The 2012/13 Premier League campaign has been magnificent so far. With 2012 coming to a close, I’ve decided to name my 11 players, who I feel have taken this season by storm. Let’s see whether you agree with my selections in the Team of the Season for the 2012/13 season so far.
Goalkeeper – Asmir Begovic
The Stoke goalkeeper has played every minute of every game for the Potters this season, conceding only 13 goals, a league best. The Bosnian man has been key in Stoke’s success, with Tony Pulis’ men staying in the top half of the table, and looking towards a place in Europe. Begovic can lay claim to eight clean sheets and a spot in my XI.
Defender – Branislav Ivanovic
Chelsea’s mainstay in defence this season, whether it be at right-back or in the heart of the defence. Some call the Serbian the best defender at Stamford Bridge, and it’s hard to argue that. Ivanovic missed just one league fixture this season, due to suspension. He has gained 6 clean sheets and scored three goals this season. Strong and versatile, Ivanovic is certainly worthy of a place in the Team of the Season.
Defender – Ryan Shawcross
Goal line clearances, red cards and headbutts. Ryan Shawcross has seen it all this season, so far. Shawcross is part of a Stoke defence that has conceded only three goals at home in the league this season, fewer than any other club in the Premier League or Football League. The rock of the Potters, Shawcross has played every game for Stoke and has been instrumental in their defensive success.
Defender – Johnny Evans
The Northern Irishman has unfortunately been part of a defence that has let him down this season. Rafael, Ferdinand and Evra have all performed poorly and that shouldn’t reflect on Evans’ magnificent displays this season. Showing maturity, coolness and clinical defending, Johnny Evans should get the distinction of being in a Team of the Season and has shown that he is the foundation for Utd’s future.
Defender – Leighton Baines
Setting the Premier League alight with link-up play and solid defending, Leighton Baines has eased into the England setup as a result of his performances. Competing in every minute of Everton’s strong start to the season, Baines has assisted four goals, scored two himself and irked the attention of Manchester United.
Midfielder – Santi Cazorla
The Spanish midfield maestro has been instrumental in anything positive for Arsenal this season. He has become a marked man as soon as teams discovered his true talent and fluidity. Playing in every game for the Gunners, Cazorla has scored seven goals and assisted six.
Midfielder – Juan Mata
Yet another Spanish magician who creates something out of nothing, Juan Mata has outshone signings Eden Hazard and Oscar. Three players cut from the same cloth, Mata stepped up his game and scored six goals and assisted six.
Midfielder – Marouane Fellaini
The colossal Belgian has played up front for Everton alongside Nikita Jelavic, and has for the most part, been unplayable. Despite a controversial headbutt with Ryan Shawcross, Fellaini’s season has catapulted the Belgian’s stature in the game. Scoring eight goals and assisting four, Everton would need a miracle to keep their hands on Fellanini for next season.
Forward – Demba Ba
In what may stir some controversy due to Newcastle’s poor form, Demba Ba’s performances for the Toon Army this season have been excellent. You cannot deny the Senegalese man’s goalscoring ability becoming the 2nd top goalscorer with 11 goals for the season so far. With stories surfacing of a buy-out clause in Ba’s contract, it would come as no surprise if one of the top four came calling.
Forward – Jermain Defoe
One of the highest scoring players in the history of the Premier League, Jermain Defoe has carried Tottenham Hotspur from possible disappointment to 3 points numerous times this season. Defoe has scored 9 goals since the start of the Premier League campaign, and has claimed the sole striker’s slot in Spurs starting line-up, fending off Emmanuel Adebayor.
Forward – Robin van Persie
In what is probably the least shocking pick of the Team of the Season, Robin van Persie has saved Manchester United numerous times this season. With a defence leaking goals, the four strikers for Utd have had to outscore the opposition too many times for Sir Alex’s liking. Not only has van Persie been healthy, featuring in 65 consecutive Premier League games, the Dutchman has scored more decisive winning goals than any other player in this season’s Premier League with 5 goals. With 12 goals in total, it is still a shock to this writer that Arsenal allowed him to leave the Emirates.