10.) Ramires – All stories surrounding Chelsea’s season so far have been around Villas Boas, their defense, Daniel Sturridge, Torres v/s Drogba and Frank Lampard. Amongst all this, the contributions of Ramires have rather gone unnoticed. Ramires is the epitome of a Box-To-Box midfielder as his athletic forward runs have caused problems for all Premier League defenders, creating space for Juan Mata to flourish.
09.) Charlie Adam – Luis Suarez continues to be Liverpool’s most charismatic player both on and off the pitch. So much has been said about the Uruguayan, that it has completely lifted the spotlight off Charlie Adam. Goals may have dried up recently for the Scotsman, but it is his intelligent distribution in midfield that keeps Liverpool’s play ticking through the 90 minutes.
08.) Yohan Cabaye – Cabaye covered 10.3 kms during his match against Chelsea, and this is a common feature if you happen to follow Newcastle’s statistics. His distribution and set play deliveries have started many a Newcastle attacks this season and his partnership with Cheikh Tiote in the middle lays the platform for a solid midfield. Too bad though, Tiote gets all the credit.
07.) Aaron Lennon – Tottenham are the best counter attacking unit in the Premier League at the moment owing to their lightning fast wingers: Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon. Bale’s performance against Inter Milan in last season’s Champions League still hovers in the minds of the fans and media alike, and this results in him getting all the attention. Lennon’s surging forward runs however, are still struggling to find suitors.
06.) Chris Smalling – Phil Jones is Manchester United’s darling at the moment, as Sir Alex continues on his mission to make a John O’Shea out of him. Jones’ attack mindedness shifts the focus from Chris Smalling who continues to be quietly efficient in his defensive roles. Aside from the horror show against Basel, the 21 year old has put in solid, if unspectacular, performances so far this season.
05.) Wes Brown – Sunderland’s season hasn’t so far picked up pace as expected. Seb Larrson’s world class set plays have been the only source of respite for the Sunderland fans but if an observer shifts focus to their defense it isn’t very difficult to pick out the best player of the lot. Wes Brown was shown the exit door from United as he fell down the pecking order, but his performances this season have given enough evidence that he is at least better than Johnny Evans.
04.) Laurent Koscielny – There is a sea of difference between what a player Lauren Koscielny was and what he is now, in his first two seasons at Arsenal. The Frenchman was perhaps the only defender who could have held his head high, especially after the treatment Arsenal received in the early part of the season. Thomas Vermaelen is unequivocally regarded as Arsenal’s best defender, but Koscielny certainly isn’t too far off.
03.) Danny Murphy – Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele have been Fulham’s goal scoring outlets this season, but Danny Murphy’s unerring passing routine hasn’t got the credit it deserves. The former Liverpool player has put up delightful displays of long passing against Liverpool and Arsenal this season, matches in which neutrals didn’t give Fulham a chance. Like Charlie Adam and Yohan Cabaye, his performances are only spoken of when people are tired of speaking about their goal scoring heroes.
02.) Joe Allen – Till the match against Liverpool, Joe Allen had a pass success rate of 90%. Ninety percent. Agreed that Swansea’s midfield play Barcelona-esque short passes but to achieve that sort of pass completion rate is staggering. Michel Vorm has been garnering praises for Swansea this season for his goal saving heroics, but in Joe Allen, they have a player, about whom they should really be talking about.
01.) Alex Song – To summarize Alex Song’s importance to Arsenal, let’s just take a quick look at the matches that he didn’t feature in this season: Liverpool, Manchester United, Swansea and Olympiakos. Arsenal lost 3 out of these four matches. So much of the spotlight is on Robin Van Persie this season, that almost the entire Arsenal first team could have been put on this list, but it is the Cameroonian who is the most vital cog in Arsenal’s midfield, but still goes unnoticed.