Thommo's dream team
As the season reaches its climax, Soccer Saturday expert Phil Thompson names his Premier League team of 2011/12
Last Updated: May 10, 2012 5:31pm
Joe Hart has had a great season but I'm going for Tim Krul. He has been very consistent and because Man City have got a better back four, he has probably saved Newcastle a lot more points than Hart has for his team.
Kyle Walker has been an absolute star this year at right-back. He's got pace and power and no-one ever gets the better of him. He has learnt his trade on loan in the Championship and now plays with a real confidence; he definitely has a chance of being England's number one right-back this summer. I could put Thomas Vermaelen in at centre-back because he has made a big difference for Arsenal since he has come back from injury, but Fabricio Coloccini and Vincent Kompany have been virtually ever-presents for Newcastle and Man City respectively. Coloccini seemed to get caught out in previous seasons but it seems like since Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique have left and he has taken over the captaincy, he's gone up a level. If Kompany hadn't been in City's side I think they would be a long way off United. He has been an absolute Trojan and plays at a minimum of 9 out of 10 every week. Leighton Baines, meanwhile, has been by far the most consistent left-back. He has been excellent offensively, both in open play and through his set-pieces, while I think he has defended better than other candidates, such as Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra.
Antonio Valencia has been instrumental in United's push for the title since he has been back in the side. The quality of his delivery is different class and his work rate is excellent; that's why Sir Alex Ferguson has had confidence to play him at right-back on occasions when they are chasing a game. Gareth Bale would be my left-winger as I like the way he has mixed up his game. He hasn't just stayed on the left flank as he did last season; he has taken on different roles, moved across the midfield and played in between the lines of the oppositions' midfield and defence. He's gained great experience from that. Centrally, I would go for Scott Parker as my holding midfielder and David Silva as my offensive one. Up until about February, Silva was probably tying with Robin van Persie as Player of the Season and I see no reason why he shouldn't make the team. He is extremely creative, while Parker has been excellent for Spurs since he has joined from West Ham; mopping everything up and bringing energy to the team.
My strikers would be Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Rooney is a very clever striker; he drops off into midfield and creates things from deep positions, while Van Persie's goal return has been excellent. That strikeforce would have a great balance, with Van Persie running off your shoulder and Rooney acting like a quarter-back, playing balls forward for the Dutchman. If he had Rooney with him you could see Van Persie scoring another 10 goals.
Reckon you can do better than our experts? Name your Premier League team of the season in the comments box below...