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Every week Goal.com's Alan Dawson picks out his best performers in the Premier League.

BEST XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper

Brad Jones (Middlesbrough)
It was a "must-win" game for Gareth Southgate's men, and the young manager's joy was there for all to see as his side managed to give themselves a fighting chance. Jones, though, deserves some of the accolades for his ability to beat the balls away from his goal, conceding only the once.


Defence

Emiliano Insua (Liverpool)
A creative presence from the full-back spot. Contributed to the Reds' build-up play, and should cement his first-team role if he can carry on like that during the business end of the season.

Dan Agger (Liverpool)
An absolutely thunderous dribble and shot from the Danish international that would have Thor salivating all the way from Valhalla.

Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur)
How this man doesn't train all week but is still able to put in stellar performances is beyond me. Solid display.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Another solid performance from the ex-Manchester United academy graduate. Stoke have a real chance of Premier League survival and, in truth, their fans deserve to be in Goal.com's Team of the Week as much as any of the XI named here today. They're louder than my next door neighbour's house parties after pay-day. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't such a Cher addict.


Midfield

Phil Neville (Everton)
A great protector of his back-four. An unsung hero. His positional sense was like something out of a Stan Lee comic book. Worthy of all the marvel he receives. A friend of mine once said that England only ever used to bring on Phil Neville during his call-ups if they were winning, so that they could mock the opponent... a bit like Ronnie 'the Rocket' O'Sullivan potting left-handed. Well, Neville deserves recognition from Fabio Capello if he carries on like this. I tell thee.

Javier Mascherano (Liverpool) 
A real box-to-boxing display from the defensive-minded midfielder. Was a sniffing-hound for the ball and would never give up the chase. The best player in his position currently? Not far off. He supplemented with the attacks, was unfortunate not to get a penalty, intercepted and tackled like a maestro. His break-up play was outstanding, and showed outrageous hustle.


Attack

Ashley Young (Aston Villa) 
Drew the space for himself and tormented Alan Hibbert at right-back for Everton. Attacked his man all day long, he won corners, and contributed to countless attacks. If he could perform at this level against the big clubs (he disappeared against Jose Bosingwa who forced him into unwanted areas) then he would be unstoppable.

Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Great delivery and ability to assist when picking out his team-mates such as Didier Drogba. Converted his penalty. Class lad.

Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
He is proving himself to be the signing of the winter window. He was by far the best player available at the time, and how he's changed the Gunners' fortunes around. Played a part in a trio of Arsenal's goals. An unrelenting assisting beast. He has claimed since that he is homesick. Imagine what he's going to be like when he's got all his Matryoshka dolls in London.


Striker

Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
Stunning touch on his chest to half-volley into the top corner of the net for the club's first. His second was a solid header set-up by international team-mate Xabi Alonso. Dedicated both of his goals to the 96 that lost their lives their lives during the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Nice touch from the kid.


Jones
Shawcross - King - Agger - Insua
Neville - Mascherano
Arshavin - Lampard - Young
Torres


Honorable Mentions  

Dickson Etuhu (Fulham)
Steven Pienaar (Everton)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Niko Kranjcar (Portsmouth)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Michael Ballack (Chelsea)
Ab Faye (Stoke City)
Gareth Barry (Aston Villa)
Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur)

Alan Dawson, Goal.com

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