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The Un-noticed Premier League XI (outside the top five)

With all eleven players selected in the PFA team of the year made up of the top five Premiership clubs, I got thinking about the players playing for the clubs outside the top five and who could have had a case for selection.  If you removed all the players from the top five sides, who would make up the Premier League team of the year? Their are a lot of players that go about their business un-noticed.

The below selection has been made up purely on my own opinion and views on their performance this season I give you “The Un-noticable XI”

Ben Foster – Birmingham City
Goal Keeper

After leaving Manchester United in the summer, Ben Foster’s career could have slipped away into goalkeeping obscurity, like Richard Wright and Chris Kirkland but Foster is of a different mould. His performances between the sticks for Birmingham have resulted in 9 clean sheets this season and gave a solid platform for the club to lift its first major silverware in over 40 years. His man of the match display in that League Cup final against Arsenal was a clear example of his ability.

Kyle Walker – Aston Villa (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Right Back

In his debut season in the Premiership the young right back has gained a reputation as being one for the  future for English football. After a starting the season at Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa took him on loan till the end of season. His pace and marauding runs from right back have not just caught the eye of the Villa fans but Fabio Capello, earning himself a call up to the England first team during the recent February/March international break.

Roger Johnson – Birmingham City
Centre Back

The 6ft 3inch centre half has continued where he left off last season at the heart of the City defence. Although Birmingham’s league position isn’t one that strikes confidence in a back line they have conceded less goals then any team in the bottom eight. Roger Johnson’s no nonsense and physical approach has made him a well respected Premiership defender. Over the past 5 years Johnson has gone from League 2 with Wycombe Wanderers to a League winner’s medal and an established Premiership defender with Birmingham, a true testament to his ability and performances.

Robert Huth – Stoke City
Centre Back

The big German has been a permanent fixture in the Stoke City defence and has played a key role in taking Stoke to their first FA Cup final in their 148 year history, as well as their highest league position in 49 years. Not content with keeping clean sheets, Robert Huth has become the highest scoring defender in a single season for Stoke City, contributing 9 goals to the Stoke cause.

Leighton Baines – Everton
Left Back

After some how being overlooked by Fabio Capello for last years world cup in South Africa, Leighton Baines has responded with an impressive season for the Toffees.  Despite Everton’s slow start Baines has been a consistent figure and the main architect behind Everton’s goal threat, with 11 assists to his name from left back, the 5th highest in the Premier League. If some one can tell me why Stephen Warnock was chosen above him in world cup it would be appreciated.

Matt Jarvis – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Right Midfield

Despite Wolves struggles to avoid relegation, they have played some exciting football, with the bulk of the excitement coming from the wing play of Matt Jarvi, who has chipped in with 7 assists and 4 goals so far. Jarvis was rewarded for his fine form with a call up and his first cap for England during the recent friendly against Ghana in March. When you consider that he still only 24 and was playing for Gillingham in the 3rd tier of English football only 4 years ago it makes his achievements this season even more impressive.

Kevin Nolan – Newcastle United
Centre Midfield

Following last season’s promotion Kevin Nolan has continued to be the driving force behind Newcastle’s impressive campaign, which has seen the relegation candidates safely engineer their Premier League status with 2 months to play. Nolan has scored an impressive 12 goals in the league already this season, which begs the question “what more does he need to do to gain a call up to the national side?”

Scott Parker – West Ham United
Centre Midfield

It has been a personally rewarding season for Scott Parker, he has forced his way back into the England squad and starting XI as well being crowned the Football Writers player of the year. What is even more impressive these accolades where achieved whilst playing for a West Ham side who look destined for the Championship. Parker showed his true leadership qualities at half time at the Hawthornes. 3-0 down to West Brom, his team talk allegedly left the West Ham players close to tears and inspired a turn around in their performance, with the game ending in a 3-3 draw.

Matthew Etherington – Stoke City
Left Midfield

A player who never got going at Tottenham and West Ham, Matthew Etherington has found his feet with the potters. With 5 goals and 8 assists Etherington has played a lead role in Stoke City’s success this season. Often referred to as a direct side, their is more  Stoke then a long throw and rough boy tactics, their demolition of Bolton in the FA Cup semi final is proof of that, a game in which saw the best of Matthew Etherington’s ability.

Peter Odemwinige – West Bromwich Albion
Striker

At £1.5 million he has to go down as the bargain of the season the American has enjoyed a very impressive first season in English football with 15 goals and 8 assists. Odemwinige has led the West Brom front line with confidence and swagger. His recent form has helped catapult the baggies clear of safety with a month to spare and left West Brom well on course for a possible and unthinkable top half finish.

Clint Dempsey – Fulham
Striker

After hitting the heights of the Europa League final last season it was always going to be a tough season for Fulham, but they have quietly gone about their business and sit a comfortable 9th in the league. This has been largely down to the goal scoring prowess of Clint Dempsey who has found the net an impressive 13 times this season, 12 of which have come in the league which is the same amount scored by Didier Drogba and Javier Hernandez and 2 more then Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney.

Ian Holloway – Blackpool
Manager

Away from the comedy value, you have to admire what Ian Holloway has achieved with Blackpool. Although they are nervously looking over their shoulder in 17th position Blackpool have been worthy of their Premiership status. Made up of journey men, grafters and Charlie Adam Blackpool have played attractive exciting football and taken some big scalps on the way. I am sure I am not the only one who hopes the Tangerines avoid the drop.

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