Tag Archives: Jose Enrique

Steven Gerrard – The Pied Piper Of Anfield


One of the greatest midfielders, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been the lynchpin of the Reds for the past decade or so and has also been the part of the transformation plans of four managers since the triumphant spectacle at Istanbul. However, the critics have doubted the current influence of the 32-year old English captain.

Under the current Chelsea interim boss – Rafael Benitez, Anfield was a place most teams around Europe feared to go. It was a fortress in its true sense. A young Gerrrad was given a more advanced role to play, just behind the target man Fernando Torres, Peter Crouch or Andrei Voronin. With Xabi Alonso at the centre of the park and the smart Javier Mascherano as the holding midfielder – the link between the midfield & the back four – Gerrard was handed the responsibility of handling the attacking side of the game. Liverpool were known for their direct style of play, fluent passing and classic counter attacks. The 2008-09 season was the highlight of this Liverpool side’s strength and ability. Benitez was clearly a manager who understood each player’s psychology, style of play and the suitable position required for his effective influence in the side’s game. Gerrard was at his very best and had expressed his happiness under the Spanish boss.

Liverpool’s formation under Rafa Benitez

Liverpool’s inability of holding on to Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, the stalwarts of the Liverpool midfield was followed by the exit of Benitez. This led to a beginning of a doubtful and disappointing transition in the history of the football club. The entry of Roy Hodgson led to a hope for the Koptites as the former Fulham manager seemed like a hopeful perspective. But his tenure ended after just 31 matches following a run of disappointing results. Meanwhile, the Liverpool skipper suffered a recurring hamstring injury in training.

The sacking of Hodgson meant that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish would step in his shoes. After a struggling start and a serious injury Lucas Leiva, Gerrard was given a role of playing behind Jordan Henderson and play as a deep-lying playmaker, a position to which the English midfielder was not much acclimated to. The introduction of Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Henderson meant that the injury affected captain had to play behind the attacking midfielders. However, this was the time when the then 31 year-old midfielder suffered his major injury setbacks. He was sidelined for six months with a grueling groin injury and was again sidelined for an infection injury on his right ankle.

Liverpool’s formation under Kenny Dalglish

These injuries forced the manager to play him in a safe deep position which would keep him away from exertion and hard tackling and thus keep him away from further injuries. However, the fan favourite had mentioned in his interviews that he was more than willing to play the same role that he had played for Liverpool over the years but was happy with any role given by the manager. A 1-0 defeat on the final day of the season at  Swansea City meant the end of a disappointing era for Dalglish. Gerrard was criticized by many as a player too old for the British game but was still able to get 8 goals in the meager amount of games that he played.

Then came Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea boss provides a whole new type of game of retaining the ball as quickly as possible and playing an aggressive & fast game. Meaning, the type of game Gerrard longs to play, with wholehearted commitment in every tackle.


However, the current role given to Gerrard has frustrated many a Liverpool fan. The influential and committed skipper has been given a tamed role of playing the ball in the final third from a deep position. But with a lack of strike force and a berserk Luis Suarez when it comes to finishing the obvious chances, the only support in the front-line, the midfielder is forced to give away the ball due to lack of options. The main and obvious remedy to this is to bring in a new striker, especially a striker who can make his presence felt in the box. The reason being that Jose Enrique and Raheem Sterling do all the hard work on the wings, taking defenders to the byline and then when they look up there is hardly a shadow in the box to aim at. Due to the inexperienced midfield comprising of Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Allen, Gerrard is given the responsibility of handling the defensive duties as well. For a 32-year-old it is too big a task. Allen after an impressive first three games has exposed his physical weakness and has given the ball away cheaply especially against the likes of Chelsea who have a hefty attacking line-up.

The formation that Brendan Rodgers should play, which will get the best out of Gerrard

A makeshift solution can be of playing Lucas and Allen as the holding midfielders and Gerrard playing in front of them. This will enable him to move to either wing to support Sterling or the newly fullback turned left midfielder Jose Enrique as also of playing the final ball to Suarez or taking the shot on from outside the area, for which he was so feared till a season or two ago. The main problem is that the more deep he falls in the midfield the more the midfield looses its experience and the dynamic presence of an attacking and creative midfielder and thus his influence in the game reduces drastically. For a man who has given everything for his home club and wants to fulfill his only desire of winning the Premier League title, he should be given the role of a trequilesta, even if it drains out all his energy and has to sit out a third of the game.


Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 12

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eleventh weekend in the Premier League. Arsenal, Liverpool, Norwich City and Southampton provide two players each, while there is one each from Manchester City, Sunderland and West Brom Albion.

John Ruddy (Norwich City)

The England keeper was in instrumental form in his side’s shocking 1-0 win over Manchester United at Carrow Road on Saturday. He made a succession of crucial saves – especially from Ashley Young – and two right at the death, to frustrate United and keep them at bay.

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)

Southampton have conceded the most number of goals this season, but Clyne is one player to keep an eye for in the future. In the biggest game at the bottom of the table, he was rock solid in defence when his team needed him and going forward he chipped in with an assist as his team got the better of QPR at Loftus Road.

Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland)

The former Aston Villa defender has been rock solid at the back for the Black Cats this season and he was once again at his best against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. He put in a very impressive defensive display and also scored his first goal for the club by heading home a corner.

Michael Turner (Norwich City)

Turner struggled at the start of the season but on Saturday he was at his very best. He was the heart and soul of the Canaries’ spirited defensive display and dealt brilliantly with both Javier Hernandez (later replaced by Danny Welbeck) and Robin van Persie. He put his body on the line and successfully got his head to numerous crosses to keep United’s attack at bay.

Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

This is the second consecutive time the Liverpool left-back has made our Team Of The Week and he completely deserves it. Played in an advance role in Saturday’s comfortable win over Wigan, the Spaniard put in his best performance of the season so far and ended the game with a goal and an assist.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Arsenal fans and manager Arsene Wenger may be split on whether Theo Walcott is worth the money to keep at the club past this season. However, on Saturday in the North London derby at least Walcott put in a brilliant display. His contribution included an assist and an injury time goal.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

The little Spainiard has been the Gunners’ best player this season and on Saturday he was at his creative best against Tottenham, making the most of Arsenal’s one-man advantage. He was involved in most of the hosts’ intricate build-up play, and topped off his performance with a goal and a brilliant assist in the 5-2 thrashing.

Jason Puncheon (Southampton)

He provided the impetus from the right side of midfield for Southampton, on his first return to Loftus Road, having played there on loan last season. His two assists and a sweet left-footed curling goal from the edge of the box was just the reward for his impressive performance.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Another weekend and its Suarez again. The Uruguayan international is in the form of his life and without him I really can’t see Liverpool being a serious threat. However, he now has ten goals this season and increased his tally over the weekend with two well taken finishes in the home win over Wigan.

Shane Long (West Brom Albion)

The former Reading man spent a good 60 minutes terrorising the Chelsea defence and David Luiz in particular on Saturday. His goal involved great movement and his assist for Peter Odemwingie was of the first order. He has adapted very well to the life in the Premier League and now can produce performances capable of dismantling top sides.

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)

The Argentine striker ended his barren spell of just one goal in his last 12 appearances for City, with a brace in the 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. His first came from the penalty spot, while his second was a close-range tap-in. But, his performance will be the most pleasing thing for Roberto Mancini.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 11

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eleventh weekend in the Premier League. West Ham United are the only side to provide two players, while there is one each from Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Stoke City, Norwich City and Everton.

Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham United)

Kevin Nolan returned to St. James Park to haunt his old club, but the win was only possible thanks to a wonder save by the West Ham shot-stopper. Demba Ba thought he had levelled matters for Newcastle with a powerful header, but the keeper sprang across his goal to claw the ball away before it crossed the line.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

For some time, the Blues have struggled to find a solid right-back who can fulfill the role with consistency and the Chelsea new-boy looks like he might be the one who can cope with the demands of playing in the Chelsea defence without buckling under the pressure. He was impressive against Shakhtar Donetsk and even more adventurous against Liverpool.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)

The former Manchester United defender has enjoyed an excellent start to the season and looks set to challenge for a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England side in the next few months, and that continued on Saturday as he put in a commanding display in the Potters’ 1-0 win over QPR. He kept Djibril Cisse quiet for the whole game and was also a threat inside the attacking third.

Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City)

It was one of those desperate games for Norwich where they had to put their bodies on the line to defend but in the end they earned a valuable point against Reading. The former Tottenham and Newcastle man had one of his best games of the season as he single-handedly kept Jason Roberts, Stephen Hunt, Jobi McAnuff and Pavel Pogrebnyak quiet.

Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

Chelsea’s lack of width in the midfield gave Enrique all kinds of space and the Spaniard needs no invitation to go forward. He controlled the left flank for the Reds against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He was unable to keep a clean sheet, but impressed for Brendan Rodgers’ side and almost scored an injury time winner.

Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

Scoring two goals against Manchester United and ending on the losing side felt like ‘losing a cup final’ to Weimann. He can, however, take plenty of heart from the fact that he was able to breach a Manchester United defence on two occasions. His first was an unstoppable drive which fizzed past David de Gea and his second saw him display some predatory instincts inside the box.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

The Belgian midfielder is in the form of his life and there is no doubt he is attracting so much of interest from the top clubs. He has taken his game to a new level this season with talismanic displays put in on a weekly basis. Another inspirational showing on Saturday saw him score one and make the other for Nikica Jelavic as the Toffees overcame Sunderland 2-1.

Kevin Nolan (West Ham United)

Nolan gets the nod over Tottenham’s Sandro and Manchester City’s David Silva, as he collected three points and scored the winner for West Ham against his former employers at St. James Park. The former Bolton man put in yet another professional display for his side and not only scored the only goal of the game but also provided Andy Carroll with a chance to seal the game.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

It has taken a while for Giroud to get going in the Premier League, but he is now displaying the kind of form which saw him score for fun in France and earn international recognition. The powerful frontman netted a brace against Fulham over the weekend, with the only surprise being that a man brimming with confidence did not step up to take a late penalty.

Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)

Manchester United’s brilliant comeback win over Aston Villa has been mentioned a lot in this past week but it would have been impossible without this man. Voted as United’s player of the month, Hernandez started from the bench but was introduced at the interval to devastating effect. He completely turned the game on its head with his brilliant hat-trick and went home with the match-ball.

Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

While Giroud was good for Arsenal on Saturday, Berbatov was even better. He too helped himself to a brace, but also provided an assist as Fulham held Arsenal to a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates. The Bulgarian’s class was seen, as he controlled the game at his own pace, and the composure he displayed in slotting home a penalty perfectly illustrated what he is all about.

Liverpool v Manchester United Preview

One of English football’s oldest and fiercest rivalry will be renewed this Sunday as Liverpool and Manchester United go head-to-head at Anfield.

The encounter promises to be an emotionally-charged affair, marking the Reds’ first home game since the recent report into the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already confirmed the Red Devils will offer any assistance possible in ensuring the day goes smoothly, calling for mutual respect from both sets of fans.

The lastest fixture between the two sides at Old Trafford saw Liverpool’s Luis Suarez refuse to shake the hand of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during the pre-match hand-shake following a much-publicised race storm, but reports ahead of Sunday’s game suggest there will be no such incident at Anfield, with the players not expected to cause further controversy on such an emotional occasion. The two teams are also expected to release 96 red ballons before the match as a tribute to those who passed away in the disaster.



Manager Brendan Rodgers will bring back his big names for the visit of Manchester United. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Joe Allen and Martin Kelly were rested for the 5-3 Europa League win at Young Boys but will return as they go looking for their first Barclays Premier League victory of the season. Forwards Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling, substitutes in Switzerland, are likely to start while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey pressed his claims for inclusion with a two-goal second-half cameo.

Manchester United

Winger Ashley Young has been ruled out for two to three weeks with a “bruised cartilage”, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed. The 27-year-old missed out on the England squad for the World Cup 2014 qualifying double-header against Moldova and Ukraine this month, and Ferguson now expects to be without the player until October. The United manager has also ruled out Wayne Rooney but could feature next weekend, while Darren Fletcher would play from the start in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup tie at home to Newcastle United. The Scotland midfielder came on as a substitute in the 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray in midweek, his first competitive outing since last November.


Played – 185
Liverpool Wins – 62
Draw – 51
Manchester United Wins – 72


11-Feb-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
28-Jan-12 – FA Cup – Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
15-Oct-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United
06-Mar-11 – Premier League – Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United
09-Jan-11 – FA CUp – Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool


Liverpool – WDLDD
The Reds are yet to register a win in the Premier League this season under new manager Brendan Rodgers and he will be desperate to break that duck against their fierce rivals.

