It’s been an incredible season in the Premier League, the likes of which, us, football fans, will be lucky to witness again. Manchester City has clinched the trophy. The four clubs below it in the standings reached the finals of the Champions League and Europa League.
At the end of this eventful campaign we round up the most important moments of the season, the most telling stats and we make our choices for “the team of the season”. Make sure to use this info to prepare your fantasy football drafts for the upcoming FootballCoin contests!
The Premier League is arguably the most competitive of football leagues at the moment. Because of this, choosing the perfect 11, was no easy task. After some deliberation, we have decided to use the players’ score across the season, as well as their position on the field as the main criteria.
Premier League’s Team of the 2018/19 season – FootballCoin Pro Mode
1,017.96 points – Lukasz Fabianski
The Polish keeper is not the expected pick and certainly not a player to receive as much praise as he may deserve. Stats do not lie, however. We have taken into account the more detailed game system used for the FootballCoin Pro Mode. Using this it’s been deemed that the Hammers’ man in goal is the Goalkeeper of the season. The fact that he comes ahead of players such as Alisson (Liverpool) and Ederson (Manchester City) makes it all the more impressive.
It’s also difficult to move past the fact that Fabiasnki plays for West Ham, a mid-table team that was often underwhelming at the start of the season. West Ham lost on their opening day, against Liverpool, by a 4-0 scoreline. By the time 2018 was over, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, had all scored at least three against the London side. We can conclude that Lukasz Fabianski started with a considerable handicap.
Manuel Pellegrini’s arrival as manager steadied the West Ham ship. The team finished mid-table in 10th place, a very good result, overall, considering early expectations. In spite of massive investments, the Londoners’ squad members, generally struggle to be even average. Fabiasnki and Felipe Anderson were undeniably the star players of the team. The team relied on their inspiration to guide them through the tough moments.
So, just how does the goalkeeeper for an average team become the Premier League goalie of the season? The 34-year-old was certainly made to work hard and this seems to have made the difference. West Ham was scored against 55 times, the 11th best record in the Premier League. But, the number of times the keeper has had to stop, punch and steal the ball have affected his score.
There was little that the Polish keeper had to hide against. Central defenders Frank Balbuena and Issa Diop, may have been the best options that could be found. But, by and large, they were no match for the speed and strength of many of EPL’s top strikers. Declan Rice, the Irish/English defensive midfielder, is still to live up to the hype, unable to offer very efficient defensive support throughout the year.
It was up to Fabiasnki to find a way of stopping the numerous shots on goal. The keeper was a starter in all 38 of West Ham’s games. He made 148 saves, proving to adapt both at punching the ball away, as well as holding on to it. Among the many goals West Ham incurred, there was even space for 7 clean sheets for the Polish keeper. Fabiasnki also helped earn points through his passing, averaging 28 per game, many of them short ones, oftentimes successful. More than 300 of his 1071 passes were successful long ones.
West Ham’s transfer policy is the stuff of legends, regularly comically underwhelming. But, in Fabiasnki, the Londoners took a chance and found a winner.
1,425.47 points- Virgil Van Dijk
A commanding presence on the field, the arrival of Van Dijk symbolized the start of a new era for Liverpool. No longer were they the club forced to sell its best players. No, they were now a club that could open the chequebook for one of the most talked about young defenders in the world. And, it made all the difference.
The Dutchman arrived from Southampton to the Mersey side for around £75 million. It is the highest transfer fee paid for a defender. Such matter usually adds unneeded pressure, with many players failing to live up to the hype. Van Dijk has proven to be a special player. He clearly deserves a place on the Premier League Team of the Year.
He was so good in fact that at the end of the season he was awarded the PFA Player of the year award. It is the award for which players across the EPL give their vote. Throughout, the Dutchman was Liverpool’s most influential player, active for 4015 minutes, more than any other squad member.
In defence, Van Dijk was responsible for 240 clearances and 170 aerial battles won. But, the central defender also proved to be great on the ball. He had the second highest number of passes in the Premier League, after Jorginho. And, his leadership skills were essential. This was shown in Liverpool’s victory over Barcelona in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
Liverpool has made a great investment. With Van Dijk in similar form, Liverpool may battle for the top spots for a while yet.
1,393.68 points – Andrew Robertson
Another Liverpool defender. But, one whose presence on the TOTY is more surprising, Robertson has made a name for himself as one of the best left-backs in the world. His arrival from Hull City in 2017 may have slipped largely unnoticed.
