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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Here’s my prediction for next season’s Team of the Year and I am prepared to argue with strangers online about it

Dream Team FC
Here’s my prediction for next season’s Team of the Year and I am prepared to argue with strangers online about it

What kind of idiot opens themselves up for criticism by predicting next season’s Premier League Team of the Year now?

This idiot right here!

Firstly, I shall name my team and give justification for each selection.

Then we can argue online about it until it descends into immature name-calling, sarcastic GIFs, and/or mum jokes.

Sound good?

Already you have been triggered by Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah’s absences — this is understandable.

My thinking is that both will suffer from their brilliance becoming normalised.

I anticipate Salah to maintain his status as one of the world’s best, but if he scores, say, 19 league goals, he may be cruelly overlooked come Team of the Year simply because he didn’t repeat 2017/18’s glorious madness.

Prove me wrong, you wonderful Egyptian superheroPA:Press Association

Similar thing with Kane — we expect 20+ goals and so if others match that tally, they may edge him out by virtue of being a new face.

Is it fair? No, but neither is life.

David De Gea 

Nothing different, DavidPA:Press Association

Best keeper in the world and it’s difficult to imagine that changing.

Managers can prepare for Salah now that they know what to expect, but how do you adjust to a world-class shot-stopper? You can’t.

Kyle Walker

He needs some competitionPA:Press Association

There’s a distinct lack of quality right-backs in the Premier League at the moment.

Unless a new face comes in during the transfer window for either Man United or Chelsea, I reckon Walker will get the nod again.

Antonio Rudiger

Ooooo, a deliberately provocative choice, how original…AFP or licensors

His improvement in the second half of the season has gone under the radar somewhat.

Chelsea are due a good season next campaign if their recent history is anything to go by and a back three of Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta could be airtight, especially if they have a new Italian manager at the helm.

Probably should have chosen Azpilicueta but what’s life without whimsy?

Virgil van Dijk

I’m happy to admit I still don’t fully understand his barnetGetty - Contributor

He’s already got credit in the bank for improving Liverpool’s defence at the back of this season.

Give him a half-capable partner in place of Dejan Lovren and Jurgen Klopp’s side could be genuine title-challengers.

Benjamin Mendy

Try hardAFP or licensors

Having sat out a wonderful season for Man City, everyone’s favourite Tweeter will be itching to go come August.

Playing in a Pep Guardiola team, and overlapping a winger of Leroy Sane’s quality, Mendy could help himself to a fair few assists next season.

Naby Keita

Red Bull coursing through his veinsGetty - Contributor

The Premier League won’t know what hit it.

Liverpool’s new recruit has the potential to grab the league by the scruff of the beck, hold it up against the wall, and steal its lunch money.

Goals, assists, tackles, red cards… box office.

Paul Pogba

Can you hear that? It’s a Graeme Sounness blowing a gasketPA:Press Association

Jose Mourinho is the biggest threat to this particular selection.

However, if Man United sign a suitable Michael Carrick replacement to play deep alongside Nemanja Matic and Pogba is given license to create, you never know what #numbers he could rack up.

Casually, provided ten assists this season, same as Christian Eriksen, and he hasn’t been at his best.

Kevin De Bruyne

A non-controversial pick. Let’s move swiftly onPA:Press Association

Same again please, Kev.


Roberto Firmino

A reminder that Firmino’s agent used to be a dentistPA:Press Association

I expect the tidal wave of appreciation for Bobby’s unique brand of football to gain even more momentum.

People will be eulogising over his tackle and interception stats as much as his goals and assists.

Gabriel Jesus

Remember when clubs used to play ‘Call Me Maybe’ five times a night? Wild daysGetty Images - Getty

Guardiola wants the Brazilian to be his first-choice centre-forward — that’s obvious.

If he stays fit, with De Bruyne, Sane, David Silva and (insert City’s inevitable marquee signing) feeding him all season, Jesus could score 20+ league goals in tap-ins alone.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The best No14 Arsenal have ever had. What’s that? Thierry who? Oh, him… yeah, good pointGetty - Contributor

My early shout for the Golden Boot. Fight me.

If Arsenal’s new gaffer has the balls to play him alongside Alexandre Lacazette all season, Aubameyang could replicate his Bundesliga success on these shores.

He outscored Robert Lewandowski last season, remember?

There you have it.

I look forward to reading your expletive-ridden critiques — find me for your trolling needs.

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