PL team of the season – Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, Villa & Man City stars take your bow!


Football FanCast columnist Adam Daley has concluded his
investigation into the PL team of year and here is how you all voted.

The votes
are in and now I can reveal the Football FanCast Premiership team of the year
as voted for by you: 

Pepe
Reina

Reina
played as much a part as anyone in Liverpool's first proper title bid in over a
decade. Not only that but the Spaniard became the quickest player in
Liverpool's history to reach 100 clean sheets in the 5-0 win against Aston
Villa in March. Reina has been an asset to both defence and attack this season
with an impressive 20 clean sheets, and numerous counter attacks set up by his
kicks.

Reina is
energetic, dominant and he retains excellent composure for a player who at 26
is still young in goalkeeping terms. Both manager Benitez and club captain
Gerrard claim him to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and had he of
been from a country that was less spoilt from goalkeeping talent, he would almost
certainly have shown this on the international stage. This season he has not
let up on his talents, and has provided Liverpool with the solid base they
needed to challenge for the title. 

Glen
Johnson

The PFA
voted him as their best right back, and to be fair it's difficult to argue with
them. Johnson has been something of a breakthrough this season. He started out
with promise at West Ham, struggled to stake a claim in Chelsea's superstars,
but has now really found his feet at Portsmouth. So much so in fact that he's
edged his way into Fabio Capello's England team as first choice right back.

Johnson
has been a life jacket for sinking Portsmouth with solid defensive displays and
astounding attacking play. In particular his terrific form summed itself up
with a stunner of a wonder strike against Hull that won him Portsmouth's goal
of the season. He's also been voted Portsmouth's player's player of the year
and fan's player of the year.

The great
thing about Johnson this season has been his consistency. Where some great
players play amazingly some games and disappear in others, he's put in
excellent performance after excellent performance. If he manages to keep it up
then England is set for a replacement to Gary Neville. No doubt in the summer
his name will be batted around a number of times, and Portsmouth will be trying
their best to cling on to him whilst the big dogs start sniffing around. 

 

Nemanja
Vidić

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.

Vidic is
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. 

Phil
Jagielka

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
final.

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.  

Leighton
Baines
 

Baines struggled in his first Everton season last year, but this year he has
gone from strength to strength. He scored his first goal for Everton, got his
first England call-up and was named player of the month two times in a row in
March and April, all capping off a terrific season for Leighton Baines. As a
result of his form his manager David Moyes has tipped him to be a part of
England's 2010 World Cup squad. 

Baines is a tireless defender who is very hard working and combines this with a
decent amount of skill. He's also good at linking with the forwards and has
often formed a deadly partnership with Pienaar on the left this season.
Injuries permitting, there is a good chance that 24 year old Baines will have a
bright future not only at Everton but in the England fold as well.  

Aaron
Lennon

He
struggled a little last season under Ramos, but under Redknapp there has been
no stopping him. This year he was nominated for young player of the year and
won the PFA fan's player of the month award for March. He has also managed to
break back into the England squad after being recalled by Capello in early
2009.

Lennon is
very much an attacking right midfielder, who particularly specialises in
directness and has a fair few tricks up his sleeve. Despite being the smallest
player in the Premier League at 5 foot 5, what he lacks in height he defiantly
makes up for in speed. Just ask Patrice Evra who couldn't keep up with him in
the Carling Cup final. Lennon's football is if anything pleasing to the eye and
it's this energetic tenacity that he has been in abundance of this season that
has earned him the spot of best right midfielder. 

Steven
Gerrard

He was
named fan's player of the year but pipped by Giggs to the player's player of
the year. With 24 goals Gerrard has had another terrific year as Liverpool
captain, and has once again proven how indispensable he is to the club. It has
notably been a year of landmarks and firsts for Gerrard, after he scored his
100th Liverpool goal against PSV, played in his 100th European appearance
against Real Madrid, scored for the first time ever at Old Trafford in March,
scored his first ever hatrick in the Premier League against Aston Villa, and
became the first Liverpool player in 19 years to win the Football Writers'
Association Footballer of the Year. On top of all this France legend Zidane
claimed that he was the best player in the world. Not a bad season then for the
Liverpool captain.

As far as
talent is concerned, Gerrard has continued his trademark ability to grab his
team by the scruff of its neck and throw it into action. His pounding runs,
tenacious tackles, thunderous shots, stunning passes, and overall beaming
quality have all been there as he guided Liverpool to their first real title
challenge in a decade. Gerrard has been a joy to watch in the Premier League
this season and more than deserves his spot of best central midfielder. 

Stephen
Ireland

Ireland
has accomplished this season what Lampard did all those years ago when
Abramovich first took over at Chelsea. Suddenly his club comes into a huge
amount of money and his starting position seems very much under threat, but
instead of shrinking behind the billions, Ireland has stuck his nose out and
transformed with the circumstances just like Lampard did. In the course of a
season he has gone from promising youngster to indispensable member of the
first team, and his club even named the 22 year old Senior Player of the Year
for his outstanding performances.

Ireland's
season has been packed with superb assists and memorable goals. As manager Mark
Hughes has said, "He's a very good player with good work rate, good
vision and a good technical level."
If anything this has been an
understatement of Ireland's qualities this season, as Man City have looked to
him again and again to provide that bit of inspiration to carry them forward.
His exploits eventually led to a nomination for PFA young player of the year,
and some believe that he should have won it instead of Ashley Young.

Ashley
Young

He is the
PFA's Young Player of the Year and was nothing short of deadly for Aston Villa
in the first half of their campaign. As Villa dropped form later so did Young,
but not enough that he wasn't still a threat. With seven league goals he's
racked up a decent tally, but it has been his 9 assists that have made him such
a weapon. He's also been particularly useful when it comes to winning free
kicks and corners for Villa.

Once
described as 'world class' by manager Martin O'Neil, Young is quick and skilful
with a great eye for a pass and a rather decent crossing ability. He won two
player of the month awards this season, one for September and one for December,
after really flaunting his exploits in some terrific performances for Villa.
This also made him the first player ever to win three player of the month
awards in a year after winning one in April of the season before. Young's
biggest asset is his flair and it is this that has made him such a force in the
Premier League this season. 

Fernando
Torres

An
unfortunate couple of injuries prevented Torres from completing a true romp
this season, but none the less he has still done pretty well. One particular
highlight was the goal of the season contender against Blackburn, where he
hooked in a terrific volley from the edge of the area that reminisced van
Basten's famous World Cup goal. Torres's seasonal form and importance to
Liverpool has been such that manager Benitez and defender Carragher have both
come out and claimed that they could have won the title if Torres had been fit
for the entire season.

Torres's
usual sharp pace, exquisite touch and lethal finishing ability have helped him
to 14 Premier League goals in 24 appearances, which equate to more than one
every two games. After only two years at Liverpool he is already becoming a
Liverpool legend, and on the final day of the season he scored his 50th goal for the club. This complete
with his second consecutive appearance in the PFA's team of the season and his
2008 World Player of the Year third place has made Torres one of the most
valuable players in the Premier League this season.

Nicolas
Anelka

Anelka's
belter of a goal on the last day of the season confirmed him as the Premier
League's top scorer for the 2008/09 season with 19 league goals. Had Chelsea's
managers have realised earlier that he can actually play alongside Drogba then
that tally might well have been higher. After scoring only once in the previous
campaign, Anelka has been a changed man at Chelsea this season. He's still as
moody as ever, but now he's rediscovered his goal scoring feet that have served
his so well throughout his career.

Anelka's
most prized attributes are his pace, positioning and unquestioned eye for a
goal. Along with this he has the technique and control to make his goalscoring
vision a reality. He scored his first hat-trick for Chelsea against Sunderland
in November and since scored a second hat-trick against Watford in the FA Cup.
Love him or hate him his goalscoring abilities are undeniable and because of
this he rightfully deserves his spot of striker of the season. 

Reina 

Johnson Vidic  Jagelka Baines 

Lennon Gerrard Ireland Young 

Torres  Anelka