No place in PFA team for Firmino

We like lists because we don’t want to die,” the highbrow novelist Umberto Eco said a few years ago, going on to talk at length about the artistic urge to preserve, the Homeric tradition of listing generals and soldiers as a means of glorifying human existence and the fact he was being paid Nick Foligno Jersey to promote a big exhibition all about lists at the time.
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This may be true. But it does overlook the other type of list, lists that make you actively question the value of life itself. Yes, it’s that time of year again, the time of football lists, when the games become sunlit, demob-happy affairs and when it becomes necessary, with a sense of deathly foreboding, to divvy up the players and teams of the last nine months.
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This has always been the way. Professional football is basically made up of lists, driven from its inception by an urge to rank and categorise, and fuelled now to a state of constant rage-overload by new metrics, new media, new angry people. So much so that if you were to come to football fresh and try to invent a name for it you would probably come up with something more appropriate to the general spectacle, such as “shout-kick upset” or “goal taunt event” or “sustained ball argument opportunity”.

The PFA team of the season, which was published this week, is one of the better lists: a peer review voted on by the pros, and an object of informed fascination. There is a basic pointlessness in even questioning it – not that this has stopped usual Julio Jones Jersey carpings, revisions and fat-brained thought-blurts from the fringes of coherent discourse, also known as Why Not Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Below.

There is, though, one minor quibble that stood out. An absence that is hardly glaring, but which does speak to the basic oddity of this kind of list. It is hard to make a really convincing case for Roberto Firmino in the team of the year. Sergio Agüero, who is in it, has scored a goal every 94 minutes for the champion team, and remains a startlingly high-grade footballer.

Similarly it has Tony Bradley Jersey become a bit of a cliche to champion Firmino as an underrated player. He is right now the Seinfeld of elite central attackers, still managing to come across as a cultish phenomenon even while he’s out there topping the ratings, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo on Champions League goals and regularly linked with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

But there are still good reasons why Firmino seems to come from left-field, to defy easy categorisation. Where would you put him in the PFA team anyway? He doesn’t have the goals of a top centre-forward, or the assists of a top creator, but is instead something else entirely and no less valuable. Some have called him a false nine in his current role, and later a 9.5. Recently it has become the fashion to strike a dramatic pose and say, wait, what if he’s actually just a nine.

But really Firmino is just himself, a bespoke player tailored precisely to the intersection of what the team requires and his own unusual skill set. Probably we need new words to describe what he does. Central goal-block obstacle. Smiling foul-runner. High-class goal-angry scuffle-man.

With this in mind Firmino is also king of the alternative metric. Everyone loves a good Ka'imi Fairbairn Jersey Firmino stat. To date he has run a greater combined distance than any other attacker in the Champions League this season. In the Premier League Firmino has made 54 successful tackles, not just more than other strikers, but more to a comical degree. Harry Kane has made 15, Agüero nine. Firmino, meanwhile, has made more tackles than Nicolás Otamendi. wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys
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