Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPremiership Team of the far - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Premiership Team of the far - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Premiership Team of the year…so far

The 2011-2012 Premier League season has once again not disappointed.

Even in December, we have already seen a number of shock results, been witness to a series of on-field events that have reverberated around world football, and been treated to an overall standard of football that – with the exception of Barcelona and Real Madrid – other leagues in world football seem incapable of matching.

Here we will look at the players that have made the headlines for all the right reasons so far this season, and have contributed magnificently to the Premier League season’s marvellous start.     

Goalkeeper – Michel Vorm (Swansea City)

Having joined this summer from Dutch side FC Utrecht for £1.5 million, Vorm has proved one of the buys of the season with a string of outstanding displays for the Swans.

Despite the 4-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City in Swansea’s first fixture, Vorm turned in a man of the match display, making 12 saves – more than any player managed in a Premier League game last season.

Since then, Vorm has continued this form, with clean sheets against the likes of Sunderland, Stoke, Liverpool and most recently, Aston Villa.

Right-back – Micah Richards (Manchester City)

Recently, Stuart Pearce aptly summarised Micah Richards’ season: “Micah is one of those who came on the scene and had a meteoric rise. His career stopped a little bit, then it went up again and this season his performances have been really strong.”

The 23 year–old is currently one of the shining diamonds in the crown that is City’s multi–million pound squad, with a goal and five assists so far in the Premier League, complemented with a much–improved defensive steel to help City to a five–point lead over champions Manchester United.

Undoubtedly the highlight of Richards’ season thus far was his outstanding performance in City’s 6–1 thrashing of their Manchester rivals to rubberstamp City’s title charge. Prior to the game Richards claimed the Red Devils were ‘frightened’ of their noisy neighbours.

I think they’re a little more than frightened now Micah…

Centre–back – Joleon Lescott (Manchester City)

All the plaudits went to Lescott’s centre–back partner, Belgian colossus Vincent Kompany, last season, and rightly so, but this season has been about the renaissance of a promising defender finally living up to his £24 million price tag.

At the rare times City have appeared under the cosh, the settled partnership of Lescott and Kompany have stood firm with Lescott in particular standing out, attaining over 90% in tackling and passing successes in most games.

Centre–back – Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United)

This season’s surprise package, Newcastle’s brilliant start to the season can be attributed arguably to their terrific defence, led by Argentine Fabricio Coloccini. 

It has been a remarkable transformation for the Magpies captain, and the 2011 North East player of the year, as Coloccini looked a shadow of the player he is today when he first arrived on Tyneside in 2008.

Coloccini and Steven Taylor have been outstanding at centre–back this season, reflected by Newcastle conceding a mere eight goals in their first 11 league games, and have only just been ousted out of the top four by last year’s runners–up, Chelsea.

Left–back – Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

Jose Enrique first arrived in England in 2007 for Newcastle with a burgeoning reputation. At former club Villarreal, he earned the nickname “El Toro” – The Bull – due to his blistering speed, physical prowess and his penchant for marauding forward in support of attacks.

Since his move to Liverpool in the summer, Enrique has added to his impressive standing at the Kop, ever–present in all of the Reds’ 14 Premier League games, excelling defensively also, with a tackling success of 86%.

The Spaniard has gained instant popularity with the Liverpool faithful, he shone in a man of the match display in their 2–0 win over Arsenal, as well as providing an assist in the Reds’ 2–0 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton. 

Midfielder – David Silva (Manchester City)

Mention the words “Player of the Year” to any football fan at the moment, and more often than not, “David Silva” will immediately follow.

Such is Silva’s current form, it would not be an insult to place him among the likes of Andres Iniesta or Xavi, or for that matter, ponder how astonishingly Silva does not consistently warrant an international starting berth for the Spaniards.

Instrumental in City’s 6–1 drubbing of Manchester United, Silva has scored four and created eight goals in what has been a phenomenal season so far for the playmaker.

