Column: 2011-2012 Premeir League all-stars
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 00:04
The 2011-2012 Barclays Premier League season has just three matchdays left and that means it’s time to reflect and analyze the last nine months of football and determine who the 11 stand out performers of the year are.
Goalkeeper Shortlist: Joe Hart, Manchester City. Tim Krul, Newcastle United. Wojciech Szczęsny, Arsenal. Joe Hart has been by far the stand out goalie this season. Starting every single match and keeping 15 clean sheets, Hart has become more than just a great shot stopper improving on his positioning and organizational skills making him of the worlds best.
Right Back Shortlist: Branislav Ivanović, Chelsea. Micah Richards, Manchester City. Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur. Micah Richards is a powerful marauding defender who suits Manchester City’s playing style perfectly. His power and speed help him shut down opposition wingers and also allow him to join in the attack when City dominate possession.
Center Back Shortlist: Daniel Agger, Liverpool. Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle United. Jonny Evans, Manchester United. Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United. Vincent Kompany, Manchester City. Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal. Jonny Evans and Vincent Kompany have been the two most consistent center backs for the two best defenses in the league so their inclusion is simple. Evans, who has been a solid squad player for Manchester United since 2008, was handed a consistent starting position when club captain and FIFA World XI Player Nemanja Vidić went out injured, and has performed spectacularly. Vincent Kompany has been a brick wall for Manchester City and a major reason why the have the best defensive record in the league. Great in the air and tough in the tackle Kompany represents the quintessential soccer defender.
Left Back Shortlist: Leighton Baines, Everton. Ashley Cole, Chelsea. José Enrique, Liverpool. Leighton Baines is our first inclusion not playing for a club in Manchester. Baines may not be the most physically gifted player but his overall technical play highlighted by his amazing crossing prowess makes him a great defender.
Right Midfield Shortlist: Clint Dempsey, Fulham. Juan Mata, Chelsea. Antonio Valencia, Manchester United. Clint Dempsey has had a phenomenal season, ending up in the top four for both the PFA’s and FWA’s Player of The Year. Dempsey is fourth in the league with 16 goals and also has six assists in an otherwise lackluster Fulham team.
Central Midfield Shortlist: Leon Britton, Swansea City. Michael Carrick, Manchester United. Luka Modrić, Tottenham Hotspur. Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur. Alex Song, Arsenal. Yaya Touré, Manchester City. Saying Michael Carrick divides opinion is putting it lightly, but in the modern game where possession is king Carrick is one of the best. His shielding of the back four, positioning, and reading of the game are unmatched in the English game. Yaya Touré earns his place in the ToTY despite missing a month of matches during January, while away at the African Cup of Nations. Gifted with physical prowess and technical ability Touré has been the driving force forward in City’s powerful title challenging side.
Left Midfield Shortlist: Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur. David Silva, Manchester City. Stéphane Sessègnon, Sunderland. David Silva has pretty much taken the burden of being the creative force for the Manchester City team for the entire season. Silva who has been involved in all but two League matches this year is leading the league in assists with 13 and also has six goals.
Striker Shortlist: Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham Hotspur. Sergio Agüero, Manchester City. Demba Ba, Newcastle United. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United. Robin Van Persie, Arsenal. Yakubu, Blackburn Rovers. A strikers job in the put the ball in the back of the net and simply enough Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are doing the best job doing this. Two very non-tradition number 9 ½’s link up play and finishing ability make them both world class.