What do these players have to do to get recognition for their footballing talents!? Dive? Off the pitch antics?
The most under-rated Premier League XI (4-4-2)
Manager: Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)
I remember when I was sat on work experience at the BBC, the shocking breaking news all over the Internet was 'Newcastle name Alan Pardew as manager'. The majority of people including myself wouldn't have bet their houses on Alan Pardew becoming the next name to enter St James Park. The odds on favourite to replace the harshly sacked Chris Hughton was Martin O'Neill. Entered Alan Pardew, he has done a fantastic job on Tyneside. Working under a hugely unpopular owner; Mike Ashley, Pardew has bought and developed some fantastic bargain signings including the likes of striking sensations Demba Ba and Papa Cisse. Now, Alan Pardew's side who were expected to achieve mid table at best have surprised the country again, they are currently in a serious late season Champions League 4th spot race along with Tottenham and Chelsea. The Magpies currently occupy the 4th spot courtesy of some special football tactics from Alan Pardew. The man where even his own Toon Army would never have mentioned 4th spot last August, surely deserves the Premier League Manager of the Year award for 2011-2012 as opposed to the usual Alex Ferguson for winning the expected title again. Coincidently, Alan Pardew's side controversially got a 1-1 at Old Trafford before smashing an awful United side 3-0 at St James Park in January.
Goalkeeper: Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan)
The Wigan acrobat shot stopper has played every game for the Latics this season. The Omani goalkeeper has been crucial between the posts making stunning saves for Wigan's relegation battle. A clean sheet in the recent vital 1-0 win against the Premier League leaders Manchester United will have won respect for Wigan along with a crucial 3 points against Arsenal in the Emirates. Al Habsi deserves more recognition for his efforts all season, especially if they do make it as a Premier League side next season. Everyone talks about Swansea's outstanding Michel Vorm, Al-Habsi in my opinion has been equally effective between the posts.
Right Back: Micah Richards (Manchester City)
The Manchester City right back has featured and produced some strong performances in 35 games for City this including helping City to 2nd with his defensive contributions in 27 top flight games. For 19 months, Richards has been consistently overlooked for by then England manager Fabio Capello. Fabio Capello cost Micah Richards the chance he so badly deserved to go to the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Centre Back: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
The 6"3 Belgian is Manchester City's best centre back. In my opinion Kompany is the best centre back in the country, yes better than over-rated Vidic and media hyped John Terry. City are arguably the best defensive team in the league when Kompany plays. In the first half of this season, Kompany has featured in every game and City were top of the Premiership table. When Kompany got sent off with a straight red card against Manchester United in the FA Cup 3rd round, City went on to lose 2-3. City went on the next game to Liverpool. The next 2 games against Wigan and Spurs with Kompany, City were defensively vulnerable and conceded 3 goals in 2 games. With Kompany at centre back, City are stronger defensively due to his size and superb tactical reading of the game.
Centre Back: Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
Another central defender who has hardly received any recognition for his consistent defensive performances all season. Fulham got off to a bad start in a relegation scrap. Hangeland has put in strong performance-after-performance hence Fulham's rise to mid-table. Fulham will owe Hangeland for his efforts. In my opinion, Brede Hangeland is Fulham's player of the season and one of the best defenders in the top flight.
Left back: Jose Enrique (Liverpool)
Liverpool snapped up Jose Enrique on the cheap last summer with a £6m bid surprisingly sufficient enough for Newcastle to accept. Since the Spaniard has arrived on Merseyside, he is Liverpool's only proper left back and he has not disappointed. The 26 year old Spaniard is strong stopping the right wingers of the opposition and in addition he charges up the left wing for Liverpool to support Stewart Downing and also puts in some deadly crosses himself. Surprisingly, the Spaniard has been overlooked by Spain manager Vincent del Bosque. Unfortunately, most of the talk when it comes to Liverpool has been related to the Suarez racism case and poor signings of Downing, Henderson and Carroll. For once, people should talk about the best signing and with positive recognition, his name is Jose Enrique.