20-Sep-12 – Europa League – Young Boys 3-5 Liverpool
15-Sep-12 – Premier League – Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool
02-Sep-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal
30-Aug-12 – Europa League – Liverpool 1-1 Hearts
26-Aug-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

Manchester United – WWWWL
United come into this match on the back of four back-to-back wins in all competitions and are sitting second behind Chelsea in the Premier League table.

19-Sep-12 – Champions League – Manchester United 1-0 Galatasaray
15-Sep-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic
02-Sep-12 – Premier League – Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
25-Aug-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 3-2 Fulham
20-Aug-12 – Premier League – Everton 1-0 Manchester United


Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
The Uruguayan will surely be the one to watch when these two sides meet tomorrow at Anfield. Suarez has dominated all the talk in the last two games between these sides at Anfiedl, but for different reasons. His mesmerizing performance helped Liverpool outclass United in March 2011 while the incidents involving him and Patrice Evra made the headlines after the last league game. With the ability to produce something out of the extraordinary, he will be hoping to do his best to help his team beat their fierce rivals while his battle with Evra will also not go unnoticed.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
The 28-year-old striker could not have asked for a much better start to life at Old Trafford. After scoring on his full debut against Fulham, with his very first shot, the ex-Feyenoord man then notched a hat-trick in the very next game against Southampton. Liverpool know all too well about van Persie’s predatory instincts after he scored both goals in the 2-1 win for his former side Arsenal at Anfield last season. Centre-back pairing of Agger and Skrtel will have improve on their showings so far this season if they are going successfully stop Dutchman from scoring.


Liverpool (4-3-3): Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Steven Gerrard (C), Joe Allen, Jonjo Shelvey; Fanio Borini, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling.

The regular first teamers are expected to return after rested against Young Boys. Reina will start in goal, with Johnson, Skrtel and Agger to take back their regular positions. Jose Enrique might get the nod ahead of Martin Kelly in the starting XI. Gerrard and Allen will be back in place Henderson and Suso, while Shelvey is expected to keep his place in the side at the expense of Nuri Sahin, following his two goal second half cameo. Sterling will provide the Reds with natural pace and width on the left, while Suarez and Borini will complete the rest of the front three.

Manchester United (4-4-1-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic (C), Patrice Evra; Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Nani; Shinji Kagawa; Robin van Persie.

Not many changes are expected to be made to the side that defeated Galatasaray at Old Trafford during the midweek. De Gea, Rafael, Vidic and Evra are all expected to keep their place in the defence, while Ferdinand will come in for Evans. The rest of the side is expected to be the same with Valencia and Nani on the wings and Carrick and Scholes in the centre of the midfield. Kagawa, who has excelled in the role behind striker, will start again behind Van Persie, who will lead the line on his own.


  • 0 – Danny Welbeck has had 0 shots on targets in the Premier League this season, despite 10 attempts. 7 of them came in last week’s win over Wigan.
  • 2 – Nemanja Vidic has been sent off in his last 2 games at Anfield. 3 of his 4 red cards in the Premier League have been against Liverpool.
  • 2 – Liverpool have won just 2 of their 11 Premier League games at Anfield in 2012 (W2 D4 L5).
  • 4 – Robin van Persie scored both the goals in the 2-1 win against Liverpool for Arsenal at Anfield last season and has netted 4 times in his last 5 games against the Reds
  • 12 – Luis Suarez has created more goalscoring chances than anyone in the Premier League (12), but has yet to register an assist.
  • 75 – Liverpool have had 75 shots so far this season – the joint-most in the Premier League – but only 15 of them have been on target.


Name – Mark Halsey
Based – Lancashire
Age – 51
Games – 3
Yellow Cards – 6
Red Cards – 1


Liverpool 7/4, Draw 9/4, Manchester United 13/8


It has been an emotional week in the North West after the Hillsborough report’s release and the emotional atmosphere might play spoilsport. The two sets of players will have to rise above the occassion to make the game a football spectacle. These derbies are rarely open, free-flowing, end-to-end affairs, so expect a cage game until the first goal is scored. United are in form having won three of their four Premier League games, with summer signing Van Persie scoring four in his two starts. But Liverpool are a hard team to break down at home, especially against Manchester United and their ability to take their chances might decide the outcome of the game.

