Today, the PFA have announced their Championship team of the season for 2016/17, as voted for by the players, with the side including a trio of Newcastle United men and a few surprise exclusions.
Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle deservedly make the team, with a surprise inclusion for Jamaal Lascelles at centre-back.
It must be said that votes were taken in January, giving a considerable period between then and now for players to emerge and performance levels to change.
Without further adieu, here’s the full team:
PFA team of the year (4-4-2): Stockdake (Brighton) – Bruno (Brighton), Dunk (Brighton), Lascelles (Newcastle), Sessegnon (Fulham) – Knockaert (Brighton), Mooy (Huddersfield), Shelvey (Newcastle), Cairney (Fulham) – Wood (Leeds), Gayle (Newcastle).
It must be said that the inclusion of Jamaal Lascelles comes as a surprise. He may have been been monstrous in several away performances, however remains what I believe to be the weak link in our defence, making some costly errors and often looking edgy at St. James’ Park.
Ciaran Clark has, without any doubt, been our best defender this season and for me deserves his place in that team over Lascelles.
Another notable absentee for NUFC is Matt Ritchie. He’s been the heartbeat of Rafa’s side this season and has contributed to an impressive 11 goals and 7 assists to boot.
You can’t begrudge the likes of Tom Cairney and Aaron Mooy for their place in the side, but Ritchie can feel hard done by the miss out.