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Thursday January 10 2013
Team of the Season so far…

Having reached the half-way point of the Serie A season, Dave Taylor goes 4-3-3 with his best XI of the campaign to date.

Andrea Consigli [Atalanta]

Superb from the off, especially in Week 2’s 1-1 draw with Cagliari when, after stopping two penalties and making several other superb saves, he was stretchered off and sent to hospital. The former Italian Under-21 international, now seen as one of Gianluigi Buffon’s heir, offers a rare level of security to one of Serie A’s poorest defences and fears no man nor beast. Buffon-like.

Mattia De Sciglio [Milan]

Young players need encouragement and Massimiliano Allegri has provided it for the former youth team prodigy. With his accurate passing and crossing ability, the 20-year-old has shown on many occasions that he is an excellent decision maker. His pace aids his game, as does his versatility to play on both flanks. Maldini-like.

Andrea Ranocchia [Inter]

He has been immensely consistent this season. At set pieces, one of the tallest defenders in Serie A at 1.96m, is a real menace and showed it with his perfect looping header from a free-kick in the 3-1 win at Bologna. But it is stopping goals where he reigns and his performances this term have earned him international recognition again. Burgnich-like.

Giorgio Chiellini [Juventus]

Every team needs a big ugly defender at the back and they don’t come much bigger or uglier than Chiellini. Equally at home in the centre or at left-back, the Italian international epitomises Juve’s fighting abilities with his decisive tackles and aerial supremacy. An uncompromising defensive pillar and a superb professional, he absolutely refuses to buckle if the going gets tough. Giorgio also has one of the highest percentages of successful passing of anyone in the League with a 91 per cent success rate. Ferrara-like.

Kwadwo Asamoah [Juventus]

In the short time he has played for Juve, the Ghanaian’s thrilling runs down the left have already started to become part of the club’s folklore. Despite principally being a central midfielder, he has added an extra dimension to the way the team attack this season, exemplified by his five assists. Asa is also no slouch at scoring and showed it with a dazzling overhead kick against Pescara. Cabrini-like

Arturo Vidal [Juventus]

Like a Chilean miner he backs down to no-one and is always looking to win the ball and set up another attack. As an integral part of Serie A’s best midfield he, as much as anyone, has been one of the driving forces in Juve’s run at the top this season. He also has an unerring ability to get into the right place at the right time and does the unseen work, allowing others to do the more intricate stuff. Tardelli-like.

Andrea Pirlo [Juventus]

You might be able to control the bearded Lord of the Rings occasionally, but he is certainly more Gandalf than Gimli if a set-piece presents itself. Juve’s second goal against Atalanta in Week17’s 3-0 win was a perfect example of his unassailable self-belief, as his free-kick ripped through the Turin air to almost break through the back of the net. One of the game’s great statesmen, he has made the most passes in Serie A with over 1,373 of which 1198 or 87.3 per cent have been successful. This ability sees him deliver sublime balls that the recipient has no need to break his stride as he slots it goalwards. Zidane-like.

Marek Hamsik [Napoli]

The Slovakian ace has been Napoli’s most consistent player, featuring in every match and has a brilliant presence in front of goal, scoring seven times already, just two short of his total last season. On the assist front he has nine to his name, equalling his complete total from last term. His direct running has made a massive contribution to the Partenopean cause and he possesses a superb sense of where to be at the most pivotal of moments. Alemao-like.

Francesco Totti [Roma]

Er Pupone has been incomparable at times in his 21st campaign and, with six goals plus six assists, what can you say that has not already been said? He has been ruthlessly direct and his power to score and set up others was best seen in the 4-2 win over Fiorentina in Week 16, with his two goals and two assists. Giannini-like.

Edinson Cavani [Napoli]

Napoli attack and defend from the front via the electrifying Uruguayan and, with 16 goals to his name, the perfect modern striker has shown his fitness, pace, strength and extreme resourcefulness. Hat-tricks, braces, winning goals in the closing minutes, penalties, headers, there is nothing much he can’t do and his second hat-trick of the season against Roma last week went a long way to prove it. It also meant he has now scored 25 goals in 23 games in all competitions. Jeppson-like.

Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan]

The youngster has been a real revelation and is Serie A ‘s second top scorer on 14 goals which accounts for 42 per cent of Milan’s total. Eight were scored with his dynamic left foot, while his rampaging pace and energy has seen him score 50 per cent of them in the last 15 minutes as his superb stamina exploits weary defenders. Inzaghi-like.

Coach: Vincenzo Montella [Fiorentina]

The Viola decided on a completely new direction after last season’s problems and embellished their squad with 17 new players, plus Montella, last summer. Arrivals like Mounir El Hamdaoui, Facundo Roncaglia and former terrace hero Luca Toni have all added to the basics of a good squad and with Montella’s fresh exciting hand to guide them they could finish in a Champions League spot. Zeman-like.

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Have your say...
My team would be

-----------------Buffon----------------
--------------------------------------
Lichtsteiner--Barzagli--Chiellini--De Sciglio-
--------------------------------------
Lamela----Vidal-----Pirlo----El Sharaawy-
--------------------------------------
----------Cavani-----Di Natale---------
on the 29th April, 2013 at 6:51pm
I'd go with my own:

------------------------- PERIN ------------------

LICHSTEINER ---- RANOCCHIA -- BARZAGLI ---- ZUNIGA


------- BORJA VALERO --- PIRLO ---- HERNANES -----


--------- LAMELA ------ CAVANI --- EL SHAARAWY ---

Allenatore: Vincenzo Montella

SUBS:
MIRANTE
CHIELLINI
RONCAGLIA
VIDAL
LODI
DI NATALE
on the 16th January, 2013 at 1:48am
Ses only 20 carrying a giant like Milan by himself and not mention. 2nd top scorer. Imagine him having someone like Hernandez, Hamsik, cassano or pirlo to assist him. Instead he's got no one like that still scoring like a madman.
on the 15th January, 2013 at 5:29pm
SES have been carrying Milan all alone this season and some of you doubt his selection? Imagine the pressure a 20 year old have deal with n how he's dealt with it. AMAZING. Next year he will definitely improve as will Milan which will result him scoring even more_ perhaps double as much.
on the 15th January, 2013 at 4:51pm
Definately Montella over Petkovic!! Lost at home to Pescara and beaten easily by Udinese - Petkovic gets 14 games without defeat. Joker!
on the 13th January, 2013 at 5:28pm
Marxhisio is the most. Undervalued. Player in the world. He deserves a place
on the 13th January, 2013 at 3:30am
Mustafa you must be joking, if you don't have Il Faraone in starting 11. Do you even understand football? Some kid mentioned Armero? hahahaha
on the 12th January, 2013 at 7:53pm
@Anonymous

Explain the meaning of "obvious reasons".
on the 11th January, 2013 at 7:01pm
First of i think some of the criticism here is misplaced. This is a blog which has nothing to do with Journalism but rather personal opinion.

I certainly would have picked a different top 11 and again i feel that Dave Taylor's 11 are for the most part based on first half's performances and their impact on their respective clubs rather than their individual quality.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 1:29pm
Is this some kind of a joke?
Consigli over Marchetti? Di Sciglio over Lichsteiner? No Klose and Hernanes?
on the 11th January, 2013 at 7:55am
All Lazio fans
Montella were chosen before petkovic because they play the best football in the league and get a team togheter with 17 New players and just 2 left rom.last years startingXI .
Though I think borg marchetti and hernanes should have Bern included.
But not petkovic över montella even if it is a close call.
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:41am
Lol no one liked Lazio , for obvious reasons
on the 11th January, 2013 at 5:12am
A hard task and one that is well done here by Mr. Taylor. The Laziale that are upset about possible exclusions should take heart: the sign of a great team is when no single player can be isolated as indispensable. Take Barca, for example, when David Villa or Andres Iniesta have been injured. Doubtless Taylor would admit that Lazio have been one of the revelations of the campaign, but that doesn't automatically correlate to individual inclusions on a list such as this. Job well done on my view!
on the 11th January, 2013 at 3:30am
Really there should be at least one Fiorentina-player in the team as they played some sparkling football this season. Whether it is Roncaglia, Gonzalo Rodriguez or Borja Valero you can decide for your own but personally I'd pick Valero. Outstanding player!
on the 11th January, 2013 at 12:45am
What!?, no Lazio players in here. I gotta agree with the majority on this 1, Klose, Hernanes& Marchetti!, 3 guys who have been exceptionally strong this season so far. They at least deserved a place. Whats this team gonna have to do to convince the doubters?. Into the semi final of Coppa Italia, 2nd place in Serie A just now& finished top of their Europa League group,& still nothing...
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:59pm
This is more like it:
4-4-2

