With the “official” teams of the season being named, it got me thinking about who have been the most impressive players in our region.
Let’s put aside our differences for a minute, I know that is a lot easier said than done, but I think we should celebrate the amount of footballing talent in our region.
After all, we will be making up one fifth of the Premier League next season!
GK – Joe Hart – Despite many calls for him to be called up to the England squad, amazingly Fabio Capello does not seem keen. Undoubtedly has been a major part in helping Birmingham City to a top-half finish in a season where they were amongst the favourites for the drop. Unsure over where his future lies, Blues fans will be hoping he sees his place at St Andrews.
RB – Ronald Zubar – A disappointing start to his career in England saw Zubar struggle with the language as well as the football. However, he has more than impressed since becoming a regular in the Wolves side. Scored during the 3-1 win against West Ham and has settled in well at right back, despite playing most of his career at centre-back.
CB – Richard Dunne – Despite some uncertainty when he signed, he has proved to be a favourite amongst Villa fans. Former Man City captain Dunne is a popular choice in fantasy league side, with the defender popping up with plenty of clean sheets and goals during the course of the season.
CB – Jody Craddock – Johnson, Dann and Collins all could have taken this spot, but Craddock gets the vote just because of the surprise factor he has given. Written off as a squad player at the beginning of the season, Craddock has impressed throughout the season, defying the odds and playing well into his mid-thirties in the top league….as well as scoring 5 times!
LB – Stephen Warnock – Although he has faded towards the end of the season, there is no doubting he had one of the best half-seasons of his life. Touted as a replacement for Ashley Cole in the England squad, Warnock posed a threat down the left in attack whilst looking solid in defence.
RM – Chris Brunt – Impressed yet again for West Brom this year as they clinched promotion back to the Premier League. Looked dangerous last time the Albion were in the top league and could prove a vital part of the team again this time around.
CM – James Milner – Had the season of his life at Villa Park and has helped them qualify for a European competition…which for so long looked like it could have been the Champions League. A place in the England squad surely awaits Milner, who picked up the young player of the year from the Premier League.
CM – Barry Ferguson – Between Lee Bowyer and Ferguson, I flipped a coin and it was Ferguson. Despite a poor show from the midfielder when he was in the Premier League with Blackburn, he has more than improved on his game and has looked solid all season in central midfield for Blues.
LM – Graham Dorrans – Already the subject of a £4 million bid from West Ham, Dorrans is one of the best players outside of the Premier League. Helped Albion to the promotion in a season hat has seen the young Scot impress in midfield. Finished as Albion’s top scorer with 18 goals.
ST – Kevin Doyle – Has looked a threat all season up front for Wolves, following his £6.5 million move from Reading in the summer. Already been linked with Arsenal, Spurs and Everton due to his impressive form in a Wolves shirt this season. Has become a huge favourite amongst the Molineux crowd.
ST – Cameron Jerome – Seen by many as a squad player at the start of the season, Jerome has kept Benitez out of the team more than just a few times this season. Scoring vital goals has helped Blues to an impressive league finish and ended the season as their top scorer with 10 goals to his name.
I’m open for debate on this and there are plenty more names that could have made it. Johnson, Dann, Henry, Carson, Koren, Young just to name a few.