Following on from my previous post regarding my choice of the best defensive players of 2012/2013, i conclude my selection with the midfield and the strikers in a 4-3-3 formation…
LCM- Juan Mata. The little Spaniard has certainly made his mark in English football since his arrival from Valencia in 2011. His precise passing, through ball delivery and ability to glide past defenders at ease will make him a household name at Chelsea for years to come. A terrific season for Mata has named him in the official Premier League team of the year and rightly so. A bargain in my eyes at £23.5m considering the amount of quality he gives you on the field whilst he is known to be a stellar professional off it as well.
CM- Michael Carrick. A slow start to his career in terms of form and consistency led to many Utd fans getting on his back and failing to live up to the £18m price tag that Utd paid for him. This season however, has been a revelation for Carrick. Now one of the first names on the team sheet, Carrick has taken his game to new levels giving Utd a calm, composed presence in the centre of the field. His expert range of passing is a hallmark of his game, whilst he is showing a level of maturity that rarely see’s lose his temper when the going gets tough. Every team should have a player like Carrick in their side. He is a key component in Utd’s defensive game, allowing the more spectacular, attacking players to do their stuff up the field while he protects the back four from counter attacks. Will Utd miss Scholes when he’s gone? probably not, with Carrick now pulling the strings. Some compliment to a player that was tipped for an early exit at the start of his Utd career!
RCM- Santi Cazorla. Cazorla edges out Marouane Fellaini for me in this department. The stats don’t lie. The Arsenal midfielder completed a total of 2,168 passes this season with a success rate of 80%, which makes him the second highest in this sector behind a certain Mr.Carrick (2,442 passes-88% success rate.) Not bad eh? Cazorla has added a fresh impetus into Arsenal’s dynamic passing game, fitting in nicely alongside fellow Spaniard Mikel Arteta and to a lesser extent, the injury prone Jack Wilshere. A supremely gifted and nimble player, Cazorla has cut countless defences apart due to his vision and has also chipped in with some important goals as well. Like Mata, this Spanish export was a great buy and another bargain for around £15m.
ACM- Gareth Bale. The boy wonder has arguably had his best season for the club, and seems to be drawing more attention to himself every week with a series of eye-catching performances for Spurs. Throw in a handful of wonder goals and it is no surprise the player is being watched by Europe’s elite, with a huge transfer fee being slapped on his head according to reports. Winner of the PFA Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the year award is some testament to how far Bale has come in his career, and he’s only 23! Pace, power, shooting, tackling, Bale has it all. Comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo can be seen in Bale’s game, but he still has a long way to go until he reaches such stardom. The big question is not whether Spurs can keep him, but how long they can hold on to him for.
CF- Robin Van Persie. Has anyone scored more than this man in the past two seasons? the answer is a firm no. Van Persie has been simply electric for Utd since his arrival from Arsenal last summer. The Dutchman has knocked in 25 league goals (top scorer thus far) and is now undoubtedly Utd’s focal point in attack with the apparent demise of Wayne Rooney. A signing that Roberto Mancini once said would of won him the title this season, Utd can thank RVP for his massive contribution to their success in his first season at Old Trafford. His goals came at crucial times (Man City winner at the Etihad, hat trick vs Villa to secure the title to name a few) but his overall build up play and amazing technique is also worth mentioning. Whilst Sir Alex has recently called it a day, he can sleep easily knowing the signing of RVP will hold Utd in great stead for next season and the goals will continue to flow for the Champions.
CF-Luis Suarez. This ridiculously talented, but hugely controversial Liverpool striker has undoubtedly had a season we won’t forget in a hurry. At times the Urguguan has been simply breathtaking this season, scoring all types of goals and mesmerising us with his trickery and dribbling ability. However, we all know Suarez is no stranger to bad press. He is a magnet for it. However, i don’t want to focus on this too much as i believe we should judge him on the brilliant football he has played this season. Second in the Premier League top scorer’s list (23) behind only RVP, few can argue the fact that Suarez has been a revelation. Liverpool cannot do without his talents as they don’t have anyone else like him, let alone strength in depth in the forward area. I would say his influence is on par with Steven Gerrard in many ways so it is crucial Liverpool sign someone to replace him whilst he is absent. Missing the first 6 games of next season will be a huge blow for the club as they are different side with him on the field and they will be aching to have him back available because he is so unique.