Premier League's Best 20 Players of March

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2013

Premier League's Best 20 Players of March

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    March was an immensely exciting month for the Premier League.

    Relegation candidates fought it out, elite clubs battled for Champions League spots and new managers were installed as late attempts to grab extra points.

    Which individuals played an important role in their club's success? Read on to find out.

20. Andy Carroll: West Ham United

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    Andy Carroll appears to be settling at West Ham.

    The big forward enjoyed a string of decent performances across March and will have Sam Allardyce seriously considering a permanent move for the on-loan Liverpool forward.

    The former Newcastle player has benefited from an injury-free run in the team and some excellent service from his teammates. Two great goals against West Brom summed up a player who is gaining confidence at an important time of the season for the Hammers.

19. Mark Schwarzer: Fulham

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    Fulham only played two Premier League games in March. Even so, Mark Schwarzer deserves a mention for his recent run of form.

    The Australian keeper has been excellent for two months, as summed up by his terrific save in the 1-0 win over Tottenham. Martin Jol's side should be thankful to the 40-year-old who continues to exert his experience over a team that has pushed itself away from the relegation battle.

18. Shinji Kagawa: Manchester United

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    Shinji Kagawa has taken a while to fit in at Old Trafford.

    He opened March with a fantastic hat trick in United's 4-0 demolition of Norwich. Each goal underlined the technical ability that made Kagawa such a hit at Dortmund, as deft touches and intelligent use of the ball outwitted physical opponents.

17. Leon Osman: Everton

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    Leon Osman's howitzer against Manchester City was arguably the goal of the month.

    The Everton man is an unsung hero amongst a team of more likely headline grabbers. Joe Hart could have faced the attempt 100 times—there's no way the England number one was stopping it flying into the top corner.

    Three wins from three Premier League games in March sees Everton stay out of Liverpool's reach. Osman was at the heart of each.

16. Brad Guzan: Aston Villa

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    Where would Aston Villa be without Brad Guzan?

    The Championship? At the foot of the Premier League table? Despite failing to keep a clean sheet throughout March, Guzan's efforts have been nothing short of sensational.

    He made four saves in the 2-1 win over Reading, six saves in the 3-2 victory over QPR and seven as Villa narrowly fell to Liverpool. That goal difference would be looking a lot worse if it wasn't for the U.S. international.

15. Michael Carrick: Manchester United

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    Oh Michael Carrick. That ball he played for United's second goal against Norwich was phenomenal. A pass that—if you've been watching carefully—Carrick continues to pull off in a season of excellent performances.

    Manchester United roll on, Carrick keeps things ticking over. The Englishman put in a number of important defensive shifts across March and helped shield a back line that seems to differ with every game. Michael Carrick is Sir Alex Ferguson's constant and the heart of United's success.

14. Jay Rodriguez: Southampton

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    Jay Rodriguez has defined his first Southampton season with two important goals in great victories for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

    Slick strikes against Liverpool and Chelsea has seen the club stretch away from the impending threat of relegation. Southampton are now four points away from the drop; a gap that many would have predicted to be much closer with the club's tough schedule of fixtures.

    Six points from matches against two of the league's best has eased pressure considerably. Jay Rodriguez has started performing at the right time and looks to be hitting his stride in front of the St Mary's crowd.

13. Carlos Tevez: Manchester City

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    Putting Carlos Tevez's off the field problems to one side, he played extremely well throughout March.

    The Argentinian forward has gotten his head down and worked hard for Roberto Mancini's side. He scored the match-winning goal against Aston Villa and helped City thrash Newcastle 4-0 at a time where many have given up hope of retrieving the Premier League trophy.

    Although under the radar due to a gap of 15 points at the top, Tevez leads the charge for any City success.

12. David De Gea: Manchester United

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    David De Gea played three Premier League games for Manchester United in March.

    He conceded no goals, extending his run of clean sheets to six. Nobody has netted past the Spanish stopper since Jan. 30 in the domestic division, outlining him as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's most important players.

11. Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool

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    Liverpool fans will be extremely pleased with Philippe Coutinho's contribution since his January transfer from Inter Milan. Despite starting his Anfield career with a niggling injury, the tricky midfielder has aided Brendan Rodgers' attack in a stylish way.

    Coutinho played four Premier League matches for the Reds in March. He scored one goal and made three assists, helping Liverpool to three victories in four games.

    At 20 years old, it's scary to think there's room for major progression before he realises his full potential.

10. Wayne Rooney: Manchester United

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    As Robin van Persie's influence wanes, Wayne Rooney's increases.