However, Robertson painstakingly set to work, seeming to gain more confidence with each new match in the Liverpool shirt. Embodying the role the modern wing-back, the Scotsman has contributed 11 assists this season. Often Liverpool’s chances on goal came from either Robertson’s left flank, or Trent Alexander-Arnold’s on the right.
In defence he was sound, making 2.2 tackles per game and 0.8 interceptions. Robertson’s enthusiasm is also noteworthy, with the defender playing an important role in some of Liverpool’s biggest comebacks this season.
There’s no denying Robertson can carve out a legendary career for himself in the Premier League. The first good results are already there.
1,439.38 points – Lucas Digne
It was finally a case of money well spent for Everton as they brought in Frenchman Lucas Digne from FC Barcelona. Successful transfers have not always been the norm for this club. The club may have been confident, but few expected such an impact on his first season.
Digne was arguably the best left-back in the league, who at roughly 20 million euros, now appears to be an incredible bargain. It was not something that either the Toffees fans or Leighton Baines saw coming. The veteran defender was, in fact, the one casualty of the transfer deal, having been left on the bench in most matches.
Digne has a tackle success rate of 64% this season, making the last man interference on one occasion. The Frenchman has shown to be capable of winning headers, making interceptions and keeping a cool head ahead of top strikers. In attack, Lucas Digne has contributed four assists and helped create 13 goal chances for his teammates.
The French defender is certainly Everton’s most successful transfer in years and next season’s squad may likely be built around his abilities.
1,342.16 points – Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta may just be Chelsea’s, as well Premier League‘s, most underappreciated player this season. This owes a lot to the Blues’ fans disappointment with their overall team performance. But, this has little to do with the Spaniard’s own offerings.
Overall, Azpilicueta finishes the season as the fourth best defender in the league, according to FootballCoin stats. His stats show him to have been a better club defender than teammates David Luiz or Robert Rudiger. Management at Chelsea may wish to reconsider Azpi’s role in the organisation.
The Spaniard bounced back quickly following a disappointing turn of events that saw him miss out on the national team’s squad for the 2018 World Cup. Azpilicueta made 38 appearances for the Blues and proved himself to be one of the top tacklers in the modern game. Five assists and a goal also contributed to his impressive stats.
Changes may be needed at Chelsea, but in Azpilicueta they have a player the club can rely on for some time yet.
1,473.51 points – Paul Pogba
Pogba’s presence may come as a surprise some. After all, the French World Cup winner had much of the Manchester United’s frustration directed at him throughout the season. Despite this, Pogba has proven to be, likely United’s only true world-class player. His stats, and this alone make him a member of the Premier League Team of the Year. Maybe, it is because of his talent that fans are particularly unnerved with his overall behaviour.
But to on pitch, Pogba played in most EPL matches for the Red Devils, making 35 appearances. As a contributor, Pogba was one of the best, supplying his teammates with around 59 passes per game. As a defender, he was helpful, with a 64% success rate for his tackles. As an attacker, he was very good, scoring 13 goals and setting up 9.
History may not be forgiving of Paul Pogba’s time at Manchester United, but stats show him to be one of the best midfielders among Premier League’s elite roster.
1,407.92 points – Felipe Anderson
Throughout the season, Anderson has looked completely overqualified to be leading a team like West Ham. The Brazilian scored 9 goals, offered 4 assists, and directed West Ham’s efforts. There’s a great sense of anticipation of what Felipe Anderson will be capable of doing in the EPL, especially if paired up with more inventive attacking partners. Maybe, even at West Ham?
As it stands, Anderson ends the season as a welcome surprise and one of the best midfielders across European football. West Ham’s scouts should be congratulated for this rare glimpse of brilliance, but the club will have to work hard to retain the player for the long haul.
1,392.27 points – Luka Milivojevic
Not a marquee name by any stretch, the Serbian has been the proverbial man to show others how it’s done. Milivojevic is a fantasy football gem, unassuming, yet capable of producing outrageously great stats.
The Serbian is one of several very talented Crystal Palace players punching above their weight. They are the one that got the team to a surprising 12th place in the league. Milivojevic scored 12 goals, provided 2 assists, took 57 shots, 25 of which were on the mark. He also offered more than 52 passes on average, per game and had one of the greatest tackle success rates in the league, 76%.
