AS THE business end of the Premier League season approaches, Mike Calvin of Life’s a Pitch ponders who deserves to be selected in the team of the season.
Tim Krul: Signed by Souness, blooded by Roeder, cherished by Pardew. The Dutch goalkeeper has finally filled the vacuum left at Newcastle by Shay Given. Agile, brave and technically excellent, he’s an obvious target for a top four club.
Micah Richards: Fabio Capello didn’t like him and, boy, did he care. With good reason, because Richards has matured into the modern, powerful and aggressive full back England needs.
Fabricio Coloccini: Big hair, big player, big influence. Still looks like the rhythm guitarist from REO Speedwagon, but Newcastle’s captain has morphed into one of the League’s most commanding defenders.
Vincent Kompany: That spat with Mario Balotelli told you a lot about Manchester City’s captain. Kompany has natural authority, good values, and does not tolerate fools. He’s the bargain in a team of billion-dollar babies.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Another renegade from the Hair Bear Bunch. He’s unorthodox, and capable of the occasional brain fade, but has had his best season for Spurs. The type of consistent seven out of 10 performer who knits together every top team.
Antonio Valencia: His recovery from injury inspired Manchester United’s traditional spring offensive. One footed, but wonderfully direct, he’s made a decisive intervention at the right time. Just ask Blackburn, or Manchester City for that matter.
Paul Scholes: He was never going to settle for pipe, slippers, and half a pint of mild at the Dog and Duck. Coaching didn’t match doing. He may be 37, but he has settled back into the rhythm of the game as if he has never been away.
Scott Parker: Incredibly, there are still some cynics out there, who characterise him as dour, defensive and limited. The achievements of England’s latest captain should instead be celebrated. Made of the right stuff.
Gareth Bale: Enjoy him while you can. It might take another year for him to mature, on a personal level, but professionally there is an ominous logic to his eventual departure to La Liga. They’d love his power surges, and his penchant for the spectacular.
Demba Ba: His knees may be made of digestive biscuits, but his goalscoring instincts are pure gold. Sure to be sold, at an appreciable profit, to clubs who are eager to gamble on his sustained fitness.
Robin van Persie: His response to the responsibilities of captaincy reveals the depth of his character. The goalscoring charts underline the importance of his consistency. Without him, Arsenal would be nowhere.
Michel Vorm: Another brilliant Dutch shot stopper.
Steven Caulker: Swansea have produced Tottenham’s next centre half.
Jose Enrique: A rarity – an astute Liverpool signing.
David Silva: Brilliant until he faded in the final furlong.
Gylfi Sigurdsson: Sorry Swansea – bigger clubs are after him.
Wayne Rooney: A first – a season of understated achievement.
Grant Holt: Football’s Everyman, a striker who gives lower League scufflers hope.
Follow Mike Calvin on Twitter @CalvinBook
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