Coral’s superb Premier League team of the season 2014/15
Now that the 2014/15 Premier League season is done and dusted, Coral writers cast an eye over the top performers from this term.
Having totted up the fantastic array of players who figured in our team of the week features to influence, but not decide, our selection, we bring you our brilliant XI of the season.
Read on to find out who made the grade overall at the end of term, after providing consistently impressive performances over this cracking campaign, and don’t forget to have your say on Twitter!
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)
There can be few arguments about which stopper has made the most difference between the posts for his team this term.
It is unlikely the Red Devils would have made fourth without De Gea’s game-changing saves and, if the Spanish custodian stays put, the Premier League will be all the better for it.
Right back: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
Rampant Ivanovic earned a whopping six team of the week nominations, chipping in with four goals and six assists to the Chelsea cause this campaign, which is a commendable haul for any defender. Powerful and reliable, the Serbian has the right back slot sewn up.
Centre back: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Perhaps one of the more surprising names on this teamsheet, but Smalling had his strongest season for United (9/2 with Coral to win the 2015/16 Premier League) so far, despite the occasional on-field disciplinary issue.
Many feared, due to his often-criticised technique, the centre half would flounder under Louis van Gaal, yet the 25-year-old stepped up to become the Red Devils’ best defender, even improving his distribution.
Centre back: John Terry (Chelsea)
Every XI needs a leader at the back, and there are few better than Blues captain and stalwart John Terry. The skipper’s experience was crucial on numerous occasions and five league goals added to the sense that the 34-year-old was turning back the clock.
He also, no doubt enjoys giving everything for long-time boss Jose Mourinho whom he has formed a special relationship with over the years.
Left back: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
Few make the step up from Championship football to the top tier as seamlessly as Cresswell, an excellent capture for West Ham, but the sought-after full back has certainly caught the eye.
A constant for the Hammers down the flank, fans have clamoured for an England call-up and, if he keeps up such consistent performances, a first cap may not be far away.
Defensive midfield: Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
Widely lauded as the key cog in Chelsea’s title triumph, midfield shield Matic beats out the likes of Michael Carrick, Francis Coquelin and Esteban Cambiasso to man our engine room. An all-rounder possessing guile as well as grit, the Blues (13/8 to lift the 2015/16 Premier League) lack cohesion when the superb Serbian is absent.
Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
Top assist provider in the league with an impressive 18, and a gap of seven between second place, Fabregas was a shoe-in to take prime plotting position in the spine of our XI. The crafty Catalan’s return to the Premier League has been nothing short of sensational.
See Fabregas’ most fantastic moments:
Central midfield: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
Players such as Oscar, Christian Eriksen and Philippe Coutinho all pushed hard for inclusion, but quiet schemer Cazorla brings the most balance to our XI.
After excelling in a deeper role due to his intelligence, the silky Spaniard surpassed most of his younger more explosive peers to help Arsenal dominate possession, and also contributed seven goals and eleven assists.
Right wing: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Sanchez hit the ground running after joining the Gunners, after a long World Cup campaign, with his aggressive and incisive play giving Arsenal a new dimension.
Tough, strong, quick and hard-working the Chilean speedster notched up 16 goals plus eight assists, which is a tremendous tally for any debut season. There is surely much more to come.
Left wing: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Hazard has long been touted to one day be in the same talent bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and the brilliant Belgian made great strides this season. Notably more effective in big games, the Premier League Player of the Season dazzled defences with a scintillating 14 strikes.
Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
It was tough to leave Premier League top scorer Sergio Aguero, and dangerous newcomer Diego Costa, out of the team, but young Kane steals the spotlight thanks to his consistency.
Bar a recent slower spell, the England international was explosive for Spurs, in a team featuring a lesser collection of attacking talents to provide support than his competitors.
Watch ‘Hurri-Kane’ rack up the goals: