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Opinion Piece: 2022/23 Premier League Team of the Season (So Far)

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Premier League 2022/23 Team of the Season…. So Far

Now we’re just past the halfway stage of the season I decided to sit down and think about my team of the season so far, which, in all honesty, has proven much more difficult than anticipated.

The temptation when creating these team sheets is to club together a Garth Crooks-style, Frankenstein eleven of players that would be incapable of ever playing together on the pitch.

Therefore, I’ve tried to remain realistic and have avoided crowbarring players into unnatural positions and formations, but instead I’ve aimed to pull together a coherent eleven I believe would be capable of challenging for the Premier League.

So, without further ado, here’s my 2022/23 Premier League Team of the Season…so far.

Goalkeeper: Nick Pope (NEW)

Nick Pope was the obvious choice in goal for me. Newcastle have the best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding only fifteen goals this season, and this is in no small part down to the gargantuan goalkeeper.

Signed from Burnley in the summer for a cut-price £10m, we all knew Pope was a great commander of his box and shot stopper, but it’s his unexpected ability with the ball at his feet and his Neuer-esque sweeping which has impressed me the most.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for a Man Utd fan like myself), his outfield antics have cost him a place in the Carabao Cup final after his red card against Liverpool, but generally, they have been instrumental to Newcastle’s defensive stability.

Honourable mentions: Bernd Leno (FUL), David Raya (BRE)

Left Back: Oleksandr Zinchenko (ARS)

I still can’t work out why Pep Guardiola let this man leave. He certainly didn’t garner the respect he deserved at City, but since joining Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal he has been a revelation.

The Ukranain has contributed immensely to the Gunners style-of-play and has brought with him the winning mentality and experience crucial to a title-winning season, leading them to the top of the Premier League.

If the Gunners do go on to win the title, I think Pep might stand to rue this sale.

Honourable mentions: Luke Shaw (MUN), Pervis Estupiñán (BHA)

Centre Back: Lisandro Martinez (MUN)

Jamie Carragher must have been doing his best Alan Hansen ‘You can’t win anything with kids’ impression when he stated that Lisandro Martinez was ‘too small’ to play in the Premier League.

We all love an underdog story, and since these comments the affectionately named ‘Butcher of Amsterdam’ has been imperious, proving his (many) doubters wrong over and over again, while making Carragher look foolish in the process.

Honourable mentions: Gabriel Magalhães (ARS), Ben Mee (BRE)

Centre Back: Sven Botman (NEW)

I’m not sure what they are doing in Holland, but the Netherlands seem to have a mass-production line of World Class centre-backs, giving rise to Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs De Ligt and Sven Botman, among others.

In my opinion the best centre-back in the Premier League this season, Botman forms part of the formidable Newcastle backline which heavily features in this list.

His size, calmness on the ball and ability to play out from the back has greatly contributed to Newcastle’s consistency this season.

Honourable mentions: William Saliba (ARS), Raphael Varane (MUN)

Right Back: Kieran Tripper (NEW)

One of the few picks that no one (bar Arsenal fans) will argue with me about, Trippier has easily been the best right-back in the league this season following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s drop-off and Reece James’ injury struggles.

The England International’s dogged defending coupled with his quality from crosses and set-pieces is everything you’d want from a modern day full-back.

The ‘Bury Beckham’ finds himself second only to De Bruyne on the list of big chances created in the Premier League, and tops the list for defenders, proving his attacking potency for the Magpies.

No honourable mentions because this one’s not up for debate, and in FPL, Trippier’s 146 points are only bettered by Rashford (151), Kane (155) and Haaland (183), with his nearest competition as a defender being Fabian Schar (102).

Defensive Midfield: Casemiro (MUN)

Five-time Champions League winner Casemiro takes his rightful place as my midfield general in this Premier League XI.

At the time, £70m for a thirty-year-old midfielder seemed extortionate, but the Brazilian’s impact on this Manchester United side since joining in the summer has been priceless.

The Real Madrid legend’s all-action performances, paired with his experience and leadership, have made it blindingly obvious just how much the Red Devils have missed a World-Class midfielder over the past decade.

Honourable mentions: Thomas Partey (ARS), Moises Caicedo (BHA)

Central Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

In my opinion the best player in the Premier League currently, and arguably the best midfielder to ever play in England.

The Belgian has done it season after season for City, and despite a slightly more understated campaign for the Manchester club, he is still outperforming everyone else in his position.

Having formed a devastating partnership with teammate Erling Haaland, the former Chelsea man currently sits top of the Premier League assist table and has created the most big chances in the league in 2022/23.

Honourable mentions: Bruno Guimarães (NEW), João Palhinha (FUL), Granit Xhaka (ARS)

Attacking Midfield (Number 10): Martin Ødegaard (ARS)

Given the Arsenal captaincy at the tender age of twenty-three, Martin Ødegaard just had to be included in this eleven. I considered playing him in a deeper role to accommodate a certain England Captain, but for the balance of the team I’ve opted to play him in his most natural position, number ten.

After fourteen goal contributions in the league this season, Ødegaard is having the best season of his, still fledgling, career.

However, it’s the Norwegian’s ability, akin to De Bruyne, to improve the players around him that makes him so worthy of a place on this team sheet.

Honourable mentions: James Maddison (LEI), Bruno Fernandes (MUN), Alexis Mac Allister (BHA)

Left Wing: Marcus Rashford (MUN)

Undoubtedly the best left winger in the Premier League this season, Erik Ten Hag has created a monster in Marcus Rashford.

Since the World Cup, the United academy graduate has scored sixteen goals in seventeen games and is currently the most in-form player in world football, staving off competition from the likes of Messi, Haaland and Mbappe, to name a few.

His underwhelming form of last season and talks of leaving his boyhood club seem like distant memories now.

Honourbale mentions: Kaoru Mitoma (BHA), Gabriel Martinelli (BHA)

Right Wing: Bukayo Saka (ARS)

Still only 21 years old, Bukayo Saka seems to have been around forever. Since his debut for Arsenal in 2018, he has gone onto establish himself as one of the most effective right-wingers in the Premier League.

Despite his youth, the England star’s greatest asset is his remarkable consistency, as he terrorises opposition defender’s week after week.

This season Saka has 9 goals and 8 assists, tying him on 17 goal contributions with England teammate, Marcus Rashford.

Honourable mentions: Miguel Almirón (NEW)

Forward: Erling Haaland (MCI)

I desperately wanted to include Harry Kane in this list, but it would be utterly unforgivable to omit a striker that has scored twenty-six goals in twenty-three league games this season.

The Norwegian striker has had his critics since arriving from Dortmund in the summer, and some of them are warranted, but his job is to score goals and he has certainly done that and then some.

Due to City’s goalscoring exploits in recent times, an overused trope has emerged.

“Even I could score goals in this City side’”– Big Alan from the pub, 53

However, many a top striker have played for City, but none have shown the robotic ruthlessness or efficiency of the big Norwegian striker, so credit where credit’s due.

Then again, it does help having Kevin De Bruyne in your team….

Honourable mentions: Harry Kane (TOT), Ivan Toney (BRE)

Want to join in on the discussion? Ben Hunt is a new Contributor at The Hype Train in 2023, and you can have your take on our latest opinion piece by finding the Train on Twitter at @HypeTrainHQ, and Ben at @BenHunt1238

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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

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