Monday, June 8, 2009

BPL Best XI 2008/09

Kelvin Leong picks the best eleven players of the BPL 2008/09 season.


Edwin van Der Sar - Man United

71 saves and 21 clean sheets.

Call him Superman or anything you want but it is quite impossible to choose anyone else as the best goalkeeper of the season.

Age is catching up with him at 38 but there has been no signs of a better man between the sticks in the BPL this season.

Go Edwin go!


Glen Johnson - Portsmouth

Lost his way while at Chelsea but managed to make a complete turnaround at Portsmouth.

Three goals and three assists caps off a marvelous season which has also seen him become a mainstay in the Three Lions squad.

Johnson is now Fabio Capello's first choice right-back and with his energetic forays down the right, it will be tough to see anyone dispose him off his newly-minted throne.

Brede Hangeland - Fulham

Standing at 1.94m tall, the former FC Copenhagen giant has been a revelation for the Cottagers at the back.

A mean tackling machine who hardly allows attackers to get the upper hand. Fulham manager Roy Hodgson's best signing of the season.

His aerial ability can be compared to that of Nemanja Vidic's.

Nemanja Vidic - Man United

The Serbian sweeper is a scary prospect for any opposing striker.

Armed with a towering header and great leadership skills at the heart of defence, Vidic seldom puts a foot wrong.

Sure, he had an off day against Liverpool, but fans who have seen him throughout the season will know that he is the newest jewel in Sir Alex Ferguson's hat.

Just like United legends, Steve Bruce and Jaap Stam, Vidic provides stability and calm while the Red Devils go on the offence.

What contributes to him being on the list is his uncanny ability to score crucial goals when it counts. Four goals and one assist for a defender is a very good return.

Leighton Baines - Everton

Second season with the Toffees and Baines is a man transformed.

Finally showing the fans why he was once hailed as a challenger to Ashley Cole's England role.

He had made the left-back position his own with his rampaging runs down the flank with six assists to his name.


Frank Lampard - Chelsea

How much more does Lampard have to do in order to gain the recognition he duly deserves?

Another season gone and another 20 goal haul for the England midfielder.

12 league goals and 10 assists is no mean feat when you are competing for a spot in midfield with the likes of Michael Ballack, Michael Essien and Deco.

About time this man gets regarded as one of the top midfielders in the world.

Stephen Ireland - Man City

Yes, Man City have enough crisp dollar bills to cover the entire pitch but what they lack is a player who lives and breathes for the club.

In comes Ireland who has upstaged his more illustrious teammate, Robinho, to become the most influential City player of this campaign.

Nine goals and nine assists outlines how valuable he is to Mark Hughes' side.

It will be a pity if City start buying midfielders and relegate him to the bench.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Man United

Critics will never stop slaying the Portuguese winger no matter how well he performs.

He has set the standard so ridiculously high that he almost always falls short.

Who is to say that 18 goals and six assists is not good enough? For a start, half of the players listed as strikers in the BPL failed to hit the double digit mark.

His game comes buttered with an arrogant persona but wasn't it just a while back when a certain Eric Cantona made his name by being the same arrogant genius we fell in love with?

Steven Gerrard - Liverpool

‘Captain Fantastic'.

Stevie-G is the heartbeat of Liverpool with every attack going through him.

Playing as a support striker alongside Torres has seen him net 16 goals while providing nine sublime assists.

Just like Ronaldo, critics always expect too much.

We have to remember that ten other players need to pull their weight no matter how good their captain is.


Nicolas Anelka - Chelsea

LeSulk played second fiddle to Didier Drogba at Chelsea for a long time before finally getting his chance this season.

Gone are the days when Anelka struts around like a spoilt brat. The Frenchman has matured into a mean goalscoring machine capable of unlocking the tightest defences.

19 goals and the Golden Boot title in the bag, who cares if he moans, sulks or cries. He can sulk his way to Spurs if he fancies!

Fernando Torres - Liverpool

‘El Nino' they call him.

Superstar he is.

Torres has been the striker Liverpool fans were praying for since the departure of Michael Owen.

Had El Nino not been out injured so often, Gerrard might have been the one holding up the league trophy instead of Gary Neville.

14 goals does not justify his worth at Merseyside and if the man can stay fit for the upcoming season, Liverpool might go one better.

Notable mentions:-
Steven Pienaar - Everton
Phil Jagielka - Everton
Ashley Young - Aston Villa
Pepe Reina - Liverpool
Kevin Davies - Bolton

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