Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Rebuttal: My EPL Team of the Half-Season

One my co-conspirators recently posted his first-half All-EPL squad. It was well done, but as such lists are wont to do, there was some lively email debate that ensued. Shortly followed with a challenge to put up our own lists. Here is mine although there is much common ground.

GK -

Almunia -- The credit for much of Arsenal's success must be given to the Spanish (maybe English, soon?) goalkeeper. The Gunner defense is not the greatest, although it does have an attacking verve, so it has fallen on the Aluminium man and he has performed admirably.

DEF-

Vidic -- ManU has allowed the fewest goals this season and the inspired play of Vidic has been integral in that stat.

Laursen -- The Aston Villa defender has been a offensive force this season and is a must on this list.

Micah Richards and Richard Dunne -- Man Citeh's goal differential is only seven but Sven-Goran Eriksson has the team in the fourth spot. This duo has been crucial to Citeh's ability to walk the fine line and be able to come away with points in the matches.

MID

Ronaldo -- Quite simply one of the top three players in the world right now. He leads the league in scoring and is the driving force of ManU's offense.

Fabregas -- He is the maestro of the sexy football at Emirates Stadium. He seems to have cooled off right now, but it will be important for Arsenal for him to heat back up with the loss of Eboue and Toure to the African Nations Cup.

Gerrard -- He is the most impressive all-around force in the English game. He imposes his will on matches and frequently wills his squad to better performances that its manager cannot coax out of the club.

Bentley -- Blackburn's young midfielder has been exquisite for the Rovers creating many opportunities for himself and his new teammate Roque Santa Cruz. (If we had gone with a 4-3-3 lineup, Bently would lose out.)

FOR -

Tevez -- The Argentinian has been a true brute for the Red Devils with 8 goals (5 match winning goals) and 4 assists. He has been a savior for Sir Alex with Rooney's persistent injuries.

Torres -- This was the player we had most dispute over and I have some bias as a LFC supporter, but I believe he is the class of the strikers right now. While some may argue that the leading scorer for the league, Adebayor, might belong here, Torres has been the far more dynamic force in the season so far. He has 10 goals (1 matchwinner and 4 game-tying goals) in the league and 16 goals overall. He has been worth the transfer fee for Liverpool as he has saved the squad's bacon on several occasions already. Torres creates problems for opposing defenses very few other strikers in the world create. He has size, speed and great ball control. He's not the poacher like Adebayor, Keane or Berbatov. Just watch this video to see his class.

*Please keep an eye on Roque Santa Cruz for the second half. He is really heating up right now, although he came off with an injury against Sunderland. Also, the Aston Villa strike force (Young, Carew and Agbonlahor) has been really good as group. If they can shore up the defense this a good squad to watch.

1 comment:

ü75 said...

BOO. I hate this list.

(only kidding)

I initially had Bentley in there, but went with Gerrard when I saw how many games he had contributed in. As for Torres, yes, he is very stylish. At his current rate, he will probably make my year end list. But discounting others as mere poachers when scoring is the main end of the game just seems wrong.

Also wrong: an Arsenal fan telling a Liverpool fan that style doesn't matter, just get it in the back of the net.