It’s not certain the Tokyo Olympics will take place this year, which will be a tragedy for all the athletes who depend on funding incentives from how they perform at the event. It’s widely anticipated if they are cancelled this year they will not take place at all. My favourite part of the Olympics is the track & field element, maybe other sports in Britain could help out and form teams to take part in a mini Olympics against the pro’s, their will be plenty of tv time available? You cannot expect the highly paid pro’s from football, rugby etc to take part in highly skilled disciplines like boxing, swimming etc but athletics has a school sports day feel to it.
I have compiled a Premier League Track & Field team to take on the might of GB’s and other sports best:
100 metres – Adama Traore
The Premier League has many fast players but he has the feel of a sprinter playing football rather than a speedy footballer. His crossing has got better but that doesn’t mean he is David Beckham.
200 metres – Mason Greenwood
I did consider Traore to double up but with his muscular build I worry about his ablity to run the bend. Greenwood was recorded as one of the top 5 fastest players last season and his build reminds me of Bolt or Johnson.
400 metres – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Keeping with the criteria of following a past great of the event I looked for a footballer with a similar build to the great Michael Johnson. I came round to selecting Aubameyang as I feel a football pitch is too small for him to really get motoring to full speed.
800 metres – Fred
He covers so much ground at a high level of speed, this event will be perfect for a man who comes across he has ants in his pants constantly.
1500 metres – Shane Long
Ranked in the top 10 fastest players last season, but he also covers a lot of ground when he plays closing down defenders. This event is perfect for him to stay with the front runners and then kick in with a high class sprint finish. He doesn’t play often so he can start his training now.
3000 metre steeplechase – James Milner
35 years old but he covers more ground most weeks than team mates in their early 20’s. He comes across as a fella who enjoys a new challenge, running and jumping is not a difficult skillset but combined over a large distance it could be but may also be his cup of tea?
5000 metre – Dele Alli
At this point the stats for players who run the most come into play, Dele is one of a few who hit the 13km mark in games numerous times in a season (when he plays). Sprinting ability is a factor for the last lap kick in and why I went for Alli.
10,000 metres – Bernado Silva
I was shocked to hear Silva is one of the Premier League players who covers the most ground in games, with that knowledge I had to include him as I am sure he would be one of those annoying runners who sticks in around the group clipping peoples heels around him. Pep will study distance running to the extreme and map out Bernados whole race.
110 metre hurdles – Kyle Walker
Kyle was close to being selected for the 100metres but he is also one of the most athletic PL footballers and he reminds me so much of Colin Jackson.
400 metres hurdles – Aaron Wan Bissaka
Aaron is another of the top10 fastest players in the league but like Auba he always seems like he has another speed gear and would gobble up the hurdles in front of him. My only concern is he can lose concentration and this discipline means you need to follow your stride pattern to a tee.
Long Jump – Ainsley Maitland Niles
He looks like an athlete and this event seems perfect for him.
Triple Jump – Tyrone Mings
This is a hard event to judge so used the criteria of height, speed and if a player hops a lot, I was left with Mings and the more i think of it the more he seems perfect. Over the years Tyrone has hop or skipped on players heads like Ibrahimovic or Oliveira.
High Jump – Semi Ajayi
Jannik Vestergaard was highly considered due to his height but Ajayi always comes across he’s going to jump over the goal when heading the ball so won out ultimately. His speed could always mean he doubles up and takes part in the triple jump.
Pole Vault – Allan Saint-Maximin
Owners and managers would have kittens regarding their players taking part in this event but with Mike Ashley being the owner of Sports Direct he would be desperate for one his men being in this squad to showcase his brand and who better than Saint-Maximin. Fast, athletic and a no fear attitude to life would mean he would do well but also their is no doubt he would be so entertaining.
Discuss – Kasper Schmeichel
We now enter the realm of goalkeepers taking part, these days they can throw the football so far you would expect them to still be able to throw objects heavier or differing in size to a ball with equal aplomb? Kasper has more speed than most other keepers and I am sure he would be able to spin and throw.
Shot Put – Ederson
The face of a Shot Putter and throwing ability not many others can rival in world football.
Javelin – Jordan Pickford
Pickford reminds me of a Steve Backley so much and gains his selection due to that fact. One of the smaller keepers in the league, I feel he could possess more speed in the run up before throwing the javelin.
Hammer Throw – Branislav Ivanovic
Steered away from the goalkeeper criteria for this event but felt this discipline needed a heavy outfield player for their strength and slight of foot. Ivanovic is a man who would not fear the hammer!
Decathlon – Sadio Mane
Mane was the easiest selection for this team, as a footballer he possesses so many key traits for a world class forward and even more as a great team mate. I have no doubt he would be excellent in all the events required for the decathlon.
Walking 20km & 50km – James Ward Prowse
James is another who covers a lot of ground but with no great speed, probably his fastest moments in a game are when he approaches a corner or free kick.
Marathon – N’Golo Kante
The Duracell bunny deserves to be in this squad he has covered the midfields for Leicester, Chelsea and France for the last few years enabling others to play with the ball while he does the dirty work. This is his chance to take on Mo Farah in a blockbusting duel.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions for the Premier League Athletics team?
featured image credit sky sports