Earlier on Wednesday, 90min brought you the best of the bottom six, a team of relegation-scrappers who could best put up a fight for Champions League spot (y’know, in any other season, this one’s a bit weird).
Now it’s time to flip that concept upside down and present a team of big six’ers who have somehow found themselves at elite clubs – the concept of a top six XI on paper this year would be harsh on Sheffield United, so we’re making up for Manchester United and Arsenal’s incompetence.
In the sake of fairness, only players who actually play fairly regularly will be considered – sorry, Victor Wanyama.
So which bunch of sorry saps has made the cut for this team of misfits?
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)
Kepa with your arms so short, please explain why by Chelsea you were bought.
Until his recent dropping for big Willy Caballero, the Spaniard was almost at fault for a goal a game, just letting in shots that were near to him instead of doing his job and saving them. If I were a goalkeeper, I’d simply stop the ball from going in.
Serge Aurier (RB)
Chaos pervert Serge Aurier is a legitimate candidate for Tottenham’s player of the season award, and yet his stock couldn’t be any lower.
He’s the obvious weak point in a fragile Spurs backline, and Jose Mourinho has even catered his formation so that a £23m defender doesn’t have to do much defending.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB)
There has almost certainly never been a player more damaging to a big side than Shkodran Mustafi at Arsenal. Imagine what he’d be like on a team actually in danger of going down (besides the Gunners circa two weeks ago).
Phil Jones (CB)
The perfect compliment to complete the perfect comedy centre-back partnership.
You turned down a Manchester United testimonial, Phil, but you might still get one for Dross County (contrary to popular belief, a club that isn’t actually Manchester United).
There weren’t many candidates for this spot, but after consulting 90min’s resident Chelsea man in Krishan Davis, Emerson takes this gong for ‘just not really doing anything’.
Eric Dier (DM)
Poor old Eric Dier, trudging around Tottenham’s midfield with the physical muster of a man twice his age.
Injuries and illness have slashed his mobility in half, and what’s left can’t even use his positional sense to save him. Not his fault he’s bad.
Granit Xhaka (CM)
Congratulations to Mikel Arteta’s favourite son for not giving the ball away that much in recent weeks, a true step up from his normal performances in an Arsenal shirt (this isn’t sarcasm).
Unfortunately, Granit Xhaka is still one of the worst midfielders at a big six club. Better luck next year, pal.
Andreas Pereira (CM)
A quick shoutout to Fred who has stepped up this season to resemble an actual footballer. Hopefully your progress will inspire Andreas Pereira to do the same one day, who at best remains a vague lookalike for this writer.
Jesse Lingard (RW)
For crying out loud Jesse please just score or assist a goal in the Premier League and maybe we’ll consider taking you out of this team.
Michy Batshuayi (ST)
A sense of recency bias or are the big six just loaded with competent strikers? A little from column A, a little from column B.
Alexandre Lacazette should count himself lucky that Michy Batshuayi’s stinker against United signed, sealed and delivered him straight to this team.
Dan James (LW)
Unsurprisingly, Dan James has looked a lot like a Championship player at times this season. Maybe because he was signed from the Championship.
He was signed as a squad option, and United’s deficiencies have meant he’s had more game time than imagined. Thanks for the funny celebration against Crystal Palace, but it’s time to return to your home division.
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