Manchester United have responded superbly to losing the Premier League title to Manchester City last year, but there have still been plenty of fans suggesting they have been nowhere near their very best form so which players have been good enough to make a team of the season?
David De Gea
De Gea could well be named as the goalkeeper of the year because of his consistency, despite the pressure and criticism he has been made to endure. Any little mistake he’s made has been magnified epically, which means his quality and major performances often go unnoticed.
He has made crucial saves in big games, which have helped United to stay at the top of the league and he has shrugged off various rumours and links with a move back to Spain. He’s set to be the number one at Old Trafford for a very long time.
Rafael is another player who sometimes takes a lot of stick for being too aggressive, too forward thinking and maybe not good enough in a defensive sense. However, he has improved dramatically this season compared to last and there have been fewer right backs more efficient.
United have been able to rely upon him this season, whereas in the past Sir Alex Ferguson may have been forced to provide him with some extra cover because of his apparent naivety.
Evans has been the most consistent and reliable central defender in United’s team by some distance. It’s been a case of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic rotating alongside him as opposed to the other way round, which has been the case for the last couple of seasons.
Evans has also been effective in the opponent’s final third, adding an extra attacking element to his game which has not always been evident during his time in the Manchester United first team.
He’s been Mr Reliable in the Manchester United midfield. He’s not the sort of player who is going to dominate possession or setup beautiful chances, but he’s effective in terms of the space he occupies and the positions he takes up, which stop other teams from passing the ball freely.
He cuts off angles and isn’t afraid to stick a challenge in when the situation demands it. Every team needs a midfielder who is just as effective off the ball as he is on it and Carrick ticks all of the right boxes.
Robin Van Persie
RVP may be going through a bit of a dry spell at the moment but his Premier League goals have all come at crucial times, which enabled United to pick up vital points at the start of the season, in games where they could easily have drawn and lost.
He’s been outshone in the goalscoring stakes by Luis Suarez of Liverpool, but considering how effective he’s been for United in terms of helping them get the title back, he definitely deserves to be in any team of the season.
Have we missed anyone out?
image: © Andrea Sartorati