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Premier League Team of the Season- 2012/13

Over the coming weeks, as The Premier League draws to a close and bears increasing clarity, discussions of personal accolades will also become aplenty. Awards will be allocated, and recognition distributed, to the shining lights of this slightly perplexing Premier League season.

This blog entry outlines my ‘Team of the Season’ for 2012/2013; based upon statistics, moments of genuine brilliance and of course a large dosage of personal preference. Please note – the following will line up in a Mike Bassett endorsed ‘4-4- f****n’ 2 formation’.

GK – Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion) – Showcasing shot stopping capabilities and levels of consistency that have apparently deserted other high profile keepers, Ben Foster has had a marvellous season. Since leaving Old Trafford in 2010 Foster has rebuilt his career through the assurance of regular competitive action. A total of 7 clean sheets, in a successful season for the club itself, don’t do their keepers imperious form justice. A match winning display at Anfield, culminating in a late penalty save from Steven Gerrard, is perhaps Foster’s most significant contribution to date.

RB – Rafael da Silva (Manchester United) – United’s Brazilian full back edged City stalwart Pablo Zabeleta, in a season in which he has distinguished himself as United’s first choice Right Back. The 22-year-old has weighed in with 3 goals and 5 assists in 23 league appearances, providing an attacking threat often greater than that of stuttering wingers in front of him. In addition, increasing signs of maturity and discipline have begun to emerge. An obvious glimpse of Brazilian flair was evident in his opening goal in a win at Loftus Road, arrowing a half volley into the top corner from 25-yards. 

CB – Ashley Williams (Swansea) – The magnificent form of their club captain has been a major reason behind the Welsh club’s continued progression under Brian Laudrup. Williams has produced commanding and flawless displays on a highly consistent basis this term, contributing 40 blocks and 45 vital clearances.  As a result of this highly impressive season, the defender linked with high profile moves to both Arsenal and Liverpool. His crowning moment was undoubtedly becoming the first captain to lift a major trophy for the Swans in their 101 year history.

CB – Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) – Since arriving from Ajax last July, this Belgian international has impressed with excellent positional play and an assured technical manner when in possession. Vertonghen has also demonstrated essential levels of versatility, performing admirably at both left back and centre half. The 25 year old has also weighed in with 3 goals, not including the deferral of one at Old Trafford by ‘The Dubious Goals Panel.’ Albeit in a losing cause, Vertonghen’s recent two goal display against Liverpool proved his growing vitality to Andre Villas Boas.

LB – Leighton Baines (Everton) – Though no means a late bloomer (now 28), Baines does appear to be getting unerringly better with age. The full back has enjoyed his most impressive season to date, developing an expressive, fluent and effective partnership down the left with Stephen Pienaar. The former Wigan man is now seriously pushing Cole for a starting place in the England set up, providing 5 goals, 6 assists and totalling 105 crosses to date in the Premier League.  A rocket launcher of a free kick at St. James Park over New Year could be adhered to as Baines’ most dazzling contribution.

RM – Juan Mata (Chelsea) – In a season undermined by uncertainty and disenchantment at Stamford Bridge, the consistently glittering form of Juan Mata has provided a regular beacon of hope. The Spanish playmaker has delivered sumptuous and elegant displays throughout, weighing in with 10 goals and 13 assists. In the process, Mata has undoubtedly outshone expensive summer captures Hazard and Oscar. A pivotal quick fire brace in a 4-2 win at White Hart Lane in the autumn arguably showed Mata at his pinnacle.

CM – Michael Carrick (Manchester United) – In certain ways, it is hard to justify including a midfielder player that is yet to contribute a single league goal to date. However Carrick delivers an essential calming presence and ability to dictate the tempo of domestic games, and his excellent form over the course of this term has finally began to deliver some deserved widespread recognition. A delightful lofted pass that enabled Hernandez to break Newcastle’s brave resistance on Boxing Day wasn’t simply a defining moment in Carrick’s season; it paved the way for the destiny of the title.

CM – Marouane Fellaini (Everton) – The slightly eccentric looking Belgian Midfielder has harnessed almost barbaric levels of physical strength and exceptional close ball control to make regular vital contributions at Goodison Park. With 11 goals and 7 assists in the league to date, these impressive statistics continue to outweigh any negatives derived from continuing disciplinary issues. Fellaini’s towering and ruthless display in an opening day victory over Manchester United is particularly likely to live long in the memory.

LM – Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) – This season has seen Bale develop into a truly mercurial talent, displaying extraordinary levels of athletic prowess, high levels of skill and an inward, personal desire to enter the elite. With 21 goals in all competitions to his name, the 23-year-old has recently been utilised in a free role to a devastating effect. The Welshman has exuded so many instances of individual brilliance this season it is hard to pick out a single moment of divine intervention; a run of 7 goals in 5 league games from 30th Jan to 3rd March saw Bale directly earn Tottenham an additional 11 points.

ST – Robin van Persie (Manchester United) – Robin van Persie has become an enigmatic figure since signing from Arsenal last August. Contributing 19 goals and 12 assists thus far, the Dutchman has taken on a talismanic role at Old Trafford previously reserved for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and more recently Wayne Rooney. The continuous ability to make contributions in pivotal matches is where van Persie has proved his worth, scoring against every other member of the current top 8, including decisive goals against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool (twice) and Manchester City.

ST – Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – In what has been a season of unquestionable transition under Brendan Rodgers, Suarez has proved dragged the Anfield outfit from the depths of absolute mediocrity with countless performances of flare and desire. Whilst previously accused of reckless finishing, Suarez has been lethal this term, with just 8 games left the Uruguayan leads the Premier League goal scoring charts with 21 goals (29 in total). The audacity, cuteness and overwhelming brilliance of his equaliser at the Kop against Newcastle in November signified Suarez’s numerous qualities. 


In line with the majority of football orientated discussion, this team is of course wholly defined by an individual’s opinion. As adhered to at the outset this has in certain ways abstruse season. Even Manchester United, on course for a record points total, have often struggled to maintain scintillating standards.

We have however seen individual players reproduce stellar moments on a consistent basis, mostly in attack but also from a defensive point of view. The selected team may be some way from the strength of previous seasonal counterparts, but still contains a strong group of players who can justifiably feel content with their season’s graft.

Michael Dobson