The Premier League Eleven: Swansea City’s Michu and Everton’s Leighton Baines
The Premier League season has just surpassed it’s half way point and even at this stage it has thrown out some classic moments and astonishing individual performances. This blog will focus on these individual performances and create a premier league eleven for the season so far.
1. Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic – The goalkeeping department is a much scrutinised area in the Premier League due to the consequences any mistakes that are made can lead to. At the beginning of the season many expected the likes of Joe Hart and Petr Cech to be dominating the headlines in the goalkeeping area, however the emergence of Asmir Begovic as a top goalkeeper this season has seemed to alert a lot of big clubs, including Manchester United as a possible future star. He has combined making some truly unbelievable saves this season with a string of clean sheets putting him alongside Cech and Hart at the top of the clean sheet list for the season, which few could have predicted.
2. Right Back: Pablo Zabaleta – At the beginning of the season many expected Pablo Zabaleta to be on his way out of Manchester City, with the likes of Micah Richards already at the club and the high profile signature of Maicon, however after taking his opportunity due to the injury to Micah Richards he has never looked back, putting together consistent performances of a high level, leading to him cementing his place in the team. His versatility has also come in use when Manchester City have experimented using three at the back making him an obvious choice to me in my premier league eleven.
3. Left Back: Leighton Baines- Arguably the best left back in the country Leighton Baines would have been forgiven for being slightly aggrieved at being constantly over looked as an England left back, however this season he has took his game to a new level gaining numerous caps for his country as well as being recognised around the world as one of the top left sided players. He has created numerous opportunities throughout the season with his much accredited left foot, along with scoring some spectacular goals and a considerable improvement in his defensive play making him an easy choice as the top left back of the season so far.
4. Centre Back: Branislav Ivanovic- Has been a consistent performer for numerous years at Chelsea with his robust style of play, however this season he seems to have found a taste for goals, making himself the leading scorer from defence in the premier league, along with his contribution to the nine clean sheets Chelsea have managed this season. Therefore I believe he deserves a place in the eleven i have chosen.
5. Centre Back: Ryan Shawcross- In my opinion Ryan Shawcross has really matured as a player this season, he has always been a big tackling defender however many have doubted his decision making. This season however he has combined his undoubted tackling ability with a cool head to help Stoke achieve a league high nine clean sheets for the season so far.
6. Central Midfield: Marouane Fellaini- When this man arrived in England many predicted him to be a flop as he struggled to get to grips with the pace of the premier league and accumulated more bookings than goals. However this season he has been in a world of his own, with impeccable control, great vision and goal scoring ability he has surprised many, leading to talk of him as a big money target for numerous top teams around Europe. If he carries on with this rich vein of form many players will fear coming up against him.
7. Central Midfield: Juan Mata- Many foreign players have faltered after big money moves to the premier league in the past, but not this guy, he has been the architect of everything that has been good about Chelsea this season, seemingly able to dictate the play whichever way he sees fit, and scoring some remarkable goals in the process. If the rest of the Chelsea team can consistently perform like him they will be a serious force to be reckoned with. Few can understand how this player is constantly over looked in the Spanish squad.
8. Central Midfield: Santi Carzola- A very poor season so far by Arsenal‘s standards, however this guy has been a rare shining light in their season so far. Many thought it would take a while for this guy to adjust to the premier league however he has performed like a premier league veteran so far. His guile and creativity has led to many of Arsenals goals this season and he has managed to drag the team out of many uncompromising situations. It seems like everything that has been good about Arsenal this season has centered around him.
9. Forward: Luis Suarez- Suarez is never far away from controversy however few can question his undoubted talent. He is able to create chances out of nothing and while many criticised his finishing last season, he seems to have put it right this time round notching fifteen goals in the league already. Liverpool fans will be hoping this form continues as without his goal contribution they would be depleted considerably.
10. Forward: Michu- I like many had never heard of this guy at the start of the season, but how that has changed. This guy is undoubtedly the buy of the summer costing a meager 2.6 million pounds, he has scored a remarkable 13 league goals and has even been earmarked as a new member of Spain‘s all conquering squad. His aerial presence, movement and top class finishing has led to him becoming one of the top players in the league and hats must go off to the Swansea scouts as they seem to have unearthed a real gem in Michu.
11. Forward: Robin Van Persie- Last but certainly not least Robin Van Persie. Probably the least surprising of my selections as he has been truly magnificent over the past couple of years, transforming himself into arguably the leagues top finisher, scoring goal after goal and leaving opposition defences helpless, setting the premier league alight. If this form continues he will continue climbing the list of all time premier league goalscorers at an alarming rate and become a Manchester United legend.