Premier League’s August Most Valuable Players
Would Liverpool even have a win without Glen Johnson? He plays like a wing up front, scoring or having a hand in the early goals to open up the game against Stoke and scoring the critical first goal against Bolton to prevent a 3rd meltdown in 4 games. In the back, Johnson has repeatedly shut down threatening runs and avoided the lazy plays and set piece mistakes of his center backs.
Shay Given and Emmanuel Adebayor have given Man City a perfect start in spite of prolonged bouts of inconsistency due to unfamiliarity. Given was spectacular in their first game and has yet to give up a goal. Adebayor has scored the difference maker multiple times for Man City, buying them time to find a proper groove. When they do, look out.
Overcoming his rep as a selfish player, Jermain Defoe has energized the entire Tottenham team this season. Already with a hat trick to his name, Defoe consistently pressures the opposition with explosiveness and accuracy. He is England’s most dangerous striker.
Unless Wayne Rooney is. He prevented a 0-0 draw to open the Red Devils’ season. His second-half scoring gave Man U the confidence bounce back from an upset loss and thrash Wigan. He made the run that (controversially?) drew the penalty to even the score against Arsenal. The fate of England’s biggest club falls on his shoulders, and he shows no signs of wilting under it.
Owen Coyle doesn’t suit up for Burnley, but he’s been the engine driving their surprising start to the season. He has instilled confidence in his players and demonstrated a commitment to playing the game properly instead of just laying 10 men back and praying for the 0-0 draw. Who knew Turf Moor would be feared?
Cesc Fabregas missed the game this weekend with Man U. The result was fluky enough; does anyone doubt that Fabregas could have been a difference maker at Old Trafford? Rumors abound that Fabregas will be Barca’s next season, but the only thing we know for sure is that Arsenal owes its high-scoring start to the playmaking (and long-range finishing) of their midfield captain.
And then we come to the MVP of the Premier League this month, Didier Drogba. Chelsea began the season tentatively, and if Drogba hadn’t been in the zone early, a draw vs Hull to open might have had lingering side effects. Instead, they look confident and harmonious. To top it all off, Drgoba has been generating goals as a passer, like he did feeding Anelka to open the scoring this weekend. If Didier Drogba continues to eschew pouting for playmaking, Chelsea will remain strong favorites in the EPL and, dare I say, Champs.
My All-EPL 1st Team for August:
Glen Johnson * Ryan Shawcross * Kolo Toure * Jose Bosingwa
Frank Lampard * Cesc Fabregas * Aaron Lennon
Wayne Rooney * Didier Drogba * Jermain Defoe