Premier League Team of the Decade
It is that time of year when rankings and lists are trotted out as to who was the best at this, and who was the best at that. This year is a little bit special, as it's the end of a decade.
The Premiership is arguable in its golden period. Attendances are at an all time high, with people watching all over the world.
During this decade, who would be the best players in each position?
Unfortunately, Tony Adams, Roy Keane, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and Patrick Vieira, who would make some people's best 11 ever, I have deemed ineligible because they didn't play in the Premiership for more than half of the decade.
Are your favourite players in my Premiership team of the decade?
Goalkeeper: Shay Given
The 33-year-old Irish keeper has been the most formidable keeper of the noughties.
Since the turn of the Millenium, Given was the custodian between the sticks at Newcastle United before his big money move to Manchester City last season.
It could be argued that it was not Newcastle's financial troubles that lead to their relegation last season but the sale of Given to Manchester City that was their ultimate downfall.
Right Back: Gary Neville
Through the noughties, there could be very little argument about who has been the best right back in the Premiership. Players have come and go at Manchester United but Gary Neville has been a constant.
His tenacious and calm style made him a permanent fixture in the Manchester United teams of the noughties.
Left Back: Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole has been the most consistent left backs in the Premiership since joining Arsenal in 1999. He was instrumental in Arsenal's success in the early part of the decade and his switch across London to Chelsea reaped more rewards for the England International.
His attacking flair made him a formidable player who could turn defence into attack in a matter of seconds.
Centre Back: John Terry
The Chelsea and England Captain has been a stalwart of the Chelsea team that have become one of the leading clubs in the Premiership this decade.
His no-nonsense style of play has made him indispensable at the heart of the Chelsea back four, and has led them to two Premiership titles and helped to make Chelsea one of the dominant clubs in European football.
For his unflappability and unwavering dependability, I have named him the captain of the decade.
Centre Back: Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand started his career at West Ham before a record British transfer of £18 million, moved him North to Leeds United. He was integral in helping the young Leeds side to the brink of a Champion's League final in 2002.
That caught the eye of Manchester United, who again broke the British transfer record by paying Leeds £33 million for the England International defender.
Ferdinand has become a fixture of the Manchester United defense with Gary Neville that has been the most formidable team in the Premiership this decade.
Midfield: Christiano Ronaldo
The mercurial Christiano Ronaldo. The fleet-footed boy wonder of Manchester United. Although he only played for Manchester United for six years, he made a huge impact on the Premiership.
In his time at Old Trafford, he was instrumental in their winning of three Premier League titles, the F.A. Cup, the League Cup twice, and the Champion's League. He was also the winner of the European Golden boot award in 2007/'08 with 26 goals in all competitions and the recipient of the Balloon d'Or (UEFA footballer of the year).
The enigma that is Frank Lampard: He is one of the most talented midfielders of all time at club level, yet lacks something on the international stage. He started his career at West Ham before moving to Chelsea in 2001.
He was the heart of the Chelsea side that was prominent in the mid-noughties, winning the British football writers' Footballer of the Year award in 2005, and coming second in the Balloon d'Or and the FIFA World Footballer of the Year Awards in the same year.
Midfield: Steven Gerrard
Despite never winning the Premiership title with Liverpool, Steven Gerrard has won just about everything else possible in football in the noughties, from the Champion's League, in the epic final against AC Milan, to the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the F.A. Cup on two occasions.
The ever imaginative Gerrard has an uncanny knack for scoring spectacular goals from nothing, and Liverpool is a poorer team in his absence.
Midfield: Ryan Giggs
When will Ryan Giggs retire? Giggs seems to have been playing since the start of the Premier League in 1992, and that's because he has. Giggs started playing for Manchester United in 1991 at the tender age of 17.
He is the holder of the record for most appearances for Manchester United and is the winner of almost every domestic footballing trophy a player in the English domestic game can achieve. He has played in 577 games for Manchester United and scored 151 times in that period. He was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by the Queen for his services to football in 2007 and is currently the only active player in the Football League's 100 Legends list.
Striker: Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney, the butt of so many jokes, will ultimately have the last laugh. The formidable goal scoring machine that is Wayne Rooney burst on to the scene as a pugnacious teenager at Everton in 2002 but was soon snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United in 2004 for £25.6 million.
He swiftly became an integral part of the dominant Manchester United team of the noughties, helping them to the Champion's League in 2007/'08.
The young striker, who is still only 24, has 94 goals in 243 appearances in the Premiership but still has a long way to go to oust Alan Shearer of the Premier League record of 261 goals.
Striker: Thierry Henry
The wonderfully talented Frenchman burst onto the Premiership in 1999 with Arsenal. Despite struggling briefly with the pace of the Premiership in his first season, he soon became the top goal scorer for Arsenal in each of his eight seasons with the Gunners, ultimately amassing a huge total of 171 goals (third in the Premierships all time goal scoring list), and Arsenal's record goal scorer with 226 goals.
Henry, the goal scoring machine with the delicate touch and sublime timing was arguably the best striker ever to play in the Premiership, but for his achievements in his time with Arsenal, he has made my Premiership team of the decade.
But who should be the manager of this imposing team?
The Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
This decade's top Premier League manager is, without a doubt, Sir Alex Ferguson. He has won everything in this decade with Manchester United:
UEFA Champions League once ('07/'08)
FIFA Club World Cup once ('08)
English Premier League six times ('99/'00, '00/'01, '02/'03, '06/'07, '07/'08, '08/'09)
F.A. Cup once ('03/'04)
League Cup twice ('05/'06, '08/'09)
F.A. Community Shield three times ('03, '07, '08)
Some will say that Ferguson wasn't anywhere near the manager that Arsene Wenger was during the decade, but even Wenger's formidable record doesn't stand up next to Ferguson's.
English Premier League twice ('01/'02, '03/'04)
F.A. Cup three times ('01/'02, '02/'03, '04/'05)
F.A. Community Shield twice ('02, '04)
Ferguson's record speaks for itself, but Wenger could count himself unlucky to have had the majority of the decade in Ferguson's shadow, ending up as the Runner Up on many occasions.
UEFA Champions League Runner Up once ('05/'06)
Premier League Runners Up four times ('99/'00, '00/'01, '01/'02, '04/'05)
F.A. Cup Runners Up once ('01/'02)
League Cup once ('06/'07)
F.A. Community Shield twice ('03, '05)
UEFA Cup ('99/'00)
What do you think?
Who should I have picked and didn't?
Who deserved a place in the Premiership Team of the Decade, who I so cruelly left out?
Let me know who your team of the decade would have been!