Roman Abramovich's millions have turned Chelsea into one of the top teams in Europe, but for all of its individual talent, not one of the club's players makes Yahoo! Sports' Premiership Team of the Season.
The West London club has kept the Premiership race alive until the final day of the campaign. However, none of the Blues shined brightly enough at his particular position to be granted inclusion.
Predictably, Manchester United players dominated the 11, contributing four members. Three play for Arsenal and two come from Liverpool.
The only representatives from outside the Big Four clubs were goalkeeper David James of Portsmouth and Blackburn winger David Bentley, who looks to be emerging into a genuine star.
PREMIERSHIP TEAM OF THE SEASON
Goalkeeper: David James, Portsmouth. Late in his career, James is in arguably the finest form of his life, having cut out his calamitous mistakes while emerging as the most trusted stopper in the top flight. His efforts between the posts contributed greatly toward Portsmouth's excellent season in the league and run to the FA Cup final.
Right back: Bakary Sagna, Arsenal. Sagna came off injured after 72 minutes against Chelsea on March 23 with Arsenal leading 1-0. Didier Drogba scored a minute later, and Arsenal's title challenge slipped away from that point on. Sagna has not played since, but his impact during the first 29 games was outstanding as he fit in perfectly with the Gunners' system in his first campaign in England.
Center back: Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United. Just a few years ago, Ferdinand was in danger of becoming a wasted talent after being banned for missing a drug test. However, he has bounced back spectacularly and put together his finest season since 2000-01, when he helped Leeds to the Champions League semifinals. Fabio Capello has been taking notice – he made Ferdinand England captain for the friendly against France.
Center back: Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United. Vidic goes about his work quietly, but he is ruthlessly effective and must go down as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's most astute purchases. Vidic is a major reason why United boasts the tightest defense in the Premiership and will continue to be an integral part of Ferguson's plans.
Left back: Patrice Evra, Manchester United. It took Evra a couple of years to settle in at Old Trafford. This season, things clicked firmly into place. His defense and tackling – along with his ability to create havoc by making darting forward runs – makes him so effective.
Right wing: David Bentley, Blackburn Rovers. Bentley looks to be the heir apparent at this position once David Beckham's England career ends. He has been sparkling this term. His spiky attitude and propensity to speak his mind has alienated some fans, but Bentley has the ability to back up his words. His pace and confidence make him one of the most dangerous players around.
Central midfield: Steven Gerrard, Liverpool. Gerrard just kept churning out strong performances all season long and led the Reds by example. A concern for opponents is that he still is developing his game and is a constant force both in the Premiership and European action.
Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal. Did he really just turn 21? The kid plays with the maturity of a 35-year-old and was the backbone of an Arsenal team that surpassed gloomy preseason predictions. He has the tenacity to be supremely effective in the Premiership and skillful enough to shine anywhere else. The Gunners have already lost Mathieu Flamini and Aleksandr Hleb, but they can't afford to let Fabregas follow them through the door.
Left wing: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United. With 40 goals (30 in the Premiership), Ronaldo has produced one of the most incredible individual seasons in soccer history. His genius seems to know no bounds, and he is the single most important reason why United is on course to claim the two most important pieces of silverware around. The best player in the world? Absolutely.
Striker: Fernando Torres, Liverpool. The Premiership is meant to be the toughest league in the world to adapt to, but someone clearly forgot to tell Torres. He has been sensational for Rafa Benitez's team and has become a Liverpool legend in remarkably quick time.
Striker: Emmanuel Adebayor, Arsenal. Thierry Henry never will be forgotten at Arsenal, but Adebayor's precision in front of goal helped lessen the impact of the legendary Frenchman's departure. He was unstoppable in the early part of the season and ended up with a fantastic return of 30 goals in all competitions.
- Manchester United
- David Bentley
- David James