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Premier League Team of Season so far

With half the season now gone, TEAMtalk's Rob McCarthy presents his Premier League Team of the Season so far.

Last Updated: 31/12/12 at 15:35 Post Comment

Begovic, Michu & Suarez: All named in McCarthy's team

Begovic, Michu & Suarez: All named in McCarthy's team

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Top-flight Team of the Season so far (4-4-2):

Goalkeeper

Asmir Begovic

It's no great surprise that Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been linked with a move for Stoke's number one, who has been simply outstanding throughout the first half of the season. Playing behind a solid back four, Begovic has been a commanding presence as Stoke have become one of the hardest teams to beat in the country.

Defenders

Pablo Zabaleta

Manchester City's most consistent performer for me so far this season has held off competition from Maicon and Micah Richards to make the right-back spot his own. His defensive game has improved during his time in England and he is always a threat when charging forward.

Ryan Shawcross

Solid as a rock at the heart of Stoke's defence, Shawcross is improving all the time and was fully deserving of his England debut in November's friendly defeat in Sweden. Yes he struggled against Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he inititially came on in that game but Bobby Moore and Franz Beckenbauer would have had their hands full against Zlatan in that mood.

Jan Vertonghen

Although he has made the majority of his Premier League appearances for Tottenham at left-back so far, Vertonghen is more comfortable as a central defender and when he has played there this season he has been excellent. Loves to get forward, has a hammer of a left foot and is already a huge favourite with the White Hart Lane faithful.

Leighton Baines

Incredibly consistent for Everton and never seems to have a bad game. Always dangerous with his set-piece delivery, Baines is likely to replace Ashley Cole as England's first-choice left-back for years to come.

Midfielders

Juan Mata

Plenty of goals and assists for Chelsea's midfield maestro means he has to be in my team. After a good start last season he seemed to fade but Mata looks stronger this time around and should guide Chelsea to a comfortable top-four finish.

Marouane Fellaini

Unplayable on his day, the Everton star has been immense playing in a more forward role for the Toffees this season, although I've got him in central midfield in my side. His recent ban for his attempted assault on Ryan Shawcross did make me think twice about his starting spot but such was Fellaini's impact prior to that I felt it was impossible to leave him out.

Michu

Has to be the bargain of the season so far after making a £2million switch from Rayo Vallecano last summer. If the goals keep on flowing then Swansea are going to have a tough task hanging on to a player who has quickly become their prized asset.

Gareth Bale

After a slow start Bale has exploded into devastating form recently and is quite simply unstoppable when he is in full flow. Needs to watch the theatrics however after building up a reputation as a diver in the last 18 months - although I feel he has been harshly treated of late.

Strikers

Luis Suarez

Like him or not one thing that cannot be doubted about the Liverpool hitman is his undoubted star quality, and without his goals this season Brendan Rodgers would surely have been under more pressure at Liverpool. The Reds can simply not do without his genius.

Robin van Persie

The Dutch striker's transition from the Emirates Stadium to Old Trafford could not have gone more smoothly and his partnership with Wayne Rooney has been telepathic at times. His goals look likely to guide Manchester United to yet another Premier League title this season.

Substitutes:

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland): The Black Cats have had their struggles so far but Mignolet could have a highlights reel all of his own for some of the superb saves he has made this season.

Rafael (Man United): Seems to be maturing into an outstanding defender and is now most definitely Fergie's first-choice for the right-back spot at Old Trafford.

Jonas Olsson (West Brom): The Baggies have had a brilliant first half of the season and Olsson's form has played a major part in that. Uncompromising and strong as an ox.

Claudio Yacob (West Brom): The scouting team at The Hawthorns deserve a huge pat on the back for unearthing the former Racing Club midfielder. Yacob screens the Baggies back four but has far more to his game than that and has had a great season so far.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal): It can sometimes take foreign players time to adapt to the Premier League but Cazorla has taken to it like a duck to water and looks an Arsenal player through and through.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal): Having started the season moaning at being played on the wing, Walcott finally got his wish to play through the middle and has been a revelation so far. Can Arsenal really afford to let him leave?.

Demba Ba (Newcastle): He can be a bit maverick at times but Ba is one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League and has to be worth £7million of anybody's money. I fear for Newcastle, however, if they lose him.

Other players worthy of a mention for their efforts so far this season include Stoke's other dependable centre-half Robert Huth, Tottenham midfielder Sandro, Norwich playmaker Wes Hoolahan, Manchester City schemer David Silva, Spurs duo Moussa Dembele and Jermain Defoe and Fulham's mecurial frontman Dimitar Berbatov.

So there you go, that's my team but what would yours be?

Let us know by using our comments section below.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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