Season 2015 is about to slowly kick off since many Premium Liiga teams have started their season preparation yesterday.
Rumori takes a moment to look back at 2014 by proclaiming the Optibet TOP XI 2014 and assigning the Football Oscars of the season according to the usual categories: Best Goalkeeper, Best Defender, Best Midfielder, Best Striker, Best Youngster, Best Foreigner, Best Coach.
OPTIBET TOP XI
It was a long season and a lot of players got in the action to become part of this elite team, the best players of Estonian Premium Liiga.
Club wise we can count three players from title-winners Levadia, two from runners-up Sillamäe and third-place Flora, three from 4th place Kalju and one from FC Infonet.
Actually, the latter, compelled us to change our 4-2-3-1 into a 4-4-2 to make him space in the starting XI after scoring 30 goals. We’re obviously talking about Manucho.
Let’s see who are the other 10 members of the Optibet Best XI thanks to our Riccardo D’Agnese special cartoon (click to enlarge).
Goalkeeper: Roman Śmiśko (Levadia)
The Levadia’s captain from Ukraine confirmed to be the best goalkeeper of the Premium Liiga by, once and again, beating Vitali Teleś’ in the competition. His season was embellished by the Premium Liiga clean sheet record set to over 1,000 minutes (previous was standing at 979).
Defenders: Markus Jürgenson (Flora), Jorge Rodrigues (Kalju), Artjom Artjunin (Levadia), Ken Kallaste (Kalju)
In the central defence the never-seen-before couple Rodrigues-Artjunin. Notwithstanding Kalju’s downfall in the table, the defence stand solid in front of Teleś thanks to the Portuguese defender great comeback. 2014 season was not better than 2013 for Artjunin, however the Levadia’s nr.3 showed once and again to be among the best prospects of Estonian football. The left back position was almost never in doubt for Ken Kallaste, continuously in the national team call-ups and probably set to leave Estonia in January. The right back position belongs to Flora’s Markus Jürgenson, one of the most trustworthy men for Norbert Hurt.
Midfielders: Rauno Alliku (Flora), Hidetoshi Wakui (Kalju), Danil Ratnikov (Sillamäe Kalev), Igor Subbotin (Levadia)
Goals, wits and more in this great midfield 4. Alliku has probably been among the top3 of FC Flora this season, second best goalscorer (15) and fine assist provider (8). He is definitely moving in the right direction and can become even a more key-player during next season. In the middle, Wakui has proven to be Kalju’s added value this season. About to leave Estonia, his return was key since he provided Kalju with 21 goals, the Pink Panthers topscorer, and teammates with 12 assists. Alongside the Japanese wizard, another assists king: Daniil Ratnikov. The Pärnu-born number 10 has also scored ten goals helping Sillamäe to rise to the second place. Only the doors of the national team haven’t opened for him yet. Moved on the left flank in our XI, Igor Subbotin actually started as usually on the right to be moved to the striker’s position at Levadia. He capitalized the opportunity by scoring 32 goals, only 4 behind Evgeni Kabaev. He is now searching for a contract abroad.
Strikers: Manucho (FC Infonet), Evgeni Kabaev (Sillamäe)
Changing the formation to 4-4-2 was due since Infonet’s Manucho helped his side to rise to the 5th place with 30 goals. Obviously, no one ever questioned that Evgeni Kabaev was going to be in this special XI. Out of this XI, he is the only one who has already relocated elsewhere (at Persija Jakarta in Indonesia).
The roles winner were determined by the Best XI table (one point awarded for place in the starting XI, half for a place as a sub – full tables per role can be found here).
RdS editorial staff assigned the other four Oscars by voting three names in podium order: 3 points were awarded for first place, 2 for second and one for the third.
Best Goalkeeper: Roman Śmiśko (Levadia) 9,5p
2. Vitali Teleś (Kalju) 8,5
3. Matvei Igonen (FC Infonet) 5,5
Best Defender: Ken Kallaste (Kalju) 11p
2. Artjom Artjunin (Levadia) 10
3. Markus Jürgenson (Flora) 9
Best Midfielder: Hidetoshi Wakui (Kalju) 14p
2. Rauno Alliku (Flora) 12
3. Daniil Ratnikov (Sillamäe) 10,5
Best Striker: Evgeni Kabaev (Sillamäe) 15p
2. Manucho (FC Infonet) 11
3. Albert Prosa (Flora) 8
Best Youngster: Ilja Antonov (Levadia) 9p
2. Karol Mets (Flora) 5
3. Artur Pikk (Levadia) 4
Best Foreigner: Manucho (FC Infonet) 8
2. Evgeni Kabaev (Sillamäe) 7
3. Wakui (Kalju) 3
Best Debut: Omar El-Hussieny (Levadia) 5p
Best Coach: Marko Kristal (Levadia) 8p
2. Frantsev (Sillamäe) 7
3. Hurt (Flora) 2
Assists stats from www.transfermarkt.de