The PFA Team of the Year has been released for the 2018/19 season, and it’s not without controversy.
Virtually a combined XI for title challengers Manchester City and Liverpool, with a contribution of a massive 10 between them while there’s also space for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, despite a topsy-turvy season for the Red Devils midfielder.
Pogba has tallied a goal involvement of 22 in 32 league games in a season where he has only sporadically looked worthy of his £89million price tag. The French World Cup winner turned in some questionable performances in the last days of the reign of Jose Mourinho as winter approached. He was frequently accused of going missing in big games and hasn’t scored against United’s Big Six rivals.
He’s joined by Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mané from Liverpool as well as Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte, and goalkeeper Ederson of Manchester City, selections few could legitimately argue with after the two horse race for the Premier League title.
Eight Manchester United players made the 2006/07 team, the most one club has ever represented in a single season. United have provided at least one player in every single year of the Premier League’s existence apart from the 2013/14 season, the first after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement when the Red Devils finished seventh.
With the most recent selection of the Professional Footballers’ Association finally being revealed, we take a look at arguably the five best PFA-elected teams in Premier League history.
Arsenal duo David Seaman and Tony Adams form the spine of defence while the then 22-year-old Gary Neville makes his second appearance. It’s all about that attack though, with the potent striking duo of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.
Treble-winning Manchester United were represented by five players, though the midfield was dominated by north London sides, with Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira of Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur’s David Ginola. Surprisingly, Roy Keane was omitted in a season he collected United’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
This featured Sol Campbell and John Terry in the heart of the backline, and we saw the first appearance of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard together in the centre of the park. Up front it was a mouthwatering combo representing that United/Arsenal rivalry, Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored a colossal half century between them.
This was a solid, well rounded and diversely represented side. Fernando Torres got in after his first campaign in England after moving from Atlético Madrid to Liverpool. The Spaniard weighed in with a monumental haul of 33 goals across all competitions. Neither United’s Edwin van der Sar or Liverpool’s Pepe Reina were chosen for the goalkeeping spot. That accolade went to Portsmouth’s David James with the second-highest tally for clean sheets that season for eighth-placed Portsmouth. Gerrard made his sixth of his seven appearances on the list throughout the first decade of the millennium.
This was all about a brilliant Manchester City project that finally reached its ‘Stage One’ zenith, with David Silva and Yaya Touré proving for the first time to be two of the best acquisitions of the Premier League era and finally bringing the good times back for the blue side of Manchester. That completed a brilliant spine ahead of two teammates, the peerless Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart. Robin van Persie - in the first of his two back-to-back Golden Boot-winning seasons - was rightly given a striking spot, before making the move from Arsenal to Manchester United.