Picking the 2021-22 PFA Team of the Year

It's that time of year! In this week's Tactical Thinker, we asked you to name your PFA Team of the Year, as though you were one of the pros making the difficult selection. After a countless number of responses, we compile the top eleven players as voted by our own stack of pros - you, the readers. Here is our PFA Team of the Year, from the TMS community.

Explaining the Sweeper Keeper – Player Role Analysis

The 'Sweeper Keeper' came to deserved acclaim at the 2014 World Cup, when Manuel Neuer showcased his ability to rush out of his goal, and "sweep" in behind Germany's high-line, almost playing like another centre-back out of possession. Since then, the role of the sweeper keeper has only grown and evolved, becoming a player who is capable in build-up phases, ventures out of their goal to involve themselves in passing sequences higher up the pitch, and completely commands their penalty area by coming off their line and taking control of any situation.

David De Gea – Player Analysis

Manchester United have been abysmal in 2021-22. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. But despite their team woes, a few key individuals have continued to go about their business and perform to reasonably remarkable heights. No one more than David De Gea - who has had one of his greatest seasons in a Manchester United shirt, just one year after losing his place to Dean Henderson. David De Gea has been exceptional in 2021-22, regaining his illustrious reputation as one of the best keepers in the world, and pulling off saves like it's 2015 again. So with that, we bring you our David De Gea Player Analysis, and finally discuss both the strengths and limitations of one of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history.

Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool – Tactical Analysis

"If Manchester City win the match, the title race is over." - every Premier League pundit in existence. Well, Manchester City didn't win the match, so what happens now? First of all, what a match. Second of all, I am of the firm belief that Manchester City thoroughly outclassed Liverpool on the day, and that Raheem Sterling should have been ruled onside from that VAR disallowed goal (surely it's too close to say clear and obvious?). But I digress. I am not here to talk about refereeing decisions. Instead, the tactics! So let's jump into it, and discuss whether or not the title race is over, or in fact, still with everything to play for.

Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool – Tactical Analysis (2021-22 Edition)

With 23 matches gone, Manchester City are evident favourites for the title. But Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool haven't been too far off, and still have both a game in hand and a game against City to play. The Reds have been brilliant this season, regardless of their competitors, scoring the most goals in the league and returning to their best under the return of Virgil Van Dijk, and other players restored to their normal positions. Through it all, Jurgen Klopp's team have continued to perform to the highest standard in all the areas expected of them, from their heavy metal pressing to meticulous methods of playing out from the back. Here is our tactical analysis of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in 2021-22.

Goalkeepers in the build-up – a new meaning to the ‘Sweeper Keeper’

The role of the goalkeeper continues to evolve in the modern game, with keepers becoming better with their feet by the year. Not only are goalkeepers now a crucial part of their team's build-up structures, but they're coming higher and higher out of their penalty areas to contribute. We recently discussed how Robert Sanchez often joins the Brighton defense as an auxiliary centre-back when the Seagulls play out from the back. But Sanchez is not alone in the art. The likes of Alisson, Ederson and Manuel Neuer all perform a similar function for their teams, adding another number by which their team can shift the ball around and make the opposition sweat. But why exactly is this happening and what are the advantages? Let's explore.

Top 100 Male Footballers 2021 Edition (60-41)

The end of the year is nearly here! And that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list to kick off. This year, you had your say in our voting polls, and this is where you landed. Here is numbers 60-41 in the Top 100 Footballers in the World.

Goalkeeper of the Year – Interactive Vote (Top 100 Footballers 2021)

The end of year is almost here, and that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list. This year, you, the readers of our website, will get to have your say. Just simply see the list of nominees below, and rearrange the list to suit your preference of first to last in each position. When we rank the Top 100 Footballers of the Year, we take into consideration a player's form throughout 2021, their club and national team success, difficulty of league, and their reputation + performances in the year prior. You can rank based on any criteria you desire! Below is our first poll of the year - ranking the best goalkeepers in 2021.

The evolution of the goalkeeper

oalkeepers need to have strong psychological skills, and always back themselves to perform. Even when they are full of confidence and everything they touch stays out of the net, that can all change so quickly. If a goalkeeper slips up, it usually results in a goal, and that inherently makes their position so much more difficult than any other.