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Pick your Premier League Team of the Season - Full-backs
Published : 27 Apr 2010 11:05:23
It's day two of the Football.co.uk 'Premier League Team of the Season' draft, and time to select your two full-backs.
Robbie Blakeley suggests five deserving candidates, and boldly decides to leave out PFA choice Patrice Evra of Manchester United.
In case you're wondering, you went for Joe Hart in goal yesterday.
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1. Julien Faubert (West Ham United)
He came to West Ham as a rampaging right winger three years ago, but under boss Gianfranco Zola has made the transition to right back, resulting in his most productive season for the Hammers.
His positional sense and fitness have seen a huge improvement this term, and he has not lost his ability to get forward and put in threatening crosses, as he proved when he created his side's last-gasp equaliser against Everton earlier this month.
2. Vedran Corluka (Tottenham Hotspur)
Has continued his strong form since moving to England from Dinamo Zagreb three years ago. Many thought he made a mistake by joining Spurs from mega rich Manchester City in 2008, but his move looks vindicated, as the North London club are in pole position to snatch fourth spot and the promised land of the Champions League.
Physically imposing and strong in the air, he has worked hard on improving the attacking element to his game, and gets forward in support of the wingers much more frequently now.
3. Stephen Carr (Birmingham City)
Having been released from Newcastle United at the end of the 2007/8 season, and then announcing his retirement from football in December 2008, Carr's turnaround to become one of the most consistent performers over the last season is nothing short of miraculous.
Blues manager Alex MxcCleish convinced Carr to come out of retirement in March last year, since when he has helped Birmingham gain promotion, and establish themselves in the Premiership this term. His combative style of play and aggression has been a major factor in turning St. Andrews into a fortress this season.
4. Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)
Warnock is one of the most undervalued players in the league, and if Liverpool had kept hold of their academy graduate they wouldn't be frantically looking for a left back capable of putting in a decent tackle. Instead, they sold him to Blackburn Rovers, where he established himself as a solid and reliable full-back, strong in the tackle and good at overlapping the winger.
His form blossomed so much he earned his one and only England cap in June 2008 against the US. Moved to Villa last summer where his form has continued to improve, and he is in with a real shout of making the World Cup squad in June, given Ashley Cole's questionable fitness and Wayne Bridge's international retirement.
5. Leighton Baines (Everton)
The 25 year old is the main rival to Warnock for the second left back spot in the England squad this summer. Baines has seen a significant increase in playing time this season, and is reaping the rewards.
He has been Mr. Reliable in Everton's resurgent form in the second half of the season, as the Toffees make a late push for European qualification, and looks to be ahead of Warnock in England boss Fabio Capello's pecking order. Baines played the full 90 minutes for the Three Lions against Egypt in March, and impressed the England boss with his composure.