So here is our review of 2011’s best possible team broken down player by player.
First, I’ll explain the formation. I have gone with a 4-1-3-1-1, typically known as 4-5-1. You need a solid defence and that’s why I have gone with four at the back (we’re not playing in La Liga now are we?). Every team successful team seems to have a defensive mid and above that I have gone with a centre, right and left midfielders to give the centre of the park strength and plenty of width if needed. Ahead of that, instead of playing with two strikers I have gone with an attacking midfielder or otherwise known as a support striker to help get the ball to the lone striker.
Secondly, this team review goes from 1/1/2011 to today. It covers the whole year not just this season and I’ll explain all of the choices Total Dribble have made when making this XI.
Now for the team.
Subs: Vorm, Cahill, Jones, Yaya Toure, Silva, Ba, Rooney
First of all, the Goalkeeper. When looking at the contenders we have decided with Hart. Joe Hart’s performances throughout 2011 have been outstanding and have helped solidify his position as England’s number one. Off this season’s form, Vorm would have been our choice but we have only seen four months of one of the contenders for signings of the season. Also, our choice would have been Van der Sar if we were going with half a season’s form but he hasn’t played since May. So the only real match up was Krul. As good as he has been this season we believed Hart was the stronger and more consistent keeper.
When it comes to centre-backs, I’m sure everyone will agree with us that you cannot look past Vidic and Kompany. The great form they ended last season with continued right from the start of this season and it’s a shame that Vidic is unlikely to see another game this term. A player of his quality deserves to play every game and Kompany has taken on the captains armband easily and seems to have upped his performances with it. Phil Jones was also considered as he stormed on to the scene at Man Utd but seemed to be favoured as a defensive-mid. Many forget that he was a rock at Blackburn and one of the reasons why they didn’t struggle as much in 2010. Coloccini, Huth and Cahill have all been brilliant for their respective clubs and pop up with goals when needed. Cahill I’m sure will perform brightly at Chelsea. Jagielka was also looked at for this position and deserved his England caps earlier in the year. The sooner Terry gets dropped for either him or Jones or Cahill the better.
The best player in the right back position for us is Micah Richards and I ask anyone to challenge us on that. Why Fabio hasn’t picked him for England is beyond us but could be that other choices for the best right back are all English. Walker and Johnson have both had a great year for Tottenham and Liverpool but Richards performances for us have shone above them both.
Left back position goes to one of the best left backs in the world, Ashley Cole and even though he’s had a year which includes splitting with Cheryl (she must be frigid) and firing guns at youth players, nothing seems to faze him on the pitch. Our second choice would be Baines as we’re sure he’s heard most of his England career because of Cole and Evra a close third, but we believe his form has dipped considerably this season. Other players we looked at include Ryan Taylor (who has played all this season at left-back) and Jose Enrique who has been consistent at Liverpool, however inconsistent at Newcastle.
Our defensive midfielder goes to Scott Parker. Now at Tottenham he can show just how good of a player he is. Possibly, West Ham’s best player over for three years and excelling at smaller clubs probably being the reason why he has been ignored for England. He has really shown why Chelsea forked out over ten million for him in 2003. The two players which come in a close second and third are Yaya Toure and De Jong. Yaya guiding Man City to winning the FA Cup through scoring the only goals in the semi-final and final and De Jong being widely regarded as one of the best around in his position. We would have chosen De Jong but he has rarely played this season due to contract negotiations and we thought it was only just to give it to Parker.
For centre-mid this was one of our hardest and yet easiest decisions. Due to our formation we can drag an attacking mid back and went with Luka Modric. Possibly the best CM in the league. A close second was David Silva but we thought he would be wasted in such a deep position even though he does track back often. Another player in close contention is Charlie Adam. Brilliant at Blackpool he has made this position his own at Liverpool with the absence of Gerrard. Wilshere at Arsenal is superb and would have been out No1 choice for this position off last season but he hasn’t played yet this season. Other players worthy of a look in were Dempsey, Tiote and Cabaye due to their great form
Our right midfield goes to Nani. It took him a while but he seems to have filled the whole that Ronaldo left, maybe not completely but he’s definitely deserved accolade for his performances over the last 12 months. Downing was considered off his form for Aston Villa last season which got him a transfer, but his performances for Liverpool have been nothing but under-par. Lennon and Walcott were looked at, but inconsistency ruined their chances. Brunt was the final player we looked at for this position as he is nothing but short of brilliance for West Brom but we decided Nani was the better player throughout 2011.
For left midfield we have chosen Gareth Bale, as every team of 2011 would have picked, and quite rightly deserved. Brilliant for Tottenham and will most likely be courted by Real Madrid until he finally signs for them whether in the transfer window or in 4 years time. Etherington was second but far from close due to Aston Villa’s lost form. As everyone who plays fantasy football knows Coleman was great for Everton last year but seems to have been quickly found out. The best player to pip Bale in this spot is Adam Johnson but his irregular appearances for Man City and the fact he plays more on the right have cost him his place in our list.
As we get to the attacking midfielder/support striker role they were a large amount of players who have been nothing but amazing in 2011. Aguero was probably our best shout, but he has only had 4 months in the Premiership this year and another Man City player was Silva and who has undoubtedly been Man City’s best player throughout 2011. Van der Vaart was closely considered with his great form for Tottenham but due to our picked formation, our choice has to be with Sturridge. Since he started 2011 with Bolton and continued this season with Chelsea, he cannot stop scoring goals, 18 in 31 apps. Considering hes only just turned 22 I cannot wait to see this player unravel as one of England’s brightest gems.
Our striker position only has one name written all over it. His 2011 is only beaten by Alan Shearer and he still has a game to play! Robin van Persie kept Arsenal going through their darkest period under Wenger and because of him it was quickly reversed. You don’t need us to tell you how good Van Persie is so we’ll tell you our other players who were behind him. Ba was our second choice due to his goal-scoring form and keeping Newcastle in a Champions League spot for the majority of this season so far. People forget he scored 7 in West Ham’s final 5 games last season. Rooney was third due to his blistering form in front of goal in 2011 and we think Tevez could have pipped RVP to this spot if he wasn’t such a mercenary and a cock. Another Man City player, Dzeko could have been a shout if his form when he first joined them wasn’t so poor. Rodallega and Dembele were also looked at but seemed too inconsistent, especially when compared with van Persie.
So here you have it, our team of 2011. Feel welcome to disagree and tell us where we are wrong or right.