Right Midfield: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
A player who is undoubtedly under-rated. The Ecuadorian is in fine form running down the right wing at left backs and delivering fine service to Rooney and Hernandez along with scoring some screamers himself. The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson still picks Nani over Valencia is beyond me. I feel Ferguson's wastes the 26 year old's brilliant talent and potential to become one of the greatest wingers in the Premier League. Whenever Valencia plays, Manchester United become more threatening up front and they win more games. Valencia is a team player as opposed to Nani's 'showboating' which wastes plenty of chances. A valuable player who can also play at emergency right back. Valencia plays a crucial role in United's title defence.
Central Midfield: Joe Allen (Swansea City)
Swansea has been the surprise package in the Premier League with their fine passing game this season. An influential player of the Swans' passing game is Joe Allen. Allen has featured in every game for the South Wales side this season. The young Welsh midfielder has provided fine service for Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham up front, hence their excellent record at The Liberty Stadium. No-one seems to talk about the 21 year old midfielder as all the attention is focused on Dyer, Sinclair and Graham. Allen has a bright club and Wales international career ahead of him.
Central Midfield: Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
The USA international has featured in all of Fulham's games this season so far. Dempsey is a midfielder with a striker's goalscoring record. He has scored 22 goals in 43 appearances in all competition, including an impressive 16 goals in 34 appearances in the Premier League. Fulham rely heavily on the experienced attacking midfielder, he scores plenty of goals and provides assists to the likes of Ruiz, Dembele and the free scoring Pogrebynak.
Left Midfield: Hatem Ben-Arfa (Newcastle United)
Since the Frenchman has returned from his unfortunate long leg injury absence (thanks to a certain Nigel de Jong, who also karate kicked Xabi Alonso in the chest in the 2010 World Cup Final), Ben-Arfa has made 12 appearance for the Geordies, scoring 5 goals including a sensational goal of the season candidate against Bolton at St James Park. The 25 year old has benefited vastly from the three man Newcastle attack alongside Papa Cisse and Demba Ba. Ben Arfa has rightfully earned a France call up for European Championships 2012. I don't the British media give him the platform of recognition that he deserves, as opposed to the hugely over-rated British players; Gareth Bale and Stewart Downing.
Right Forward: Grant Holt (Norwich City)
The Norwich striker is definitely the biggest surprise name among the Premier League top scorers with 13 goals (15 goals in all competitions). Not bad for a first season in the top flight. The main aerial threat up front for the Canaries, Holt has definitely done the job with the goals to put Norwich in an impressive 12th in the table. He has scored some significant goals against most of the Premier League big boys. Among the Premier League top scorers, most of the talk is about Rooney vs Van Persie. I think Grant Holt as a huge underdog deserves more of a mention for his credentials achieved for Norwich City's successful 2011/2012 season.
Left Forward: Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)
Manchester United signed the tiny Mexican poacher for just single figures just before the 2010 World Cup, which turned out to be a complete bargain. He was impressive for Mexico against France at the World Cup. That was when he first caught my eyes of his unbelievable talent. The 23 year old Mexican has scored 12 goals this season for United. I think he was hugely under-rated from last season, when Hernandez scored 20 goals in his first season in England, yet the media heaped praise Rooney because he is English. I've got nothing against Rooney as an England supporter, he is a great intelligent player who supplied the service for Hernandez. However I was quite surprised that Hernandez the one who scored the goals last season including the vital title deciding goal in the first minute vs Chelsea at Old Trafford, was hardly mentioned in the newspapers, it was all about one name only, Wayne Rooney. I simply think United don't appreciate him as much as they should do. It's the same situation as Ferguson had with Tevez and Ronaldo, not enough appreciation. I hate to say this, I would not be shocked if 'Chicharito' was to leave if the likes of Real Madrid come knocking for his signature.