Top XI: Pies’ 2011/12 Premier League Team Of The Season

By Chris Wright

No unnecessary spiel, no waffle, no flim-flam, let’s just get straight down to brass tacks of the matter at hand – presenting: Pies’ Premier League Team of the Season for 2011/12…

GK – David De Gea, Man Utd: De Gea, along with Joe Hart, possesses one of the top two shots-to-saves ratio in the Premier League this year, despite enduring a ropey old start to life at Old Trafford and all the merciless haranguing that goes with it (the gag being that he wasn’t taking the criticism well, opting to punch it out for a corner instead).

Truth be told, both De Gea and Hart have been brilliant for large swathes for the two top sides, with the latter arguably being the more consistent over the course of the full campaign – but it’s the narrative of De Gea’s season that gets him the nod.

Missing out: Tim Krul, Michel Vorm, Wojciech Szczesny.

DF – Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle: Once regarded as little more than a cartoon character for his haplessly slapstick defending, he may well look like he plays synth in a Devon-based Scorpions tribute band, but Captain Colo has been a brick wall of rock solid metal at the back for the Toon this season.

DF – Martin Skrtel, Liverpool: ‘Skirts’ (as we’re sure absolutely no-one calls him) has formed a formidable partnership with Daniel Agger this season, providing the toil and bite while the slightly daintier Dane mopped up the detritus. Liverpool deflated forlornly during the last 18 matches of their season, though Skrtel’s marauding form hasn’t noticeably waned. The man’s a curtain of iron.

DF – Vincent Kompany, Man City: A calm, gargantuan presence in the heart of City’s back-four for the past two years now, Kompany is one of the few centre-halves that any side in the world would gladly employ without so much as a second thought. City have a real commodity on their hands in Vinnie, and they know it.

DF – Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal: Another player who had to tough out a bit of a shonky start to his career in England and the accompanying barrage of criticism, the spindly French defender has arguably been Arsenal’s second best player this season.

Missing out: John Heitinga, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Micah Richards, Jonny Evans.

MF – Michael Carrick, Man Utd: Narrowly pipping Mikel Arteta. Granted, he can go missing on the odd occasion, but that’s the nature of the subtle art he peddles. Fade in/out. You hand the distribution mantle to Phil Jones (against Basel) and look what happens. Chaos.

He’s never going to be spectacular but that’s not the point. There is a place in English football for his line of refined, ‘pick and choose’ conservative wafting whether the baying oiks in the terraces want to see it or not. He’ll be derided by the hoi poloi until he retires for not barreling around, frothing manically and kicking lumps out of everybody à la Roy Keane, but Carrick has been largely excellent in possession this season – with an impressively high tackle rate to boot.

Frankly, we don’t care if you disagree – we love him.

MF – Yaya Toure, Man City: The big man that puts in the big shifts when they’re bloody well needed. Toure’s the size of a wardrobe and as nimble as a housefly when it suits. Has the attributes to best opponents in every capacity. You try to rough him up a bit; he flattens you. You try and beat him for pace; he leaves you standing, etc, etc. When they’ve really needed something doing, City have relied on him more than almost anyone else both this season and the last.

MF – Clint Dempsey, Fulham: His fourth season in West London has quite easily been his most productive – sticking away a record 17 Premier League goals for Fulham from (very advanced) midfield, a total which is somewhere approaching miraculous. Okay, maybe not miraculous, but pretty darn tootin’ impressive. Will this summer see Dempsey up-sticks, move on and try his hand at one of the bigger fishes? We’d have a groat or two on it.

Narrowly missing out: Juan Mata, Ramires, Mikel Arteta, Gareth Bale, Alexander Song, Antonio Valencia.

FW – David Silva, Man City: Silva has been in semi-hibernation since approximately the point at which the clocks went forward, but for the several months before and roughly four games since April the dinky Spaniard has had Pies making awkward sexy noises during Match of the Day – the pass for Dzeko against Manchester United *uurghh*, the rolled gold he put on a plate for James Milner against Blackburn *aaaah* – and for that, we thank him.

