Everyone has an opinion about the PFA Team of the Year.
The official XI was revealed yesterday, sparking both healthy debate and unhealthy argument…
While the PFA’s line-up doesn’t match up with our Team of the Year, we’re not about to start digging out individual players.
All the players included in the official team have been thoroughly impressive this season and are worthy of recognition.
But there’s one glaring issue.
Where’s the balance?
Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Christian Eriksen are all attack-minded midfielders.
No manager would name this trio in a 4-3-3 starting line-up and leave their defence horribly exposed.
There’s a similar issue with the forward line.
Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane occupy their regular positions but when was the last time you saw Sergio Aguero spend 90 minutes tied to the touchline, taking defenders to the byline and whipping in crosses?
“It’s not a real team, Dream Team! It’s Team of the Year, get over it,” we hear you cry.
However, the PFA always ensure the defence is properly balanced, with a right-back, a left-back and two centre-backs.
Why not apply the same logic to midfield and the forward line?
As you can see, the traditional defensive positions each have their own sections.
But all midfielders, be they central-defensive midfielders, attacking-midfielders, or whatever, are lumped under one category.
This system means defensive midfielders and wide forwards are overlooked — as attacking midfielders and goalscoring centre-forwards are generally favoured.
Hence how we ended up with De Bruyne shielding the back four and Aguero shunted out left in this year’s edition.
We suggest that from now on, the midfield section be divided into defensive midfield (one place) and attacking midfield (two places).
Obviously, these definitions are more ambiguous as many midfielders contribute to both defence and attack.
But if anyone is able to recognise the subtle differences, it’s surely the players themselves?
This season, the likes of Fernandinho, N’Golo Kante, Wilfred Ndidi, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Nemanja Matic have impressed in defensive midfield roles.
And yet the system means they have been overlooked in favour of jamming in three creative talents.
Similarly, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling would have fancied their chances of making the team had the players been asked specifically for wide forwards/wingers.
All we’re asking is that every player has a fair chance of making the team, just as the current system ensure recognition for full-backs.
Otherwise you might as well ask the players to vote for four defenders and potentially end up with four centre-backs in the Team of the Year.
Justice for CDMs!