Team of the season
Ignore all other teams of the season. This is based on Fantasy League performance. There is no better indicator – in other words NO FUCKING MICHAEL CARRICK. It’s a classic 4-4-2 formation with a defensive midfielder (ie with Yaya Toure).
GK. Joe Hart
In all fairness, no one keeper stood out this season. De Gea made the PFA team, but Hart kept more clean sheets. De Gea kept only 2 clean sheets in his first 20 games. He had an impressive run of 8 in 10 from February through to April – which probably won United the title, but Hart’s 18 overall were spread evenly across the season. His best run came in January. He didn’t concede during the whole month. So unspectacular, yet effective.
RB. Glen Johnson
Kept more clean sheets than any other defender this season with 16, and played virtually every minute, but for a two game absence in the autumn. Contributed well with 5 assists.
LB. Leighton Baines
5 goals and 7 assists reads more like a decent midfielder, but add to that the 11 clean sheets and 24 bonus points, and you have England’s best defender. What Everton lack in clean sheet reliability, Baines more than makes up for in attacking threat and being an all round bloody good footballer.
CB. Branislav Ivanovic
Chelsea’s best defender. Not a racist. Or a publicity whore. Or a maverick. Or Gary Cahill. Just a defender. Scored 5 and kept 12 clean sheets. Finihsed week 1 with 24 points – the 2nd highest weekly total of the season.
CB. Jan Vertonghen
Tottenham’s failure this year may be put down to the amount of clean sheets they kept. 9 in total is 5 less than both Arsenal and Chelsea. Vertonghen played all but 4 of Spurs’ games, and in all 9 of the clean sheet games. His 136 point total was nicely topped up by the regular bonus marks, 5 goals and 3 assists.
DM. Yaya Toure
Who else? He’s at an advantage in that he’s bumped forward every so often. Like many of the City players, he didn’t seem to have as spectacular a season as last time, but he scored as many goals, scored more bonus points and bettered his overall points total. He only failed to match his assist total. And where’s Michael Carrick? Labouring on 101 points with a third of the bonus marks and a lesser value than he started off with.
LM. Gareth Bale
Second highest scorer behind RVP and 3rd on the goalscoring charts behind RVP and Suarez. He scored more bonus points than any other player and his value increased more than any other player – from 9.5 to 11.1 million. Bale achieved double figures in 13 gameweeks – a third of the season. In 12 of his last 17 appearances of the season since the turn of the year, Bale either scored or assisted – and invariably bagged the big bonus points aswell. And everyone had him in their team.
CM. Santi Cazorla
The highest scoring newcomer to the Premiership. Double figures for goals and assists and a healthy bonus points haul. It’s a total you can imagine he’ll improve on next season as Arsenal’s new creative lynch pin.
RM. Juan Mata
Like Cazorla, Mata adapted easily to playing in England last season, and followed those impressive totals with an even better showing this time round. Was used relatively sparingly, and had a few dry patches during the seaosn, but nevertheless, amassed more assists than any other player, and hit 11 goals.
CF. Robin Van Persie
The league’s top scorer and only 1 point behind Bale in the bonus charts. RVP contributed something pointsworthy to all but 9 of the 38 games, and effectively won the title for United. Went on a 10 week run of scoring goals, assists or bonuses from Novemeber through to January, and scored the goal of the season to boot – the one that confirmed the title, against Villa, on the 22nd April.
CF. Luis Suarez
Picked up 3 bookings in his first 4 games, which saw him being booted out of a lot of teams early doors. And to infuriate those that picked him even further, he goes and scores a hat trick in week 6. He was pretty unstoppable from that week on, particularly at the start of 2013. If it hadn’t been for his suspensions, which amounted to 5 games, he may have ended up as the league’s top goalscorer. He won’t be playing until week 6 next season either.
Bargain team of the season
That team above would never have been affordable. Here are the players you’d never heard of last August.
GK. Asmir Begovic
The game’s leading goalkeeper up until Christmas. Had kept the most clean sheets, and had only conceded more than 2 goals in a game twice. The Stoke’s season collapsed. Begovic only kept 3 more clean sheets all season, but he had built up such a points lead over most other keepers, that he finished the season as the joint 2nd highest points scoring keeper. His value reached 5.9 million at one point – 1.4 million more than his starting price.
RB. Joey O’Brien
For a 4 million defender, 11 clean sheets, 2 goals, 4 assists and 11 bonus points is a good return. West Ham’s season started well, dipped in the middle and picked up again towards the end, and that matched the pattern of O’Brien’s scoring. His value eventually reached 4.8 million by season end.
LB. Angel Rangel
Rangel’s value actually decreased over the course of the season. Swansea never went on a run of keeping clean sheets, which may explain that, but Rangel reached a respectable 111 points with a 3 goal return and a good haul of 15 bonus points. Also matched Van Persie, Walcott, Tevez and Suarez with 2 player of the week awards.
