Team of the Weekend

Kevin Long, Farewells, Auf Vardysehn, Goodbye

Well, that’s it. A typically ridiculous last day of the season saw all 20 teams take to the field and throw up one final set of ridiculous events before leaving us in peace for 83 days. At least there’s a World Cup. Anyway, who grabbed the headlines one last time?

Goalkeeper

Lukasz Fabianski – The Swansea keeper has been one of the few players in their ranks to enhance their reputation this season but without him, they’d probably have been relegated by Christmas. He earns Team of the Weekend status due to a penalty save, which as you know by now means automatic entry. It was a pretty poor penalty by Shaqiri, I wonder where he’ll end up next season. There’ll be a few suitors for Fabianski too, come to mention it.

Defenders

Andrew Robertson – If anybody deserved to get their first goal of the season, it was this man. He’s played a big part for Liverpool and is often overshadowed by that wonderful front 3 so it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet and finish a fine season in style.

Patrick van Aanholt – Palace have been brilliant under Roy Hodgson and it’s mostly Wilfried Zaha who get the praise. But PVA (known as glue to his friends) has chipped in with some very useful goals in recent weeks. His defending has often been criticised but attack is the best form of defence and if you’re scoring goals and winning games, nobody cares what is going on at the back. Well, I don’t anyway.

Kevin Long – As far as comedy slips go, you may as well get one out of the way in the 93rd minute of the final game of the season. Burnley have finished 7th, which is remarkable, and I can’t wait to see how they get on in Europe next season. I expect badly, but Burnley have spent a whole season surprising me.

Midfielders

Erik Lamela – If I were him, I’d be claiming that own goal. Harry Kane would. That aside he played a vital part in the Spurs come back, albeit in a totally pointless game that finished 5-4. Football, eh?

Mo Salah – He had to be included really after the season he has had. His goal got Liverpool on the way to a 4-0 win that secured their Champions League football for next season, and in the process ensured he broke yet another record. This time it was “most goals in a 38-game season” which is the one we all want. He’s got more awards than Ant & Dec now.

Jonjo Shelvey – We’ve made a bit of fun at Jonjo’s expense over the season but he’s finished with a flourish. He was the best player on the pitch again on Sunday and the talk once again turns to whether Gareth Southgate will even consider Shelvey for his final 23. He won’t, as it looks like the England squad is a closed shop. So we’ll have Jake Livermore or Lewis Cook as an option this summer instead of Shelvey, despite him being more talented than those two put together.

Michael Carrick – Quite the career the Geordie, he signed off with a drab 1-0 win over Watford. Whether you noticed him or not, Carrick was always there. I’m a little surprised he didn’t get more England caps, particularly in the Capello era, but the time is right for him to hang up his boots and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up in management one day.

Forwards

Jamie Vardy – How good was his second goal? Vardy’s had an underrated season and I think it actually shows the strength in depth England are starting to develop that he probably won’t start for England this summer thanks to Harry Kane. Another two goals here as well as being a total menace all afternoon and you’d have to say, if he is going to play for a “bigger” club, it’s this summer or never now.

Gabriel Jesus – No real reason for this inclusion except his last-second goal made sure my accumulator come in. I am £43 richer. Gambling isn’t big or clever but when it’s £3, I’m sure you’ll let me off. What a finish though, with great celebrations to boot. Imagine if that had relegated Southampton?

Marcus Rashford – KANE. VARDY. RASHFORD. We’re going to win the World Cup!!! We’re not of course but all three of our strikers were on the scoresheet, it’s just a shame our goalkeeper came down with a case of crisp packet hands. His goal was a tap-in, but it’s 12:07 am and Match of the Day has been on forever. Cut me some slack.

Manager

Arsene Wenger – 22 years and out. It had to be Wenger in the dugout for his final match as Arsenal manager. There have been more lows than highs in recent years but that shouldn’t taint his legacy. Good luck in whatever you do next, Arsene. I’m curious to see where Arsenal go next, they are big boots to fill and we saw at Man Utd with Moyes replacing Ferguson that the first appointment is the toughest. Some fans may come to realise that it’s better the devil you know…or they might bounce straight back into the top 4. Those are literally the two options.

That’s it for me today and indeed this season. I’ll be back with more Team of the Weekend in August, but you don’t get rid of me that easily, I’ll be across the various sites over the summer. Bye for now.