The long awaited PFA Team of the Season was finally released earlier today, and let’s just say there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding it. Spurs and Chelsea dominated the selection, with 8 of the 11 players picked. 5 of the players picked were also in the 2015/16 team (David de Gea, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, N’golo Kante). In fact, Kane and de Gea have now been selected 3 years in a row. Here is the full selection:
Sunderland are as good as relegated.
At this point in the season, Sunderland have a giant mountain to climb. In 20th place and 9 points behind 17th placed Hull with one game in hand, Sunderland realistically need to win 4 of their last 6 games of the season to have any fighting chance at survival.
At the beginning if the season, I was absolutely shocked at the amount of people that had Sunderland surviving due to the fact they always seem to escape relegation and David Moyes was appointed as their new manager. Yes, that’s correct- their reason was that David Bloody Moyes was manager. It’s the same David Moyes that took a Manchester United team who won the league the season before and finished 7th with them, and the same David Moyes that drove Real Sociedad into the ground during his stint at Spain. Personally, I had Sunderland bottom of the league the second I heard Moyes was appointed. His tactics are best described as dead and useless. Here are some other reasons why Sunderland are definitely going down. Continue reading Can Sunderland Get Any Worse?
1. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has been just about the only bright spot in a dismal Arsenal campaign. He has literally put the team on his back for most of this season, and is the reason they still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League.
Sanchez has racked up 18 goals, 9 assists and 86 successful dribbles after playing every single Premier League game for the Gunners so far this season.
But his contributions go beyond just numbers. Every time Arsenal play, you can just see Sanchez chasing down every ball, fighting through 50-50s and displaying a true passion that the rest of his team seems to be lacking.
2. Harry Kane
Harry Kane has been the star striker in one the Premier League’s most electric attacks. The Spurs’ man has linked up with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen to shoot Tottenham up into 2nd place in the table, with still a slim chance of winning the title.
Despite playing in just 23 matches this season due to injury, Kane has still managed to score 19 goals, and provide 4 assists.
Recently, Kane has stated that he believes that he is one of the best strikers in the world. His recent form more than backs that up. At just 23 years of age, Kane is also up for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, implying the scary thought that the best of Kane is still yet to come.
3. Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku is another player who is also up for the Young Player of the Year award. Also at 23 years old, Lukaku has been an absolute force in Everton’s push for European qualification. He currently has his side sitting 7th, and given Arsenal’s dip in form, Everton could just sneak into the top 6 by the end of the season.
Lukaku currently is leading the golden boot race (23 goals), and also has 6 assists, which actually gives him the honor of being involved in the most goals out of any PL player this season.
My pick to win this award, Lukaku has done more than enough to attract the attention of some big clubs, and that could mean a summer departure for the Belgian.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
When it was announced this summer that Zlatan would be making a switch to Manchester United, United fans had extremely high hopes for their club. And while their title aspirations never quite amounted to anything, Ibrahimovic has still shined for his club.
Netting 17 goals and 5 assists, Zlatan has truly been United’s most consistent goalscoring option. Ibra has also been involved in Manchester United’s build up play and counterattacks, making him an all around threat.
Thanks to Ibrahimovic, United are making a late push to qualify for the Champions League. This could be a huge factor in determining whether or not Ibrahimovic decides to stay at the club another year.
5. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has seen a resurgence under Antonio Conte, after a really poor spell last season. His flair and attacking genius has propelled Chelsea to first place, where they look poised to take home the title.
Hazard has tallied 14 goals and 5 assists for his team, and has also created multiple chances in almost every game this season. His exquisite control on the ball provides real entertainment for fans, and has made Chelsea the best team in England this season.
Hazard’s play has been so good that it has attracted the interest of Spanish giants Real Madrid. And while it is unlikely for Hazard to make the switch, it is a real testoment to just how good he has been this season.
6. N’Golo Kanté
After winning the title last season with Leicester City, Kante looks to be well on his way to winning back-to-back titles, this time with Chelsea. If Hazard has been the star for the Blues, Kante is the heart and soul of this team, winning virtually every 50-50 that comes his way.
Kante has put in 105 tackles this season, has a success rate of 67%, has come up with 65 interceptions, and has also helped out his backline with 39 crucial clearances. Kante has unquestionably been one of the best center midfielders in the world this season.
If you really want to know how much value Kante provided for his team, just look at how his former club has been doing without him. After running away with the title last year, Leicester City now sit in 13th place, and were in deep relegation trouble until just a few weeks ago.
Let us know what you think in the comments!
For many fans, football is just more than a game. They follow all the games, support the team, and share the ups and downs year in, year out. That being said, it’s particularly annoying, and sometimes even stressful when your team is in a downward spiral, with relegation even looming over the edge. It can lead to a lot of frustration, and for teams like West Ham, it’s really reached the threshold level. With another 3-0 loss at Arsenal, the Hammers are as far as can be from the promising Europa League start they had at the start of the season.
It’s been downhill on all fronts for a club that many pundits thought to have no place to go but upwards. First came the embarrassing exit out of the Europa League to Astra, and a poor start fueled by crowd violence at London Stadium. In January came the exit of star man Dimitri Payet to Marseille, a fan favorite that was thought to lead West Ham to unparalleled success. As a West Ham fan, it’s sad to see a club with so much promise at the end of last season just five points above relegation. At this point last season, Alexandre Lacazette was linked with a move to the club- this year, the team’s top transfer target January was Brentford’s Scott Hogan. What has led to such a bad downhill spiral for West Ham?
Just a week ago, Chelsea seemed poised to lift the EPL trophy at the end of the season undeterred, as they carried a 10 point lead over second place Spurs with just 10 games left to play. However, Chelsea lost at home to lowly Crystal Palace, and Spurs grinded out a road win at Burnley, and this has turned the season into somewhat of a title race. If Chelsea lose tomorrow against Manchester City, who haven’t lost in 8 league games, their lead could be cut down to four points. Here are the updated odds to win the title, with Chelsea still being overwhelming favorites:
Taken from Sports Club Stats.
However, Spurs chances have shot up significantly. So, I am now going to present a scenario in which Chelsea ends up finishing in second, with Spurs claiming the title.
Welcome back to round 2 of our weekly series, the Search for the Statistical MVP (Click here for round 1). In this series, we are looking solely at players’ statistics this season to see who has provided the most on paper value for their team. Keep in mind, this does not mean they are the best player, or the most talented; it is just a test to see who comes out on top. For the purposes of not wanting to make you read through 16 matchups in one read, we will be splitting this round up into 2 parts: 8 today, and 8 matchups next time.
In this round, it will be relatively easy to compare players, because almost all of the matchups are between players playing the same position. It may get a little murky in the future, but for now, here are your Round of 32 matchups: Continue reading Search for the Statistical MVP – Round 2 (Part 1)
1. Moussa Sissoko is a complete flop
High hopes surrounded Moussa Sissoko following an impressive showing with France at the 2016 European Championships. He impressed so much that Tottenham Hotspur were inspired to pay €30 million to sign him on a 5-year deal. Oh, what they would do to change that.
Sissoko has made 18 appearances for Spurs this EPL season, almost all of them coming from the bench. In those games, he has managed 0 goals. He has taken 14 shots, and only 1 of them has been on target. His crossing accuracy is 7%, and he hasn’t created a single chance all season. And for a man of his size, maybe the most disappointing statistic is that he has won just 37% of his aerial duels.