Milivojevic has had a consistently great season and those few fantasy football managers that have taken a chance on including the player in their draft will be congratulating themselves.
1,642.94 points – Eden Hazard
We begin shaping our attacking line with the player that amassed the highest number of points throughout the EPL season. Hazard has been head and shoulders over most of his Chelsea teammates, and arguably the main reason for the team finishing in 3rd place.
Coming after a successful World Cup campaign with Belgium, Hazard set about using technical and leadership skills under new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. The hopes that the club would once again clinch the EPL crown already dashed by the year’s end, in spite of Hazard’s inspired outtings.
With tactics that gave him a higher degree of freedom, Hazard recorded the best season, in terms of attacking stats, of his career. There were 16 goals scored and 15 assists. There were also frequent quality passes, clear goal chances, and an amazing vision on the pitch.
By the end of the season, the difference between Hazard’s potential and Chelsea’s ambitions became strikingly evident. At the moment of writing, it looks almost certain that the player is due to depart the club during the transfer window.
1381 points – Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian’s second season in Britain was an odd one. On the one hand, Salah largely failed to make as big of an impression as he had in his first venture. Perhaps, audiences had simply been taken by surprise of his initial brilliance.
But, even so, the forward managed to tie for the Golden Boot award and to earn a place on our list. Leading a powerful Liverpool side, that lost only one game throughout the season, Salah managed to score 22 times and offer 8 assists.
At the end of the term, the Reds fans had reasons to rejoice. Despite failing to clinch the title, they had managed to assemble one of the best squads in Premier League history. And, the man leading the ranks, Mohamed Salah looks set to remain a Liverpool player for some time.
1,313.05 points – Raheem Sterling
There’s a famous anecdote involving Sterling. When manager Pep Guardiola took over the management job at Manchester City, he decided to offer his players some very specific requirements. Sterling initially struggled to adapt to what was required of him. As a training method, Guardiola drew a circle on the grass. Sterling was to occupy it whenever his teammates had the ball.
In many ways, Sterling is the perfect Guardiola player. The Englishman has shown a knack of taking defenders on, leaving them out of position and setting up his teammates to score, or putting it in himself.
It helps that Sterling possess incredible speed, great technique and seems to gain confidence with each successful game played. This season he managed 17 goals and 10 assists. He was present in 34 games for the Manchester City side, winners of the 2019 EPL crown.
The wingers are an essential part of Pep Guardiola’s playing style. Their importance in City’s extraordinary winning run cannot be underestimated. But, while there are questions of how City will line up on the left flank, there are such unknowns about the right side. Sterling is one of his team’s most important players today, and arguably one of the most emblematic players in the club’s history. There’s no doubt he needs to be included in the Premier League Team of the Year.
FootballCoin Team of the Year for Easy Mode
Since FootballCoin has two modes for playing the game, Easy and Pro, it was to be expected that the top players in one version to be different from the other. The gaming system in Pro mode takes into account all of the players’ microactions. Passes, crosses and shots are all rewarded or penalised.
The Easy Mode puts greater value on goals, the number of minutes played, assists etc. It’s a condensed version of the FootballCoin Peo game. In certain cases, it has its own heroes as we are about to see here. The Premier League Team of the Year in Easy Mode for the 2018/19 season is:
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski – 684 points
Defenders: Andrew Robertson, – 460 points
Virgil Van Dijk – 494 points
Matt Doherty – 459 points
Aymeric Laporte – 441 points
Sub: Cesar Azpilicueta – 439 points
Midfielders: Paul Pogba – 613 points
Luka Milivojevic – 536 points
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 568 points
Sub: Ryan Fraser– 513 points
Attackers: Mohamed Salah – 677 points
Sadio Mane – 594 points
Eden Hazard – 593 points
Sub: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 553 points
The Easy Mode Team of the Year looks slightly different. Some of the players making the team are lesser known outside of England. Still, their stats show a great level of consistency in the areas that are rewarded by the Easy mode scoring system.
Lukasz Fabianski earns the goalkeeper spot here, as well. Allison is once again on the reserve bench. While West Ham has been scored against more than half of the teams in the EPL, Fabianski’s frequent saves have earned him the distinction of Keeper of the Year.
Matt Doherty is the first surprise choice, finding a spot in four defender system. Doherty was an important element in Wolves’ success this season. Although having promoted only the year prior, Wolves finished the season as best of the rest. This is a new, and unofficial distinction, rewarding the team finishing seventh. It is also a way of acknowledging the incredible force of the teams that finish almost all seasons in the top six positions.
