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Halfway heroes

The Football League campaign has passed its halfway stage. Clubs will now have eyes on securing promotion, squeezing into the play-offs or keeping themselves out of relegation peril by the time May comes around.

Last Updated: 02/01/13 at 12:50 Post Comment

Ince: the Blackpool trickster, linked with a return to Liverpool, has impressed

Ince: the Blackpool trickster, linked with a return to Liverpool, has impressed

But Sky Sports pundit Peter Beagrie has collated his evidence and picked the three men from each division that have impressed him most during the opening part of the season.

Read on to view Beags' selections and then let us know who you think has lit up the Championship, League One and League Two this term by filling in the feedback form at the bottom of the page...

Championship

Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace, Striker)

An unbelievable 22 goals for the much travelled 29-year-old has maintained Palace's promotion push. The model professional has been the beneficiary of some great wing play from Messrs Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie and has ploughed a lone furrow through the middle up front. He has delighted fans, manager(s) and team-mates alike.

Thomas Ince (Blackpool, Winger)

Ince's improvement this season has been nothing short of remarkable. He's matured physically and has provided some of the finest moments of individual brilliance in the Championship so far. Thirteen goals and 10 assists underlines how devastating the 20-year-old has been in the final third and he has found consistency with his decision making and final ball.

Wes Morgan (Leicester, Centre-back)

Morgan has been the cornerstone of one of the meanest defences in the Championship, revelling in captaining one of the sides expected to fight for automatic promotion or, at the very least, the play-offs. Quick, aggressive and brave, Morgan has led by example at the Foxes and has also improved his distribution, often stepping out from the back and controlling possession. Finally, I would also like to mention three young guns who have lit up the second tier: Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Will Hughes (Derby) and Zaha (Crystal Palace).

League One

David McGoldrick (Coventry, Striker)

McGoldrick's goals this season have brought renewed optimism to the Sky Blue faithful and the player himself has thrived on playing first-team football, regaining the form and self-belief that persuaded parent club Nottingham Forest to shell out £1million-plus to acquire him from Southampton. His 18 goals in 24 starts are evidence of what a leaner, hungrier and fitter striker he is. Coventry boss Mark Robins will have the Ricoh Arena rocking if he can capture McGoldrick until the end of the season, as his current loan deal has expired.

Clayton Donaldson (Brentford, Striker)

The powerful striker is so important to Uwe Rosler's Brentford and without him the Bees' system just wouldn't work. A real handful in the air or chasing defenders down, Donaldson is having an outstanding season, leading the line and spearheading a front three. Uwe must hope he stays fit until the end of the season as the Londoners' chances of automatic promotion lie firmly at Clayton's feet.

Tony McMahon (Sheffield United, Full-back)

The former Middlesbrough full-back has proved a brilliant acquisition for the Bramall Lane outfit. McMahon was surplus to requirements at Boro, but he's a natural born winner, tough in the tackle, a great organiser and communicator, and also has great vision and distribution. The 26-year-old has numerous assists, often crossing on the run, but is also deadly at set-pieces, as he proved by scoring a 30-yard free-kick against Crawley on December 22.

League Two

Jamie Cureton (Exeter, Striker)

The 37-year-old frontman is showing no signs of losing that happy knack of being in the right place at the right time. His 16 goals from 24 league starts leave the Grecians just two points off the final play-off spot with Exeter chief Paul Tisdale hoping Cureton's experience will prove a vital ingredient when nerves become fraught in the run-in.

Nahki Wells (Bradford, Striker)

Scouts have flocked to Valley Parade to watch the fleet-footed youngster, who already has 15 goals to his name and Bradford will be hoping the Bermudan can unhinge Aston Villa's sieve-like defence in their Capital One Cup semi-final. Wells has been fearless in the last two rounds against Wigan and Arsenal; he has the temperament to match his developing talent and represents City's best chance of getting out of the fourth tier after six years.

Tom Pope (Port Vale, Striker)

The former Rotherham and Crewe centre-forward has blazed the goal trail this season and after a successful loan spell at the Valiants, he seems to have found a team and a manager to get the best out of him. If Pope's focus remains on his football and he can show the necessary dedication, both he and Port Vale could have a fruitful campaign.

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Readers' Comments

A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

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