Marchetti (Hon. mention: Perin)

Pasqual Armero
Biava Chiellini



Borja Valero Hernanes Pirlo Lodi


Klose Cavani

All. Petkovic
Honourable Mentions or Bench:
Perin (Pescara), Neto (Siena), Caceres (Juve), Konko (Lazio), Lamela (Roma), Asamoah (Juve), Stephan El Shaarawy (Milan)
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:43pm
You know you had terrible selections when even the Riomanista's are criticizing you for not including Lazio players in your starting XI.Moreover some of those sections are so typical Juve oriented.
Consigli? Really? Marchetti? Perin? De Sciglio is another choice that caught me off guard.Respect to the youth movement but Armero is great in the back,ditto for Cuadrado,Konko,Licht all better.
Shame on you Dave: No Hernanes? No Klose? -5 pts from the top and still no love for the 1st team of Rome.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:17pm
@ Sam De Martino

Lamela & Osvaldo ?

Get a room please :)
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:15pm
Did anyone see Barzagli against France, Valbuena walked right by him, he doesn't deserve to be in the 11, and Ranocchia has been extremely well considering he played badly last season, he' made up for it and definitely deserves a call up to the Italy squad, anyone who thinks otherwise is a Juve fan or hasn't watched a single Inter game.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 10:14pm
@Mustafa

Roooofl!!! Ses debatable?? You on drugs?? top scorer, second now but still. The bitterness is so obvious. SES is a given pick along with Cavani. You really know very little kid
on the 10th January, 2013 at 9:47pm
If this is the team of the season so far and it is pretty good who can we say are the worst players so far this season....any takers?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 8:42pm
And Hernanes has scored more from midfield than Totti...
on the 10th January, 2013 at 8:25pm
Dave Taylor and this website are a disgrace to Italian football. Lazio should be lauded for their title challenge on a third of the budget of Juve, Inter, Roma, Milan and even Fiorentina, who can shell out 10+ million Euros on an injured player. How is Montella manager of the season, are Fiorentina not behind Lazio and humbled last weekend to Pescara!? Poor, poor, poor, badly researched journalism
on the 10th January, 2013 at 8:24pm
As a Roma fan Lamela and Osvaldo could easily have been included in the list, both have been great for us this season. There are a lot of top players in our league its certainly not easy picking 11. Again surprised Roncaglia isnt included, really hope Prandelli gets his act together and calls him for Malta match in march.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 7:29pm
As much as I dislike Lazio for obvious reasons as a big Roma fan I must admit I am surprised that no Lazio players are included. I agree Klose, Hernanes and others have had a good season and unfortunately are playing well, although I still believe we will finish above you at the end of the season. Marchetti has played fairly well this season but for me Consigli is a better keeper. Put Marchetti in goal for Atalanta with their defense and see how good he.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 7:22pm
No Lazio players because Nazio is trash and so are their fans.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 7:05pm
Dave Taylor...No Lazio or Fiorentina players?? At least Candreva and Valero....
on the 10th January, 2013 at 6:48pm
I seriously lol'd at this starting 11, Ranocchia, De Sciglio, Chiellini? Do you guys even watch Seria A?
I follow Lazio and it's weird that there is noone from the 2nd in the table, but I guess you guys don't like us :)
on the 10th January, 2013 at 6:46pm
funny how there is not one lazio player there but yet they are currently second
on the 10th January, 2013 at 6:33pm
Hamsik? who's experiencing an amazing drop of form ! Or just you wanna overlook Marchisio again ?

The fact that Chiellini - Bonucci - Barzagli, and having Ranocchia, is just a shame !

The trio are the best in Europe since last year !

De Sciglio? Joking aside.. How about Cuadrado instead?

El Shaarawy? Debatable! But I would consider Klose.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 6:20pm

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