Football FanCast columnist Adam Daley continues
his investigation into the Premier League team of the season by focusing on the
centre back position.
The next spot to consider in this season's best XI
is that of the centre back. Below are my three nominees for centre back of the
Vidic played a crucial part in the most successful
and formidable defence in the Premier League this season. His solid partnership
with Ferdinand helped Manchester United to an impressive 23 clean sheets. Vidic
in particular has played so well in fact that he was only just piped to the PFA
player of the year award by team mate Giggs. Vidic did however pick up
Manchester United's player's player of the year and fan's player of the year
awards, and was also included in the PFA's team of the season.
an uncompromising defender, famed for his strength, bravery, and heading
abilities. He is often compared to United legend Steve Bruce in his style of
play, had has even received a shining review from United icon Sir Bobby
Charlton, who claimed that Manchester United are looked on with ''envy''
because Vidic is on their team. This bulldozer of a defender has been one of
the shining stars in the Premier League this season. In particular he played in
every match of Manchester United's record breaking 14 game run without
conceding. Without a doubt Manchester United's defence have played a critical
part in United winning the Premier League title this season, and a lot of
gratitude is owed to this man.
Unavoidably Vidic's defensive partner Rio Ferdinand
earns his spot amongst the top three centre backs in the Premier league this
season. Where Vidic has been dominant and powerful, Ferdinand has added his
chiselled experience and intelligent reading of the game. There are few players
in the world that can measure up to Ferdinand's positioning and composure when
it comes to defending, and this season has been a shining example of that.
Ferdinand was one of five United players shortlisted for the PFA player of the
year award, alongside Vidic, Ronaldo, Van der Sar and eventual winner Giggs.
Manchester United suffered when Ferdinand was
absent and flourished with his presence, such has been his importance to the
team this season. Much of this is through the fact that Ferdinand seems to have
gotten better with age, and long gone are the days when queries over his
concentration cast doubt over his abilities. He has become a player largely
considered to be one of the best centre backs that the world has to offer, and
has done nothing this season to scupper that reputation.
The 2008/09 season has been a landmark for Jagielka. His solid defensive
performances have been a big factor in Everton cementing themselves as a top
six club this season, and he was rewarded by being called the Toffee's player
of the season. On top of this his excellent performances have finally started
to break him into the England squad, with three caps so far. His most cherished
highlight of the season is likely to be his winning penalty that sent Premier
League Champions Manchester United out of the FA Cup and Everton into the
Jagielka's main asset for Everton this season has been his consistency.
He rarely ever put a foot wrong and could be relied upon again and again to
stabilise Everton's defence. His reading of the game and tackling have been
particularly excellent and have firmly established his credentials as a
defender, despite being able to play in midfield too. All this success and
progression make it even more tragic that his anterior cruciate ligament injury
means that he will probably be out until December, and as a result he will miss
the FA Cup final he fought so hard to put Everton through to.