Another season over, and Chelsea are the Premier League champions despite calls to disqualify the club for John Terry's goodbye interrupting an actual match in the 26th minute.
Throughout the season we've been debating the good and the bad on Squeaky Balls Time, our Premier League show in association with Ladbrokes, and now that it's all said and done all that is left is to pick out team of the season, because that's what everyone does.
We didn't want to pick what would essentially be a carbon copy of the PFA team, but we've put together a side for a myriad of reasons, most of which we discussed on the final episode of the season.
Here is the alternative team of the year in full:
GK: Tom Heaton - Burnley
WINNER! | This season's Player of the Year… TOM HEATON! Congratulations Tom! pic.twitter.com/RYTfhD8zHw
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) May 14, 2017
While Thibaut Courtois claimed the golden glove, he didn't have nearly as much work to do as Tom Heaton in goal for Burnley, who managed to claim the more important (in our eyes) save of the season away for his spot-on Peter Schmeichel impression in an Old Trafford performance that Brad Friedel would have been proud of. A very good goalkeeper, he was Burnley's POTY as well.
RB: Antonio Valencia - Manchester United
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 18, 2017
Tony V has gone from a liability in terms of positioning to a right-back most Man Utd fans wouldn't swap for anyone in the league. Voted the players' player of the season for a remarkably consistent and impressive season despite not getting the same from his teammates.
CB: Gareth McAuley - West Brom
No outfield Premier League player has completed more take-ons (2) inside their own penalty area this season than Gareth McAuley.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 5, 2017
What an absolute beast. At 37 years of age the Norn Iron man had the best season of his life and established himself as Antrim's answer to Sergio Ramos. We were surprised to learn that he only has 6 goals this season, as it felt closer to 16, but he was also extremely solid at the back in Pulis' WBA side.
CB: 3-5-2 David Luiz - Chelsea
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 21, 2017
Just be clear, we want the David Luiz that plays in Conte's 3-5-2 to play in our 4-4-2 team of the year, and no other version of David Luiz. This season he has been outstanding, and in shutting down Graeme Souness on the Stamford Bridge pitch as a final act was enough to give him the nod here. In all seriousness, an outstanding campaign.
LB: Marcos Alonso - Chelsea
6 – No defender has scored more PL goals (excl. penalties) this season than Marcos Alonso (level with G. Cahill & G. McAuley). Influence. pic.twitter.com/ADHgDt2OiJ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 15, 2017
Who saw this coming? Saving previously seen him play for Sunderland and Bolton in the Premier League, eye-brows were raised when Conte decided to bring him to Chelsea, but clearly he saw something in Serie A to know that he would be absolutely perfect at left-wing-back in his system. Goals, free-kicks, the lot, we didn't know you had it in you, Marcos.
RM: Sadio Mané - Liverpool
Sadio Mane with season's Golden Samba Award ?
What a player. What a signing ? pic.twitter.com/MJzi05cUGV
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) May 21, 2017
Yes he was named in the PFA team of the season, but for the sheer fact that many Liverpool fans, and every non-Liverpool fan, thought the club had overpaid for him, he has to make this team. Mané was outstanding from the word go, and due to injury and the AFCON, Liverpool suffered. How different would things have been if he played even a few more games in the legaue...
CM: Gylfi Sigurdsson - Swansea
— BBC Wales Sport (@BBCWalesSport) May 17, 2017
He is going to leave though... Not because he wants to, because it's unfair to keep him. He's a peacock, you've gotta let him fly. Sigurdsson damn near single-handedly kept Swansea in the Premier League this season and will surely be courted by many clubs in England and beyond.
CM: Mousa Dembele - Tottenham Hotspur
— Mousa Dembélé (@mousadembele) May 21, 2017
Tottenham's Belgian midfielder Mousa 'with one S' Dembele may have actually never lost the ball. He is absurdly strong for someone who is not build like a brick shithouse, and generates a sort of forcefield whenever he has the ball in close proximity to an opponent. All the Spurs players will tell you he's the one you want on your team in five-a-side, so we want him in our alternative team of the year.
LM: Heung-Min Son - Tottenham Hotspur
Heung-Min Son on his award: "It's my second time this season and I'm thankful to my team-mates, coaching staff and so many fans." pic.twitter.com/ixkEkhRahH
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 12, 2017
Our loyal Korean fanbase would have been absolutely livid if we had left him out, but thankfully we didn't need to as Son shone throughout the season, chipping in with a magnificent 21 league goals, most of which game with it's own celebration handshake routine as he played with the exuberance of a 13-year-old who has been drinking coke on a sleepover at his mate's house where they practice handshake routines. Lethal on the counter-attack.
ST: Harry Kané - Tottenham Hotspur
— Harry Kane (@HKane) May 21, 2017
We've decided to give him the alternative name of Harry Kané in order to justify picking him because his season has been so insane there was no way we were leaving him out. Level on Premier League hat-tricks with Wayne Rooney despite being only 23, 29 goals in 30 games having missed a chunk of the season. What a player.
ST: Jermaine Defoe - Sunderland
— Jermain Defoe (@IAmJermainDefoe) May 17, 2017
Even if we didn't get a view as to just how outstanding a human being Jermaine Defoe is this season, he would still have had a place in this side for a wonderful individual season that spared Sunderland from setting records as one of the worst Premier League teams ever. His friendship with Bradley Lowrey has melted our hearts, and he's put in the performances on the pitch too.