2013/14 Player Ratings: Pablo Zabaleta

Alex Livesey

Pablo Zabaleta (35 games) 9/10

How do you even begin to describe the season we just watched from Senor Zabaleta? The man is an unstoppable machine, who refuses to take it easy, or do anything less than take the s*** out of whoever has the ball near him.

He played in 35 out of 38 games, several times playing through injuries. Pablo played the Liverpool game at home despite having a grade one hamstring tear. He played 3079 out of a possible 3420 in the Premier League, which was most in the team.

On top of that, he did everything calmly, with a great maturity level that seemed to spread to those around him. Zabaleta was the only consistent presence on the back line, as everyone else went down with injuries, or was rotated around.

While I argued with myself whether to give an 8 or a 9, I couldn't think of anything else that could have been expected from Pablo this season. I'm not sure what else he could have improved on, other than scoring goals. But that's not his job. He's there to never stop running, forcing players to account for him on both ends of the field at all times. I would say that he accomplished that pretty well.

There are questions about the right back position gong forward, since he is 29. (Who do they bring in as a back up if Micah leaves?) Those are problems for another day. Today, honor the man by poorly singing in public, preferably while being interviewed. That's what Pablo would do.

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