Part 2 of our team of the season below. Check out part 1 here.
MF: MICHAEL ESSIEN (Chelsea)
A rock wherever he plays, Essien is the embodiment of the perfect modern midfielder – in the eyes of managers, if not fans. I’m pretty sure all Premiership bosses would choose to poach Essien above any other player in Chelsea’s rich squad, even Drogba – Essien is strong, can run and tackle all day, knows when to play it simple, is good going forward and chips in with crucial goals. And he’s improved his discipline no end – just five yellow cards in the Premiership this season.
Honourable mention: Gilberto Silva (Arsenal) Not many bright spots for Arsenal this season, but Gilberto has had a good campaign and deserves a mention. He doesn’t rant and rave but he’s a quietly effective leader. He also scored 11 goals in all competitions, way more than he’s managed in England until now.
MF: MIKEL ARTETA (Everton)
Everton’s player of the season gets much less of the spotlight than compatriots Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso, but he had a better season than either and was the key to Everton securing a Uefa Cup place. Bigger clubs than Everton will be looking very closely at the little Spaniard this summer, although it seems likely that he will commit to Goodison soon.
Honourable mention: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) Started the season brilliantly but looked tired in 2007. Still young though – his potential is scary.
MF: PAUL SCHOLES (Man Utd)
My favourite player to watch in the whole Premiership shows no sign of losing his magic touch. This season the ginger ninja had his best campaign in years. And at 32 he still has a couple more years left in him. Still a shit tackler though.
Honourable mention: Frank Lampard (Chelsea) Yes I know we’re all supposed to hate him and point and snigger and shout ‘Oi, Fat Frank!’ but come on, he scored 11 goals and had 11 assists at the heart of a team that was, until quite recently, in the running for four trophies. Still a mystery to me why everyone hates him so much.
MF: CRISTIANO RONALDO (Man Utd)
PFA Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, Barclays Player of the Season, Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Man Utd’s Players’ Player of the Yearâ€¦ you get the picture.
Honourable mention: Gary Speed (Bolton) The evergreen Speed keeps on going – he truly is the Premiership’s original Duracell bunny. He’ll be 38 this September and probably has one more season in him, although don’t be surprised if he’s still playing in the top flight at 40.
CF: DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea)
The best centre forward in the Premiership tormented central defenders all season, although he should cut out the theatrics if he wants to be loved by fans. Without Drogba’s goals, Chelsea would have struggled to finish above Arsenal and Liverpool in the league.
Honourable mention: Benni McCarthy (Blackburn) Adjusted to the Prem in no time at all. Could he be playing alongside Drogba at the Bridge next season?
CF: DIMITAR BERBATOV (Spurs)
Spurs were a hell of a lot of fun to watch this season and that’s mostly down to this man, who seemed to get stronger and stronger as the season wore on. Can Spurs hang on to him though? I’m sure Man Utd fans would love to see him in a red shirt next season.
Honourable mention: Carlos Tevez (West Ham) Fair play to Tevez for almost single-handedly dragging West Ham out of the relegation mire.