By Alan Duffy
‘Tis been a fine season so far, with a new and rather rich kid on the block in the opulent form of Manchester City shaking things up at the top, a whole host of freakish results (see United’s 8-2 win over Arsenal, City’s 6-1 win over United etc), a Tottenham finally looking ready to make a serious title challenge and some impressive performances from the promoted sides. Oh and there’s been Mario Balotelli.
Anyway, as the first half of the season comes to a close, here is Pies’ selection of the best XI in the Premier League so far. Let the debate (ie partizan squabbling) begin….
GK – Michel Vorm – Swansea City: The “Vorminator” (well, he should be called this anyway), has been a surprise star of a surprise team, with the Dutchman keeping, statically speaking, shed loads (take that, Opta) of clean sheets for the Swans.
RB – Kyle Walker – Tottenham Hotspur: This hasn’t been the best season for full-backs, but young Kyle Walker has made the right-back berth his own at Tottenham, easily eclipsing the now-departed Alan “nut-job” Hutton and Vedran Corluka.
CB – Vincent Kompany – Manchester City: Captain of City’s star-spangled side, the former Anderlecht man is comfortable in the tackle, in the air, and on the ball.
CB – Phil Jones – Manchester United: Wherever he plays, big Phil Jones looks the part. While comparisons to Duncan Edwards may be a bit premature, he has undoubtedly been United’s star turn this season.
LB – Jose Enrique – Liverpool: Arguably the only really standout left-back this season, the Spaniard has been a consistent performer for the Reds and one of King Kenny’s truly successful signings so far.
MF – David Silva – Manchester City: A shoe-in for player of the season, the pint-sized playmaker has blossomed in a free-role behind the likes of Balotelli, Aguero and Dzeko.
MF – Yohan Cabaye – Newcastle United: One of Alain Du Pardew’s French contingent, the tough-tackling yet classy midfielder has played a central, all-action role in Newcastle’ impressive start to the campaign.
MF – Yaya Toure – Manchester City: A truly all-round midfielder, the younger of the Toure brothers has dominated the midfield this season, and is as comfortable in an attacking midfield role as he is in a holding berth.
MF – Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur: Finally starting to genuinely live up to the hype, when on song, the Spurs man is almost unplayable with his pace,touch and eye for goal.
FW – Demba Ba – Newcastle United: Tony Pulis must be turning in his tracksuit. After failing to pass a medical at Stoke, Ba signed for Newcastle and has become one of the top division’s most prolific hitman, proving to be outstanding in the air.
FW – Robin van Persie – Arsenal: Free of injury, Van Persie has been in world-class form for the Gunners, and is finally hitting the heights that his talent deserves
On the bench: Tim Krul (Newcastle), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Mark Gower (Swansea), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Juan Mata (Chelsea).
In the stands but pushing for a place in team: Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan), Laurent Kosielny (Arsenal), Leon Britton (Swansea), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Joe Hart ( Man City), Angel Rangel (Swansea), Heidar Helguson (QPR), Mario Balotelli (Man City), Nani (Man Utd), Micah Richards (Man City).
On the transfer list and training with the kids: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Charles N’Zogbia (Aston Villa), Adel Taarabt (QPR), Paul Robinson (Bolton), David Goodwillie (Blackburn).