EV­ERY­ONE A STAR GO ALL THE WAY

CHRIS DUNLAVY LOOKS BACK OVER THE SEA­SON

The Football League Paper - - PROFILE ON -

THE play­ers have spo­ken. The PFA team of the year is in. And let’s be hon­est – it’s pretty hard to ar­gue with any of their se­lec­tions. But that isn’t go­ing to stop me try­ing. Over the course of the last ten months I’ve watched ev­ery side in the Cham­pi­onship at ev­ery ground from Pride Park to Port­man Road.

And in that time I’ve seen some won­der­ful per­for­mances al­though, ad­mit­tedly, not at Charl­ton v Mill­wall back in early Septem­ber. If you were there and paid money to get in, I can only of­fer my deep­est sym­pa­thy.

Any­way, here is my pick for the team of the year, craftily ar­ranged into a fash­ion­able 4-3-3:

At 35 the pace he never had is now en­tirely ab­sent but the or­gan­i­sa­tion and po­si­tional sense means Up­son never looks in dan­ger. Un­for­tu­nately, that was too of­ten the case for Brighton’s op­po­nents too. LIKE team-mate Trip­pier, Shack­ell made the of­fi­cial team of the year. And like Trip­pier, it’s im­pos­si­ble to leave him out of this one.

For the last four years – at Barns­ley, Derby and now Burn­ley – Shack­ell has been one of the most con­sis­tent cen­tre-halves in the di­vi­sion. He isn’t spec­tac­u­lar; if you want last-ditch tack­les and goal-line hero­ics, look else­where.

But if you want to see a guy who is al­ways in the right place and fills ev­ery­body in his side with calm as­sur­ance, look no fur­ther. A class act who is fi­nally get­ting his re­ward for years of graft.

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