeing goals in next season’s defence of what is his first league title.
Luis Suarez – Liverpool
You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect his quality.
The most entertaining player to watch in the Premier League either scored or assisted 33 goals during his 33 appearances in the competition this season – a season which is now over following the much publicised against Chelsea at Anfield.
Suarez is box office though, and at times dragged Liverpool through matches during a campaign in which he was simply a compelling watch.
He’s a force of nature.
So that’s it then, that’s the 2012/13 team of the year.
Yes, it may be a bit too attacking but would you fancy playing against them? Who’d be in your team?
Drop your comments/advice/abuse either in the comments box below or on Twitter. See you there!
Many thanks to Amin from www.ToKnowTheGame.com for submitting this guest post looking at their take on the “Team of the Year”
To Know The Game (TKTG) is a unique portal which combines the best football news & analysis from around the web with the insights & opinions of its panel of contributors: Omer, Amin, Asfand, Humaid & Salman.
The Fantasy Yirma team have been collaborating with TKTG for several months and rate the guys highly.
If you would like to submit a guest post to be featured on FantasyYIRMA.com email Ryan at FantasyYirma@hotmail.com
UEFA.com’s Team of the Year nominees have been finalized and voting is under way. We at TKTG have decided to cast our vote too by coming up with our own best XI. We first went through the list of nominees for each position, and then the opinion of each TKTG author on what formation to play, and the XI they would use. Finally, we combined it all to come up with a TKTG UEFA.com TOTY.
Here’s what we came up with..
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas; Gianluigi Buffon; Petr Cech; Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli; Ashley Cole; Mats Hummels; Branislav Ivanovic; Jordi Alba; Vincent Kompany; Phillip Lahm; Javier Mascherano; Pepe; Gerard Pique; Sergio Ramos; Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso; J Błaszczykowski; Eden Hazard; Andres Iniesta; Juan Mata; Claudio Marchisio; Mesut Ozil; Andrea Pirlo; Marco Reus; David Silva; Yaya Toure; Xavi
Forwards: Sergio Aguero; Burak Yilmaz; Edinson Cavani; Didier Drogba; Falcao; Mario Gomez; Huntelaar; Ibrahimovic; Lewandowski; Messi; Cristiano Ronaldo; Robin van Persie
Check out the entire list of nominee’s and their 2012 stats here.
The TKTG UEFA.COM TEAM of the Year
With all the talent present in the list of nominees, the selection process was almost entirely controversy-free. Of the 40 nominees, only 21 received votes from our panel of 5, and 8 of our final XI received at least 4 votes (with 5 being unanimous).
Keeping in mind that UEFA.COM has only 5-3-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 as possible formations, and that the team selected would be the best players voted in each line (def, mid, fwd) as opposed to a starting XI, the final TKTG XI is a balanced one and, we feel, one that accurately represents 11 of the best players of 2012 (in Europe anyway).
Iker Casillas (4 votes)
Sometimes the numbers don’t do justice to a player’s contribution to a team. Take Casillas for example. He is not statistically the best of the nominees in any category above, bar games played. However it is impossible to look past his contribution as a leader and as a last line of defence for both club and country. Captaining Real to La Liga, and then sitting down with Puyol and Xavi to ensure that La Roja were united, before captaining them to a second consecutive European Championship. – Humaid
Sergio Ramos (5 votes – unanimous)
Over the last 12 months, Ramos has cemented his place in the Real Madrid back-line and its easy to see why. He’s patched up his differences with club manager, Mourinho, and his performances last year displayed his true potential and talent. Not only was he brilliant for Madrid in their title-winning campaign, he also played a massive role for Spain in their success at the Euros last year. He is on the verge of completing 100 caps for Spain, which is a phenomenal achievement for the 27-year old. – Amin
Vincent Kompany (4 votes)
Kompany was the rock at the heart of the Man City defense that led to them pipping Man Utd to the Premier League title (not to mention he scored the sole goal in second clash of Manchester last season to help City get ahead of United with two games to spare). – Salman
Mats Hummels (3 votes)
Mats Hummels rounds up my defence. Strong in the air, on the ground and with the ball at his feet, Hummels has been key to Dortmund’s recent success, both domestically and in Europe. He also played every single minute of Germany’s games at Euro 2012, helping them reach the semi-finals. – Humaid
Yaya Toure (5 votes – unanimous)
Another relentless midfielder, Yaya Toure, has been chosen for his box-to-box prowess. This year, the Ivorian’s strength on and off the ball is what has allowed him to succeed in both a deeper and advanced role, depending on the what the situation requires. It is scary to think of how much more the Manchester City talisman can improve in 2013. – Asfand
Andres Iniesta (4 votes)
No midfield can be complete without Andres Iniesta, one of the most gifted and composed dribbling midfielders of the modern game. The Spaniard contributed immensely towards his national side’s victory in Euro 2012 in addition to Barcelona’s triumph in the Spanish Cup. Clearly, it is no surprise that Iniesta is a finalist for the Ballon d’Or for the second time in three years. – Asfand
Andrea Pirlo (4 votes)
What were Milan thinking when they let him go? Not only was Pirlo the lynchpin of the Juventus midfield, as they won the Scudetto, he single-handedly led Italy to the finals of the Euros last summer. Probably one of the most complete midfielders in Europe right now, Pirlo has been absolutely sensational this year. – Amin
Mesut Ozil (2 votes – selected in vote-off)
Joining Iniesta in the middle of the park is the player with more assists than any other nominee and one who plays in a style reminiscent of the great Zidane. Mesut Ozil has created goals galore for both club and country, and has been key to unlocking the tightest of defences. – Humaid
Radamel Falcao (2 votes – selected in vote-off)
Behind only Messi in chance conversion rates, Falcao is the reason Atletico Madrid are Europa League champions and the reason Chelsea were dismantled in the European Super Cup. His goal scoring has also ensured that Atletico end 2012 in 2nd place in La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid. He is, quite simply, the best number 9 in the world. – Humaid
Cristiano Ronaldo (5 votes – unanimous)
Ronaldo’s tally of 46 league goals and 60 in all competitions helped Real Madrid win the La Liga ahead of arch-rivals Barcelona. He became the only player to have scored against every La Liga team in a single season. All in all, as an individual Ronaldo probably had the best season of any player in Europe. – Salman
Lionel Messi (5 votes – unanimous)
91 goals in a calendar year. This calendar year. In the final 3 for the Ballon d’Or. Leo Messi is a no-brainer. Forget about the fact that he averages over a goal and a quarter a game. That he has the best conversion rate. That he has more assists than any nominee bar Ozil. He is just a joy to watch. That alone would get him on my team. The numbers should make sure he gets on each and every one else’s. – Humaid
So here we have it. The TKTG UEFA.COM Team of the Year:
Ramos – Hummels – Kompany
Ozil – Pirlo – Toure – Iniesta
Messi – Falcao – Ronaldo
To check out the final vote count in our TKTG TOTY author poll, click here.
You can also view all our authors’ picks for their respective XIs and their thoughts behind each selection (bar Omer who is on vacation but who took the time to share his XI with us).
What do you think? Did we select the best XI? Who would you have selected? Please share your comments with us via Twitter and on the TKTG Facebook Page.
You can vote for your own team of the year at the following link en.toty.uefa.com