The Premier League season has reached its halfway point. Manchester United sit at the top of the table with a seven point lead on the chasing pack. QPR find themselves at the opposite end, five points off safety. West Brom have been the season’s surprise package in 7th place. Many players have impressed whilst some, have underachieved , I have attempted to put together my best Premier League 11 from the first half of the campaign.
Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)
The Belgian has been performing well between the sticks this year, keeping six clean sheets. His consistency and safe hands give him a price tag of around £5million pounds + Arsenal and Chelsea are reported to be very interested.
Right Back – Pablo Zabaleta (Man City)
Zabaleta is one of those characters who is always great to have around a football club. On the pitch he is committed and passionate yet calm and modest off it. He completes all of his defensive tasks and chips in with a goal every now and then.
Centre Back – Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
Ivanovic is the type of player that, when things are looking down, will rally his team-mates with his whole-hearted performance. He is a fearless defender, great in the air and can also play at right back.
Centre Back – Phil Jagielka (Everton)
The Toffees’ man has really come of age over the past few seasons. He has demonstrated his ability to play for England during a friendly against Italy where he got his name on the score sheet. He is dependable and is always a threat in the opposition’s box at corners.
Left Back – Leighton Baines (Everton)
In my opinion there is no other contester for this spot. Baines has been incredible so far this season. His link up play with Pienaar, his ability to strike a venomous free-kick and his mentality to work tirelessly up and down the line put him a cut above the rest of the left backs in the league.
Right Midfield – Juan Mata (Chelsea)
With seven goals and as many assists Mata has proven himself to be the best playmaker in the Premier League. He has a knack of picking out key passes and is always a joy to watch.
Centre Midfield – Mohamed Diame (West Ham)
This may be a controversial choice however, after his arrival to Upton Park on a free transfer, Diame has been a revelation. His style of play is similar to Yaya Toure, powerful and hard-working. There is a release clause in his contract which is believed to be £3.5million which QPR boss Harry Redknapp is likely to want to exploit.
Centre Midfield – Michael Carrick (Man United)
Carrick may have his doubters but this year he has really stepped up his game. He has a fantastic passing ability and level of intelligence. During United’s one all draw with Swansea Carrick completed 93 passes, 20 more than any other player on the pitch. He has been criticised for his passing being unambitious however against the Swans he continually hit the ball forward into good areas.
Left Midfield – Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
Bale has the pace, power and skill to go past any defender. He can be devastating in the left-wing spot and has already netted nine times so far this campaign. There will never be a greater example of Bale’s talents than the game at the San Siro in 2010 where he bagged a superb hat-trick during a 4-3 defeat.
Striker – Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
For me Suarez was a shoo-in for this position. Almost single-handedly he has dragged Liverpool to 8th position, scoring 15 times. He has a great first touch and movement to get away from his marker. His individual brilliance was demonstrated with his goal against Newcastle. He cushioned down a long ball from Enrique with his shoulder, took the ball around the goalkeeper and poked the ball home.
Striker – Robin van Persie (Man United)
With a price tag of £24million comes a lot of expectations and RvP is certainly living up to them. He’s scored 16 times in 21 games as he has maintained his form from last season. He doesn’t work as hard as others off the ball, although he more than makes up for it with his finishing.
There is my finished team. If I was to have a bench I would include Al-Habsi, Rafael, Yaya Toure, Walcott and Michu. My manager would have to be Steve Clarke, who’s done a terrific job this season with West Brom. It has been an exciting start to the season and its set up perfectly for an interesting conclusion. If you disagree with my selections I’m interested to know who you would include so please comment below.