As the season draws to a close it is time to recognize those players who have had outstanding seasons. I have compiled my shortlist of the five outstanding players in the Premier League this season. Before I get into them individually, a few honorable mentions need to be made. Rafael van der Vaart, who without so many injuries, would have made my shortlist. Gareth Bale has no doubt been a revelation this season, but his best performances have been in Europe, and he has at times failed to make an impact in the league. Kevin Nolan has led Newcastle gallantly both on and off the pitch, scoring key goals. However, he stood no chance of the shortlist due to his age-inappropriate chicken dance goal celebration. Charlie Adam has, in my opinion, been the difference between a competitive Blackpool and a Derby 2.0. Dimitar Berbatov has finally looked like a Manchester United player this season, close to making the final shortlist but just a little too patchy in his form. Nemanja Vidic has been brilliant all season long. I acknowledge he has had a great season but exclude him from the shortlist because defenders are boring(and also because I didn’t want two Manchester United players on the list).
So here are my outstanding five for season 2010/11
Samir Nasri – has consistently shown the form only seen in patches in previous seasons. He has been a key cog in the Arsenal attack and unlike Arsenal’s other great attacking players has managed to stay fit. He has at times this season looked unplayable and his dribbling in and around the penalty area has resembled George Best
Leighton Baines– seems to have emerged from nowhere this season into one of the world’s best left backs. He has been a solid Premier League defender for several seasons now, but this year has been a threat in attack, supplying great service into the penalty area and scoring a number of amazing free-kicks. It can surely only be a matter of time before a massive European club comes in with an offer Everton can’t refuse.
Carlos Tevez – in an expensive squad, Tevez has been the man to work hard for his money and has also provided the class in front of goal for Manchester City. In the early days of the season it was almost single-handedly that Tevez and his goals kept City at the top of the table. He has been quieter in front of goal recently, but is still a key member of the City team and the hardest working player on the pitch when he plays with the skill to match.
Scott Parker – not the most skillful player in the Premier League, but there is no question he has at times dragged West Ham single-handedly through games (also a candidate for manager of the season if reports are to be believed). He has scored some important goals and has been the driving force in West Ham’s midfield when those around him looked disinterested. If West Ham avoids relegation they have Parker to thank for it.
Nani – finally out of Ronaldo’s shadow and showing the world what a great player he is. Consistent performances with both goals and assists have been vital in ensuring Manchester United is top of the league. Without Nani this season it is highly unlikely United would have scored the goals required to be topping the table right now. All that is needed now is for Nani to toughen up and he would be the complete player, talented and likeable, something Ronaldo never achieved.
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