Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Wednesday June 29 2011
With pre-season training just days away now, the sun is really starting to set on our Premier League adventure.
Eager to get away from all of the transfer speculation, I sat down today and looked back on last season - like so many of you, I wasn't that impressed with the general standard of performances from the opposition last season.
That said, there were some great ones, but there were some bloody awful ones as well, so I present to you both my Premier League Dream XI and Nightmare XI:
GK - Petr Cech. Not been at his best for a while now, but he produced two great performances against us.
DL - Leighton Baines. Demonstrated just what a great player he is on his day, especially going forward as Everton pummeled us at Goodison Park.
DC - James Collins. Broke 'Pool hearts with a last minute winner at Villa Park.
DC - Abou Diaby. Principally a midfielder, Diaby played as an emergency centre back at the Emirates and was immaculate. An absolute beast/tank.
DR - Kyle Walker. His loan move to Villa has awakened everyone to his ability. Caused his all sorts of trouble with his attacking play at Bloomfield Road. England's future right back.
ML - David Silva. Made the difference at Bloomfield Road early on in the season, and tormented us with his grace of touch at Eastlands in January.
MC - Scott Parker. Ran the show twice against us. Nearly kept West Ham up single handedly and definitely did not deserve to be relegated.
MC - Luka Modric. A genius with the ball at his feet. A pleasure to watch.
MR - Theo Walcott. Tore Stephen Crainey apart at the Emirates in August, scoring a hat-trick. Interestingly, Crainey bounced back from that nightmare afternoon to enjoy a decent season, whilst Walcott was in out of the Arsenal team for the rest of the season because of injuries and form.
SC - Didier Drogba. Included because of his performance at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea ripped the Seasiders to shreds in the opening 45 minutes. Ian Evatt said afterwards that he had never come up against anyone as big or as strong as Drogba.
SC - Javier Hernandez. People said that Ryan Giggs was the reason for Man Utd's comeback against us. I disagree; for me it was all about Chicarito. A natural goalscorer if there ever was one.
GK - Chris Kirkland. Only really one contender here. Had a nightmare against us on the opening day and has found himself out of favour ever since.
DL - Jamie Carragher. Played at left back at Anfield and was left looking like a fish out of water by the Seasiders' pulsating and pacey attack.
DC - Chris Smalling. Everyone raves about him, but he endured a very shaky night at Bloomfield Road.
DC - Emmerson Boyce. Wigan's defence was a shambles on the opening day, but their performance was made all the more hilarious by the fact that Boyce was voted as the sponsors' man of the match despite being subbed off at the break!
DR - Gonzalo Jara. The Baggies were already a goal and a man down at Bloomfield Road in a live Sky fixture when Jara took Luke Varney out with one of the most malicious challenges you will ever see on a football pitch.
ML - Andrey Arshavin. Gone from being adored to despised by Arsenal fans in just twelve months. Has been accused of being lazy, but certainly wasn't lazy against us at the Emirates as he constantly threw himself down to win freekicks etc.
MC - Mohamed Diame. Gave it large before we played the Latics on the opening day, saying how they'd get revenge after our League Cup win against them. He was subbed off at half time.
MC - Carlos Tevez. He's in here as an attacking midfielder. Scored two goals that should have been disallowed at Bloomfield Road, but had an absolute mare at Eastlands, missing enough chances to win ten games never mind one!
MR - Ashley Young. Worth nearly £20M my arse. Was embarrassing against us at Bloomfield Road.
SC - Asamoah Gyan. Enjoyed a great debut season for Sunderland, but missed chance after chance after chance as the Seasiders performed a smash and grab job at the Stadium of Light in December.
SC - Wayne Rooney. Subbed off after an hour at Bloomfield Road having had an absolute mare.
Who would you put in your dream and nightmare XIs?
Date:Wednesday June 29 2011
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Full time: Blackpool 1-0 Huddersfield (Saturday March 22 2014)
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