A new decade has crept up from seemingly nowhere, just as most of us are still getting used to the idea of a new millennium. At moments like this, we turn to reminisce of the ten years that have passed and reflect on times gone by. Picking an XI of Premier League players for these ten years seems like an unenviable task. However, after much consideration, plenty of soul-searching and the putting aside of many personal grievances, I have constructed a team. A team that does not only include players that have excelled from 2000-2009, but one that as a unit would be a formidable side of balance, power and attacking threat. So here we go:
There it was. It flashed across the bottom of my screen with the familiar yellow tag. Thursday the 11th of June 2009 would be a day I would never forget. These are the type of moves that sake the very foundations on which football is built. Where are they getting the money? How will he fit into the style of play? Will he settle in the area? But enough about Scott Dann’s thrilling £4 million switch to Birmingham from Coventry. Cristiano Ronaldo somehow managed to make the most predicable transfer of the 21st century drag out for over 2 years. His ambiguous comments about Madrid, claiming he is ‘happy at Manchester United’, questioning his manager’s tactics were just a few of the ploys he used to make himself even more desirable for Real Madrid. Did he even utter a word to thanks the club and manager that over the last 6 years made him the biggest name in football? Sure why would he?
Any time the camera focused on Alex Ferguson last Wednesday night, it showed him in an unusual pose. He was sitting down quietly. He looked lost, defeated, deflated. He realised soon after Samuel E’too’s 10th minute toe poke under Edwin van Der Saar that there was no way back. A one goal margin was all there was, but it seemed insurmountable. Ferguson’s teams have never known when they are beaten, as we have seen all too often over the last 20 years. Against Sheffield Wednesday in ’93, Bayern Munich in ’99, Tottenham ’01. Certain defeats turned into glorious triumph. But this Barcelona team was not for bullying.