The top XI players in the Premiership not going to the WC
By Jack Young.
Whilst a good majority of Premiership players are already buying sun cream and guide books, spare a thought for those unfortunate players that will have to watch the tournament from the comfort of their own home. Here is my list of the top XI Premiership players that aren’t boarding on a plane to South Africa…
GK – Brad Friedel (Aston Villa)
This would be a completely different story if Cech was the ‘keeper of 2004-05, however a lackluster season for the Chelsea stopper means Friedel gets the nod. The American has had yet another cracking season albeit Villa’s slightly upsetting final league standings. If he were 9 years younger, Brad would be USA’s number 1.
DL – Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
Around December time Gareth Bale was linked with Championship teams such as Nottingham Forest, luckily the young Welshman seemed to take this speculation with a pinch of salt and his form took a huge boost that become pivotal in Spurs’ eventual fourth place finish.
DC – Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
Partnering Silvestre and Campbell could be challenging for some veteran Premiership centre backs, but in his first year in English football, Vermaelen seems to have proven why a usually thrifty manager played close to ten million for the Belgian.
DC – Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
Constant Arsenal target, constant rock at the back, Hangeland has proved this season why he’s wanted by so many clubs. Fulham’s campaign has proven what it means to be a team, and Hangeland has been part of the spine. Hodgson won’t be sweating too much about the departure of Smalling, especially with the price he got for him, not whilst the Norwegian is still at the club.
DR – Vedran Corluka (Tottenham)
It really is a shame that Croatia haven’t made the final 32, they have made quite a name for themselves this season in the Premiership. The Tottenham contingent certainly put a smile on Bilic’s face during his appearance on MOTD and it’s obvious why. Ever since moving to London Corluka has slowly put himself up as one of the best right backs in the country.
ML – Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
Ten goals from midfield this season show that Arsenal need Arshavin more than ever, especially seeing as the inevitable will happen and Cesc will mosey across to Barcelona before the start of the season. Whilst not as influential as Fabregas, Arshavin’s flair has rescued the Gunners numerous chances this campaign.
MC – Paul Scholes (Man Utd)
As G.Neville put it, Scholes is ‘Best English midfielder in the Premiership’ and whilst this statement may be a bit outlandish, his crucial goals and vision were integral to Man Utd’s title chase this season.
MC – Luka Modric (Tottenham)
Perhaps the most creative player in the Premier League now, it is no wonder Modric has been linked to Manchester United as Scholes’ successor. However would it be a clever move for him? In recent years those that have switched from Tottenham to the Theatre of Dreams haven’t been able to captivate the Man Utd faithful. Spurs are looking more dangerous and more like a team than ever before. First name on this team sheet.
MR – Antonio Valencia (Man Utd)
Outright bamboozlement when he signed for Man Utd at the start of the season, especially for his price tag. After a shaky start to the season he provided ample support for Rooney. Whilst not a replacement for Ronaldo, he certainly helped the healing process.
ST – Dimitar Berbatov (Man Utd)
He might appear unmotivated and arguably a shadow of the player he was in his Tottenham pomp, but nobody can argue with the lad’s first touch or technique. The now ex-Bulgarian captain would still be accepted in most teams, and by the looks of the way his future is headed, it’s a good job as well.
ST – Bobby Zamora (Fulham)
Beat off competition from players such as Agbonlahor and Louis Saha because of his desire to prove the critics wrong. Admittedly some of his celebration against his own fans were unsavoury but Zamora has became a true contender for an England spot, and if you believe the reports he only turned down the chance to be part of the England squad due to injury then perhaps we will see frequent appearances from him in an England shirt after the World Cup.
Agree? Disagree? Who would be your top XI?
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