Silva has already earned a Player of the Month award, it would take a herculean effort from another player to snatch a 2011–2012 Player of the Year award from the Spanish wizard.

Midfielder – Juan Mata (Chelsea)

“(Juan) Mata is a joke! What a player!”

Despite these words being displayed on Twitter from Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, Mata’s exciting start to life in the Premier League has given licence for those words to echo from the mouths of fans, players and coaches alike.

A player in the mould of Luka Modric or David Silva, but who can also operate as a winger, the 23 year–old has proven a first–rate bit of business from coach Andre Villas–Boas. Villas–Boas’ on–field commander, Mata’s flair is transforming Chelsea’s style of play to suit the modern blueprint of his manager.

A £23.5 million buy from Valencia, Mata announced his arrival with a stoppage–time goal against Norwich from the bench, and has scored a further two and assisted seven league goals in an excellent start to the season for the Spaniard.

Midfielder – Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur)

If Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez was, according to Wayne Rooney, ‘the buy of the century’, then Scott Parker must be a candidate for ‘Buy of the Millennium’.

Tottenham finally appear to have found the winning formula, with Parker the defensive mainstay of Spurs’ midfield that has allowed the attacking talents of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart to flourish. 

A £5 million snip from West Ham over the summer, Parker has excelled for the Lilywhites, he has smothered oncoming attacks, forced opponents off the ball with an unbelievable work rate, and continually set in place attacks where Bale et al are unleashed.

Midfielder – Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur)

Having rebuffed heavy interest from Chelsea in the summer for apparent wantaway Luka Modric, Tottenham will be delighted with their inspirational Croatian’s form so far this season.

Modric’s season did not get off to a flying start. Dropped for their match against Manchester United, Modric was deemed by manager an irked Harry Redknapp as “not in the right place.”

However, it took one swing of the little Croatian’s boot to change his fortunes, a stunning strike which smacked the roof of the net, and indeed opponents Liverpool, as the playmaker ran riot in a 4–0 win at White Hart Lane in September.

Since then, Modric has claimed four more assists and is rekindling the kind of form that saw him named Tottenham’s Player of the Year last season.    

Striker – Robin van Persie (Arsenal)

If the Dutch striker can maintain his current strike rate, the Premier League record for most goals scored in a calendar year will be broken. That is the measure of the season, and indeed year, that Robin van Persie has had so far.

Described by manager Arsene Wenger as a “Bergkamp with goals”, club captain van Persie has become pivotal to the Gunners this season, with 14 league goals in as many games and five assists, his latest effort against Wigan took his tally to 32 goals in 31 appearances for 2011.

Unquestionably the highlight of the Dutchman’s season thus far was his hat–trick at Chelsea in the Gunners’ 5–3 win at Stamford Bridge, to continue Arsenal’s recovery after a poor start to their league season.

Should their talisman van Persie break Alan Shearer’s record of 36 goals in a calendar year, Arsenal will undoubtedly improve on their unbeaten record, currently stretched at seven league matches.

Striker – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Ever since he stamped himself on the Premier League with a stunning 25 yard strike on debut to see off Swansea, Sergio Aguero has filled the void left by last season’s talisman and fellow countryman Carlos Tevez in style.

The £35 million signing has scored 11 league goals with three assists to lead City’s title charge, including a more than useful tendency to grab a vital goal for City, take his last–minute winner against Villarreal in the Champions League for example, or a brilliant opening goal to kick–start City’s 5–1 win against Norwich in their last league fixture.

And here is a list of players that didn’t quite make it, but deserve mentions for their fine performances so far this season, as well as forming a team more than capable of matching most sides in the Premier League:

Goalkeeper – Tim Krul (Newcastle United)

Right–back – Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Centre–back – Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Centre–back – Steven Taylor (Newcastle United)

Left–back – Ryan Taylor (Newcastle United)

Midfielder – Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City)

Midfielder – Scott Sinclair (Swansea City)

Midfielder – Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)

Midfielder – James Milner (Manchester City)

Striker – Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)

Striker – Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)

Alex Smith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *