In a recent article by The Times, some of the publication’s top writers revealed who they think should be part of a ‘Premier League Team of the Decade’, a very difficult task when you take into account the vast amount of high-level performers England has seen in that time.
Whilst errors are a natural occurrence when it comes to difficult tasks, foolishness and utter ridiculousness shouldn’t be as commonly present.
There are a number of debatable inclusions in some of the XI’s. For example. why is Christian Eriksen in Oliver Kay’s team? Why is Ashley Cole in Gary Jacob’s side when he left Chelsea in 2014 having been in steady decline as a footballer?
Luis Suarez certainly had no qualms about celebrating against his former employers in the video below…
Whilst they are somewhat baffling, Alyson Rudd’s inclusion of Trent Alexander-Arnold is probably the worst pick.
Don’t get me wrong, the Liverpool right-back is a precocious talent who looks amongst the world’s best already at just 20-years-old, but to include him in a Premier League Team of the Decade is a ludicrous call.
He only made his first Premier League start just over two years ago in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, and has made just 55 appearances in the competition in total – to put things more clearly, this is a Team of the Decade, and the youngster has played senior football for just 1/5th of that time.
In her colleague Matt Dickinson’s team, he wrote: ‘A basic rule was a minimum three seasons in the Premier League so, for example, Luis Suárez made it but Ederson did not.’ Why was that theme not prevalent throughout all of the writers’ picks?
To justify her XI as a whole, Rudd wrote: ‘I was certain Petr Cech would be in goal given his longevity and bravery but I am convinced that Ederson is the reason for City’s astonishing run of form and is every bit as integral to his team’s innate confidence as Virgil Van Dijk is for Liverpool.
‘Kompany steals the second centre back place for being there when it mattered. No full back has been as exciting as Robertson for a decade. I am aware that Lampard and Gerrard sound a bit dated but they carried on their magnificent influence well into this decade.
‘Kanté is the first player to be roundly assumed to do the work of two midfielders. No one liked playing against Didier Drogba while Salah and Sterling are the two most exciting attackers the Premier League has seen.’
The fact that Rudd hasn’t even touched upon why she included Alexander-Arnold in her team is particularly strange, given the boldness of the inclusion requires the most explanation.
When the end of his career rolls around in about a decade-and-a-half’s time, Alexander-Arnold will potentially be spoken about as one of the best right-backs the game has every seen if his first few years in football are anything to go by.
Right now, however, Rudd’s call to place him in a Team of the Decade is excessively premature and makes very little sense.