    The Englishman was an integral part of Manchester United's results throughout March. Two assists and a goal against Norwich saw the forward gain in confidence before he was dropped for the Champions League Round of 16 tie with Real Madrid.

    Putting the disappointment behind him, Rooney notched the only goal in a vital 1-0 win over Reading.

9. Luis Suarez: Liverpool

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    Luis Suarez took a major step towards the Premier League Golden Boot with another four goals throughout March.

    Three against Wigan set the Uruguayan up for a bumper few weeks, but his displays have tailed off slightly since the 4-0 thrashing of Roberto Martinez's men.

    The loss to Southampton may have harmed Liverpool's chances of breaking the top six, but Suarez's trickery helped the side overcome Aston Villa in their last outing.

    Those dancing feet forced Nathan Baker into hacking Suarez down for the decisive penalty. Another strong month for the league's top marksman.

8. Jermaine Jenas: Queens Park Rangers

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    Jermaine Jenas exerted more influence in March than he's arguably ever had in his Premier League career. Harry Redknapp's loan signing reminded everyone why he was once considered one of England's top youngsters with two excellent goals for QPR.

    While his opening strike against Aston Villa was eventually rendered useless, Jenas' goal against Sunderland set QPR up for a potentially momentous 3-1 win.

    If Old 'Arry manages to keep the Loftus Road faithful in the Premier League this season, Jenas' goal will be remembered as the turning point.

7. Andros Townsend: Queens Park Rangers

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    Similar to Jenas, the loan signing of Andros Townsend has provided QPR with an extra smidgen of life.

    The winger's relentless pace has been backed up with quality on the ball. A stunning wallop against Sunderland helped lift QPR to victory, while Townsend's equaliser against Aston Villa threatened to reveal a huge result for Redknapp.

    Townsend comes in above Jenas for his incisiveness and boundless energy between QPR's midfield and forwards. He continues to work hard and highlight his potential for a Premier League future.

6. Seamus Coleman: Everton

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    Seamus Coleman was fantastic throughout March. His performances against Reading, Manchester City and Stoke saw the versatile Irishman produce two assists and a string of remarkable tackles for Everton.

    Most excitingly, Coleman is beginning to evolve into an important figure for the Toffees. His ability to carry the ball from the right-back position to the opposition's box is reminiscent of a young Gary Neville, especially when his crossing delivery often finds a teammate.

5. Rickie Lambert: Southampton

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    Rickie Lambert is currently the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League. He is also Southampton's talisman whose season is echoing the performance of Grant Holt during Norwich's top flight return last year.

    In an era of athleticism and pace, Lambert's physicality and no-messing-around-attitude is a breath of fresh air. Similar to Rodriguez, goals against Liverpool and Chelsea has lifted the Saints away from imminent danger.

    Lambert grabs fifth position for that wonderful free kick winner against Petr Cech (as pictured above).

4. Gareth Bale: Tottenham Hotspur

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    Another month, another glut of pivotal performances from Gareth Bale.

    Although Spurs only picked up two wins from four Premier League matches in March, goals against Arsenal and Swansea saw Bale lift Andre Villa-Boas' team towards a Champions League place. He also provided three assists in a month that saw Spurs firmly assert themselves over North London rivals Arsenal.

3. Arouna Kone: Wigan Athletic

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    Arouna Kone scored two of the most important goals in Wigan's season during March. If Roberto Martinez manages to keep his squad in the Premier League, Kone's pair of strikes could be up there with the most important in the club's history.

    The pacey forward hit later winners against Newcastle and Norwich. Wigan currently teeter outside the relegation zone on goal difference, suggesting the battle for survival may be over if Kone wasn't around to rescue the day.

2. Christian Benteke: Aston Villa

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    Similar to Kone, Christian Benteke played the saviour role at Villa Park last month.

    The Belgian forward netted three times in four matches. His goals added six points to Villa's total haul, including an immensely dramatic three points against relegation rivals QPR. Still, Benteke has been playing this role for most the season.

1. Jan Vertonghen: Tottenhan Hotspur

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    March was a spectacular month for Jan Vertonghen. His individual performances have been solid all season, but his three goals in four matches have been truly spectacular to watch.

    Vertonghen's surging runs and link with Gareth Bale is becoming a key weapon for Tottenham. The defender is a skilled finisher with his feet and is mightily difficult to stop once he bursts into the opposition's half.

    He was also Tottenham's top Premier League scorer of the month.


    Who was the best Premier League player of the month? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter: