Premier League Team of the Decade 2010–2019: GK and Defence

Updated on March 27, 2020
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20 Times. Avid United fan through the hard times and the good. Still believes Wes Brown is the real hero of Old Trafford.

One of only a few world class players left at United.
One of only a few world class players left at United. | Source

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Manchester United (2011-)

One of the few remaining genuinely world-class talents at Manchester United, David De Gea's performances over the course of this decade deserve far more than they've received. Signing as a young prodigy from Athletico Madrid in 2011, the meteoric rise of De Gea into the world's very best is as impressive as it is inspiring.

After reclaiming his first team spot following a period of poor performances, De Gea quickly became one of United's most valuable assets. He claimed the Golden Glove in 2017/18, scooped the Manchester United Player of the Year award three times between 2014 and 2018, produced Match of the Day's 'Save of the Season' five times across the decade and made the PFA Team of the Year five times from 2012–13 to 2017–18.

He has won a Premier League title, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Europa League during his time in Manchester and, at times, singlehandedly hauled Manchester United to a respectable finish in the league.

An ever present for an emerging City side.
An ever present for an emerging City side. | Source

Right Back: Pablo Zabaleta

Manchester City (2008–2017), West Ham United (2017-)

A solid, reliable and increasingly impressive fixture for Manchester City as they rose from noisy neighbours to European powerhouse, few City fans can conjure a bad word about their former Argentine right back.

Signing from Espanyol on the eve of the decade, over the course of his nine year stay in Manchester, Zabaleta would only drop below thirty appearances in all competitions once, making 22 in 2015/16 amid injury concerns.

A skill-full and competent player on the ball, Zabaleta would scoop up two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and a PFA Team of the Year place in 2012-13 over the course of his Manchester career, before moving to West Ham in 2017.

Despite being 34 years old now, Zabaleta still finds himself as a dependable and professional member of the side, having racked up over 70 appearances in his two and a bit seasons in East London.

Captain. Leader. Legend.
Captain. Leader. Legend. | Source

Centre Back: John Terry

Chelsea (1998–2017)

From his breakout year in 2001, right the way through to his heroic departure as a champion in 2017, John Terry was the epitome of the phrase: 'Captain. Leader. Legend.'

The start of the 2010s arguably coincided with John Terry playing at his very, very best, starting the decade off with a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/10, and finally getting his hands on a Champions League in 2011/12.

The tough tackling and absolute warrior in his own box was one of England's greatest ever players and remains Chelsea's most capped and successful player in the club's history.

In total, the decade saw him win three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, a League Cup, a Champions League, a Europa League, a PFA Team of the Year place and the record of being one of the few players to play in every minute of a title win in 2014/15.

One of the best leaders of his generation.
One of the best leaders of his generation. | Source

Centre Back: Vincent Kompany

Manchester City (2008–2019)

One of the most legendary figures on the blue side of Manchester, Vincent Kompany is one of the most qualified, eloquent and professional players still active in the football world. Fiercely competitive and wonderfully gifted in the art of defending, the Belgian defender joined Manchester City in 2008 and became the club's captain in 2011/12.

Though he might have racked up something of an injury list over the latter parts of his career, the guidance and leadership displayed by Kompany when he did return to the side proved invaluable. The ability to seamlessly fit back into a side after a period on the sidelines is something few players can boast about possessing, but with Kompany it was something to truly marvel at, with this most notably demonstrated with the City captain being vital in the side's dramatic title win in 2018/19.

Over the course of the decade at Manchester City, Kompany would win four Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, four League Cups, Premier League Player of the Season in 2011/12, three PFA Team of the Year selections and the BBC Goal of the Season in 2018/19.

Kompany's Best Ever Moment?

One of the most reliable defenders in the league.
One of the most reliable defenders in the league. | Source

Left Back: Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea (2012-)

One of the most reliable, consistent and adaptable players the Premier League has ever seen, Cesar Azpilicueta has become a Chelsea legend since signing for the club from Marseille in 2012.

Capable of playing on either the right or the left of a backline and keeping even the most dangerous strikers quiet, Azpilicueta has even had spells at Centre Back and in the Midfield during his time in West London, playing under seven different managers so far and being heavily relied upon by all of them.

The Spaniard is one of the few players to have played every minute of every title-winning season, doing so on the left of a back three under Antonio Conte in 2016/17.

Over the course of the decade, Azpilicueta has won two Premier Leagues, two Europa Leagues, a FA Cup, a League Cup, Chelsea Players' Player of the Year in 2013/14 and a place in the Europa League Team of the Season in 2018/19.


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