FW – Wayne Rooney, Man Utd: Same old same old from Rooney. Another 27 goals and no-one bats an eyelid.

FW – Robin van Persie, Arsenal: 30 goals, several of them truly beautiful, 11 assists, manful displays, etc, etc, etc. No real explanation needed. He’s done quite well this year has our Robin.

Narrowly missing out: Emmanuel Adebayor, Sergio Aguero, Yakubu, Stephane Sessegnon, Grant Holt, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba.

Right. That’s our ‘Team of the Season’ for 2011/12, fancy letting us have a butcher’s at yours?

Posted in Featured, Opinion, Photos, Top 10s & lists

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  1. de gea? says:


  2. Nicko says:

    Some kind of joke? No walker? No Cole? No Parker? Aguerro? Scholes? As for De Gea… Terrible choices nearly everywhere

  3. Danny says:

    I’ll admit i was one of De Gea’s critics earlier this season but you just can’t argue with some of his performances.
    Not the finished article. Not Van Der Sar. But definitely has potential

  4. Nienke says:

    I think I would replace Rooney for Aguero. In the end Rooneys goals didn’t mean a thing (no trophys for United). Also, I would NEVER put De Gea in the goal! He had a terrible first few months, he has cost Man. U points that, in the end, would’ve made them champions. I’d go for Tim Krul or Joe Hart.

  5. lfc_man says:

    Except for Cities midfielders their hasn’t been all that much to speak off in terms of outstanding midfielders. Might have gone for Parker instead of Carrick but good choices overall

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good list Pies but can’t understand Carrick’s selection (Cabaye perhaps?) or Koscielny for that matter (IMO he is good but relies on a partnership with Vermaelen to truly be considered top 4).

    Personally i’d go with; Hart, Skrtel, Kompany, Walker, Cabaye, Silva, Dempsey, Toure, Van Persie, Aguero, Rooney.

  7. David Allison says:

    @Nicko: Ah, the old “No Parker?” rebuttal – tired of hearing it. Finally an XI that has been given some consideration. Dempsey, for one, as been missing from far too many.

    I would swap out Silva for Aguero given that the latter has been consistently excellent all season – but I can accept your man-crush-based reasons (hey, sex sells!)

  8. Anthony says:


  9. farmanian96 says:

    chris why did u choose 4 center backs?? and i think mata is a better selection than carrick….

  10. Liver_pool Fan says:

    I dont understand why Jordy Henderson doesnt get more credit, that man quietly did more for his team than Silva could ever do. He dictated the tempo EVERY GAME he played

  11. Anonymous says:

    if you were going to choose a midfielder from man utd. valencia would have been a far better choice then carrick

  12. Nathan says:

    I think we’d still be arguing over a Premier League 18… or 23… or 100.

    I’d have picked the 11 based on consistency over the course of 38 games, Silva went more or less missing for a period, so would stick Aguero in there ahead of the Spaniard. Hart over De Gea. Mata over Carrick. Honourable mention to Cabaye, absolutely brilliant.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cabaye instead of Carrick, the newcastle midfield completly outplayed man u.

  14. whatever says:

    lol, make a real team and post it (4 central defenders????), de gea as keeper when the man has sight problems and i could go on…..

  15. Tom says:

    Mata deserved it more than Silva, he was more consistent

  16. Coolie says:

    @ Liver_pool Fan – Yes and thats why Liverpool finished 8th.

    Cant agree with De Gea at all, how can someone get in a team of the year who was dropped as club first choice keeper?? Hart by far and even anyone from Krul, Vorm and Al Habsi instead of De Gea.

    Toss up between Aguero and Silva but that pass to Dzeko is the one of the greatest passes I’ve ever seen, right up there with Kaka’s in CL final against Liverpool. Pure Sex

  17. Stevok says:

    Funnily enough, I’ve seen De Gea listed in a few Flops of the Year XI lists recently, which I thought was pretty harsh, seeing as after a wobbly start he’s been as good as anyone since.
    But to be honest, I can’t think of any goalkeeper who you could regard as a flop. Shay Given’s the only keeper with a decent reputation near the bottom of the table though….

