Team of the season
We’re not explaining ourselves to you. This is our team of the season. Comments will be deleted.
GOALKEEPER: Richard Kingson
Richard Kingson is the ‘priest’ of the Ghanaian national team, according to Asamoah Gyan. And in any team such as ours, replete with the unfortunate and the misunderstood, we need some piety, some spiritual guidance, and of course, a hefty dose of luck. There’s a moment that happens to professional footballers occasionally, where after an extremely errant pass, wayward attempt from a ridiculous position, terrible own-goal, or ‘keeping blunder, the camera pans to the forlorn face of the player in question as he wonders: “What on earth did I do that for?” Generally, it’s looked down upon for players to not be in control of their own mind’s decision-making process, and more than one of these a month will see a player invariably dropped. Yet Richard Kingson exists permanently in this state, flinging himself about, charging out of goal for no reason, flapping at crosses, and in most cases, his blushes are spared by the woodwork, goal-line clearances, and shoddy finishing. With Kingson in nets, our goal leads a ‘sainted life’ in more ways than one.
RIGHT-BACK: Gary Neville
What more can be said about Gary Neville? Well, what a great season he had, for starters. Nobody’s bloody mentioned that one. His retirement has spurred United on to likely win the title. He’s still influential enough for David Beckham to consider playing in his testimonial – and that says it all. If it doesn’t say it all, then the very act of retiring – ending his involvement in this farce – does. Player of the year.
CENTRAL DEFENDER: John Terry
With a manager like the one we have, we can’t afford for him to rest on his laurels. Terry is the ultimate companion to the manager – his counterpart on the pitch. Terry not only does much of his coaches work in the heat of battle by castigating his teammates for not being fast enough to cover for his desperate lunges, but also off the pitch. With his undermining, posturing, and rebellions, combined with the law that he may never be dropped from the team, Terry ensures that our leader is forever kept on his toes, and never falls into complacency.
CENTRAL DEFENDER: Thomas Vermaelen
A vital component to the team. He brings a number of skills from which the rest of our players can learn. Firstly, we have a few injury-prone players in this team. But Vermaelen has developed a way to turn this weakness into a strength – he has the unique ability to become a vastly superior player when he is injured. After having him show the rest of the team this uncanny ability, nothing but clean tackles and smooth pitches could stop us. And secondly, he shows that the importance of going on a small run of goalscoring form at least once in the season – making our boys candidate for player of the year, regardless of how they perform elsewhere on the pitch or in the year. Vital.
LEFT-BACK: Aleksandr Kolarov
Kolarov, like so many Premier League greats, is a limited player but makes up for it by being simply wonderful at running directly towards the goal and hitting the ball really hard. Unfortunately, unlike Jermain Defoe and Steven Gerrard, Aleksandr Kolarov is a left-back. We have chosen not to hold this against him.
RIGHT-WINGER: Ashley Young
Great teams don’t run on pompous fans alone, and we need to bankroll this thing somehow. With Ashley Young in the team, not only do we get an above-average winger, albeit one who insists on playing in a position for which he posesses none of the required set of skills, but we also get someone who can show us how we can market our above-average players as world-class geniuses, courted by all of Europe’s top clubs
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Steven Gerrard
When our team is in a dark place, struggling towards to an uncertain future with no foreseeable light at the end of the tunnel, who are we going to turn to? Ignore King Kenny – when Liverpool were managerless, in disarray, out of form, and barely able to string two passes together, Steven Gerrard was the real hero behind his team’s upturn in form. He displayed a remarkable sense of team spirit and selflessness, heroically injuring himself and ruling him out of many of the remaining matches. Liverpool have looked like world-beaters ever since.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Joey Barton
Joey Barton is your idol and our role model. How many other players would grow a Hitler-esque moustache with the deconstruction of our societies’ value system in mind – questioning the validity of symbols as meaning; Hitler-esque moustache as Hitler? More importantly, how many other players would call out Gareth Barry as a teachers’ pet who’s not very good at football?
LEFT-WINGER: Joe Cole
Great groups of men, as It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia informs us, have a basic formula which is never strayed from. They all have the key players: The looks, the brains, and the wildcard. But someone’s got to make up the numbers. Previously Joe Cole could’ve been any of these. Not the word – ‘could’ve’, not ‘was.’ Farmed out on the left, Joe Cole is our physical warning, a creaking, grotesque monument erected to ensure none of our players believe their own hype too much.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Stephen Ireland
A playmaker is the heartbeat of his team, a man who is relied on for his vision, and genius. Consider the attributes of the hypothetical perfect number 10.
STRIKER: Darren Bent
We need someone to put the actual chances away, and there are few better. No matter how poor the service or how hapless the shambles behind him, Bent guarantees goals. He’s one of very few players you can say that about, although we’d be extra-careful to keep him happy, given that he is one of few players to possess the ‘Redknapp effect’, casting a wave of woe and gnashing of teeth in his wake. He does good things, and the trail of destruction behind him only serves to add to his mystique.
That’s our team of the season. Remember, before you ask questions, we’re cleverer than you.