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My Premier League team of the season

GK: Joe HartThe Manchester City goalkeeper has been instrumental in keeping his team as title challengers this season. His last ditch save against Aston Villa exemplifies what a world class goalkeeper he is. His concentration levels are second to none ...

Feature 29 Mar 2012, 10:40 IST
GK: Joe Hart

The Manchester City goalkeeper has been instrumental in keeping his team as title challengers this season. His last ditch save against Aston Villa exemplifies what a world class goalkeeper he is. His concentration levels are second to none and his general reading of the game is Schmeichel-esque. 

Kept the most clean sheets this season for an individual goalkeeper.

Honourable Mentions: Tim Krul, Michel Vorm

RB: Micah Richards

Just a few years ago, Micah Richards was in the worst run of his life. Clearly focused on things other than football, he lost his way and under Mark Hughes, lost his right back slot to Vedran Corluka and subsequently Pablo Zabaleta. Now fast forward to this season, we see a revitalised player, brilliant in the air, great at running down the flanks and even defending too. 

Captained a few times this season for City too, which shows his developed sense of maturity. Micah Richards has risen to the challenge this season, and therefore deserves a place here.

Honourable Mentions: Kyle Walker, Phil Jones

CB: Vincent Kompany

Another Manchester City player, Vincent Kompany is by far the best defender in the Premier League. He’s extremely skillful on the ball, authoritative and able to keep quiet the world’s best players. 

Demba Ba, Wayne Rooney nor Robin Van Persie have scored against Manchester City in the league this season, largely thanks to this man. Incredible season for the Belgian.

CB: Fabricio Coloccini

Fabricio Coloccini has been Newcastle’s rock at the back with Tim Krul. He reads the game excellently, but like Micah Richards, just three seasons ago – after joining Newcastle from Deportivo La Coruna – looked like a lost, completely unaware central defender. 

Much like David Luiz was up until a few weeks ago. This season however, Coloccini has shown class, grit and determination in Europe’s best league and therefore deserves a place here.

Honourable Mentions: Jonny Evans, Daniel Agger, Thomas Vermaelan, Laurent Koscielny

LB: Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines seems to get a place in the Barclays Premier League Team of the Year every season yet doesn’t get a place in the England team. Ashley Cole has been poor this season. Gael Clichy is in transition and Patrice Evra isn’t quite the player he once was. Leighton Baines has been frequently consistent for Everton this season. 

His dynamic runs, excellent crossing and superb free kicks make for an excellent full back, deserved of a top team. He’s also the highest scoring full back this season.

Honourable Mentions: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gael Clichy

RM: Luis Antonio Valencia

Since the injury against Rangers last season, Valencia struggled to find form. However, after Sir Alex Ferguson had lost patience with the inconsistent Nani and the injury-prone Ashley Young, he turned to Valencia. It’s paid off. Valencia could be the force that could win Man United the title. 

He’s been incredible, agile and quick, great eye for a cross, and possesses the kind of wing play that full backs dread: Running at them. 

Valencia’s been a revelation this season, it is safe to call him an even better winger than Gareth Bale.

Honourable Mentions: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Junior Hoillett

CM: Alex Song

Alex Song has risen his game when it mattered the most this season. Throughout Arsenal’s inconsistent form up until recently, Alex Song (along with Van Persie) has been the bright light; excellent in the tackle and an eye for a great pass. 

Song has had to fill the voids left by Cesc Fabregas and the injured Jack Wilshere this season. He has done so impeccably and just edges Cheik Tiote for this one.

CM: Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure since the tail end of last season has been arguably Manchester City’s most important player. The box to box powerhouse can almost do everything, having played in the back four, midfield and up front for Manchester City this season. 

His goal against Stoke shows his goalscoring prowess and the way he can conjure up a run with the ball at incredible speed, is phenomenal and it scares the hell out of defenders. The way he earned Manchester City a penalty against Liverpool this season is an example of his skill.

Honourable Mentions: Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Paul Scholes

LM: David Silva

David Silva is arguably the best player in the Premier League. His vision at times is worthy of any player in world football, and he can create chances out of nothing. Highest assist rate in the Premier League gives evidence of this. 

The magician of Manchester City’s stellar line up, David Silva has been nothing less than incredible, his season can pretty much be summed up in the 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United in October, and the sumptuous pass for the last goal.

Honourable Mentions: Gareth Bale, Juan Mata

ST: Robin Van Persie

The undisputed king at Arsenal. With a strike rate comparable of that to Lionel Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s, Van Persie is obviously doing something right. At times, he has carried Arsenal single handed and the game against Chelsea in October shows how fantastic a player he is. 

Van Persie possesses an incredible touch and the volleys against Liverpool and Everton are in with a shout for best of the season. 

Having scored 25 goals this season already, Van Persie is worthy of a place in anybody’s Premier League best XI.

ST: Grant Holt

Having played in all tiers of English football, not many would have expected anything exceptional from Grant Holt. But what they have seen from the Norwich striker so far season is nothing short of incredible. The traditional centre forward is even in for a shout for the European Championships this summer, something which the then League Two striker would never have dreamed of last season. 

The goal last weekend for Norwich against Wolves showed his guile and skill with the ball, as seen from the likes of Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie. 

The sense of where he has come from and how fantastic he has been this season grants him a place in this XI.

Honourable Mentions: Sergio Aguero, Demba Ba, Wayne Rooney, Aiyegbeni Yakubu

Written by Henry Francis
Follow him on Twitter @TheHenryFrancis

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