  18. Stewps says:

    Hmm, tricky. I’d go for Suarez, Evra, Ferdinand (R), Terry and Barton.

  19. Nicko says:

    Ok, I’ll give it a stab…


    • Chris says:

      @Nicko: Fine, a decent selection there. Personally, I wouldn’t pick Barry, but that’s an indication of how subjective this is. Nothing terrible out either XI.

  20. Nicko says:

    May have included one too many a player. Drop scholes.

  21. Brucey says:

    GK: Hart (Sub- Krul)
    RB: Walker (Sub- Richards)
    CB: Koscielny (Sub- Coloccini)
    CB: Kompany (Sub- Agger)
    LB: Baines (Sub- Enrique)
    MF: Ramires (Sub- Valencia)
    MF: Arteta (Sub- Silva/Allen)
    MF: Toure (Sub- Song)
    MF: Dempsey (Sub- Mata)
    FW: Van Persie (Sub- Rooney)
    FW: Aguero (Sub- Holt)

  22. BallToHand says:

    @Liver_pool Fan LOL

  23. Brucey says:

    GK: Hart (Vorm)
    RB: Walker (Richards)
    CB: Koscielny (Agger)
    CB: Kompany (Coloccini)
    LB: Baines (Enrique)
    MF: Ramires (Valencia)
    MF: Arteta (Allen/Britton)
    MF: Toure (Song/Silva)
    MF: Dempsey (Mata)
    FW: van Persie (Rooney)
    FW: Aguero (Holt)

    My second choices are in brackets.

  24. Bob says:

    De Gea? Fuck off.

  25. Anonymous says:

    @ Liver_pool Fan

    Not sure if troll or not…

  26. Mr Sensible says:

    I’m a United fan and must admit De Gea doesn’t deserve to be in the list, he has been great since the new year and hopefully will be one of the best keepers in the world but he has also made howlers this season (although it’s completely understandable). Hart really has been quality throughout the season and has to be the first choice.

    Also choosing 4 CBs is a bit of a cop-out, you can’t just ignore full backs even if none of them have been exceptional this season.

    Glad to see Carrick in the list, why he doesn’t start for England is a complete mystery, guess who was England’s man of the match last time we won a competitive knock out game? How some people can’t see what Carrick offers United or the fact that since joining us we have won 4 PL titles and reached 3 CL finals isn’t just a coincidence.

    I guess Rooney does deserve to be in the list but as a United fan I have been frustrated with him because I know he can do a lot more, his build up play and attempts at through balls through the middle have been shocking this season. Maybe Aguero should be picked instead, he did great for a first season in the Pl, people forget how young he is and he did score the biggest goal of the entire season.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ross Turnbull
    Rafael – Mertesacker – Roger Johnson – Fabio
    Henderson – Charlie Adam – tim cahill
    Franco Di Santo – Andy Carroll – Torres

  28. Anonymous says:

    Paul Robinson

    Rafael – Mertesacker – Roger Johnson – Fabio

    Henderson – Charlie Adam – Tim Cahill

    Downing – Carroll – Torres

  29. Pete says:

    Paul RObinson
    Rafael – Mertesacker – Roger Johnson – Fabio
    Henderson – Charlie Adam – Tim Cahill
    Torres – Carroll – Downing

  30. Abhishek says:

    Interesting selections. Personally I do not agree with Carrick, Rooney and Koscielny. Would pick Cabaye, Aguero and Walker in my team.

    BTW, how many goals have Rooney scored from the penalty spot through the season.

    Disclaimer – Not trying to wind anyone up.

  31. Rob says:

    Instead of the Olympic football, there should be a competition between the top league XI’s.
    Premier League XI v La Liga XI, Serie a V Bundesliga XI how great would that be?
    Switch Hart with De Gea though, and Tiote or Ramires with Carrick too.

  32. john says:

    DROGBA anyone?

  33. sleeba says:

    No Cech, not even a sniff? Without him Chelsea would be fighting relegation this season.

  34. zack says:

    De Gea saved more points than he cost united. saying he cost united the title is bollocks. As for Henderson holy shit what a let down. HE has consistently done nothing. I don’t think anyone will ever agree on one set 11.

