Players of the Year 2012/13: The Top 5 Central Midfielders
Another addition to the ‘Players of the Year’ section, Tom Gatehouse this time runs the rule over the best central midfielders in the league for 2012/13
The Premier League has a history of producing some of the best midfielders around. With the likes of Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, David Beckham, and Claude Makelele just some of the more recent men to have strutted around these hallowed pitches in the Premier League’s history, it is little wonder that this fine institution keeps on giving in terms of midfield talent.
Centre midfield is arguably one of the most diverse areas of the pitch, as to reach its full potential, it often needs to be multi-faceted. Take Barcelona for example; Sergio Busquets is the man to hold dead centre with a combination of strength, timing and anticipation, while further up is pass-master Xavi, dictating the tempo like an embittered metronome; Andres Iniesta completes this holy trinity with his brand of critical incision and thrust. Working in tandem, they create arguably one of the most dangerous, yet coveted, three-pronged midfield partnerships around.
Clubs in the Premier League continue to strive towards such examples of precedential excellence, and while there are few who could even attempt to reach the lofty standards set by teams such as the illustrious Barca, there are many players in and outside the top four who have had exceptional seasons for their respective clubs.
Here is a list of the Top 5 best midfielders of the 2012/13 season:
5. Shaun Maloney, Wigan
Mr Maloney has certainly had a season to remember. A hatful of stunning goals, a collection of assists, a desperate relegation loss, and an FA cup final victory. Talk about a roller coaster ride! Crucial to Wigan’s line-up, the Malaysian-born Scot has led by example this season.
Although unable to save the club from an ignominious relegation, he played 41 games during a gruelling campaign, and showed real quality despite Wigan’s struggles. An FA Cup winner’s medal was fully deserved, and will go some way to easing the pain of dropping down a division.
The 30-year-old still has much to give, and it would not be a real surprise to see him back in the Premier League with a different outfit come next season.
4. Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Yaya Toure often plays like an all-out war machine. With his wide, yet lanky frame coupled with immense core strength, makes the man rarely able to be stopped once he gets going. His tussles with Chelsea’s Ramires are prime examples of his brute force and power, often sending the lithe Brazilian flying through the air with minimal effort.
Although this season was one of disappointment for last year’s Champions, the presence of Yaya in the centre of the park has been colossal. Able to boss a game almost singe-handedly, City will be very relieved to have tied the Ivorian down with a new contract this year. If the Sky Blues are to mount a serious attack on the title next year, let alone attempt to conquer Europe, the continued tenure of Toure in the midfield will be of the utmost importance.
3. Frank Lampard, Chelsea
Chelsea fans’ own Super Frank Lampard has, once more, been rather splendid this season. A personal milestone of becoming the club’s number one top goal scorer of all time was certainly a highlight of a season which he, for the tenth season on the trot, reached double figures for goals in a season. Lampard would have a case to be higher up on this list, were it not for his
A real institution at the club, Lampard recently put pen-to-paper over a new one-year contract, prolonging his glorious twelve year stay in West London even further. Chelsea fans can’t get enough of him, and with the impending re-arrival of Jose Mourinho, they can surely expect to see plenty more.
2. Michael Carrick, Manchester United
The ex-Spurs man, Carrick, gave the Premier League a real lesson in patience, poise and precision this season. Often playing from deep, his passing range caused devastation in the opposition ranks all season long; while his highly-developed, footballing discipline was evident in many displays of his defensive propensity. Not one for the limelight, his selflessness was nonetheless crucial to United this season.
An able successor to the departing Paul Scholes, he was nominated for Player of the Year by his peers. Present in 44 of United’s Championship winning season, he will surely continue to be a feature of incoming boss, David Moyes’ United sides for many years to come.
1. Michu, Swansea
Michael Laudrup’s £2.5 million signing from Real Vallecano was quite a shrewd piece of business! With Sir Alex Ferguson admitting he’d never even heard of the Spaniard, Michu made sure his name would be remembered with a stunning first season in England, where he bagged an impressive 18 goals in the league. His performances propelled the Welsh side to a respectable 9th place finish, and ensured that the club will have a fight to keep him on the books for next season.
A lethal, instinctive finisher, Michu’s Berbatov-esque, languid style plays havoc on proactive defenders who often see the 27-year old slip under the radar. Deployed either as an attacking mid, or a striker, he blew everyone away with a multitude of inspired performances this season.
What do we reckon? Anyone else deserve a mention? The likes of Mata and Cazorla will be classed as wingers for upcoming features. Tough to leave out Felliani and Gerrard from the list! Get involved in the comments below!
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