We all saw the pictures on 22 May at 18:00 when Manchester City lifted the Premier League title following a dramatic turnaround against Aston Villa.
Liverpool pushed them to the edge but City’s victory ensured that they won the title by one point. Just one point; brilliant for all the neutrals, and, even better for the blue half of Manchester.
Pep Guardiola and his team were full of admiration for his rivals and how amazing Jurgen Klopp and his squad have matched them performance after performance. I too, echo his comments, as it allowed for a fantastic season to unfold and there’s nothing better than final day drama (providing you experience the right side of fortune).
A near three weeks have passed, so I won’t keep going on about the title victory. One thing, I will discuss is the PFA Team of the Year.
It was released last night with Mohammed Salah winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year; the Egyptian topped the goalscoring and assist charts, so I don’t begrudge that claim with a close call with Kevin de Bruyne.
Phil Foden won the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year, and rightly so.
But I feel there is a certain imbalance to the squad given that City only have three players within the chosen eleven in a team dominated by runners-up Liverpool. Joao Cancelo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva all feature while Liverpool is represented by Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago, Sadio Mane and Salah.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Antonio Rudiger are the two that make up the remaining positions in the eleven.
Now, there is no argument that Salah, Van Dijk and TAA deserve their positions, with a call between Ederson and Alisson for the goalkeeping berth to be made and hotly contested.
However, I will make an argument that Rodri should be in the team instead of Thiago. The Spaniard has been arguably City’s best performer behind KDB, marshalling the defence and spearheading attacks in the opposition half. He has also been crucial in front of goal, scoring seven, with vital strikes against Arsenal and Aston Villa being the most pivotal in the title race.
There’s an argument for Declan Rice also over Thiago, maybe even Bernardo Silva, who was never at his consistent best throughout the season, as told by Jack Grealish in the title-winning parade.
Aymeric Laporte was City’s best and most consistent centre back but the Chelsea defender earned his position next to Dutchman as a result of his early-season form. No arguments there.
Son Heung-min, the joint leading scorer, should have been infront of Sadio Mane, or even Cristiano Ronaldo, while there is an argument that Foden is not there in the front three given he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and his importance to City this year.
The team that is voted by their fellow professionals may suggest favouritism to the Merseyside team or a fault of Pep Guardiola’s making for his heavy rotation among his stars.
They were the most brilliant team that hasn’t been reflected in these voting results, but maybe a change in voting, delaying it until the end of the season could give a fairer indication of the best team.
City scored the most goals (99), conceded the joint-fewest (26) and won the most games (29) throughout the season shows that it is more of a squad game than individuals.
A chance for Rodri and co to use it as a motivation to continue their recent dominance of the Premier League by going on to win their fifth in six years and earn the rightful praise of their peers next year.