This week the 2013/14 Premier League season comes to a close. Here at TSN.ca we will take a look back at the season by bringing together a panel of experts to help pick the best 50 players of the season. This list is based purely on their performances this season. It is not a list of who we think the best 50 players in the league are.
Fourteen members were asked to take part (panel below) and submit their top 20 players of the season. Their list was then placed into a scoring system and then the totals determined the overall positions in the top 50.
Each day this week we will release the list in 10s. The sport is very much about opinions, so please feel free to write your own list in the comments below.
You can read part one of the list here.
You can read part two of the list here.
Here is how the Top 20 were scored –
1st place – 30pts; 2nd place – 25; 3rd place – 22; 4th place – 20; 5th place – 18; 6th place – 17; 7th place – 15; 8th place – 14; 9th place – 13; 10th place – 12; 11th place – 10; 12th place – 9; 13th place – 8; 14th place – 7; 15th place – 6; 16th place – 5; 17th place – 4; 18th place – 3; 19th place – 2; 20th place – 1.
Six members of TSN's soccer team were on the panel and were joined by eight other members from around the world who were asked to represent their specific field. Joining our staff members were two outstanding statistical experts, Jonny Blain and Simon Gleave, two brilliant reporters/commentators covering the league, Stewart Coggin and Paul Sarahs and two extremely knowledgeable tactics writers, Tim Palmer and Ritesh from the False9 website and a man who covers the development side of the league like no other, Aidan from the England Youth website. In addition, also involved was arguably one of the knowledgeable writers covering the league in the world, Michael Cox, aka Zonal Marking.
Follow the Panel on Twitter
Aidan from England Youth – https://twitter.com/englandyouth
Jonny Blain - https://twitter.com/jonoblain
Noel Butler - https://twitter.com/TheSoccerNoel
Stewart Coggin - https://twitter.com/StewartCoggin
Michael Cox - https://twitter.com/Zonal_Marking
Jason DeVos - https://twitter.com/jasondevos
Simon Gleave - https://twitter.com/SimonGleave
Kristian Jack - https://twitter.com/KristianJack
Tim Palmer - https://twitter.com/timhpal
Ritesh from The False9 - https://twitter.com/TheFalse_9
Paul Sarahs - https://twitter.com/PaulSarahs
Pete Schaad - https://twitter.com/PeteSchaad
Gareth Wheeler - https://twitter.com/WheelerTSN
Luke Wileman - https://twitter.com/LukeWileman
30. Petr Cech (Chelsea) – “He is one of the best in the world,” said his manager Jose Mourinho this season. Not all that comes out of the mouth of Jose is correct, but it is hard to argue with Cech's incredible consistency. Prone to a high-profile error now and then, he, perhaps, will never be seen as reaching the real elite level of all-time goalkeepers, but he had been outstanding for Chelsea's new-look tight defence this season. The best goalkeeper in the Premier League, according to the panel.
29. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) – Lukaku didn't score as many goals this season for Everton as he did for West Brom last season, but his second successive loan campaign was very successful. The Belgian simply grew as a player under Roberto Martinez, linking up better with teammates and playing any role that was asked of him by his manager. This was never more apparent than at home to Arsenal last month when his lethal runs from out wide showed his maturation as a forward and caused many problems for the opposing defence.
28. Gareth Barry (Everton) – Last August, Martinez knocked on Barry's door and wanted a chat. In his living room, he convinced the Englishman to come to Everton and be a part of his new-look Toffees. Barry was the perfect player for Martinez's system, allowing the full backs to push on, knowing a defensive-minded, ball-playing central midfielder can drop deep and split the centre-backs. The Spanish manager has raved about him all season and, unlike Lukaku, looks likely to turn the loan into a full-time move this summer.
27. Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle) – Cabaye left for PSG at the end of January, but had left his stamp on the Premier League, guiding Newcastle to safety and allowing the club to be one of the worst in the league since and not lose their top-10 status. The French midfielder was a true difference maker at St James' Park, happy to play in the deep-lying playmaker role where he tore teams to shreds or, as he did at Old Trafford, just off the striker where he was equally effective. A Brilliant passer and set-piece taker, Cabaye isn't just missed by Newcastle fans, the Premier League misses him, too.
26. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – Simply one of the most underappreciated talents in the league. Playing for such a big club, in a high-profile league, it really is quite remarkable how little attention Ivanovic gets. The Serbian has been brilliant this season and has improved considerably as a right back under Mourinho, where he isn't required to make too many inroads into the opponents' final third. At centre-back, he might be even better and he was absolutely magnificent in Chelsea's 2-0 win at Liverpool last month.
25. Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) – One of the most improved players of the season, although, he was excellent in the second half of last season, also. Mertesacker has been a great mentor to Laurent Koscielny and the two have formed a strong partnership in central defence. The German also brings something to Arsenal that is very important – a winning mentality. He knows what it takes to get to a level that the Gunners remain too far away from. Far too many empty promises come from that dressing room and sidelines, but Mertesacker is not guilty of any of them. Easy to look at his performances in those away thrashings and question his spot but collectively Arsenal were pathetic on those days.
24. Vincent Kompany (Man City) – Not a vintage year for the captain of Man City, where too many mistakes led to goals and red cards, however, Kompany continues to be one of the game's finest defenders, who makes players around him better. At the moment, he is the face of the team, but if they want to progress to to the level of a true European powerhouse, they need to find at least one centre-back who is even better than the Belgian.
23. Samir Nasri (Man City) – The Frenchman had lost his way under Roberto Mancini and the Italian manager told the media that ‘he was wasting his talent'. Frustrated at a lack of playing time and his narrow system, Nasri was unleashed by new manager Manuel Pellegrini and has had a great season at the Etihad. City are blessed with playmakers behind their strikers, who have an appreciation of space and can pick key passes in and around the box. Nasri is no David Silva, but he is now a star on whom City can rely heavily.
22. Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) – Every season a player is promoted and then makes a name for himself by becoming such an important member of a team that stays up. Last season, it was Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, who led all players in tackles and interceptions. This season it is Jedinak who, remarkably, leads all players (who started more than 58 per cent of games) in those categories. The Aussie has been the heartbeat of a Crystal Palace team that was on life support in November. Throughout their struggles he was excellent and was even better when they molded into a solid team, around him, under Tony Pulis. It was a fitting moment that Jedinak scored the penalty at West Ham that won the game 1-0 and assured the Eagles of another year in the top flight.
21. Ross Barkley (Everton) - With all due respect to Eden Hazard, the PFA Young Player of the Year Award was made for a player like Barkley. Few had heard about the midfielder this time last year and the Scouser had a breakthrough campaign, playing with a youthful energy that helps him glide by opponents on the ball with an arrogant swagger not seen enough by a young Englishman since Paul Gascoigne. He is, however, more than just an attacking midfielder who can score spectacular goals, as he isn't afraid to get involved in the physical side of the game, much like Steven Gerrard was at his age. The hype machine could develop quickly with those comparisons, but he has a manager and a club that will keep him grounded for now. It'll be a crime if he isn't named in Roy Hodgson's squad for Brazil.