Disagreements, controversies and strange decisions are nothing new when analysing the annual Premier League team of the season and discussion has been rife again after the announcement of the 2013/14 XI.
Vincent Kompany is widely accepted to be the most fortunate to be included, while although Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have improved, they are perhaps regarded as being better than they actually are.
In total, the decision has been made to make six changes to the actual team, with Steven Gerrard perhaps the most divisive omission. Our chosen XI can be seen below.
David De Gea
De Gea has been one of a few bright sparks in Manchester United’s season of failure, keeping 12 clean sheets despite the defence regularly changing in front of him.
Far fewer mistakes have been present too, in comparison to previous seasons.
These are the areas where Baines trumps Shaw this season – goals, assists, key passes, pass success rate, crosses per game and tackles. Meanwhile, the England first choice has been part of a team that have kept more clean sheets than that of his young understudy.
Restored as a Chelsea regular, Terry’s partnership with Gary Cahill has formed the backbone of Chelsea’s title bid. When the pair have started together, Jose Mourinho’s team have kept 19 clean sheets from 34 fixtures.
It is hard to argue that Sterling is not the best teenage talent in European football, adding an end product and intelligence to great dribbling qualities – only Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard average more successful dribbles per game.
Nine goals and four assists is also a fine return, while the number of free kicks he wins in dangerous areas have helped Liverpool enjoy great success from set pieces.
Sterling is now as short as 1/5 to make England’s World Cup squad.
Mile Jedinak is unfortunate not to be included, given he leads the Premier League for interceptions and clearances this season. His workrate and tenacity are a large reason for Crystal Palace moving clear of the relegation places.
However, it is Ramsey that deserves to be in ahead of Gerrard and almost certainly would have been had he not suffered an injury over Christmas.
It is no surprise that the Gunners’ title hopes faded after this point, with the Welshman helping himself to nine goals and eight assists in just 18 Premier League starts.
Hazard may be young player of the year, but Rodriguez’ 15 goals from the left flank is a phenomenal effort and of all of the Southampton squad, he is arguably most deserving of a spot.
Suarez’ inclusion is unarguable, but Daniel Sturridge could potentially be left out. It is worth noting that the Liverpool duo have only managed one goal between them against the current top four this season.
Bony has 15 goals in a debut Premier League season for a Swansea side that have largely been struggling, including pivotal late winners at Old Trafford and St James’ Park.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.