Premier League Team Of The Season: Manchester Clubs Dominate, A Super Eagles Player and Others

The Premier League season 2021/22 is over but the fallouts continue to linger. The title has been won and lost, places have been retained and lost. Through 38 weeks of football action, some players distinguished themselves. At Goaldball, we have made our Team Of The Season, including the bench.

Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

The Argentine divided Arsenal fans with his brilliant performances for Aston Villa. A large section of Arsenal fans thought he should not have been let go due to his brilliant performances. He was at the heart of a strong Villa defence that stayed clear of the relegation zone.

He kept 15 clean sheets, behind only Ederson Moraes and Edouard Mendy.

Rightback – Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Though the Portuguese was deployed at leftback occasionally by Pep Guardiola, he makes our team at right-back.

He finally proved why Guardiola went all out to get him two seasons back with some brilliant attacking plays on the flanks.

Leftback – Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

The Englishman enjoyed a season of revival. He ran the entire left-hand side of Manchester United with apparent ease. He reduced new signing Alex Telles, who was supposed to be his replacement, to a peripheral role.

Centerback – Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Arguably the signing of the season. The defender has already gotten some recognition for his impressive first season in the Premier League.

He has won the Football Writers Association Player of the Season. Ever present and reliable, his solid defensive work was the bedrock of City’s success.

Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo played huge parts in City’s success

Center-back – Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Maguire was ever solid and ever present for the Red Devils till he got injured at the tail end of the season. Manchester United impressive away record was down to some defensive solidity.

Maguire finally showed glimpses of why Manchester United got him for record fee.

Central Midfielder – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)

Mr consistency – Wilfred Ndidi was ever present as Leicester pushed for a Champions League spot again.

He ranks high on the list of most tackles and interceptions.

Central Midfielder – Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

The German had his best goalscoring season yet at Manchester City. He scored 13 goals to help City’s cause.

In addition to the goals, he was most times City’s brain box in the middle and his performances made Kelvin De Bruyne absences manageable.

Attacking Midfielder – Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

The Portuguese ranks high on both the goals and assists chats. He has had a positive influence since joining the Red Devils in January.

With 18 goals and 12 assists to his name, he is a contender for the Premier League Player of the Season.

Right Wing-Forward – Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)

Despite Liverpool’s struggles, Mohammed Salah was still able to rake in the goals. He scored 22 goals and only lost the Golden Boot to Harry Kane on the last day.

Right Wing-forward – Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Playing slightly as a wing forward and as an attacking midfielder, the young Englishman was a menace to opposing defences.

He stepped into David Silva’s shoes impressively and was at the heart of City’s attacking forays.

Center-forward – Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Harry Kane won his third Golden Boot award, reiterating his quality and importance to this Spurs side.

He added another dimension to his game this season by also creating goals for others. He topped the assist chat in the Premier League with 14 assists.

Following reports that he is set to move on from Spurs, he is the hottest property in the transfer market.

Manager – Pep Guardiola ( Manchester City)

Guardiola has not done anything new. He has probably done the expected by reclaiming the title but the manner of achieving it deserves recognition.

At a point in November/December, the Citizens were in midtable and it appeared Guardiola had reached his limits but an impressive turnaround led to his third Premier League title.

Substitutes: Ederson Moraes (Manchester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Tyrone Ming’s (Aston Villa), Tomas Soucek (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Son Heung Min (Tottenham)

What do you think about our selections? Let us know. Follow us on Twitter @goaldbal.

Nigeria’s Best XI of All-time

In 60 years of independence, Nigeria has made some impacts in the world of football. Nigerian footballers and exploits comes to mind for some foreigners, when they hear the name Nigeria. Three-time winners of the African Cup of Nations, One Olympics Football gold medal, Five FIFA U-17 World Cup titles are some of the prominent football accolades that the country has won.

In all of this, picking a best XI of all-time is never an easy task. It is difficult to agree on a list that cuts across generations. This writer has done a compilation of his best XI of all-time, you can agree or disagree in the comment section. The team is made in a 4-4-2 formation.

