Ligue 1 – Team of the Year 2011
This year has been one of the most exciting seasons in Ligue 1. What sort of site would we be if we didn’t deliver a Team of the Year. Now it would be too easy to just believe our own judgements and pick an XI for our team of the year. Here at FFW we don’t like the easy route, so we collected the thoughts of some of Ligue 1’s best writers and asked for their opinion.
On the panel we have freelance writer and Ligue 1 officiado Andy Brassell, Ligue1.com’s writer and commentator Matthew Spiro, writer and editor of Ligue 1 talk Dave Trotter. Betfair tipster and scout James Eastham, oh and one of the voices of the podcast and Ligue 1 enthusiast Andrew Gibney.
Oh and its Andrew’s site so he gets the casting vote. The team will play 4-2-3-1.
MICHAEL LANDREAU – Lille OSC
The Lille keeper received two votes and with Andrew’s vote going to the Lille keeper (surprise, surprise) then it is Monsieur Landreau that gets the nod.
Votes: AB – Landreau, DT – Nicolas Douchez, MS – Lloris, JE – Lloris, AG – Landreau
MATHIEU DEBUCHY – Lille OSC
A landslide for the hard-working right back, with four votes he is an instant pick (sorry Top Brass).
Votes: AB – Reveillere, DT – Debuchy, MS – Debuchy, JE – Debuchy, AG – Debuchy
MAMADOU SAKHO – Paris St-Germain
KADER MANGANE – Rennes
Five votes for the PSG stopper is no surprise. He has been a man-mountain this season for his club. Captaincy beckons next year.
Four other centre-backs received votes but it was the Rennes defender that pipped them with two votes. Harshly missing out on any of the official team line-ups he can console himself with a place in the FFW team of the year.
Votes: AB – Rami, Sakho, DT – Sakho, Danze, MS – Mangane, Sakho, JE – Mangane, Sakho
AG – Sakho, Lovren
JEREMY MOREL – Lorient
It has been an impressive season for Morel, consistency, hard-work and an important cog in Lorients excellent home-record. Morel wins three votes and a place in the team.
Votes: AB – Morel, DT – Taiwo, MS – Morel, JE – Tremoulinas, AG – Morel
The midfield is a little harder to pick Andy and Dave picked a 4-3-3 but we can work with it.
RIO MAVUBA – Lille OSC
BRUNO GROUGI – Brest
The anchor of the midfield is the superb Rio Mavuba, an outstanding part of Lille’s double winning side. The Captain leads by example in every match and deserves to be in this team.
His partner in the middle may be a bit of a surprise, voted by Andy Brassell the Brest midfielder has been one of their best players all season, chipping in with 8 goals and 6 assists he is well worth a spot on this team. Marvin Martin could have been picked but his skills are needed a little further forward.
Votes: AB – Martin, Grougi, Mavuba, MS – Mavuba, A.Ayew, JE – Mavuba, M’Vila, AG – Mavuba, Cheyrou
Attacking Midfield Trio
NENE – Paris St-Germain
EDEN HAZARD – Lille OSC
MARVIN MARTIN – Sochaux
The first two were picked without debate; everyone had Hazard in their team and Nene was included with three votes. Now the right midfield brings up an issue. The panel was split between Marvin Martin playing this role or a deeper midfield role. Martin’s 17 assists stylish play and fantastic movement is much better utilised in this trio than next to Mavuba.
Votes: AB – A.Ayew, Hazard, DT – Nene, Martin, Hazard, MS – Gervinho, Martin, Hazard, JE – Hazard, Martin, Nene, AG – Martin, Hazard, Nene
Finally we need a striker to spearhead that talented midfield.
KEVIN GAMEIRO – Lorient
Winner by a landslide is of course Lorient’s star striker Kevin Gameiro finished just behind Moussa Sow in the race for Ligue 1’s top scorer but the coveted striker has been very impressive all season. Showing pace, great movement and a super instinct in-front of goal he is a worth choice for the striker role.
Votes: AB – Sow, DT – Sow, Lopez, Gameiro, MS – Gameiro, JE – Gameiro, AG – Gameiro
I think you will agree this is a superb team. Thank you to all the wonderful writers for sharing their picks with FFW. Now it is over to you the reader. Who would you have votes for? Who did we miss out? Or is this team perfect?