GK: Petr Čech
He may no longer be the Chelsea’s first choice, but let’s face it, there aren’t many teams in the world whose starting XI wouldn’t include Čech if they had the choice. With his height and agility, Čech has made hardly any mistakes whatsoever in his ten years in the Premier League, and there can be no complaints from fans at his service. A fantastic servant with perhaps one of the Premier League’s wisest brains to add.
RB: Branislav Ivanovic
Another blue comes in at right-back, this time in the form of Branislav Ivanovic. Now, this time last year I probably would have put Bacary Sagna in here, but the Frenchman has not yet managed to make the Manchester City right-back position his own, and so I’d view Sagna in this team as not quite fair. So, I’ve gone for Ivanovic who has been at his best so far this season. As a Centre-back for much of his career but with the power and energy to get forward, Ivanovic is perfect for Chelsea as he is great defensively but can additionally link up with the attacking trio Mourinho loves to play.
CB: Per Mertesacker
Mertesacker only just makes this team, having turned 30 just a few weeks ago. Upon him joining Arsenal in 2011, many claimed he didn’t have the pace to be successful in the Premier League, but he’s certainly shored up and toughened up the Arsenal defence since his arrival. It wasn’t long ago that Arsenal fans used to dread every corner and throw-in, but such an issue has been reduced by the aerial presence of the man his fans call the BFG.
CB: John Terry
If I was writing a list of underrated players, I would probably include John Terry there as well. You see the quality of this 34 year-old whenever he’s not there, and I for one believe England would have done better if he was there at the World Cup. In big games, I feel there is no better centre-back, just look at how he played against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal last season.
LB: Paul Konchesky
I’ll admit Konchesky isn’t one of the most flashy, pacy, or powerful left-backs in the League, but he’s got all the positional awareness and experience his club Leicester need to thrive. He hasn’t always been at his best over the past four to five seasons, but he has this year, and at 33 he’s proving that a player can hit his peak again, even after a disappointing spell at Liverpool.
CM: Gareth Barry
Towards the end of his time at Manchester City, Barry looked somewhat lost, as he was pushed out and unlikely to get a starting place ahead of the dynamic Fernandinho. However, the loan move to Everton which followed only added to his repertoire as he put in some marvellous midfield displays to help Everton to fifth. Technically gifted in spite of his primarily defensive role, Barry is one man to never underestimate.
CM: Frank Lampard
Many thought Lampard was past Premier League fitness when he was released by Chelsea in the summer, but since joining Manchester City on loan, he’s looked very much capable. Technical ability and his excellent timing seem never to leave Frank, and it was a typical Lampard goal which saw him level for his new club against his former club last month.
CM: Yaya Toure
I’ll admit that few of these players over 30 would get in a current best Premier League XI, but Yaya Toure would in a significant number of people’s books. Few adjectives haven’t been used to describe Yaya Toure on the playing field so I won’t bore you with those, but believe it, he is a certified game changer on his day. The goals he scored provides a great deal too, and I certainly feel he’s at his best when in the centre of an attacking trio with a double pivot behind him
AM: Tomas Rosicky
Rosicky, a Czech international, is one of those players who arguably gets better with age. Technically superb, Arsene Wenger appears to love the balance he brings in the big games, and he’s always a threat from free-kicks and corners too. Arguably one of the most underrated players in the League, he may struggle to play as much this season due to the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, but this is still one potentially decisive player.
ST: Robin Van Persie
It’s been an odd last 12 months for Robin van Persie. Idolised by almost everyone in the years of Fergie, but his injury-hit 2013/14 calmed down the fan-fare. Still, van Persie is deadly, and probably one of the most technically gifted of the Premier League era. Like Rosicky, a starting place may be harder to come by with loan signing Falcao now in the Manchester United squad, but someone with van Persie’s ability shouldn’t fear this, he should relish it.
ST: Emmanuel Adebayor
Many don’t think of Adebayor as 30, but he is and he’s still a regular starter for Tottenham. As controversial as he is a respected Premier League scorer (see Arsenal fans), Adebayor still threatens Premier League defences. He came in slightly raw and not so confident, but now his movement and reading of the game is arguably his biggest strength. Tottenham fans still owe Tim Sherwood for bringing him back in from the cold last season.
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow Joshua on Twitter @Joshsalad365
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