Predicted Score: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Liverpool

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Liverpool’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Brendan Rodgers.
Captain: Steven Gerrard.
Stadium: Anfield (45,276).
Last season: 8th.
Leading scorer (PL): Luis Suarez (11).
Odds: Title 25-1. Relegation 200-1.

In: Joe Allen (£16.7m, Swansea), Fabio Borini (£11.7m, Roma).

Out: David Amoo (Free, Preston), Alberto Aquilani (£7.7m, Fiorentina), Fabio Aurelio (Free, Gremio), Craig Bellamy (Free, Cardiff), Stephen Darby (Released), Henoc Mukendi (Loan, Northampton), Dirk Kuyt (£880k, Fenerbahce), Maxi Rodriguez (Free, Newell’s), Toni Silva (Free, Barnsley).


Key Man – Steven Gerrard
The talismatic skipper has been vital at the club for years and he showed that he is back to top form with his displays at Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine. If Gerrard could stay injury free whole season then it would be a huge boost for the Reds, as his presence in the team is of huge importance and he also can single handedly win games for his team, as he did in the latest Merseyside derby at Anfield – by scoring an hatrick.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – West Brom (A)
26-Aug – Man City (H)
02-Sep – Arsenal (H)
15-Sep – Sunderland (A)
23-Sep – Man Utd (H)
29-Sep – Norwich (A)

Probable Formation (4-3-3): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas, Allen; Downing, Suarez, Borini.

Verdit: New boss Brendan Rodgers has a huge task ahead of taking Liverpool straight back into the top four, but he should at least get the Reds playing the right way and if they can add a bit of the killer instinct, Anfield could well become a fortress for many teams once again. His purchases of Fabio Borini and Joe Allen could prove shrewd, as both have looked good in pre-season or during the Olympics. If he can keep Steven Gerrard fit, get the best out of Joe Cole and keep Luis Suarez out of trouble, the Reds could be back in contention for major honours. Personally, I don’t see Liverpool breaking the top four this season but would surely improve a lot under the new boss and finish higher than they did last season.

Prediction: 6th.

Premier League 2011/12 Season Review – Part 2

Wow!! What a season it has been. It surely goes down as one of the best seasons ever of the Premier League since its formation 20 years back. We witnessed some epic battles for almost every position in the league. Was it the fight to be crowned the Champions of the country or was it the fight to stay up in the Premier League we were entertained till the very last minute.

Will the Blue half of Manchester celebrate their first ever league win since 1968, we have decided to review the complete season in two parts. Here is Part Two.

Player of The Season – Robin van Persie

The Arsenal skipper has been in the form of his life this season. The PFA Player of The Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year has almost single-handedly carried his team’s goal threat this season with a remarkable number of 37 goals in 47 appearances – only Theo Walcott is the other Arsenal player who has managed to score more than 10 goals this season. With Champions League football guaranteed for the next season and some good players joining the Gunners in the summer, the Dutch striker might just sign a new contract at the Emirates.

Manager of The Season – Roberto Mancini

Many would have gone for Alan Pardew or Roberto Martinez for their brilliant work with Newcastle and Wigan respectively this season. But for me it has to be Roberto Mancini. He has done a tremendous job at the Etihad this season. Yes, yes, he had loads of money to spend and had the best squad in the Premier League at his disposal but that didn’t make his job any easier. The Italian had to make the big-name players play together as team and also at the same time had to deal with a lot of the big-egos in Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He kept the squad motivated when United were eight points clear at the top in early April and looked like running away with the title.

Match of The Season – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

This has been the toughest choice of all. We have witnessed so many entertaining and memorable matches this season but in the end the 10-goal thriller at Old Trafford topped them all. United inflicted total humiliation on Arsenal, who recorded their worst ever defeat since 1896. Gunners came into this match with several players in defence and midfield either injured or suspended, while Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had left the club for Barca and City respectively. Wayne Rooney was United’s inspiration with a hatrick, but Ashley Young also bagged a brace of two stunning goals. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji Sung and Nani also got their names on the score-sheet. Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie got very little consolation for the Gunners, while David De Gea saved a first half penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent-off in the second half.

