EPL Half Term Report: Ranking the Top 10 Performers so Far This Season
Make no mistake about it, the season is still very young, and nothing has been decided yet. But there have been some stand out performers this season that deserve to be recognised. Whether they play for the big teams or the teams with the smallest voices in the club, some players stand out from the rest.
Here's a list of the very best 10 players so far in the league.
No. 10: Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
The Dutchman, who cost a paltry £1.5 million, earned rave reviews for his debut premiership game against Manchester City. Despite conceding four goals, he made a string of impressive saves that very much limited the scoreline from being a whole lot worse. His 11 saves in that match is more than any other goalkeeper made in a single game last season.
He currently has five clean sheets to his name this season. His crowning moment, though, came against Liverpool. In the dying minutes, he pulled off a remarkable save to earn a point and a clean sheet for his side. Expect many more impressive performances throughout the season.
No. 9: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)
The French export from reigning champions Lille came to Newcastle in the summer without much of a fuss or hype around him. And it is in this same fashion that he has carried out his Newcastle career, quietly settling in quickly and immediately becoming the main creative spark for his team.
Look no further than his team's position in the league right now to fully appreciate how much of a positive influence he is on the team. His performance against Wigan in which he scored the winner is a stand-out performance, as he dominated the game from start to finish. Also, he has become a fan favorite at St. James' Park, where his resilient play in midfield and his hugely impressive partnership with Chieck Tiote has drawn rave reviews from supporters and commentators alike.
A huge shout for signing of the season. If he continues this form, who knows?
No. 8: Micah Richards (Manchester City)
Is it that far fetched to proclaim him the best right back in the league right now? I don't think so. The transformation from a headstrong central defender to a more composed and accomplished right back has been impressive. Granted, defensively, he still has a long way to go before we can begin to talk about him being world class, but make no mistake about it, he has been tremendous this season.
As far as attacking fullbacks go, he is up there with the very best, and as Manchester United and Ryan Taylor found out, he is a tireless runner, always offering something in attack and also keeping it quite tight at the back. Capello cannot ignore him much longer. And it's encouraging to see that in a team of superstars, the home grown talent is holding his own quite well indeed.
No. 7: Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur)
I'll admit it. I am not the biggest Scott Parker fan. I find it hard to accept that a man who played for a relegation team can be good enough to play for a top four team.
So it is with this sentiment that I find puzzling how consistently good he has been for Tottenham since he joined the club. Before he joined, they were beaten quite comfortably by both Manchester teams and looked rather clueless in midfield.
After his signing, they have gone on a nine-game unbeaten streak in the league. What he adds to the team might not be goals or assists, but he adds that extra steel that is required to win games. He controls the game with impressive composure from the midfield and has the uncanny ability to break up play and start the attack to devastating effect.
Another prime candidate for player of the season in my book.
No. 6: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United)
The Argentine has come a long way. He has carried on his consistent form from the tail end of last season into the new season and has become a rock at the heart of Newcastle's defence. Together with Steven Taylor, he has formed one of the meanest central defence pairings in the league, conceding just eight goals in the first 11 games.
To put that in perspective, Arsenal conceded that in one game alone this season. He is also excelling in his new role as the leader of the team and has put in performances that are worthy of an inclusion into the team of the season.
No. 5: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
Last season, I was one of the first people to scream murder when Gareth Bale was awarded the Player of the Year. I felt his performances weren't consistent enough to be the best player in the league and that the hype around his Champions League performances, and not his league form, was why he won that award.
This year, however, he has been nothing short of brilliant. A key reason why Tottenham is currently the best club in London and a shoe-in for one of the Champions League places, Bale has found out how to transform fleeting moments of brilliance to a consistent and regular level of impressive performances, which makes him one of the standout players in the league.
Harry Redknapp thinks his side can win the league, and with Gareth Bale in such good form, it could be possible.
No. 4: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Isn't it lovely when a team spends so much money on a striker and he actually delivers from the very first game? No excuses about fitness, no waiting period to adjust to his new teammates, no goal drought, just brilliant performances week in week out.
His debut against Swansea is one of the best introductions to English football I have seen in a long time, and it's uncanny how he has taken to the league like a duck to water. Ten goals and two assists in his first 11 games of the season, this man is very deadly in front of goal, and if he continues in this form, a 30-goal debut season is well within his reach.
No. 3: Rafael Van Der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur)
Yes, he is the third Tottenham player on the list. And few would make a case for Gareth Bale being their best player this season, but Van Der vaart's ability to score goals, especially opening goals, edges him ahead for me. He has six goals in his last five games and is fast becoming one of the most effective midfielders in the league.
Playing just behind the main striker is his perfect position, and credit to Redknapp for finding that out and utilizing it to good effect. Expect more good things from the Dutchman.
No. 2: David Silva (Manchester City)
The best midfielder in the league hands down, Silva started off the season with three man of the match performances in a row for trailblazers Manchester City. He then followed this up with impressive performances all through September, catching the eye of fans and neutrals alike.
His good form was rewarded on the 1st of October, as he was awarded the Premier League Player Of The Month for his outstanding performances in September. His ability to create space and chances out of nothing makes him extremely difficult to stop, and his understanding of the game makes him one of the best midfielders in Europe right now.
Manchester City have a gem of a player in their ranks.
No. 1: Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)
The most in form striker and player in the league right now, van Persie has 10 league goals in five games and 13 goals in 12 games. Whether it's free kicks, headers, penalties, tap-ins or long-range efforts, he simply cannot stop scoring.
It would be a little harsh on Arsenal to call them a one-man team, but he keeps putting in performances that leads one to jump to that conclusion. His goals have taken Arsenal from 17th in the league to seventh and level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea.
He is the current Premier League Player of the month, an award he won for his performances in October, and is well on course to win for November, as he has three goals and two assists to his name this month. He was also the first player to score 10 goals this season.
If Arsenal have any hope of a silverware or at least a decent season, it's quite reasonable to assume it rests almost exclusively on him being fit all season
In no particular order:
1. Shane Long
2. Juan Mata
3. Edin Dzeko
4. Mario Balotelli
5. Gabriel Agbonlahor
6. Wayne Rooney
7. Ashley Williams
8. Joe Allen
9 Alex Song
10. Brad Freidel
11. Demba Ba
12 Vincent Kompany
15. Anthony Pilkington
16. Frank Lampard
17. Tim Krul
18. Yaya Toure