Updated: May 13, 2020
No live football has had me continuously thinking back to the way things were ... when sports were actually played. But, thinking back to what Premier League football used to be, got me thinking about the best players I’ve been lucky enough to watch at each club. And so, this list is born.
I won't lie, part of it was tricky because of the immense turnover there has been over the last decade with relegation and promotion. A total of 37 clubs had spells in the top flight from 2010-2019.
Perhaps one of the hardest choices comes right off the bat. The Gunners had multiple players serve them admirably in the last decade. Many elite performers have come through the ranks. Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Robin Van Persie, and Aaron Ramsey all come to mind.
But Laurent Koscielny is the Arsenal MVP of the decade for me. He played for the Gunners in all years of the last decade, arriving in 2010 and departing (rather unceremoniously) in 2019 for Bordeaux. In his time in North London, Koscielny cemented himself as a top center back in the league and the first name on many of Arsene Wenger’s team sheets. He was the mainstay in an ever-changing Gunner backline and managed to keep organization in an also ever-changing midfield in front of him.
If you could pick an MVP based on what they did after they left a club, Aston Villa would be hands down the most difficult to choose from.
James Milner, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and even Stewart Downing were all part of the 2010 Villa squad. Barry went on to have the most Premier League appearances all-time and Milner lifted a Champions League trophy with Liverpool after playing for Newcastle and Manchester City.
Club captain Jack Grealish erupted onto the scene in 2016 and shined in the Championship for Villa. He was a bright spot in some bleak Championship campaigns and led the effort to earn promotion back into the Premier League in 2019. Now, he is one of the lone hopes Villa has in their quest to stay up.