The older we get, the less of an opportunity we have to play regular 11-a side football for a team either within school or in the Sunday league. Instead we become plagued down with work or studying and just cannot find the time. As a result, I like many of you find myself involved in smaller 7-a side leagues and kickabouts with friends on rented 3g pitches. But this got me thinking; if the Premiership ran its own 7-a side league, who would you want in your team?
Employing an uncommon 2-1-2-1 formation, here’s the team I would choose.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)
7-a side football often needs goalkeepers to become involved and act as sweepers as the ball is played long. De Gea is especially good at this and is often called into action in a Manchester United side that plays a very high line. A 7-a side goalkeeper must also be able to play with the ball at their feet and Lloris is one of the most consistent kickers in the league. This will be especially effective as many 7-a side moves start with the keeper.
Right Sided Defender: David Luiz (Chelsea FC)
A 7-a side defender must be able to do it all, and David Luiz fits the bill perfectly. A 7-a side defender must be able to attack, defend, contribute to attacks and be extremely comfortable on the ball. Luiz has an eye for a pass and is just as comfortable in midfield as defence. He would be able to link up with the midfielders perfectly and move forward seamlessly leaving his partner defender to cover whilst he takes the ball forward.
Left Sided Defender: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Jan Vertonghen is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and in small areas. Rarely does he try to play the ball long and will often look to drive through the midfield himself and look to pick out key passes. Vertonghen is capable of doing it all not unlike Luiz and has been known to play in numerous positions in his career, not just as defender. The left footed nature of the player also adds good balance with the right footed Luiz beside him.
Central Midfield: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
A true box to box midfielder Yaya can do it all. He is comfortable going forward with the ball at his feet but he is also just as happy to be battling with other midfielders for possession and tracking back. Yaya has unbelievable and would be perfect as the engine room ffor any 7-a side team.
Right Sided Midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)
David Silva has been one of the most consistent players at Manchester City in recent times and is a genius of the game. Playing against him in a small sided game would be extremely frustrating because he rarely gives the ball away. 48 assists in his time at Manchester City also go to show his creative abilities.
Left Sided Midfield: Juan Mata (Chelsea FC)
Juan Mata is one of if not the most consistent players in the premiership. Often many forget just how valuable he is to the team, but with 35 assists and 20 goals last season for Chelsea its easy to see how he makes this particular team.
Striker: Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC)
Many would choose Robin van Persie, however with such creative talents behind, and the fact that heading is irrelevant as you cannot kick over head height it is necessary to have an explosive forward who can finish, and play with the ball at their feet. Too often 7-a side game scan become stretched and on such small pitches pace makes a huge difference. Those strikers who can find channels and beat defenders to them are hugely effective. Suarez fits the bill perfectly and can play with the ball at his feet just as comfortably as when running onto through balls.