No introduction necessary.....
10. Joe Allen (13.5m)
This will come as a surprise to most but I place Joe Allen here because he is so economical with the ball. This aspect is vital to any teams play because possession isn’t needlessly lost and he keeps the team ticking over. He is a vital part of what Brendan Rodgers is trying to do at Anfield. My only criticism would be that he’s a bit light weight and for that fee, one would expect more. I reckon, he’ll adopt better playing alongside a fit Lucas Leiva.
9. Jan Vertonghen (undisclosed, approx. 10m)
The Belgian defender has fitted seamlessly into AVB’s Tottenham defence albeit mostly stepping in for the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto at left back. He’s poised in possession, a decent passer, good in the air and his positional awareness can best be described as ‘the opposite of David Luiz’. It’s safe to assume he’ll take his place in the heart of defence as soon as Assou-Ekotto recovers, consigning the pensioner William Gallas to the annals of history where he belongs.
8. Steven Fletcher (12m)
What more can be said about this man? He knows how to find the goal. He scored 5 goals in his first 5 games for Sunderland. It’s actually surprising when a Sunderland isn’t scored by Fletcher. You can’t ask much more of a striker. Roman Abramovich should sign him as Torres’ personal coach.
7. Lucas Podolski (undisclosed)
So much has been made of the impact of Santi Carzola on Arsenal’s game but many people have over-looked the impact of the German cog in the Gunner machine. Everyone can see the technical ability and the striking instinct but what has impressed me the most is his work rate and ability to track back and help an often defensively suspect, or absent Kieran Gibbs. His dead ball ability isn’t half bad as well.
6. Moussa Dembele (15m)
Another who’s part of Belgium’s current ‘golden generation’. Strong, good quick feet, bags of technical ability, an eye for goal (he was converted to midfield from striker). With the exception of Yaya Toure, I reckon, on his day, he is the best all round midfielder in the league. The reason he’s low on this list is his inability to find that consistency that comes so easily to truly world class players.
5. Michu (2m)
This has to be the bargain buy of the summer. Joining Swansea from relegated Rayo Vallecano for a paltry 2m, Michu has lit the league alight with his goals and assists, currently the joint top scorer in the league. He is the toast of fantasy football regulars looking for a reasonably priced yet consistent performer. To think Jordan Henderson is always in the frame for the Three Lions and this man will never sniff the Spain squad shows just how much La Roja are light years of class ahead of England. His brace at Arsenal last week was an example of FIFA-esque fininshing as an article on football365.com put it.
4. Oscar (25m)
If you haven’t seen this baby-faced Brazilian play, check out his second goal, for Chelsea, against Juventus on matchday 1 of the Champions League. Just from that play, the vision, the speed of thought, the mastery of the space-time continuum, the awareness, the technique, the composure, the nervelessness(this was his CL debut), is there for all to SEE . Just for cheekiness, he scored almost as many goals (5) in the Champions League this season, as Man City(6)
3. Eden Hazard (32m)
Despite his noticeable drop off in explosive performances of recent, the 21 year old Belgian has been a revelation. His quick turns and explosiveness over the first few yards have left many a marker bamboozled. Of recent, one gets the feeling that the shambles going on at Chelsea, coupled with lack of rotation has affected his form. One gets chills thinking about what would happen if he acclamatised and stopped having momentary lapses in concentration like we witnessed against Shaktar Donetsk at the Donbass Arena.
2. Robin van Persie = (Traitor, Judas, Will-never-be-a-legend-for-any-club, Should-get-injured-soon)
... No photo available, not in a United jersey. Instead...
1. Santi Carzola (12m)
I will let EPL commentators have their say about the tiniest man in the league. These are some the words that have been used to describe Carzola’s passes, at one point or another, this season; audacious, heavenly, delicious, clever, sumptuous, beautiful, full of imagination, sweet… This man is a blessing to the league. A joy to watch. Not to mention he shoots from range with BOTH FEET and plays with a permanent smile on his face. Now if only English commentators would stop pronounce his name so phlegmatically (.i.e. Ca-though-la)
Above all, Santi Carzola deserves his place at the top of this list due to how much Arsenal have come to depend on him for forward thrust. Anyone who watched the Gunners slump to defeat at Norwich, in the Champions League, to Schalke and to Swansea will agree. All that these teams did was to stifle Carzola and the game was up for the Arsenal. Yes, RVP is scoring for United. Yes, Hazard and Oscar made Chelsea sexy again(for a time). Yes, Fletcher is a goal machine. But all these players’ teams know how to win without those players. Carzola has become Arsenal. Basically, the name has changed from RVP FC to Santi Carzola FC. Let’s hope City and United don’t start hovering around the Emirates in the summer!
Thanks for reading, have a nice weekend. Feel free to leave comments.