CB. Ryan Shawcross
Followed the same path as Begovic. Starting at 5 million, Shawcross saw his value increase to 6 million in the space of 8 weeks during the autumn. That took him to Christmas. Cue Stoke collapse. But by that point he’d kept 9 clean sheets, and only 5 other defenders finished the season with more.
CB. Per Mertesacker
And Mertesacker was one of them. Much maligned, but managed to usurp Vermaelen from the Arsenal starting line up, and form a good partnership with Laurent Koscielny. Mertesacker, I suspect, will start higher than 5 million next season. Maybe his reputation went before him. Finished with 3 goals and 14 clean sheets.
DM. Jonathan De Guzman
Ended with 5 goals and 7 assists, although had his best scoring run through the periods of the season when he wasn’t an automatic first choice. De Guzman nailed a starting place down from February onward, but he, like most other Swansea players seemed to put the brakes on a little once they’d secured the League Cup, and European football. Still better that Michael Carrick.
Swansea were a good team to go to for your bargain buys. Not that Michu ended the season as a bargain. Michu started at 6.5, but had reached 7.1 by week 3. Eventually reached 8.5 million by March, but dropped back to 7.9 by the end, as Swansea slowed down, and an injury threatened to end his season early (it didn’t, despite the papers widely reporting that it had). Possibly the bargain buy of any Premier League season.
CM. Marouane Fellaini
Another whose value peaked and then dropped again as the season wore on. Started with a man of the match winning performance in their first game – a victory over United. Reached gameweek double figures 5 times before Christmas, but lagged behind as silly suspensions were picked up. Was the 5th best bonus scorer in the whole game, and finished with his personal best goals and fantasy points haul.
LM. Robert Snodgrass
Norwich enjoyed a period through October into December where they went 10 games unbeaten, largely due to solid defensive displays which saw them keep 4 clean sheets in 6. When the defence buckled, they simply scored more goals. Snodgrass contributed three double figure gameweeks towards the end of that 10 game run, and then 3 more scoring weeks in the last 3 games of the season to ensure Premier League safety. Was the 5th best bonus scoring midfielder with 23 points.
CF. Rickie Lambert
The second highest scoring Englishman in the game behind Theo Walcott. Many people questioned whether he’d be able to carry his scoring form from lower divisions into the Premier League. He did. He bagged 15 goals in his debut season, with 8 assists and 32 bonus marks.
CF. Christian Benteke
The other from-out-of-nowhere buy of the season – along with Michu. Looks capable of playing for most teams in the league. Benteke’s debut Premier season produced 19 goals, 14 of which came in the 2nd half of the campaign to (almost single-handedly) save Villa from the Championship.
Buckets League Winners
A Pint of Fuller’s – P Hawkins – 2194 points
Champions League Qualifiers
Hedgehog’s Corpse – Nick Smith – 2120 points
Pescara Rangers – Stewart Pope – 2113 points
(Your Ad Here) – Matthew Hopkins – 2072 points
Buckets Cup Winners
(Your Ad Here) – Matthew Hopkins
Highest weekly score
Panza Grande – Stuart Baker – 103 points – GW34
Highest monthly score
A Pint of Fuller’s – P Hawkins – 361 points – December
Most manager of the week awards
Goodbutnosigurdsson – Robert Hewer – 6 winning gameweeks
Most manager of the month awards
Goodbutnosigurdsson – Robert Hewer – 2 winning game months
Bermie United – Glen Davies – 2 winning game months
Highest scoring player
Robin Van Persie – Manchester United – 262 points
Highest scoring goalkeeper
Joe Hart – Manchester City – 158 points
Highest scoring defender
Leighton Baines – Everton – 177 points
Highest scoring midfielder
Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur – 249 points
Highest scoring attacker
Robin Van Persie – Manchester United – 262 points
Robin Van Persie – Manchester United – 26 goals
Juan Mata – Chelsea – 18 assists
Most clean sheets
Joe Hart – Manchester City – 18 clean sheets
Most bonus points
Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur – 50 bonus points
Highest value increase
Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur – 1.6 million
Highest weekly score (player)
Theo Walcott – Arsenal – 26 points
Most player of the week awards
Carlos Tevez – Manchester City – 2
Robin Van Persie – Manchester United – 2
Luis Suarez – Liverpool – 2
Theo Walcott – Arsenal – 2
Angel Rangel – Swansea City – 2
Most player of the week awards (team)
Arsenal and Liverpool – 6
Most donkey of the week awards (team)
QPR – 4
Most goal of the season nominations
Adel Taraabt – QPR – 3
Most goal of the season nominations (team)
Manchester United, QPR, Everton – 4
Goal of the season
1. Robin Van Persie – Manchester United v Aston Villa – GW34
2. Matthew Lowton – Aston Villa v Stoke City – GW32
3. Cameron Jerome – Stoke City v Southampton – GW20