GK – Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama has not been getting the accolades he deserves. Due to the feeling of nostalgia that Nigerian’s have for the 1980 and 1994 teams, majority put the likes of Peter Rufai and Emmanuel Okala ahead of Enyeama. While not taking anything away from Okala and Rufai, Enyeama did more than them.

Enyeama helped Enyimba win the once elusive CAF Champions League twice in 2003 and 2004. He won the AFCON in 2013, played at three World Cups and was arguably Nigeria’s best player in two of those. He came third in the African Footballer of the Year in 2014. He jointly holds the appearance record for the Super Eagles. Bring your goalkeeper and lay down the facts, Enyeama is ours.

Honorable mentions: Emmanuel Okala, Peter Rufai, Ike Shorounmu

RB – Joseph Yobo

Though he played as a center-back for most of his Super Eagles career, he started out as a right-back. He shares the Super Eagles appearance record with Enyeama. He was a super regular for the Super Eagles for like 13 years. Won one AFCON and played at three World Cups.

Honorable mention: Austin Eguavoen

CB – Stephen Keshi

The big boss was one of the first Nigerians to make exploits in Europe. He captained the Super Eagles to AFCON success in 1994 and captained the team to their first World Cup appearance. His commanding personality was reflective when he led the team as coach to another AFCON success in 2013.

CB – Taribo West

His funny hairstyle apart, West no dey laugh for pitch. He was solid and commanding in his time in the Super Eagles. No ordinary defender would have played for both AC Milan and Inter Milan at the height of Italian football.

He won Olympics gold with the U-23 team in 1996. He also played at two FIFA World Cups.

Honorable mentions: Uche Okechukwu, Christian Chukwu

LB – Celestine Babayaro

Babayaro started out by winning the U-17 World Cup in 1993 to winning the Olympics gold in 1996. He was a Super Eagles regular till 2004 when he left the team in controversial circumstances. Sturdy in defence and brilliant in attack, no left-back did it better than Babayaro.

Honorable mention: Ben Iroha

DM – Sunday Oliseh

That winning goal and celebration against Spain at the 1998 World Cup says a lot about Oliseh’s passion. He was solid defensively and had a brilliant passing range. He won the Olympics gold in 1996, won the Nations Cup in 1994 and played at two FIFA World Cups.

CM – Austin Okocha

One of the most naturally gifted Nigerians to ever play the game. He won the AFCON in 1994 and Olympics gold in 1996. He won the BBC African Footballer of the Year twice. Okocha was a delight to watch and probably no Nigerian footballer entertained Nigerians better.

Honorable mentions: Muda Lawal, Mutiu Adepoju

RW – Segun Odegbami

The mathematical Odegbami starred as Nigeria won her first Nations Cup title in 1980. A wizard down the flanks, Odegbemi combined pace, dribbling skills and an eye for goals.

LW – Finidi George

Usually a right winger, Finidi was comfortable playing across the midfield. He won the Nations Cup in 1994 and played at two FIFA World Cups. Alongside Kanu Nwankwo, Finidi was the first Nigerian to win the prestigious UEFA Champions League. He combined blistering pace with a good technical ability.

Honorable mentions: Emmanuel Amuneke, Adokiye Amiesimaka

FW: Kanu Nwankwo

Gangling Kanu Nwankwo rose from winning the U-17 World Cup in 1993 to leading Nigeria to Africa’s first Olympics gold in football in 1996. He played at two FIFA World Cups.

Kanu won the African footballer of the year twice, the only Nigerian to achieve the feat. He also won numerous trophies in Europe, perhaps the most decorated Nigerian footballer ever.

FW: Rashidi Yekini

The goals king. Yekini holds the record for the highest goalscorer in the history of Nigeria with 37 goals. He won the AFCON in 1994 and played at two FIFA World Cups, scoring Nigeria’s first ever World Cup goal in 1994.

He had a raw combination of pace, power and shooting ability. No Nigerian no. 9 comes close.

Honorable mention: Daniel Amokachi

Drop your thoughts. Which of our selections do you agree or disagree with?

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