As we approach the end of the calendar year, London teams have been doing incredibly well in the Premier League – apart from you know who of course. Indeed, no less than 5 teams from the capital currently stand in the top 10, including newly promoted side and bookies’ relegation favourites Watford.
I thought it would be interesting to put together a best XI from London. Spoiler: believe it or not, no Chelsea players make the cut.
At the back:
Mainly made up of Arsenal players, which is a bit of a surprise given the Gunner’s historical fragility at the back. However, with only 14 goals conceded, they have the joined best defense in the league with United (who don’t actually attack, so their record shouldn’t really count).
In goal, Cech has been a great signing and is arguably the best keeper in the league right now. Bellerin is the best young right-back in the world. With time on his side, he could become world class. On the left, Monreal’s really stepped up as a proper defender over the past few months. He’s a symbol of how far Arsenal have come at the back, and the best Londoner for the job.
Scott Dann has been a rock for Palace this season, and has even added a few important goals to his game. If he keeps it up, he may even get himself a free trip to France next summer.
When Palace signed Cabaye from PSG in the summer ahead of several bigger teams, many saw the deal as a real coup. It was. In London, the Frenchman’s found his Newcastle form again with the help of his former boss. He’s been central to Pardew’s team’s remarkable season.
Ali’s been quality for Tottenham. He can defend, attack and even has a few goals in him. Only cost £5m as well somehow, despite his nationality. At 19, he’s already a key player. Payet took the Premier League by storm with West Ham, scoring 5 and assisting 3 goals in his first 12 games before getting injured. Still deserves a place in my view.
Mesut Ozil has been nothing short of outstanding this season. After a tough start in England, he’s showing why Arsenal paid so much money to bring him in. Long gone are the critics of his apparently nonchalant attitude. Ozil has delivered 15 assists and 2 goals in 16, with an average of 4.3 chances created for his team per match. A star.
While no strikers have been particularly impressive at the big clubs, Watford’s forward duo have been banging them in while contributing a lot defensively also. In fact, they’ve been so good Watford are one of few English teams organised in a good old-fashion 4-4-2 formation. Pretty unusual for a promoted side!
Last season, the pair contributed 41 goals and 12 assists in the Championship. Unlike many strikers though, they’ve perfectly handled the step up to top-flight football. With Deeney’s strength and Ighalo’s pace and ability to create chances, they have a real partnership. Let’s see if it can last.
Who would you include in your London XI?