It’s mid-April and it can only mean one thing – the 2016/17 Premier League season is coming to a close. It’s also time for accolades and here at Fantasy Football Titans, we have decided to get together and select our Team of the Season. Our team is drawn six different clubs and is missing some big names – do you agree with us?
To read up more about the editorial team, read here.
GK – Tom Heaton (BUR) [Picked by FF Fly]
Heaton’s ascendancy to greatness this season has been slow and steady. In the 30 games he has played at time of writing, he has kept 9 clean sheets and has conceded just 40 goals, helping his club to steady the ship in the top flight. In fact, Burnley has lost twice in the both games Heaton had been out injured. His performances have not gone unnoticed and he is now the firm number two behind Joe Hart in the England set-up. There are more illustrious names in the league but none of them have out-performed Heaton this season, who has managed 125 saves so far (19 more than the next goalkeeper).
RB – Antonio Valencia (MNU) [Picked by FF Physio]
We all know that Mourinho has been one of the harshest critics of his own players this year, having publicly chastised individuals on 9 separate occasions. However, he has had nothing but praises for the 31 year old all season long, even claiming him to be the best right back in the world at the moment. Although Spurs lead United in terms of clean sheets and goals conceded, they have had a rather stable back line the whole season. On the other hand, Valencia has been the only standout performer in the united backline, with Mourinho still uncertain on his first choice left back and centre-backs. The 3 time player of the month for United also look poised to compete fiercely with Zlatan and Herrera for the United player of the year accolade come the end of the season.
CB – Cesar Azpilicueta (CHE) [Picked by FF Fly]
Overall, there is no doubt that the Chelsea defence has performed commendably throughout the season and to me Azpilicueta has been the stand-out of their back three for two reasons. Firstly, the Spaniard is a converted centre-back, having played full-back for most of his career. It is he who had to adjust to the way Chelsea is playing and he has done so absolutely seamlessly. Secondly, he still remains versatile and has slotted at left and right back positions whenever needed. He has played every minute of every game for Chelsea so far this season and will thoroughly deserve the Premier League winners’ medal (if and when they win it).
CB – Jan Vertonghen (TOT) [Picked by FF Red Devil]
It’s easy to overlook Vertonghen in the Team of the Year because he goes about quietly with his football. His goals contribution admittedly declined compared to previous seasons but now he is part of the stingiest defence in the Premier League. He has benefitted from the stability of Spurs back four and Eric Dier who sits in front of the defence protecting them. Nonetheless, he is extremely dependable and seldom puts a foot wrong. At age 29, he is definitely in the prime of his career and this season is his best yet.
LB – Macros Alonso (CHE) [Picked by FF Hobbit]
Just 3 seasons ago, Alonso was still playing in the Championship with Bolton Wanderers so it was a bit of a surprise when Chelsea forked out £24 million this season to sign him from Florentina. Many thought it was a last ditch attempt by Antonio Conte to fill a problematic left back slot which included previous signings such as Filipe luis and Abdul Rahman Baba, both of which has not worked out and have resulted in Azpilicueta filling in on the left instead.
Whilst the first few games have not given the pundits much confidence, the switch by Conte to the back 3 system (hereby giving Alonso and Moses the freedom to roam) has been revolutionary and Alonso has gone on to become one of the most consistent player in the league this season. He has helped Chelsea storm to the top of the league and has contributed both goals and assists which has also made him a fantasy football favourite as well. His performances has also not gone unnoticed at national team level and he has also been rewarded with a call up to the Spanish national squad.
DM – N’Golo Kante (CHE) [Picked by FF Hobbit]
It is rare that a defensive midfielder can be such a game changer and the accolades from the plaundits are usually reserved for the goal scorers and the play-makers. Yet, Kante proved last season what a difference a midfield marshal makes to an ordinary Leicester squad without any star players and his impressive defensive stats (top in tackles and interceptions) earned him a big money move to Chelsea this season.
If u thought that his breakout performance was a flash in a pan, then think again. Kante has reproduced the same form from last season and has been an ever present in this Chelsea squad sitting pretty at the top of the league, keeping other more established internationals like Fabregas or Matic to the bench. Kante’s importance is probably more telling if u look at how Leicester has struggled to cope with his absence this season and he has also managed to establish himself as a regular starter with the French national team.
–> Our player of the year –> Our choice goes to N’Golo Kante. His energy around the pitch is perhaps unparalleled in the league and rubs off the rest of his team mates. He wins the ball back more often than not, and allows others like Hazard, Pedro to do their work up front.
MC – Christain Eriksen (TOT) [Picked by FF Red Devil]
It’s hard to believe Eriksen is just 25 years old. Into his fourth season with Spurs, he has gone from strength to strength. He has started all but 1 game in the premier league this season and this goes to show he is one of the pivotal member of title-chasing Spurs team. With his vision, range of passing and immaculate set piece delivery, assists are almost guaranteed. Currently lying 2nd in assist chart, you won’t bet against him topping the chart at the end of the season. Already with 7 goals this season, he is helping Spurs carry the goal scoring load from midfield. Although his not as spectacular as Alli or Son this season but his consistency week in week out wins our vote in the Team of the Year.
MC – Ander Herrera (MNU) [Picked by FF Meow]
While Kante has been the most mentioned “unsung hero” of the Premier League this term, Herrera has been the most underrated. Like Kante, he is always energetic and full of running. Tactically, he is professional and superb – just look at how he shepherded Hazard out of action at Old Traffford. He always steps up when required, earning Man of the Match performances against big clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool. He will not be the most popular of picks, but he is our choice in our team of the year.
AMC – Eden Hazard (CHE) [Picked by FF Physio]
The champions elect wouldn’t be sitting pretty at the top of the table just by defending well. It’s not difficult to recognize that Eden Hazard has been the creative spark in their attack. The front man has contributed 14 goals & 5 assists in 29 league starts this season and he has been one of the top performers in every fantasy football game you can find. On average, he makes 2.2 key passes & completes 4.2 dribbles per game, one of the highest for an attacking midfielder/forward.
FW – Alexis Sanchez (ARS) [Picked by FF Titan]
Alexis Sanchez has been consistent and at times explosive this season. This has been helped by the switch from playing on the wings and becoming a center forward. A tireless player, he never gives defenders a rest. So far, he has scored 18 goals and provided 10 assists.
FW – Romelu Lukaku (EVE) [Picked by FF Victorious Secret]
Everton now sits in 6th place after 33 games, with a European place almost certainly guaranteed and it is in no small part due to this man, Romelu Lukaku. Joining the Toffees on loan from Chelsea in the 2013/14 season, he made the move permanent the following season and has never looked back. Now into his 4th season, he is Everton’s all time leading Premier League top scorer with 67 goals to his name. With the 3-1 win over Burnley, Lukaku has scored in 9 consecutive matches at Goodison Park – and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. All this and he is only 23! Everton will need to hold on to Lukaku should they have European ambitions although he just turned down a new 5 year contract amidst rumours of a return to Chelsea.