Premier League Player of the Year Power Rankings #11
Premier League Player of the Year Power Rankings #11:
(Published on 11/15/15)
I know you’re here for this week’s column, but to be 100% caught up before delving into this week’s five man list of the EPL’s upper echelon, check out the previous ten editions of the Player of the Year Power Rankings to see who has moved up, down, or out entirely from the top five over the season’s first three months.
We are smack dab in the middle of another international break here on the Power Rankings, which means that the teams at the top of the Premier League get extra time to ponder over their squandered opportunities to distance themselves from one another. Both Arsenal and Manchester City, joint leaders on 26 points, could only manage draws against Tottenham (1-1) and Aston Villa (0-0) respectively. Those dueling draws allowed the two teams chasing them in the standings, Leicester City and Manchester United, to make up ground with a pair of wins. Leicester held off a valiant Watford side at home by a 2-1 margin to move within one point of the top two. Manchester United scored the same number against West Bromwich Albion, but the Red Devils were able to keep a clean sheet in moving two points clear of their inner city rivals and the Gunners. The weekend was pretty goal dry otherwise as the only other team to reach two scored was Crystal Palace who continued their recent dominance over Liverpool, 2-1. What does this past week’s action, or lack thereof, mean for our Player of the Year Power Rankings? Let’s find out:
5. Philippe Coutinho, M (Liverpool) LAST WEEK: #5 (HIGHEST PREVIOUS RANKING: #5)
The Little Magician continues to sprinkle fairy dust over the Anfield pitch with his dizzying dribbles and wonder goals from the most innocuous of possession. He cancelled out Yannick Bolasie’s opener for Palace with a superbly taken effort on a cheeky back heel flick from Adam Lallana. From that moment on the rest of the week was rather disappointing for the Brazilian. Liverpool would go on to concede late in a loss to Crystal Palace and then he was inexplicably left out of Dunga’s side in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying with teammate Roberto Firmino. He gets a chance this coming week to take his frustrations out on Manchester City, a team that he’s scored beauties like this before.
4. Harry Kane, F (Tottenham Hotspur) LAST WEEK: UNRANKED (HIGHEST PREVIOUS RANKING: UNRANKED)
People were wondering early on this season whether or not Spurs’ Harry Kane was just a one-hit wonder after his breakout 2014-15 campaign. Though he got off to a sluggish start for both club and country, Tottenham’s main man up front has been absolutely spectacular lately. He’s not quite in Jamie Vardy territory yet, but Kane has scored in three straight league games and four in a row for Spurs overall counting their Europa League victory over Anderlecht. He opened the scoring in the North London Derby against Arsenal and to be honest if it wasn’t for the brilliance of Petr Cech, Kane could have easily had his second hat trick in two week’s time. He gets a chance to make it four EPL games with a goal in a row against another rival, West Ham, who have seen better days of late.
3. Mesut Ozil, M (Arsenal) LAST WEEK: UNRANKED (HIGHEST PREVIOUS RANKING: UNRANKED)
I feel embarrassed that it took me this long to get Mesut Ozil onto the Power Rankings. There has not been a more accurate, more cutting passer of the ball in the Premier League this season than Arsenal’s #11. The German midfielder has struggled for fitness during his days in North London, but now that’s he’s 100% he is displaying all the creativity and on-the-ball acumen that came with his hefty price tag from Real Madrid. He registered his 10th assist on the season, 4 more than second place, feeding Kieran Gibbs late on to save a point for the Gunners against Spurs. Ozil and (mild spoiler alert) the man you’ll see next continue to flourish as a tandem giving Arsenal a real shout at their first Premier League crown since the famed Invincibles in 2003-04.
2. Alexis Sanchez, M (Arsenal) LAST WEEK: #2 (HIGHEST PREVIOUS RANKING: #2)
There may not be a player in the world currently that means more to his club and country than Alexis Sanchez does for both the Chilean Men’s National Team and Arsenal. The Electric One hasn’t scored in a month, but the fact that he still stays this high in the Power Rankings should speak volumes about what other things he does for his club. Sanchez’s presence on the pitch creates acres of space for his teammates which has upped the game of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla. He is going to have to start scoring again though if he is going to fend off the hard charging competition underneath him at the moment. West Brom is up next.
1. Jamie Vardy, F (Leicester City) LAST WEEK: #1 (HIGHEST PREVIOUS RANKING: #1)
Another week, another goal for Jamie Vardy. The man just can’t stop scoring. Nine games in a row on the scoresheet for the England forward puts him just one game behind the hallowed record of Manchester United luminary Ruud Van Nistelrooy. He scored what would end up being the deciding goal from the penalty spot against Watford on a spot kick that he earned with guile and determination. His recent goal scoring deluge has brought the eyes of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, both who had detailed scouts to view Spain vs. England had Vardy not sat out with a knock. Leicester is hoping the international break does him good and he’s back in blue against Newcastle this coming weekend as he looks to equal the record. Frankly, everybody else not supporting Newcastle is hoping the same thing.
#4 Riyad Mahrez, M (Leicester City)– The former #1’s return to the countdown was short lived but at no fault of his own. The play of Kane and Ozil just were too much to be ignored and the Algerian fell out of the top five.
#3 Dimitri Payet, M (West Ham United)– A second former #1 bites the dust this week, but this one is a bit more somber. The sensational Payet suffered a gnarly ankle injury against Everton and is ruled out for at least three months. A crushing blow for West Ham and the continuance of the unintentional Curse of #1 here on the Power Rankings.
Just Missed The Cut:
Juan Mata, M (Manchester United); Romelu Lukaku, F (Everton); Nicolas Otamendi, D (Manchester City); Erik Lamela, M (Tottenham Hotspur); Yaya Toure, M (Manchester City); David de Gea, GK (Manchester United); Graziano Pelle, F (Southampton); Petr Cech, GK (Arsenal); Odion Ighalo, F (Watford)
Did I leave your choice for Player of the Year thus far out? Would you change the rankings in any way? Leave a comment in the comment section below or let me know on Twitter @TREVORutley or the site at @PowerRank_More and as always make sure to come back next week to see where your favorite Premier League players fall on our list!Share this post on:
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