We understand the PFA Team of the Year is being determined by players, and accept that there’s absolutely nothing we the fans can do to change that. However, we can’t help but imagine what some people were thinking while casting their votes.
The FA, Thursday, made public the best XI players in the Premier League. As expected, it was dominated by both Chelsea and Tottenham stars with four apiece. The remaining slots were shared among three different teams, namely Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool. However, the list was flawed by some high profile omissions as well as questionable inclusions.
We take a look at four of such players who have nothing to do in this elite group.
1 – David de Gea
Manchester United’s Mr dependable, David de Gea has proven to be his club’s most consistent performer in the last three seasons. He’s been so good that he’s literally everyone’s sole choice for the best goalkeeper award each season. However, his inclusion for the fourth successive year has raised eyebrows obviously because Spurs skipper, Hugo Lloris, has by far been superior. In terms of clean sheets, De Gea has managed 12 in 31 league games, whereas Lloris has conceded one less. In fact, the Frenchman boasts the best goals per game ratio having let in just 0.76 per 90. He is also top for sweeping actions with 28, completing 27. No other keeper has attempted more than 24.
2 – Gary Cahill
Chelsea’s remarkable run of form this term has been down to their all-round improvement particularly in defence. The Blues have conceded just 27 goals; the third best behind Tottenham and United. And one man seems to have raised his game, showcasing superb leadership skills – he is Gary Cahill. Incredibly talented, yet error-prone, Cahill’s true qualities has come to the fore this term, featuring in all of the Blues 32 games, scoring four times. But his presence in the TOTY seems to have come at the expense of Spurs’ rock at the back in Toby Alderweireld. The technically-gifted Belgian defender has been at the heart of Spurs’ defensive discipline this term. With 143, Alderweireld has completed more long balls and flaunts the highest completion rate with 55.43%.
3 – Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane’s inclusion is clearly the most disputable considering he was preferred to Alexis Sanchez. Mane’s contributions since joining Liverpool from Southampton in the summer has simply been phenomenal. The Senegalese forward has notched 13 goals in 27 appearances and a further five assists. But interestingly, Sanchez who has scored, even more, created more, failed to make the cut. In 29 starts, the Chilean has struck 19 times, averaging one in around 137 minutes. He has also assisted four more than Mane. Both players have shoved the burden of their respective teams this season, but the Arsenal man undoubtedly has done more.
Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in 28 goals in the Premier League this season (19G, 9A).
Only Romelu Lukaku (30) has more. pic.twitter.com/xrJqIUJo4Y
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 20, 2017
4 – Danny Rose
In the past three seasons, Danny Rose has established himself as the best left-back in England. Strong, quick and skilful; simply put, a replica of Real Madrid’s Marcelo. He alongside Kyle Walker has been instrumental in Mauricio Pochetinno’s dynamic style of play. But has he done enough to make the TOTY? Obviously not. Why? Cos Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso appears to have outperformed him this term. Rose holds the fort when it comes to tackles won despite playing eight games less. Yet trails the Spaniard in other key areas including interceptions, goals, through balls and assists. In terms of cautions, the Englishman has been booked eight times – six more than Alonso.