Tradition dictates that, round about this time of year, tedious and obsequious football writers from national publications select painfully obvious, supposedly meritocratic XIs under such headings as “Premier League Team of the Season So Far”.
Well, Football Burp has concocted an antidote: namely, an XI comprised of players who’ve performed outstandingly while largely falling under the radar of our fair media.
See if you agree with our selections, and if not then why not have a pop at us in the comments section below…
Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovich, Stoke City
The Bosnian stopper has well and truly ousted Thomas sorensen from Tony Pulis’s number 1 spot, playing a crucial part in the Potters’ excellent defensive record thus far.
Right back: Steven Whittaker, Norwich City
Last weekend aside, Chris Hughton’s Canaries have as of late been tighter than an especially tight-fitting pair of tights, with Whittaker showing why Rangers have missed him perhaps even more than fellow summer deserters – not to mention fellow Stevens – Naismith and Davis.
Centre back: Sébastien Bassong, Norwich City
The Cameroonian looks to have rediscovered the commanding form of his Newcastle United days after an unsuccessful stint at Tottenham Hotspur, even weighing in with some crucial goals in the process.
Centre back: Ron Vlaar, Aston Villa
Villa may have struggled thus far under Paul Lambert, but the summer signing from Feyernoord has caught the eye with his mature showings at the back, earning both the captaincy and tweeted praise from Villa legend Paul ‘God’ McGrath.
Left back: Danny Rose, Sunderland
Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats have been unimpressive on the whole, but Rose – on loan from Spurs – has been one of the few success stories with a series of tenacious and roving performances from his new position.
Right midfield: Wayne Routledge, Swansea City
It’s taken some time and a number of different clubs, but Routledge is finally flourishing in the Premier League thanks to the freedom afforded him by Michael Laudrup. Michu may have been the Swans’ star man but Routledge’s contributions – including a healthy goals return – should not be overlooked.
Centre midfield: Youssouf Mulumbu, West Bromwich Albion
The Congolese has been one of the Baggies’ key players ever since their return to the top flight, and if anything he’s upped his already noteworthy game under Steve Clarke, forging an excellent midfield partnership with new boy Claudio Yacob.
Centre midfield: Steven N’Zonzi, Stoke City
While the Potters’ defenders have lapped up the plaudits, their summer signing from Blackburn Rovers has more than played his part with his powerhouse performances from the middle of the park, where he has comprehensively outshone fellow new boy Charlie Adam.
Left midfield: Matt Jarvis, West Ham United
Carrying on where he left off for Wolverhampton Wanderers last season, Jarvis will surely not be far away from England contention if he maintains his form on the Irons’ left flank. Proof positive that Sam Allardyce doesn’t just deal in grocks.
Attacking midfield: Gastón Ramírez, Southampton
After a slow start to life at St Mary’s, the Uruguayan has been instrumental to the Saints’ recent resurgence under Nigel Adkins, providing the flair and artistry to complement the more rugged talents of Rickie Lambert.
Centre forward: Shane Long, West Bromwich Albion
Industrious and clinical, the former Reading striker has proven his worth as a top flight player by playing a leading role in the Baggies’ strong start (recent run of defeats notwithstanding) to the season.
Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham United), Angel Rangel (Swansea City), Sean Morrison (Reading), Jason Puncheon (Southampton), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City), Steve Sidwell (Fulham), Arouna Koné (Wigan Athletic)