Who are the Premier League’s best central midfielders?
Having chosen our goalkeeper and defence, this week we’re on the lookout for the best central midfielders as we construct our Premier League select XI. And despite the Life’s a Pitch panel’s firm belief that the 4-4-2 formation has had its day, we’re using it here in tribute to the England manager, Roy Hodgson. A strong early favourite for one of the two central midfield berths is Manchester City’s Yaya Touré, but the competition is fierce as Newcastle’s Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye, Tottenham’s Luka Modric, Michael Carrick of Manchester United, Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Mikel Arteta of Arsenal are also in contention.
“For me, Yaya Touré has to be the first name on the team sheet,” says the People’s Tom Hopkinson, kicking us off. “I think he’s at his devastating best when he’s given the freedom to crack on and push forward. If we’re going to go for Touré, then Tioté would probably be the perfect man to slot in alongside him and do more of the defensive duties.”
But a defensive-minded player isn’t top of everyone’s priorities. The Sunday Telegraph’s Duncan White reckons he’d go for one of Modric, Carrick or Arteta to play with Touré. ”If you’re looking at the best central midfield players in the Premier League, Luka Modric has to be one you talk about. He’s got everything. He’s only small, but he’s so tenacious. His passing range is unbelievable. I think Michael Carrick had a fantastic season last season, he was one of United’s best players. I also think Mikel Arteta at Arsenal had a good season, he grew into that pivot role.”
Talking of Carrick, the Daily Mirror’s John Cross considers him criminally underrated. “He is so consistently good for Man Utd as they win trophy after trophy, year after year, that we take him for granted, become complacent, and suddenly come to this conclusion that, actually, he’s not that good after all. To stay at Man Utd, to keep winning trophies – he’s been superb.”
Watch the video to find out which central midfielders the Life’s a Pitch panel and host Mike Calvin select for the Premier League XI.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
The Life’s A Pitch Premier League Select XI (so far)
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
Left-back: Ashley Cole
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany
Centre-back: Joleon Lescott
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