Premier League Team of the Season
Manchester City secured their second Premier League title in three years this weekend as the season drew to a close. Liverpool ran the Citizens’ close, but at 5pm on Sunday, Manuel Pellegrini became the first non-European coach to secure England’s top prize.
WhoScored.com has formulated their Premier League team of the season using our unique rating system.
Wojciech Szczesny has been on the receiving end of a fair deal of stick in years gone by, but has proved his worth for Arsenal this season. The Pole attained a respectable average WhoScored.com rating of 7.04, his highest in the Premier League in any of the last 4 seasons, with no goalkeeper keeping more clean sheets (16) as the Gunners’ number one. Only Vito Mannone (76) and David Marshall (62) saved more long shots than Szczesny (61) as he exhibited his quality during an impressive campaign.
While Newcastle lumbered to the end of the season, Mathieu Debuchy was a consistent performer in their backline both with and without the ball. The full-back made more last man tackles (6) than any other player, highlighting his ability to deny the opposition when through on goal, while only Luis Suárez (14) and Wayne Rooney (7) won more WhoScored man of the match awards than Debuchy (6) this term.
Martin Skrtel played a crucial role in Liverpool’s title challenge, with the Slovakian scoring the most goals of every defender (7) in the league. Furthermore, 4 of his 7 goals came against other top 4 sides – Arsenal (2), Manchester City and Chelsea (both 1) – with the defender rising to the occasion when needs must. Skrtel also made more clearances (411) and headed clearances (236) than any other player, displaying his ability to relieve pressure on the Liverpool goal.
Curtis Davies partners Skrtel at centre-back. Upon his return to England’s top tier, the Hull defender took to the rigours of the division with ease, with many believing he should be rewarded for his fine displays with a call up to the national team. Only Mile Jedinak (139) and Youssuf Mulumbu (115) made more interceptions than Davies (105) this term, while only Peter Crouch (258) and Christian Benteke (228) won more aerial duels than him (170).
Completing the backline is Patrice Evra, regardless of Manchester United’s poor campaign. The Frenchman was a solid performer in their defence this term with his average rating (7.3) bettered only by Wayne Rooney (7.61) of all United players with at least 5 appearances. Only Marouane Fellaini (2.8) averaged more tackles per game than Evra (2.4) of every first-team regular, while his average rating was its highest in the last 5 league seasons. His contract is up in the summer, but United may be well-advised to renew it.
It’s been a season to remember for Raheem Sterling, with the youngster playing a key role in Liverpool’s 2nd place finish. Of every player to have played 5 or more games, Sterling is the top rated teenager (7.39) in Europe’s top 5 leagues and he’s tipped to play a big part for England at the World Cup this summer. Only Eden Hazard (132) and Suárez (93) completed more successful dribbles in the Premier League this season than Sterling (92), while no player won more penalties (3) than the 19-year-old as he proved his importance to the Merseysiders.
Teammate and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard joins Sterling in midfield. Only Suárez (8.43) ended the campaign with a higher WhoScored.com rating than Gerrard (7.74) of every player to have made at least 5 appearances. The experienced midfielder scored more penalties (10) than any other player, but it was his distribution that gained him such an impressive rating. Only Yaya Touré (2255) and Mikel Arteta (1982) played more accurate passes than Gerrard (1908) as the 33-year-old adapted his game as was necessary given that he is approaching the end of his career.
Mile Jedinak partners Gerrard in the middle of the park following a memorable campaign for Crystal Palace. Many tipped the Eagles to drop back into the Championship at the first time of asking, but under the stewardship of Tony Pulis, Palace secured a commendable 11th-placed finish. Jedinak was key to this with the burly Australian making the most interceptions (139) and tackles (133) of every player in England’s top tier this term.
Eden Hazard completes the midfield four following a wonderful season with Chelsea. While the Blues ended the campaign empty-handed, Hazard was incredible throughout, completing more dribbles than any other player (132). No player executed more key passes than the Belgian (92) as he ended the campaign with 14 goals and 7 assists, leaving many to proclaim that this was his best season since his final one for Lille.
It’s little wonder that Luis Suárez ended the campaign as WhoScored.com’s best Premier League player with an average rating of 8.43. The Uruguayan was the league’s top goalscorer (31), while no player in Europe’s top 5 leagues won more man of the match awards than him (14). Only Gerrard (13) registered more assists than Suárez (12), while the Liverpool striker scored (17) and created the most clear-cut goalscoring opportunities (22) in a memorable season.
Wayne Rooney partners Suárez in attack, despite an underwhelming campaign from the former champions. The England international was one of only four players to register double figures for both goals and assists, a feat he recorded for the second consecutive season. Only Yaya Touré (4) scored more goals from direct free kicks (3), while his haul of 7 WhoScored.com man of the match awards was bettered only by Suárez (14) in the league this season.