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Garth Crooks's team of the season

Garth Crooks
By Garth Crooks
BBC football reporter and Score pundit

They thought it was all over - it is now.... and here is my verdict.

606: DEBATE

The most exciting and unpredictable Premier League season in a long time has come to an end, with Manchester United emerging as top dogs after a dramatic finale at both ends of the table.

So here is my team of the year, playing in a 4-4-2 formation. What do you think of my selection?

DAVID JAMES (Portsmouth)

David James (Portsmouth)

His selection emphasises the season he has had - he has regained the England number one spot and I agree with that.

James has been instrumental in Portsmouth's progression to the FA Cup final and, for me, the stand-out game was their win at Manchester United, where he was outstanding.

Like all goalkeepers he gets better with age. All keepers are susceptible to the odd clanger but he seems to have overcome the unreliable tag for a wonderful season and to win the FA Cup would be a fitting end.

BACARY SAGNA (Arsenal)

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)

Phil Neville was also in contention, being in the unique position of being a midfielder or a right-back, but as a consequence it was hard to put him in either position, so I have gone for Sagna.

The injury he sustained at Chelsea has put him at disadvantage but I have given my vote to Sagna.

He was having a fantastic year until he picked up the ankle problem and that injury, along with Eduardo's, may have cost Arsenal the title.

PATRICE EVRA (Manchester United)

Patrice Evra (Manchester United)

He gets in the team just ahead of Gael Clichy of Arsenal.

They were neck and neck all season but it is hard not to go with him as he is a championship winner.

I have tried very had through the year to focus on my team of the week votes but I have also had to take into account where teams finished and what they achieved.

RIO FERDINAND (Manchester United)

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)

Rio is in the team of the season for the second year running, he is Manchester United and now England captain and I would have him as the skipper of this team too. He has had another magnificent season.

RICARDO CARVALHO (Chelsea)

Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea)

Carvalho has been an unsung hero, a silent and consistent force in Chelsea's back four throughout the whole year - their rock.

He was also their player of the year and if he stands out among that lot, he must be pretty good.

CRISTIANO RONALDO (Manchester United)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Simply the best player in the world at the moment. That's it.

STEVEN GERRARD (Liverpool)

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Alongside Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard is the only player to make my team of the season for the second season running, which demonstrates his amazing consistency.

CESC FABREGAS (Arsenal)

Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)

He has put in some outstanding performances for Arsenal this season. Their future success depends upon his future at the club.

MICHAEL BALLACK (Chelsea)

Michael Ballack (Chelsea)

He won a lot of team of the week selections in the last third of the season and it was always Chelsea's biggest matches - he is clearly a player for the big occasion. If Chelsea win the Champions League, it will centre on him.

FERNANDO TORRES (Liverpool)

Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

He just edges out Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz, both of whom won a number of weekly selections, but the Spaniard's performances and goals for Liverpool have been the driving force for the Merseysiders this season.

I don't think Benitez's rotation policy has helped but he has still had a fantastic season in spite of that and has adapted to English football superbly.

WAYNE ROONEY (Manchester United)

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

He has picked up team of the week nominations almost unnoticed. I'm quite surprised he was up there but clearly his contributions and goals have come at a vital time for United.

Ronaldo's performances have eclipsed everyone this season, including him, but Rooney has obviously had sufficient goals and games to warrant selection.

He just edged out Yakubu, who had a fantastic season.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Fulham's Jimmy Bullard got a lot of votes towards the end of the season and if he had played a full season he might have been in the team.

Apart from David James, all those team of the season players are from the top four. Bullard would have broken that.

He picked up three team of the week selections in the last five weeks, which ties in with Fulham's escape.

Ashley Young at Aston Villa was also very unlucky not to get in.

He had an outstanding season but has fallen victim to the best player in the world. Similarly, his team-mate Gareth Barry was unlucky to be edged out by Steven Gerrard - but he could be his biggest supporter next season!

GOALS OF THE SEASON

It would have to be the goal by Torres in the Champions League against Arsenal, Ronaldo's free-kick against Portsmouth or Emmanuel Adebayor's peach of a volley against Newcastle at St James' Park.

All three of them scored spectacular goals, which is why people will always want to go to watch them. It is not only that they are great players but they score goals that people really like to see, which bulge the net.

Garth Crooks was talking to Julian Shea


Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

see also
Garth Crooks's team of the week
24 Feb 08 |  Score on BBCi
Ferguson wins managerial honour
13 May 08 |  Man Utd
Scolari eyes Ronaldo Euro boost
13 May 08 |  Portugal
Premier League quotes of the season
12 May 08 |  Fun and Games
Why Ronaldo made the difference
12 May 08 |  Man Utd
BBC pundits on the Premier League
11 May 08 |  Premier League
How the title was won
12 May 08 |  Premier League
Title race photos
11 May 08 |  Football
Grant gracious after title blow
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Is football just a game?
12 May 08 |  Football
Wigan 0-2 Man Utd
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea 1-1 Bolton
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Ronaldo wins writers' award again
02 May 08 |  Premier League
Ronaldo named player of the year
27 Apr 08 |  Football


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