The Spoiler’s “Predicted Team of the Season”
How will this look come next year?
Most would agree that only a genius or an idiot would attempt to predict the “Team of the Season” before the first match has even kicked off, so you can draw your own conclusions about that.
But, peering into the crystal ball, The Spoiler sees the season going something like this:
In goal: Joe Hart pushes Given to one side at Man City, but it’s Pepe Reina who really comes into his own, even causing rumbles over in the land of tiny plates of food, where demi-bearded men in cafes start nervously debating Casillas Christ’s stature between the posts.
At right back: Gary Neville continues to occasionally huff and puff on the flank for United, whilst a criminally overlooked Rafael considers pretending to be his identical twin brother just to get a game. Glen Johnson’s attacking ability dramatically improves at an inversely proportional rate to his defending, which starts out so-so, and becomes unbelievably bad by the season’s end. Meanwhile, over at Man City/Spurs, Micah Richards performs a Lazarus impression worthy of mid-90s Peter Beardsley.
In central defence: Thomas Vermaelen turns into Philippe Albert in both playing style, and by growing a moustache. Whilst, over at Everton, Moyes twigs that Jack Rodwell could make for an absolutely wonderful centre back, who is a bit like a young Rio Ferdinand, only even better. Capello notices this too, and instantly drops John Terry. Rather fittingly, Rodwell beats the actual Rio Ferdinand into this entirely imaginary team.
At left back: After a few months of Cheryl Tweedy supporters hysterically lambasting him from the stands, Ashley Cole finally calls time on his Premier League career, and heads off to Real Madrid, where it takes him exactly three days to infuriate the whole of Spain. Meanwhile, Kieran Gibbs continues to impress, just nudging Patrice Evra from the spot in the end of season compilation teams (such as the one above).
Playing as the holding midfielder: With Owen Hargreaves completely off the pace, and Javier Mascherano cleaning up in front of the Barcelona defence like a hyperactive Shake’n'Vac Mum neurotically expecting dinner party guests, it’s really only down to Yaya Toure and Mikel to fight it out for the holding midfielder spot. Toure takes it, after proving that Man City are only paying him roughly fifty per cent too much.
On the right had side: In an interesting season in which speedy wingers became king, should-be-Jackson, Valencia, proves to be the best of a good bunch – beating off stiff competition from the likes of SWP, Walcott, Lennon, and any number of insanely fast little people who can’t cross a football. Dirk Kuyt and James Milner get honourable mentions for trying really really hard.
On the left hand side: Of course, all of the big talk at the start of the season was about Man City players like David Silva, Robinho, and Adam Johnson – who Jamie “Jarhead” Redknapp dared to compare to the great Chris Waddle. But, in the end, Tottenham’s Gareth Bale continues the Welsh nose-thumbing at England by proving to be yet another in a long list of great left-sided players from the valleys.
The attacking midfielders: With a very grumpy Steven Gerrard forced to play in his less favourite postitions, Joe Cole finally becomes the vagrant’s Peter Beardsley (or millionaires Nick Barmby) which he has always threatened to become. Meanwhile, down in London, Jack Wilshere proves that he belongs in the England team, with a string of impressive performances, and an ever-increasing array of tatts sleeving his arms, whilst the should-be-brilliant Arshavin continues to dazzle and disappoint in equal measure.
The striker: Proving that there is some truth in players taking a little bit of time to bed in at a new club, Berbatov rolls back the years and becomes an iconic figure at Man United. So much so that they even consider manufacturing red flags with his face on them – only stopping short when someone points out that “King Dimitar” doesn’t have a particularly good ring to it. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Darren Bent continues to score loads of goals without managing to impress anyone.