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9 players you won’t believe featured in PFA Team of the Year

The PFA Team of the Year is a special place where only the cream of the crop reside... so why don't we remember this lot making the cut?

Being selected as part of the PFA Team of the Year by your peers is a proud moment for any player.

Often the line-up pretty much picks itself but the odd cult hero has crept their way into the prestigious XI down the years.

Here we celebrate the cult heroes who rubbed shoulders with the modern legends of the Premier League era…

Wes Brown (Man United, 2000/01)

“Jaap Stam was alright but Wes Brown was on another planet” – what people actually thought

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“Jaap Stam was alright but Wes Brown was on another planet” – what people actually thought

The 2000/01 Team of the Year defence makes us question everything we thought we knew about early 21st century football.

Error-prone keeper Fabien Barthez sits behind diligent right-back Stephen Carr, Arsenal’s Sylvinho and team-mates Jaap Stam and Wes Brown.

Stam was an intimidating monster of course but we can’t believe Brown was one of the best centre-backs out of the whole league that season.

Sir Alex Ferguson called him United’s ‘most talented defender’ and to be fair, he does have five more Premier League medals than Steven Gerrard.

Steve Finnan (Fulham, 2001/02)

Remember when Fulham had Pizza Hut as a sponsor?

9
Remember when Fulham had Pizza Hut as a sponsor?

A right-back you could set your watch by.

Steve Finnan was a suspiciously consistent performer and his efforts in keeping newly promoted Fulham out of the danger zone earned him recognition from his opponents.

Went on to win the Champions League with Liverpool; an underrated workhorse.

Pascal Chimbonda (Wigan, 2005/06)

FACT: Nobody has ever seen Chimbonda’s hands

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FACT: Nobody has ever seen Chimbonda’s hands

For a man who hated the English climate and was generally unenthused by the concept of football the majority of the time, Pascal Chimbonda wasn’t half bad.

The Guadeloupe-born Frenchman pipped Gary Neville and Paulo Ferreira to be voted best right-back in 05/06.

Loved a pair of nice gloves more than life itself.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal 2010/11)

Can we have this Wilshere back please?

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Can we have this Wilshere back please?

If asked to pick one word to summarise Jack Wilshere’s career, many would answer ‘frustrating’.

The English midfielder has been ravaged by injuries and has failed to develop into the player many Arsenal and England fans hoped he would become.

But back in 2010/11 his breakout season with the Gunners won him admirers across Europe.

Teenage Wilshere was a sensation, mid-twenties Wilshere is something of a disappointment.

Richard Dunne (Aston Villa, 2009/10)

Prolific when facing his own keeper

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Prolific when facing his own keeper

He may have scored more own goals than anyone else in Premier League history but Richard Dunne was a beast on his day.

The Man City hero was a rock at the back for Martin O’Neil’s Aston Villa side.

A bloody decent bloke who deserved his place.

Steve Stone (Nottingham Forest, 1995/96)

Football was just better back then (it wasn’t)

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Football was just better back then (it wasn’t)

We know, the nostalgia is almost too much to bear.

Everyone’s favourite bald-headed midfielder was part of Forest’s mid-table finishers and earned a call up to England’s Euro 96 squad.

The 90s was a happier time.

Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace, 2004/05)

Selhurst Park hero for life

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Selhurst Park hero for life

Who better than to partner Thierry Henry up top in the Team of the Year than Andy Johnson?

The Crystal Palace forward’s 21 goals failed to keep the Eagles up as his team-mates only scored a further 20 goals collectively.

Haters will say he only scored penalties…

Nicky Butt (Man United, 1997/98)

Everyone’s second favourite strawberry blonde Man United midfielder from the past

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Everyone’s second favourite strawberry blonde Man United midfielder from the past

So often understudy to Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, the Class of 92’s other ginger midfielder was a key cog in Man United’s success under Sir Alex Ferguson.

David Batty prevented an all-United midfield in the Team of the Year with David Beckham and Ryan Giggs occupying the wide positions.

Worth remembering that Butt was England’s best player at the 2002 World Cup by a mile.

James Milner (Aston Villa, 2009/10)

PICTURED: The cure for insomnia (and a bloody good player)

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PICTURED: The cure for insomnia (and a bloody good player)

One of the Premier League’s hardest working servants.

Right-wing, left-wing, centre-midfield, left-back… he doesn’t care, just as long as he’s playing football.

Creator-in-chief of the aforementioned O’Neill’s Villa, Milner enjoyed his best ever season in terms of goal, bagging 12 in all competitions.

Boring? Perhaps. Reliable? Always.

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