Nasri, Bale and Carroll in List of the 5 Most Improved EPL Players
While you could argue it is a little early to make a topic of this nature, those who burst out the traps so early into the season definitely deserve some recognition.
Here are five players who have not only had excellent starts to the season, but especially excellent when comparing what came before it.
If you disagree, do let me know. It’s all in alphabetical order.
Roll the tape!
What hasn’t already been written by the excitable Yiddish media? Bale went from being an unlucky charm to a decent player last season, but this year already he has taken it to the next level. If you want to make a name for yourself, scoring a hat trick in the San Siro isn’t a bad way to go about it.
For Tottenham in the EPL, despite the increase in attention, he’s still comfortably their best player and his speed means he’s often able to run clear of his markers.
Unless he has another good season, there is no way that Tottenham will qualify for the Champions League again.
Not many players make the transition from the Championship to the Premier League look so easy. Especially when they are just 21 and represent the goal-scoring threat of one of the best supported teams in the country.
But Carroll has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water.
That’s not to say he was a slouch in the Championship—17 goals in 39 league games is great for a young man. But so far he’s notched nine in 15, has been called up for England and has shown the potential to score many more goals.
Put a ball into the box when he’s playing, and it spells danger for the opposition.
In Elmander’s 45 games prior to this season, he had scored a not-so-mighty eight goals. Poor, considering that he cost Bolton £8.2m and Daniel Braaten.
This season however, he’s managed eight already—in just 15 games. Bolton are sixth in the league, and should qualify for the Europa League.
Of course, it’s not all Elmander. Owen Coyle has done a great job at Bolton, Kevin Davies has also been excellent as has someone I rate very highly, Lee Chung-Yong. But you only have to see Elmander’s goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers to know he is in form, has a lot of class and is playing with a bunch of confidence.
While Fabianski probably won’t make it into the PFA team of the year, his accelerated progress this season has been just what the professor ordered—or should that be prayed for.
Following Manuel Almunia’s injury, Arsenal fans were rightly trepidatious about a keeper nicknamed "Flappyhandski" being the prolonged number one. Especially after some disastrous performances last season.
In actuality, while he’s far from the perfect goalkeeper, he has gained confidence and been able to showcase his first-level shot stopping. It’s unlikely Almunia will ever get the number one spot back off of him.
Nasri has been one of the success stories of the season for Arsenal and has probably been Arsenal’s most consistent player. His previous two seasons offered brief glimmers of things to come: He showed a lot of class on the ball and a great touch, but he didn’t always have the killer instinct that Arsenal need to compete.
This season, perhaps it was being left out of the French World Cup squad, or perhaps the Fabregas-Barcelona rumours made him consider the possibility of becoming the main attacking midfielder at Arsenal.
Either way, this year he has raised his game.
He’s already scored triple the amount of goals he did last season, and his general play is far more forceful. In England’s match to France, he outshone the likes of Gareth Barry and Steven Gerrard with consummate ease.
If Nasri continues his form, Arsenal will definitely have a chance of winning the League.