Hopefully you have all already read the first part of this article, which gave my Goalkeeper and back four for my team of the season. In this part I will be detailing my midfield three, and who just missed out!
Firstly I just want to say that I am using a 4-2-3-1 formation, with this part of the article detailing the 2 and the central one of the 3. So here goes:
Central Midfield: Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Ever since Carrick has joined Manchester United from Tottenham in 2006 as a replacement for the indomitable Roy Keane for a fee of £14 million (rising to £18.6), he has been seen as a bit of a disappointment, both for United and England. Despite this he has still picked up 4 Premier League medals and a Champions League winners medal. However, this season he has had by far his best season for United, and has been one of the most important players for them during their title challenge. His cover for the back four has been vital, as well as his composure on the ball and his distribution, which have been much improved this season. Clearly he has learnt a lot from his time with Scholes, and now, when Carrick plays well, inevitably United do to, and more often than not, they win. Underrated.
Honourable mentions go to Arteta, who makes the second most passes per game in Europe, and Morgan Schneiderlin, who comes inside the top 2 in the Premier League for both tackles made per game and interceptions made per game.
Central Midfield: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Everyone knows how outstanding Toure’s season was last season and just what a tough job he would have to replicate that this year. Admittedly he may not have reached the same heights as he did last year, but he has still been one of the best players in the league this year. Defensively, the giant Ivorian has great strength, reads the game well and is very strong in the tackle, whilst going forward his driving runs with pace and power have been a feature of City’s play this season, particularly late in the game when he gets pushed forward by Mancini. Toure also makes on average 80 passes per game, behind only Arteta in the Premier League, and Pirlo and Xavi in Europe. For a player who is apparently in ‘indifferent’ form according to some people, he still has a dominant effect on City’s games, and they don’t look the same without him. Vital.
Honourable mentions must go to Lucas Leiva and Sandro, who have both evolved rapidly this season, and despite injuries have looked very impressive at the heart of the team when they play.
Central Attacking Midfield: Juan Mata (Chelsea)
The diminutive Spaniard, signed from Valencia in 2011 has been seen as a revelation since joining Chelsea and is seen as the start of the revolution into their current style of play. At the start of this season it was almost expected that Hazard would be the golden boy for Chelsea this year, after his high-profile move to Stamford Bridge. However, despite playing fewer games this year than his Belgian colleague, Mata has more goals and more assists, in fact leading the assists table in the Premier League with 10 and averages 2.6 key passes per game, joint 5th in the league this season. The effect the Spaniard has on the Chelsea team is enormous, with a lot of their good play going through him, with his vision and passing ability often the key to unlocking opposing defences. Gifted.
Honourable mentions go to Fellaini who has developed into a player who is almost unplayable on his day, and Cazorla who is an immensely talented player in a similar mould to Mata.
There are my midfield three for this season, and as always I have had to leave out some extremely good performances from talented players, so feel free to leave comments, and come back next week when I reveal my front three and my manager of the season.
(Stats Courtesy of whoscored.com and correct as of 16/04)