Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Premier League Underated Squad

Being half way through the EPL season, it has become clear who is exceeding expectations and who is not. Given that expectations is what has measured these players' successes,  let us analyze their role coming into the season.

Strikers:




Coming off a coming out party at the World Cup in South Africa, Mexican Javier Hernandez ("Chicharito") played like a man on fire using both pace and clinical finishing to tear defenses to piece. This season Chicharito has scored the winning goal against Wolves and a game-winning brace against Stoke City, yet because he is not Wayne Rooney, he has not built the kind of hype that Old Trafford is known for.


Like many who follow the premier league, we were all left wondering, who the hell is ANDY CARROLL? Well the man has made himself well known with important goals for Newcastle (Game winner against West Ham and tying goal against Wolves). Using power, pace, and height, Andy Carroll has given the Toon Army a target man in front of goal, but one has to be wondering for how long will he stay in Newcastle with stats such as these.

Midfielders:




Despite a third place finish in the league, there will constantly be questions raised against the Gunners and their ability to perform against league squads. There is no question that Arsenal play a beautiful brand of Tiki-Taka football, but can the Gunners still compete with beauty. Samir Nasri and Alex Song, are proving that they can. Nasri while scoring beautiful goals (against Man City), all the while reaching the back of the net 4 times in 7 appearances in the League, he is proving to be Robert Pires incarnate. Alex Song on the other hand has scored five total goals in his Arsenal career, three of which have been in league play this season, including the match-winner against West Ham this weekend. Arsenal have never quite recovered from the loss of tailsman Patrick Viera, but Song is proving he may be ready to take over the reigns- shielding the back-four and scoring clutch goals.


Marc Albrighton a reserve team fixture has come into his own this season after being a fixture in Aston Villa's reserve squad in years previous. Using both pace and vision to rip defenses to shred. He will hope to feature more for the Villa senior squad.


Having spent the bulk of his career in Bolton colors, Kevin Nolan made the switch to Newcastle following their relegation into the English Championship, but has awakened his eye infront of goal scoring 24 times in 64 appearances, including his hat-trick over the weekend against Sunderland.

Defenders:




Spurs rise to premier league prominence has been quick and meteoric, and a crucial cog in the Spurs machine has been Garth Bale. Like Alex Song, Bale scored only two goals in first two campaigns for Spurs. In the last six months the flying Welshman has awakened scoring nine goals in all compeitiions, including a match-winner in the North London Derby and hat-trick in a loss to Inter Milan in Champions League play. 


Two seasons ago Laurent Koscielny was toiling away in the Ligue 2 in France for club Tours, before being picked up by Lorient in 2009. In 2010......he's a starting center back for Arsenal? His mercurial rise has come on the back of solid performances in the back-four. He has added both stability and an aerial ability to an often porous Arsenal defense.





Despite being in the shadow of fellow center-half John Terry. But as you can see above, this man needs no explaining.


Micah Richards as often been touted as premier right-back for the blue-side of Manchester, but this season he has begun to live up to the hype that sparked the interest of numerous clubs, including child-poachers- Arsenal. His speed and darting runs have become common nature down the right-flank in the City of Manchester Stadium.

Keepers:
Lukaz "School Boy Mistake" "Flapanski" Fabianski has....what?? Played his way into the starting role for the Gunners? And displaced the equally hapless Manuel Almunia? WOW!!!

Under Rated Premier League Starting XI 

 Javier Hernandez        Andy Carroll


Marc Albrighton        Alex Song        Kevin Nolan        Samir Nasri


Gareth Bale        Laurent Koscielny        Alex        Micah Richards


Lukaz Fabianski


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