Stats Zone Premier League Team of the Season 2013/14
Centre-back: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Curtis Davies was unanimously approved by the number-crunchers and pencil-chewers around the table as Opta and FourFourTwo debated the award winners, but choosing his centre-back partner took a bit longer. Liverpool's Martin Skrtel made the most clearances but also made a few too many errors; Steven Caulker contributed the most blocks, but Cardiff conceded 74 goals. Chelsea's John Terry, in case you're wondering, wasn't in the top three of any of the datasets we checked, for all his fine organisation skills.
Eventually, one defiant figure emerged across the lists: Ryan Shawcross. Only Curtis Davies won more aerial duels (171) than the Stoke man's 155; only Caulker contributed more blocks. As the Potters improved their football and their league position, Shawcross kept it locked down at the back; of the 17 occasions on which a Stoke player made 10 or more clearances this season, 14 were the former Manchester United man. Mark Hughes may have been brought in to make the side more attractive, but he'll be keen to keep Shawcross at the heart of his rearguard.
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