  35. Foran44 says:

    Ben Arfa deserves a shout surely…even in narrowly missing out?

  36. Neil says:

    Dempsey over Mata? Really? I know that there are many Yanks who read this blog, but really?

  37. Miguel - NYC says:

    Carrick is not a world class player (not even half the player Yaya Toure is).
    Mata, Silva, Ramires, Barry and Arteta are way better players.
    Players like Carrick are the reason why English football is stagnant and the reason United crashed early in Europe.
    Carrick starting for England would be giving up the midfield to any of the top teams in Europe.
    Btw, I agree with Nick’s selections more…but he did pick 12 players.

    My midfield and front lines would look like this: Barry, Toure, Silva, Mata and Rooney, RVP (with Kun just missing out)

  38. Kody says:

    Really disappointed with your line up, carrick… really… no kun?

  39. Sameer says:

    Is this some kind of Joke? Seriously? De Gae on goal? Ur ManUtd bias just oozes out here. Do me a favor, punch that SAF poster for me.

  40. Grant says:

    It’s actually Dempsey’s 6th season with Fulham. He joined in January 2007.

  41. Wynton says:


    Coloccini Kompany Konscielny

    Ramires Toure Scholes Silva

    Van Persie Rooney Agüero

    Substitutes: De Gea, Coloccini, Walker, Skrtel, Arteta, Song, Mata, Bale, Dempsey, Papiss Cisse, Holt

  42. Matt says:

    O.k Gk-Ruddy, Def-Colocinni, Kompany, Baines, Walker, Mid-Mata, Y.Toure, Dempsey, Cabaye, For- Augero, Holt.

  43. Hoops88 says:

    FFS ppl lets get real here.
    Manager: Alan Pardew
    Kompany(C)(5) Skrtl(37)
    Valencia(25) Koscielny(6)

    Yaya Toure(42)
    Parker(8) Dempsey(14)

    Rooney(10) Van Persie(11)

    Subs: (Gk)Vorm (CB)Ivanovic (CB)Dawson (LB)Baines (CM)Song (CAM)Mata (ST)Aguero

  44. Grant says:

    Neil, Dempsey scored more goals than anyone in the league not named Van Persie, Aguero, or Rooney. He deserves to be in the team the same way Lampard did when he was scoring all those goals in seasons past.

  45. Anonymous says:

    @Miguel – NYC

    “Players like Carrick are the reason why English football is stagnant and the reason United crashed early in Europe.”

    You mean the same guy who has played an important role in United reaching 3 CL finals and winning one of them in the past 5 seasons?

    What other players like Carrick in English football are there, the type of player that is technically good on the ball, with great positional sense, comfortable in tight spaces, has a good range of passing and is a great team player (basically the opposite of Stevie Me).

  46. Ross says:

    Stewart Downing actually had a pretty good year as far as playmaking, he deserves MUCH more credit

  47. Adam says:

    Not an awful selection, but I feel there are some errors there (I’ll also try to avoid picking 4 center backs)

    Walker Coloccini Kompany Cole
    Silva Cabaye Yaya Toure Dempsey
    Aguero Van Persie

    Ivanovic Koscielny Agger Baines
    Ben Arfa Arteta Song Mata
    Rooney Papiss Cisse

  48. sid says:


  49. Anonymous says:

    where’s suarez??

  50. Anonymous says:

    did you watch the epl this season?? no newcastle players?

  51. ffhsjdkfnb says:

    I would say anyone who hasn’t put Rooney is thier team as 2nd highest PL goal scorer is a fucking knob. even though he himself is a knob and will once again prove to be England’s over reliant thorn in the side in the euros

  52. Luke says:

    What? No J. Barton?

  53. Jarren says:

    De Gea’s a great keeper.

    Yes, he has his moments.

    He is 21 years of age.

    To those who doubt him, what were their top keepers doing when THEY were 21?

    I’m just saying, David’s had a lot of shit for such a young goalkeeper.

    I have full confidence in him, for every season to come.

