It’s that time of the season when talk about the PFA Team of the Year reaches fever pitch, and everyone from players to fans will be eager to have their say. The fact we all have contrasting opinions is what makes the beautiful game what it is. However, you’d expect more sense from an experienced and extremely well paid pundit. Graeme Souness’s selections are arguably his worst decision since planting the Galatasaray flag at Fenerbahce.
For what it’s worth, I think Souness often talks a lot of sense. He’s personally in my top two Sky Sports pundits and his reaction to the infamous ‘did you smash it’ line shows that he’s not a bad person either. But his TOTY selection is mind-boggling.
In fairness, it’s hard to argue with at least half of his selections while another two or three at least deserve to be mentioned in the discussion. Nevertheless, there are a couple of inclusions that make you wonder what football he’s actually been watching this term. Similarly, a couple of notable omissions will leave you scratching your head.
His team reads De Gea; Danny Rose; Toby Alderweireld; Daley Blind; Branislav Ivanovic; Eric Dier; Dele Alli; Dimitri Payet; Romelu Lukaku; Harry Kane; Jamie Vardy.
Straight away, Ivanovic stands out like a sore thumb. The Chelsea defender has picked up under interim boss Guus Hiddink, but his first half of the campaign was as successful as Steve McClaren’s Dutch accent. As great as the Serb has been in previous seasons, at least three or four right-backs could be picked ahead of this term, especially given how well Chelsea’s title defence went.
The other obvious issue is the inclusion of just one Leicester payer. I’ve had to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong about the Foxes, who will now almost certainly win the league. Vardy aside, Souey has turned a blind eye to those achievements, leaving out the likes of Riyad Mahrez and N’golo Kante. Quite frankly, it makes the Sky Sports pundit look like a bit of a Kante.
Daley Blind getting the nod over teammate Chris Smalling is a strange one too. Of course, you could then argue that a player from another club deserves it more than Smalling. However, to choose the weaker component in one club’s central pairing whilst leaving out the stronger one is simply baffling.
For my money, Souey is a great pundit. But it’s come as no surprise that half of Twitter have sent pelters regarding this selection. Maybe next year Graeme.