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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Early contenders for player of the season

The 2011/12 season hasn’t had a stand-out performer, although Robin van Persie has had a sensational season, netting 26 league goals already. Unfortunately Arsenal faltered in the mid-stages of the season, slightly taking the shine off van Persie’s achievements. Those assessing live dealer casinos will agree that Wayne Rooney has been as consistent as ever, scoring 28 goals in 35 games, including 21 league goals.

Goalkeepers have played a significant role too, with outstanding seasons from Newcastle’s Tim Krul, Swansea’s Michel Vorm, Arsenal’s Wojciech SzczÄ™sny and of course Manchester City’s Joe Hart. Central defensive frailties from the major clubs have highlighted the outstanding performances from Man City’s Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards, Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, Newcastle’s back line led by captain, Fabricio Coloccini, and Tottenham’s zippy right back, Kyle Walker. Players like Blackburn’s Junior Hoilett and Swansea’s Leon Britton will almost certainly see the big clubs come knocking in the summer, having had superb seasons.

Robin van Persie scores when he wants, according to the Emirates crowd, and who could argue with them? Van Persie’s record in the Premier League this year has been stunning – 26 goals in 31 games. He has scored some extraordinary goals – the volley against Everton will surely win Goal of the Season – and his tenacity and ‘never say die’ approach has driven the club through a turbulent period, where manager Arsene Wenger’s style and tactics have been strongly criticised by many.

Manchester United’s striker Wayne Rooney has had yet another brilliant season, with 21 league goals in 26 games, including 8 in the last 10 games. He has matured into the whole package – speed, stamina, skill and mentality. He is England’s key player. The stand-out newcomer in this position this year has clearly been Newcastle’s Demba Ba, who ignited the league with his muscular style of play and explosive finishing. Although he hasn’t netted in his last seven games, he has still accrued 16 league goals this year.

Fulham’s Clint Dempsey is finally receiving the recognition he deserves. Having scored 12 goals last season, he has gone one better already this season, with 13 goals in 31 games. A successful partnership with Moussa Dembele and Danny Murphy in Fulham’s midfield has got the team into the top half, and Dempsey and his teammates will look to push on next year for a spot in Europe.

Manchester City’s rise to the top of English football has been built on the solid base of Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany. Both players are integral to the success of the club and have been superb for the last two years. Both will find themselves in the Team of the Season awards, and rightly so. In Hart, City has a keeper who pushed Shay Given out of the side and then maintained the world-class level of keeping.

In Kompany, City has one of the best young central defenders in the world, and a great captain to boot.

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