Matt Doherty was one of the unsung heroes of the Wolverhampton side, making an appearance in every one of their league games. His defensive contribution was of the highest order. But, Doherty’s score took a raise with the four goals and five assists that he was able to contribute. Matt Doherty is one of the leagues best defenders and just one of a very talented and motivated Wolves side.
Aymeric Laporte missed out on our Pro mode TOTY, but finds his place here. Laporte was a starting player in most league matches for the EPL champions, Manchester City. His contribution tends to get overlooked because of City’s great organisation and their low goal tally. In spite of this, Laporte played well and kept things simple. He averaged 1.2 tackles per game and delivered short, uncomplicated passes. His passing success rate stands at 92%. Laporte is a cog in the Guardiola’s Man City machine, but a very important one. Clearly, the player has been cherry-picked for this role and he is playing his part very well.
Gylfi Sigurdsson could easily have been the victim of an overhyped transfer. Arriving at Everton for a club record fee of £40 million, big things were expected of Iceland’s most famous player. But, like many things at Everton, things stalled. Critics came out of the woodwork anxious to label this another failed transfer for the Toffees.
But, Sigurdsson, kept his head down and worked hard. This year, he was a constant presence for Everton, playing all of their 38 league matches! Despite not being a striker, but rather an attacking midfielder, he was, alongside, Richarlison, the team’s main goal threat. The Icelander scored 13 and helped set up 6 goals. He was the Man of the Match on a half-dozen occasions and is arguably the team’s most influential player. Given his brilliant track record of late, it’s surprising that bigger name clubs are not lining up to try and sign him. The fee for which he arrived at Goodison Park now seems a steal when compared to the asking prices for other attacking midfielders of his calibre, Coutinho or Sanchez.
At only 29 years of age, Sigurdsson looks set to continue creating quite a Premier League legacy for himself in the years to come.
Our TOTY has Ryan Fraser sitting on the reserve bench. But, we think it’s important to talk about the 25-year-old. A few things are remarkable about him. He is one of the best free FootballCoin players in the EPL. Fraser has managed his performance while representing 14th place Bournemouth. And, some of his stats are up there with the very best. Fraser has provided 14 goal assists, the second best record in the league, after Chelsea’s Hazard. He has also scored seven goals and played in every one of his team’s Premier League fixtures.
Fraser has also shown to be helpful in playing in numerous position from the midfield up. It is true that defensively there is still more that he can learn, but as a contributing midfielder, there are few better in Britain.
Sadio Mane was not included on our list for Pro Mode TOTY. That surprised some. But, perhaps, it is telling of one thing. This season, Mane was concentrated on one thing, scoring goals. It’s a task he handled brilliantly, netting 22 goals in the league. As things stood Mane earned the top Goalscorer award alongside teammate Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mane exemplifies the New Liverpool built by Jurgen Klopp. It’s a team that, for the most part, relies on technique, inspiration and a knack for finding goals in the dying stages of the game. Mane checks all these boxes and is, certainly, one of the Reds’ most important players.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is another player fully deserving of a mention. He finishes the season on our reserve bench. But, the Serbian has shown to be every bit, one of the EPL’s leading strikers. It’s all the more remarkable he has been able to score 11 goals, given his team’s dire state the entire season. Fulham was relegated on their first year in the EPL and seemed out of their depth for most of their campaign. Only Huddersfield managed fewer goals. But, this did not stop Mitrovic from making an impression.
It is true that the beginning of the season was when he managed most of his goals. The disappointment of leading a sinking ship may have caught up with the Serbian somewhere along mid-campaign. He has scored only once since February.
Despite this, the 24-year-old has out out enough of his qualities to the public, to attract the interest of numerous suitors. It is expected that Fulham’s current squad will be torn apart as they head back into the Championship. And, Mitrovic is unlikely to represent an exception. Everton and West Ham are unsurprisingly interested. There’s even a big money move from China. And, we would not be too shocked if one of the top six EPL clubs made a surprise move in the summer for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The 2018/19 Premier League season has gifted us incredible individual and group performances. Fantasy football managers have done their best to keep up the pace with the changes and development in the British league. While we wait for, what is sure to be a great new 2019/20 Premier League title, FootballCoin continues its daily fantasy football contests. Continue to think up great strategies, create inspired drafts and win important XFC cryptocurrency prizes.