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Who lays claim to the best central-midfield partnership in the Premier League?

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The Premier League, for as far back as I can remember, appears to be going through a real dearth in terms of the overall quality and standard of the league. Now, more than ever before, games are won by the collective as opposed to individual moments of brilliance. After attending the Merseyside Derby at the weekend and seeing first-hand the teething problems that Liverpool’s central midfield partnership of Charlie Adam and Lucas are going through, it brought one thing to mind – who can lay claim to having the best central midfield partnership in the Premier League?

Man Utd this season have started with all attacking bluster, yet they still retain a degree of frailty at the back. This is in part due to the forward-thinking attitudes of the likes of Anderson and Tom Cleverley. Both make similar runs at the same time and as such, they leave the Utd back line exposed. Darren Fletcher has come back and done reasonably well, but as yet no real ‘partnership’ has emerged as such.

Man City can certainly lay a strong claim. They predominantly operate with a midfield triumvirate of Yaya Youre, Gareth Barry and Nigel De Jong. Toure is given a free role to attack the opposition, but De Jong and Barry usually sit in front of the back four and keep it simple. While there may be an understanding positionally, it’s rare that they dominate the opposition. They’re decent, but little more than a platform for their supremely talented forward line to build upon.

Chelsea are still going through a change in style and formation under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. He appears to chop and change depending on the opposition, which in turn makes a mockery of the media circus surrounding Frank Lampard. Ramires has shone brightly on occasion so far this term, but he still looks to be lacking a settled partner.

Liverpool are still most certainly a side in transition too, struggling between the sublime and the abject. Inconsistency has dogged Dalglish’s charges this season and while Lucas could most definitely be said to be one of the finest central midfielders in the league, easily the most improved, I still have my reservations about Adam. On no more than 3 separate occasions during the Derby match alone did I catch Lucas shaking his head in disbelief at another attempted Hollywood pass by Adam, when a simple 5 yard-ball was comfortably the best option available – The Scot clearly infuriates the Brazilian.

Newcastle have begun the season in excellent form and not enough credit can go to manager Alan Pardew for the superb job he’s done under difficult circumstances. Step forward our first major contender – Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye. The pairing have dovetailed excellently despite their ‘partnership’ being in its’ relative infancy.

For the first time in a long while, the Newcastle defence is not the joke that keeps on giving. A lot of credit must go to Tiote for the job he’s done patrolling the space just in front of the back four. His ferocious tackling ability, while it may over step the mark at times leading to the Ivory Coast international currently in possession of a terrible disciplinary record, is exactly what the side needs.

Cabaye has adjusted to the English league fantastically well. Many were surprised that Newcastle were able to lure Cabaye away from current Lique 1 champions Lille, in what many saw as a sideways move at best for the French international, with Cabaye missing out on Lille’s Champions League adventure. However, he offers them real drive from the centre of midfield and excellent delivery from dead balls. Joey Barton who, I hear you cry? They’re certainly my nomination for best midfield partnership.

Spurs can also lay a strong claim. Scott Parker has settled into the Spurs midfield alongside Luka Modric excellently. So in tune are they with each other’s game, that they are the only side in the Premier League to complete more than 600 passes in two separate fixtures this season (Wigan and Liverpool).

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2 comments

  • Sanjay says:

    tottenham

  • ashes says:

    I think Lucas is out of the picture. As a defensive midfielder, he cant win a tackle, cant provide accurate long passes, cant clear high balls bacause of his height, loses possession in body contract, cant “bend the ball like Gerrard” dont have a hard shot like Aurelio or Gerrard,cant do a simple dribble, usually commits a foul when he loses possesssion but opponents dont fear his presence, poor vision to provide passes,cant cross a ball etc. etc. etc. He only roams the entire pitch. What do you make up of him?

    • Mehmeh says:

      I think you’ll find that statistically, Lucas has actually way in there in the standings for the most tackles won the season. Besides, He doesn’t need the long ball attribute, or the long shot trait, what Liverpool want him to be is a rugged midfielder who will break up play effectively and statistics show he does that as well as anyone. Besides, Mascherano is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, he isn’t tall, he doesn’t fire a 30 yard shot into the top corner, he doesn’t spread the play with a 50 yard ball, he keeps it simple, wins posssesion and keeps it. That is what Lucas is. That is what Liverpool need him to be.

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