  54. Jarren says:

    …and just to even things up, yes I think that Hart is one of the world’s best right now.

    He will do England proud, I am sure of that.

  55. Mucho says:

    You can’t judge a goalkeeper by his goals per game ratio or his clean sheets. Statistically, Krul and Joe Hart have been the best in the league but you also have to take the quality of their clubs defence into consideration. For me, Michel Vorm has been the outstanding goalkeeper in the EPL this season. I am in no way trying to undermine Ashley Williams and co, but compared to the defenders of Manchester City and Newcastle, they still have a long way to go.

    Anyway here’s my shot at the top starting xi

    Vorm (Swansea)
    Ivanovic (Chelsea)
    Olsson (West Brom)
    Kompany (City)
    Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham)
    Valencia (United)
    Lucas Leiva (Because Liverpool missed him so much)
    Fellaini (Everton)
    Dempsey (Fulham)
    Ba (Newcastle)
    RVP (Arsenal)

    See what I did there?

  56. Anonymous says:

    Walker Kompany Skrtel Baines
    Silva Toure Dempsey Mata
    RVP Cisse

    bench (or honourable mentions)
    Hart, Collocini, Parker, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Rooney, Holt.

  57. McRico says:

    Doesn’t take much this season to get on this list.

    Very poor quality season. Lack of consistancy from all teams.

    A few additions in the summer should make the EPL exciting.

  58. Joe says:

    Interesting choices, I was surprised to see Heitinga being considered. I haven’t followed Everton much this season but I thought he wasn’t doig so well there. For all those deriding De Gea, Hart may be an impressive stopper but if you look at the stats, you’ll see that the beardy one is far more succesful at distributing the ball, which is an underrated part of goalkeeping. My list:

    Gk: Hart (despite my above argument, we can’t ignire the fact that De Gea was dropped for a spell in january-you couldn’t imagine City doing that with Hart. Would love to pick my compatriot Krul but he did let in 5 against us at the cottage)

    RB: Walker ( because he’s an actual right back)
    CB: Skrtel
    CB: Kompany
    LB: Jose Enrique

    RM: Valencia
    CM: Toure
    CM: Dembele (shameless bias, I know)
    LM: Dempsey

    ST: Aguero ( Rooney loses points for being a divvy and getting a stupid red card for England)
    ST: Van Persie (still hate him for the World Cup but can’t argue with 30 goals)

    Subs: Vorm, Coloccini, Cole, Silva, Moses, Scholes, Progrebnyak

  59. [Please Insert Name Here] says:

    Truly awful list. Take it your a united fan

  60. lurker says:

    ali al habsi. best keeper no one talks about. put him behind a solid back four and no goals will be conceded.

    had a laugh at this list. cheers.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Al Habsi (singlehandedly kept Wigan afloat at times)
    Phil Jones
    Y Toure
    Van Persie

    Bench. Hart, Richards, Cabaye, Sigurdsson, P Cisse

  62. Ali says:

    WOW this list sucks, De Gea?! really?!
    well mine is Cech
    Kompany, Ivanovic, coloccini
    Y toure, Mata, Silva
    Torres, RVP, Aguero, Drogba

  63. K says:

    After reading some of the comments + teams you’ve just got to laugh. Most people dont have a clue and are mainly influenced by media. The comments where is Parker made me laugh. Hes not there because hes shit. Carrick is a brilliant player one of the best midfielders in the epl but I suppose he dosent have the heart of a parker looooooooooool

  64. Dont Worry says:

    Wtf de gea is good piss off you guys he had like 3 bad games and killed it

  65. Jose Sanz says:

    The question you have to ask yourself is who would you have on your team watching the players’ display this season. So I would choose the following:

    GK: Hart
    DR: Walker DC: Kompany DC: Cahill DL: Cole
    MR: Ramires MC: Dempsey MC: Toure ML: Bale
    SS: Aguero
    FW: Van Persie

    How these players would work in a team in reality, i’m not sure.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Not many shouts for Sessegnon… I thought he did well.

  67. WildScotsman6 says:

    No shout out for Sessegnon (spelling?)… thought the man did very well… like a sir.

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