A View From Below

Sporting debate and opinion

Premier League Team of the Decade

I have attempted one of the toughest selections known to man, identifying the best 11 players from the glorious 2000’s on Enligh footballs top flight. Many others have tried and failed to successfuly construct a perfect XI. SkySports pundit and commentator Andy Gray, BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil Mcnulty and acclaimed Telegraph Sport’s football correspondent Henry Winter have all tired their hand, but unfortunately for them I have been able to pick holes in each of their selections!

I will try to abide by some basic rules for the team, consistency, star quality and duration of the decade played at the highest level will be my selection policies, but obviously in some positions it will be harder to follow than others.

Goalkeeper
Edwin Van der Sar takes up position between the posts for his consistent outstanding performances for Fulham and Man Utd over the course of the decade. Commanding, an excellent shot stopper and a cool prescence, the dutch keeper gives peace of mind to his defence. Shay Given pushed him closely.

Right Back
Manchester United’s everescent Gary Neville is the clear choice because of his oustanding contribution to a hugely successful side throughout the decade. Coming to the end of his career now, he marshalled the right flank for club and country so well. Don’t forget Lauren, Arsenal’s right back through their unbeaten period.

Centre Backs
Chelsea’s John Terry is the clear favourite for this role alongside Man Utd’s Rio Ferdinand. So strong for club level, it is a shame they have never truly excelled together internationally, however a world cup win this summer would eradicate all those feelings! Special Mention to Jamie Carragher who has been a loyal servant to Liverpool throughout the noughties.

Left Back
Another English lad at left back, Ashley Cole, who swapped Highbury for Stamford Bridge but has always stayed at the top of his game. A model professional on the pitch, the Chelsea star  is unrivalled for consistent performance through the decade.

Right Midfielders
An unbelievable easy choice considering what he brought to Man Utd, Cristiano Ronaldo brought true star quality to the league for six long years. Just looking at Utd this season highlights how important he was. Magical with the ball at his feet, pace to burn and an attitude to love/hate, the Real man was a truly special premierl league player. Quick mention to Freddie Ljungberg whose attacking brand of midfield was effective and exciting.

Centre Midfield
Some may argue with the tactics of this selection, but in the hope of a balanced side a defensive and attacking centre midfielder has been selected. Defensively I have plumped for Roy Keane, because of what he won at Utd, his dedicated and tough-tackling displays, and the lasting legacy he has left on Fergie’s midfield, so far failing to replace such a player. Patrick Vieira and Claud Makelele very close behind and either of the three would grace any side with aplomb. On the attacking side I just couldn’t ignore Frank Lampard. A classy midfielder who has a fantastic scoring record and was at the centre of Chelsea’s excellence under Jose Mourinho. Steven Gerrard misses out because of his occasional inconsistency.

Left Midfield
Look no further than 2009’s BBC Sport’s personality of the year, Ryan Giggs of whom many believe recieved the award for his lifetime contribution to the game. Unbelievable consistency on the left flank, and edges out Chelsea’s Joe Cole

Strikers
Undoubtedly Thierry Henry makes the side. A prolific forward who tormented premier league defences, his blistering pace, classy finishing and ice-cool composure has made him arguably the best striker in English history. Partnering him in attack is Man Utd sensation Wayne Rooney. The former Everton man burst onto the scene as a bubbly teenager and has progressed into one of the best marksmen in the world, almost reaching the 100 premier league goal milestone at the ripe old age of 24. Special mention to Alan Shearer, Dennis Bergkamp and Didier Drogba, top strikers to grace the English top flight.

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May 2, 2010 - Posted by | Football

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