BPL Best XI (1st Half 2011-12)

I’m a Manchester United fan and it pains me to not include any United players in my Best XI (and so many City players), although Wayne Rooney just missed out to Demba Ba.  The truth is that United have been much poorer than their position indicates and with so many injuries only Rooney, Nani, Patrice Evra and Phil Jones have been constants this season.  Antonio Valencia has come on strong in the last month and Michael Carrick has been back to his best as well, but Man City just have too strong of a spine to not make up the majority of the team.

GK, Joe HART, Manchester City

Hart has been virtually unbeatable in goal.  Picking up where he left off last season, Hart is clearly England’s #1 at this point and City owe at least 9-12 points to his performance.

CB, Vincent KOMPANY, Manchester City

Much of City’s prowess this season is due to Kompany’s consistency, strength, and leadership.  The recent four match suspension due to the (dubious, I confess) Red card in the FA Cup match with United is really going to hurt City in the next few weeks as their other central defenders are nowhere near Kompany’s class.

CB, Martin SKRTEL, Liverpool

The best player in Liverpool’s squad so far, including the talismanic yet profligate Luis Suarez.  Beside Daniel Agger in the center of defense, Liverpool have been impenetrable for much of the season.  If only they could score goals.

RB, Kyle WALKER, Tottenham Hotspur

One of the surprises of the season, Walker is strong, fast, and creative, and has kept Vedran Corluka completely out of the side.  All of a sudden England have a slew of options at what has been one of their weakest positions recently, and Walker is cementing himself as first choice right back.

LB, Ashley COLE, Chelsea

While Chelsea’s defense has been shaky this season, Cole remains the best left back in England and one of Chelsea’s top creative forces with six assists so far.

CM, Scott PARKER, Tottenham Hotspur

One of the best signings of the year, Parker was the missing piece in the Tottenham puzzle.  He adds steel and composure to arguably the best midfield in the Premier League.

CM, Yaya TOURE, Manchester City

Last year Toure was forced to play the advanced attacking role in a defensive midfield, which he performed well despite having never played that role in Barcelona’s ultra-talented midfield.  This season, however, City have adopted a more attacking formation with four forwards playing in front of the two central midfielders allowing Toure to play a more effective box-to-box role, which he has excelled at.

RW, David SILVA, Manchester City

After a slightly disappointing first season for City, Silva has emerged as one of the world’s great talents this season.  His dynamic movement, precision passing, and unerring eye for goal has been the bane of every single defense he’s faced thus far.

LW, Juan MATA, Chelsea

The key move for Chelsea over the summer was not appointing Andre Villas-Boas as manager, but the signing of AVB’s look-a-like, Mata.  The gifted Spaniard, has fit right into the Premier League and has kept Florent Malouda on the sidelines and significantly lightened Frank Lampard’s creative work-load.

ST, Robin VAN PERSIE, Arsenal

The Premier League’s best player thus far, Van Persie has reached his peak at a crucial time for Arsenal.  It looked like Arsenal were heading for middle-of-the-table disappointment at the beginning of the season, but Van Persie’s heroics have kept them near the top.  Most importantly, Van Persie has enjoyed his longest injury-free spell yet.  Perhaps he isn’t made of glass after all?

ST, Demba BA, Newcastle

Liverpool bought Andy Carroll for over 20 million and Newcastle got Demba Ba on a free transfer from West Ham.  Carroll has scored 4 goals in 25 games for Liverpool while Demba Ba has been a force for Newcastle, scoring 15 goals in 19 games.  Will Newcastle be able to hold onto one of the most prolific strikers in the history of the premier league?  Whatever happens, Newcastle will greatly miss the Senegalese talisman during the African Cup of Nations.

Alternative XI

GK, Brad FRIEDEL, Tottenham

CB, Phil JONES, Manchester United

CB, Younes KABOUL, Tottenham

RB, Micah RICHARDS, Manchester City

LB, Jose ENRIQUE, Liverpool

CM, Charlie ADAM, Liverpool

CM, Yohan CABAYE, Newcastle

RW, NANI, Manchester United

LW, Gareth BALE, Tottenham

ST, Wayne ROONEY, Manchester United

ST, Sergio AGUERO, Manchester City

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