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The EPL at the half-way mark

Today, the English Premier League season reached the half-way point with the Boxing Day matches. Everton won its seventh away match, defeating Middlesbrough 1-0. Tim Cahill was the hero once again, forcing home what Soccernet called “the scrappiest of winners” in the 50th minute.

Everton sits in sixth place, only three points (one win) behind Arsenal and six points behind Aston Villa and a Champion’s League place. This is remarkable inasmuch as our normally reliable defense leaked goals early in the year, we’ve been playing without a real forward recently, and I can’t recall more than a very few matches in which we truly played well in both halves.

The explanation for our place is clear — there are only five good teams in the EPL. But our proximity with Arsenal seems inexplicable.

Liverpool leads the EPL with a one point lead over Chelsea, whose goal differential is 13 better than the Shite’s. Manchester United is seven points back but has two games in hand.

Here is my EPL all-star team for the first half of the year:

Manual Almunia – Arsenal

Jose Boswinga -Chelsea
Patrice Evra – Manchester United
Nemanja Vidic – Manchester United
Martin Laursen – Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard – Liverpool
Frank Lampard – Chelsea
Jimmy Bullard – Fulham
Ashley Young -Aston Villa

Peter Crouch – Portsmouth
Nicolas Anelka – Chelsea

Player of the (half) year – Gerrard
Everton’s top player – Phil Neville

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