All of these factors impacted the PFA Team of the Season significantly, so let’s take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at it.
GK – Nigel Martyn (Leeds)
After a disappointing 11th place finish in 1996/97, the 1997/98 season saw Leeds improve significantly, finishing fifth and qualifying for Europe.
A large part of this was down to Nigel Martyn who, in his second season at Elland Road, played in all but one league game for the Whites.
RB – Gary Neville (Manchester United)
Although Man Utd didn’t manage to retain their league title in the 1997/98 season, it was still a pretty strong one for Neville. The right-back played in 34 of the Red Devil’s league games – a number he would only ever reach once more in his career.
United had the best defence in the league in the 1997/98 season and Neville was a major reason why.
CB – Gary Pallister (Manchester United)
Alongside Neville, Pallister was instrumental in United having the best defence in the league during the 1997/98 season.
Pallister featured in 33 of United’s league games in what would prove to be his final season in Manchester.
CB – Colin Hendry (Blackburn Rovers)
After finishing 13th the previous year, Blackburn Rovers improved significantly and finished sixth in the 1997/98 season.
A large part of this was down to Colin Hendry. In the Scotsman’s final season at Ewood Park, he was ever-present at the back for Rovers.
LB – Graeme Le Saux (Chelsea)
After a four and a half year stint in Lancashire, Graeme Le Saux returned to Chelsea in the 1997/98 season and immediately helped improve the Blues’ defence.
MF – David Beckham (Manchester United)
MF – Nicky Butt (Manchester United)
Featuring in 33 of Manchester United’s league games in the 1997/98 season, Nicky Butt was pivotal in the success United enjoyed throughout the late 90s and, despite not retaining their Premier League crowd, this season was no different.
Whether in a defensive midfield role or a little further up the field, Butt consistently did the job he was asked to the very best of his ability.
MF – David Batty (Newcastle United)
Known for his incredible work rate and unselfish play, Batty was a fan favourite during his brief stint at Newcastle.
MF – Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
FW – Michael Owen (Liverpool)
The 1997/98 season was the season Michael Owen announced himself to the world.
Bursting onto the scene at just 17 years of age, Owen played in all but two league games for Liverpool and, armed with his blistering pace, finished joint top scorer with 18 league goals.
FW – Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)