Goal of The Season – Papiss Cisse (2nd Goal) v Chelsea

The Senegalese striker had already given Newcastle the lead at Stamford Bridge with a left-foot volley in the 19th minute and when the game went into the 10 minutes of injury time, he topped that with a stunning shot from the outside of his right foot. Shola Ameobi touched down a throw into his path. The striker controlled it with his chest before striking a swerving angled shot that curved cruelly from left to right and ended up into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless.

Signing of The Season – Papiss Cisse

The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena and he just edges out his compatriot and Newcastle teammate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he has had. Many players take time to settle down with their new clubs but Cisse has settled in quickly at his new club and has managed to score a record breaking 13 goals 14 league appearances this season. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle have had such a successful season.

Flop of The Season – Stewart Downing

Liverpool paid a huge amount of £20m to get the England winger from Aston Villa in the summer. Everyone including Kenny Dalglish thought Downing could be the perfect player to get best out of Andy Carroll but it didn’t work out. Downing, an England hopeful and will probably always remain one, has made 36 appearances for the Reds in the league this season and has – wait for it – zero goals and zero assists to his name. Liverpool fans can argue that he was the Man of the Match in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City but you can’t argue to the fact that he has been a complete waste of money and the flop of this season.

Team of the Season

Top 25 Premier League Signings Of The Season

As we draw near the end of a thrilling season in the Premier League, almost everything is still up for grabs – relegation, UEFA Champions League qualification, and the title itself.

While we wait for those matters to be decided, let’s debate who the best signings of the season have been. Here are Into The Top Corner looks at the top 25 signings of this season. Tell us whether you agree or not in the comments section.

25. Steve Morrison – Millwall to Norwich for £2.5m

Canaries signed him in pre-season after the striker wanted to leave Millwall for a Premier League side. He has been influential for Norwich this season scoring goal at regular intervals with his last of the 8 league goals coming in the late win over West Brom in January.

24. Peter Crouch – Tottenham to Stoke for £10m

Joined Stoke on deadline day and has been Stoke’s top goal scorer with ten league goals from 30 appearances, including the stunning volley against Manchester City in 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

23. Samir Nasri – Arsenal to Manchester City for £24.2m

Started off his City career on a high, assisting four goals in his first two matches but as the season progressed his form dipped and he was dropped to the bench. But he has been in good form off late since his winner against Chelsea in the 2-1 win at the Etihad.

22. David De Gea – Atletico Madrid to Manchester United for £17.6m

After a lot of scouting he was brought in to succeed Edwin van der Sar, but the young Spaniard took some time to settle and during that time he struggled a lot. But the last minute fingertips save from a Juan Mata freekick at Stamford Bridge was probably the turning in his career at Old Trafford. Since then his stock has risen and he has been one of United’s key performers in the 2nd half of the season.

21. James McLean – Derry City to Sunderland for £350k

The young winger has been one of Sunderland’s signings of the season. Since the arrival of Martin O’Neill, the Irishman’s performance has improved a lot and could well be in Irish squad for the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

20. Brad Friedel – Aston Villa to Tottenham Hotspur for Free

The veteran and the highly experienced keeper has been very reliable and solid between the sticks for Spurs this season erasing memories of the error-prone Heurelho Gomes. The former Liverpool man didn’t cost a penny for the London club.

19. Sebastian Larsson – Birmingham City to Sunderland for Free

The Swede was impressive towards the end of last season for the Blues and he has continued that form in this season for the Black Cats. Was inconsistent at the start of the season but since Martin O’Neill taking charge at the Stadium of Light, he has been very effective.

18. Ashley Young – Aston Villa to Manchester United for £15.8m

Has had an inconsistent season mostly affected by injuries but whenever he has played he has given his all. The winger has scored 5 goals this season all worth a watch and Ferguson will feel the Englishman as a player who can offer United a lot more.

17. Pavel Pogrebnyak – Stuttgart to Fulham on Loan

The Russian international who is on loan from Stuttgart has been a hit for the Cottagers since his move in January. Former Spartak Moscow and Zenit striker has scored 6 goals in 8 appearances this season and the London club would be hoping to seal a deal for him which would see him stay permanently.

16. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Southampton to Arsenal for £12m

The youngster has immense potential in him and has already shown what he can do in his rare appearances for the Arsenal first team. Became the youngest Englishman to score in the Champions League and was also nominated for the PFA Young Player of Year Award.

15. Jose Enrique – Newcastle United to Liverpool for £7m

Has been inconsistent Liverpool’s most consistent performer this season. The Spaniard joined at the start of the season and has given a solid performance in his each and every match. Is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and for just £7m, not bad at all.

14. Yakubu – Everton to Blackburn Rovers for £1.5m

The Nigerian has been Blackburn’s player of the season and top goal-scorer of the season with 16 league goals which included the famous brace against Manchester United at Old Trafford. If it wasn’t for his goals, Blackburn would have been relegated by Christmas.

13. Gylfi Sigurdsson – TSG Hoffenhiem to Swansea City on Loan

He has been Swansea’s star since arriving in January with some excellent displays. Has notched up seven goals and three assist this season and the Swans would surely be looking to secure him on the permanent basis.

12. Yohan Cabaye – Lille to Newcastle United for £4.4m

The talented French midfielder has been Newcastle’s main man in the midfield and has made a huge impact since joining the Magpies in the summer. The France international has scored four goals and assisted nine in his 32 league appearances.

11. Phil Jones – Blackburn Rovers to Manchester United for £17m

The youngster has shown his immense potential and maturity since his move to Old Trafford. Add to that he has also shown his versatility by playing in various positions and has performed well in each of those positions.

10. Emmanuel Adebayor – Manchester City for Tottenham Hotspur on Loan

Adebayor may only be on loan but he is arguably the reason why the North London is challenging for a Champions League spot this season. The Togo international has 16 goals and 11 assists to his name this season.

9. Nikica Jelavic – Rangers to Everton for £5.5m

Has to be one of the best signings ever made by David Moyes during his 10 years at the club. His hard work ethic has endeared him to the Goodison Park faithful his record of ten goals in eleven starts – including the 2 in the 4-4 draw at Old Trafford – isn’t bad at all.

8. Paul Scholes – Out of Retirement to Manchester United

Not exactly a transfer but since his return United have looked a completely different side. The 37-year-old’s experience in the center of the midfield has been very important to United’s success and challenge for the Premier League title post January.

7. Michael Vorm – FC Utrecht to Swansea City for £1.5m

The Dutch keeper has been one of the reasons for Swansea’s defensive record this season and their brilliant display in their debut Premier League season. If his form continues, he well may travel with the Dutch squad to Poland and Ukraine.

6. Mikel Arteta – Everton to Arsenal for £10.5m

Arteta has been one of those panic buys made by Arsene Wenger which has been successful. The stylish midfielder was brought to replace Fabregas and he got better and better as the season progressed and his winner against Manchester City will be long remembered by all Arsenal fans.

5. Juan Mata – Valencia to Chelsea for £24m

Quality crafty Spaniard has to be Chelsea player of the year this season. He has been in dangerous form whole season scoring 12 goals and setting up 22 goals for the Blues in all competitions. Possibly the one and only bright spot of otherwise up and down Blues Premier League season.

4. Scott Parker – West Ham United to Tottenham Hotspur for £5.5m

Parker’s career has been on the rise since the start of last season and it gets better and better. The guts and guile of the England international has given Harry Redknapp’s stylish and attacking minded team some steel in the midfield. At £5.5m his signing represents incredible value.

3. Papiss Cisse – Freiburg to Newcastle United for £10m

The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena. He has scored a record breaking 13 goals in just 12 games, including two stunners against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle United are fighting for a Champions League place.

2. Sergio Aguero – Atletico Madrid to Manchester City for £39.6m

Although City spent a huge amount of money to get the Argentine to Manchester, he has still delivered on that fee and more. Diego Maradona’s son-in-law has scored an impressive amount of 22 league goals this season and also has nine assists to his name.

1. Demba Ba – West Ham United to Newcastle United for Free

The signing of the season!! Ba gave the Magpies the perfect start to season and is probably the reason for Newcastle’s brilliant performance this season. The Senegalese international has 16 goals to his name and best part is that he didn’t anything and that’s why he is our signing of the season.