Blue moon rising: How City have dominated PFA team of the year selections

Manchester City have six players in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s team of the year – and are now the most-represented Premier League club over the last decade.

City’s increasing power in the top flight as the 2010s have progressed is reflected by the inclusion of 20 of their players among the 110 selected by PFA members over the course of the decade.

That is one more than Chelsea and two more than Manchester United and Tottenham – here, Press Association Sport takes a look back at the make-up of each division’s teams over the decade.

Premier League

Players included in PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2010-2019
Players included in PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2010-2019 (PA Graphic)

Manchester United had been the team most represented over a 10-year period but with their six selections from 2009 dropping out of the list, their local rivals have taken over top spot.

More than half of City’s selections date from the last two years, with five of Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking title winners chosen last season and now six of the team who are still battling to defend their crown. Interestingly, striker Sergio Aguero is the only player to make both teams.

United have had only two selections over that time – Paul Pogba this season and David De Gea 12 months ago – while Chelsea were represented only by Marcos Alonso last season as City have bypassed both clubs.

Spurs are alongside United with 18 selections, with Liverpool’s four picks this year making them the only other team in double figures with 11 selections.

Arsenal have eight, with Leicester managing four in their 2015-16 title-winning season to match Everton across the 10 years.

Thirteen clubs have had players in the Premier League selection this decade, with midlands rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham the only two currently outside the top flight.

Football League

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, left, and Tammy Abraham
Jack Grealish, left, and Tammy Abraham have brought Championship representation to Aston Villa (Nick Potts/PA)

Regular movement between divisions and the lack of a dominant bloc of clubs means far more teams are represented in the three EFL divisions.

Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham’s selections this season make Aston Villa the 31st team represented in the Championship this decade.

Burnley have had the most players chosen in that time – nine, two clear of Leicester, Newcastle and now Norwich, following the Canaries’ three picks this season. Brighton, Cardiff and Fulham follow with six selections each.

League One has seen 37 different clubs represented, led by Sheffield United with 10 players including five in their 2016-17 promotion season.

League Two is a similarly varied field, with 38 clubs featuring across the decade’s teams. Chesterfield, Bury and Luton are best represented with seven selections apiece.

Facts and figures

Michael Dawson arrives for a game with Hull
Hull provide a statistical quirk thanks to Michael Dawson (Paul Harding/PA)

Over the 10 seasons, 86 different clubs have been represented across the four divisions.

Southampton are the only club with players picked in three different divisions. Saints had three players in 2010’s League One selection and five the following year as they won promotion. They saw three players named in the 2012 Championship team and were soon represented in the top-flight XI by Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana in 2014 and Ryan Bertrand the next year.

Where two players tied for a place, each has been counted as 0.5 towards his club’s tally – which leaves Hull as a curious footnote.

The Tigers’ grand total for the decade across all divisions is precisely 0.5, their only selection coming when defender Michael Dawson tied with Middlesbrough’s Daniel Ayala for a place in the 2015-16 Championship XI.