The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) awards for the 2022/2023 season was held on Tuesday evening and Arsenal and Manchester City dominate the PFA Team of the Year with nine players from the respective sides making up the elite XI.
It may not be much of a surprise given Arsenal and City battled it out for the Premier League title last season which saw Pep Guardiola’s men pip them to the post.
Erling Haaland’s 36 goals in 35 appearances helped Pep Guardiola’s men beat the Gunners to the title in the end.
And it is no surprise to see the Norwegian up front, having also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
The only other players to be named are Harry Kane, who has since left Tottenham for Bayern Munich, and Newcastle star Kieran Trippier.
Arsenal had led the title charge for most of the season, helped by the brilliant efforts of Bukayo Saka.
The 21-year-old Anglo-Nigerian who was in Nigeria sometime in July to visit his grandparents scored 14 and assisted 11 in a season that saw him start every match for the Gunners and was named PFA Young Player of the Year, as well as making it into the PFA Team of the Year.
The two join Kane, who along with Kieran Trippier are the only non-Arsenal and Man City players in the XI, in a formidable attack that scored a total of 80 goals in the Premier League last season.
In midfield, City largely dominated after Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri were named in the side.
That might come as no surprise after stunning campaigns from the duo with De Bruyne making a remarkable 16 assists last season – more than anyone else.
Rodri’s defensive capabilities in midfield and his metronome-like passing might be Guardiola’s secret weapon. The pair are joined in midfield by Martin Odegaard.
The playmaker, the second Norwegian in the side along with Haaland, enjoyed a fine season after being named captain of Arsenal.
The 24-year-old scored 15 times and made seven assists, proving how crucial he has been to Mikel Arteta’s side.
Lining up at the back, Trippier has been joined by two City players and one Arsenal star – all centre-backs traditionally.
John Stones, Ruben Dias and William Saliba were all named in a back line.
Newcastle and City conceded the two least goals last season, both letting in 33 in 38 games, while Arsenal conceded 43 – the same as Manchester United.
Standing between the posts, Aaron Ramsdale has been given the gloves in the PFA Team of the Year.
He beats Nick Pope, Alisson and Ederson to the accolade, as well as David de Gea, who was awarded the Golden Glove for most clean sheets last season.
Ramsdale kept 14 clean sheets throughout the campaign, making a string of fantastic saves along the way.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.