As the year 2011 comes to an end, it's time to look back on the year's pros and cons. From Barcelona's great domestic and European successes to the Manchester clubs' exits from the Champions League, this year has been filled with almost everything.
The end of the year is also the rough midpoint of the 2011/2012 Premier League season.
It's nearly impossible to describe how amazing this campaign has been. Who would have thought that Manchester City would be at the summit of the league, and—even more shockingly—that they would beat city rivals United 6-1? And what about United's own outstanding 8-2 victory versus Arsenal?
In addition to these startling score-lines, there have been a bunch of players who have completely surpassed expectations since August. Many are from newly-promoted sides, while others are former underachievers from the top teams.
Without further ado, here's a list of five Premier League players who have exceeded expectations this season.