It’s still unclear to us why the Championship Team of the Year is announced with eight games to go.
But seeing as the EFL released their official line-up (as voted for by the league’s managers) yesterday, we thought we’d do our own version.
Needless to say, ours is better.
First of all, here’s the actual team…
We agree with Darren Randolph, Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Oliver Norwood, Che Adams and Teemu Pukki.
Here’s where we differ…
RIGHT-BACK: REECE JAMES
The league’s gaffers were right to recognise the Chelsea’s loanee’s efforts for Wigan this season but why did someone at the EFL stick him in at centre-back?
He’s played primarily as a right-back so that’s where we’ve put him.
Surely the minimum requirement for a Team of the Year is that all the players are in their actual position?
Honourable mention: Max Aarons
CENTRE-BACK: JACK O’CONNELL
Sheffield United have the second-best defensive record in the league this season and it’s likely they’ll surpass Middlesbrough in this regard before the end of the campaign.
It was tight between Jack O’Connell and John Egan for us but we just edged it to the slightly junior of the two.
Honourable mentions: John Egan, Pontus Jansson, Adam Webster
LEFT-BACK: ENDA STEVENS
Sheffield United deserve to occupy at least 50% of the back four.
Republic of Ireland international Enda Stevens has excelled at wing-back both defensively and in possession.
Only Norwood has provided more assists for the Blades this season with Billy Sharp profiting from Stevens’ final ball three times already.
Honourable mentions: Jamal Lewis, Kristian Pedersen
RIGHT-MIDFIELD: PABLO HERNANDEZ
Undoubtedly the most glaring omission from the official team.
No player has provided more assists or created more chances than Pablo Hernandez this season.
The 33-year-old Spaniard has been the creative hub of Marcelo Bielsa’s entertaining Leeds unit.
Hernandez has also scored ten goals (some of them spectacular) meaning he’s the only Championship player to have reached double figures for goals and assists at this stage.
Honourable mentions: Jarred Bowen, Emiliano Buendia
LEFT-MIDFIELD: HARVEY BARNES
Harvey Barnes returned to Leicester in January but we think he did enough on loan at West Brom to earn a spot.
Nine goals and six assists from 26 games represents a good return for an exciting spell at the Hawthorns.
Even with Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez up top, the Baggies have tailed off since Barnes’ departure — their decline even cost Darren Moore his job.
For pure X factor, Barnes makes the cut.
Honourable mentions: Said Benrahma, Joe Lolley
Here’s our team in full…
Other honourable mentions: Dean Henderson, John Fleck, Jack Grealish, Tammy Abraham, Billy Sharp, Neal Maupay