London XI 2012: Chelsea dominate our team of the year with SEVEN players, but there's ZERO Arsenal stars… and can you guess which Championship tyro gets the nod
11:46 GMT, 31 December 2012
Sportsmail's dream teams
Click below to read:
Jamie Redknapp's team of the season so far
Martin Keown's Arsenal/Spurs XI
Dominic King's Mersey stars of 2012
It's been something of a mixed year for London clubs. The last 12 months have seen Chelsea crowned FA Cup and European champions, but manager Roberto Di Matteo was ditched after a Premier League slump despite that unforgettable May night in Munich.
But the Blues' triumph was bad news for Tottenham, whose Champions League spot was snatched away despite breaking into the Premier League's top four. Meanwhile, West Ham have built on their promotion from the Championship and Fulham continue to enjoy life in the top flight.
But over at the Emirates Stadium, the trophy cabinet remained bare for yet another season. While Arsenal again finished in the top four, Arsene Wenger has come under increasing pressure amid a dip in performances and the loss of another top star, Robin van Persie, to Manchester United.
But whatever the fortunes of their respective clubs, here Sportsmail selects the standout performers from London clubs in 2012. Do you agree Let us know who would be in and out of your team by posting in the comments section below…
No contest. Saved a penalty in extra-time from former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben in the Champions League final and was the hero with two more in the shoot-out. Best keeper in town.
Petr to the rescue: Cech saves Arjen Robben's penalty during the Champions League final in May
Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic
Tempted to give this to Kyle Walker
as an orthodox right back, but Ivanovic, a natural central defender, is
so tenacious he deserves his place. Next year, Kyle.
Left-back: Ashley Cole
Despite the uncertainty about his
future, he is guaranteed to produce week in, week out. Chelsea will miss
him next season – he’s still the best left-back in the world.
Given the runaround by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Sweden played England in November, but he has been outstanding for AVB at Spurs. Young players need encouragement and AVB has provided it.
Just love this guy. Has an outgoing personality on and off the pitch and he’s not afraid to show it. Will develop into one of the best ball playing central defenders in the world under his next manager.
Not your average centre-halves: Spurs youngster Steven Caulker (top left) and the gifted David Luiz (below)
What a goal: Ramires sparked Chelsea's incredible Champions League triumph over Barcelona with this chip
Has adapted to the physical demands of
the Premier League and has emerged as a key part of Chelsea’s plans for
the long-term future. Just edges in ahead of Sandro and Dembele.
Lifted the European Cup as captain for
the first time in Chelsea’s history and fully deserved it after an
outstanding career at Stamford Bridge. One of the game’s great
Crowning glory: Frank Lampard capped his magnificent Chelsea career by lifting the European Cup
Any player who can make people wake up on a Saturday morning with childlike excitement at the thought of watching him play merits a place in any team. Have witnessed this kid’s development week in week out and he is some player.
Come and get him: Wilfried Zaha is ready to make the step up from Crystal Palace to a top club
Will have to play on the right of the front three to accommodate Gareth Bale, but he is comfortable in any position. Chelsea’s player of the year last season, could easily win it this time too.
His thrilling runs down the left are becoming part of Tottenham folklore. Unfair reputation for being a diver – most of the time he’s protecting himself from the risk of serious injury. Sensible lad.
Just you try and stop them: The outstanding Juan Mata (left) and Gareth Bale (right)
Striker: Jermain Defoe
His game has matured and is now
equally comfortable isolated up front on his own, or playing alongside
Emmanuel Adebayor. Has scored 10 in the Premier League for AVB and
there is plenty more to come.
Coming of age: Jermain Defoe has matured into a fine goalscorer no matter who he plays with up front