Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Greatest 5-a-side Team to Grace Football Ever. Ever!

I know what you’re all thinking; ‘finally The Penalty King is back writing his blog, my life is complete once again…’ and to those people I say ‘I’ve told you before, get out my garden!’. We’ll see how long I last this time.

Anyways onto my main topic today. I, like most people reading this play 5 or 6-a-side. I’m imagining most people’s teams will be better than mine as we are currently bottom of a 6 team league after gaining 3 points from 10 games, really living up to our name of ‘So Bad FC’...

Since my team is so bad it got me thinking of who I would have in my 5-a-side team in an ideal world. So here are my two possible 5-a-side team, one from teams in the top half of the Prem and the other from the bottom half.
~ Side note: in future I may do another of these using football legends, players from different leagues, etc, but for today I am just looking at currently Premier League players. ~

Hugo Lloris & Lee Grant.
Look at me, putting a picture in one of my posts for the first time ever.
First off is the number 1, my position, the goalie. Now I like to consider myself a bit of a well rounded keeper. My catching is ok, my communication is ok, I’m ok shot stopper...but in 5-a-side you don’t really need any of those qualities.

You always find the best keepers in a 5-a-side league are the ones that pull off the most ridiculous saves. The ones where you’ve carved a team, one-on-one with the keeper, put the ball past him but just before it goes over the line he somehow grows a third arm and tips it around the post.

The two keepers I think encapsulate this trait the best has to be Lloris and Grant. Lloris is arguably the best keeper in the league and is up there as one of the best in the world and one of the reasons he’s rated so highly is because he makes ridiculous saves that no human has a right to save.

My other choice, Lee Grant, should have been playing Premier League football years ago. Me being a Wednesday fan I know a lot about him and am ecstatic he’s finally been given a chance in England’s top division. He’s incredibly agile (especially for a 33 year old) and as most people have seen from his Stoke performances has the ability to make world class saves that he has no right getting to.

Defensive Player
Virgil Van Dijk & Ryan Shawcross.
Whoa! Two pictures in the same post. I might need to go lie down with all this excitement going on.
Now as far as I’m concerned every 5-a-side team has at least 1 player who just sits and defends constantly. It’s normally either someone who is about 8ft tall thinking “I might win some header” (even though there’s a head high rule) or it’s just your best player, who is just lazy as fuck. Now admittedly those traits don’t really describe the two players I’ve picked but I must say these two for me are the two of the best out an out defenders in the Premier League.

The Saint’s Dutch centre back, Virgil Van Dijk, is currently one of my favourite defenders. I was adamant that he would be a huge flop when he arrived from Celtic in 2015 and boy has proven me wrong. Very rarely beaten on the floor and in the air, he is a proper old fashioned centre half and I have to say Southampton will be very lucky to keep him the European big dogs come sniffing.

Stoke City captain, Ryan Shawcross, might come as a bit of a surprise to some people but for me this lad is what is needed for this role, just an out-and-out defender. Since joining Stoke all those years ago he’s become the heartbeat of Stoke’s backline, he’s Strong in the air as well as on the deck which would make him a nightmare for the opposition on a 5-a-side pitch.

Work Horse
N’Golo Kante & Mark Noble.
And its a hat trick of pictures. And it only took me 2 years to find out how to add them...
This position for me is the most important in 5-a-side. You need that one player who is will to support the attack when you’re attacking and also have an engine to sprint back when you’re side is defending. I have to say, the one thing that pisses me off more than anything is seeing the “work horse” walking back.

There is always one player in your league who gets to every second ball; everyone says he’s shit but he’s the one just silently going about his game, recovering the ball and just going again.Speed, strength and a good engine are preferred for this position but I have to say the most important trait is intelligence. This player just needs to be able to read a game. This player is essentially going to be a version of the lazy as fuck defender who isn’t actually lazy.

Now people who have read my blog before know I rate N’Golo Kante so highly. For me he was the unsung hero of the Premier League last season and is the only footballer I can think of who can play in a three-man midfield on his own. He’s shown a bit more of his attacking side with Chelsea this season which means I would be mad to leave him out of this team. I was considering James Milner briefly but I feel Kante is just a class above.

Mark Noble is my second choice as a work horse. He’s made a career out of being industrious, winning the ball back and just playing it simple. How this lad has never had an England cap baffles me especially considering the likes of his former team mate Carlton Cole had 3 for the Lions...

The Number 10
Ross Barkley & Robert Snodgrass.
Maybe I should actually be writing important information in these captions, like stats and stuff...
In 5-a-side you rely most of all on your creative players. This player would need to be fast, strong, good touch, good vision, basically the player who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck and carry teams single handedly. My team’s ‘number 10’ is a lad called Drew...and Jesus Christ you can tell when he’s not playing…

My choice for this player from the top half teams was Ross Barkley which might surprise some people as there is a lot of class among other teams e.g. Hazard, De Bruyne, Coutinho, etc. But in my opinion Barkley is a class act. Poor last season in a below-par Martinez side, he’s now putting in some class performances for the Toffee’s and I think his pace, strength and all round creativity would make him lethal on a 5-a-side pitch.

As for the bottom half of the table teams I picked Hull’s Robert Snodgrass. Again this one might be a surprise to some people with the quality in the bottom half; Sigurdsson, Cabaye and even Dimitri Payet. I’ll give credit to Payet, he carried The Hammers last year but this year it looks like the Scot, Snodgrass is the one having to do all the carrying. Not the fastest player in the world but his work rate and creative ability will more than make up for it.
~ Side Note: Wes Hoolahan probably would’ve been here is Norwich were still in the Premier League. I would also like to add that I typed ‘Sigurdsson’ right the first time without even Googling his name. Boom. ~

The Striker
Romelu Lukaku & Jermain Defoe.
Might have a lasagna tonight...I'm starving.
This is it, the last piece of the puzzle. Your main goal threat. The striker. Now for me in 5-a-side your striker just needs 1 of 2 traits. He needs to be either really strong, or really fast. I’ve played against strikers at 5-a-side who couldn’t hit a barn door with a shovel but have the enough strength/pace to get themselves into 20-25 goalscoring opportunities every game (yes my team really is that shit).

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was my first choice. It was a tough choice between him and Diego Costa but Lukaku just pipped him as he has strength and pace in abundance. He is criticized at times for not being able to link up with midfielders well enough but like I said before, in 5-a-side that means nothing.

My choice from the bottom half of the table is the Premier League legend that is Jermain Defoe. A striker that would probably have scored twice as many goals if he’d gone to Manchester United or Chelsea or the like. You always get that one player in your league who’s in his 40’s/50’s who’s still banging them in and Defoe is like a Premier League version. Bags of pace which is rare for someone who’s quickly approaching his 52nd birthday. It’ll be a sad day when this lad retires.
And that is it. Please feel free to comment below or Tweet me what your team would be and what you think of my selection.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

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