GGArmy's Top Fives For 2012

by Ben Somerford on Jan 01, 2013

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It's that time of the year where we look back and reflect on the 12 months just passed, so GGArmy's Ben Somerford has compiled a list of the year's best Aussie performers.

Top 5 Socceroos (only based on performances for the Socceroos)
5.Robbie Kruse
Didn't get many chances early in the year but added a new dimension when given a midfield/wing role. Was outstanding against Iraq in October.
4.Tim Cahill
It definitely wasn't his best 12 months, but he had his moments, including his outstanding display in the 1-1 draw with Japan, while his trademark goal against Iraq was crucial.
3.Alex Brosque
Had his best international year to date, breaking through and holding his spot with his tireless work up front. Two goals against Saudi Arabia were well deserved.
2.Archie Thompson
Hit a purple patch of form where he scored three goals in three consecutive matches in West Asia and finished the year with seven international strikes, after a record-breaking hat-trick off the bench against Chinese Taipei.
1.Mark Schwarzer
The rock-solid goalkeeper proved his worth in a difficult year for the Socceroos where a lesser shot-stopper would've wilted. Schwarzer's stunning save against Oman ensured we avoided a disastrous World Cup qualifying defeat, while he famously brought up 100 caps away to Lebanon.

Top 5 Aussies Abroad (only based on performances for clubs)
5. Adam Federici (Reading)
Federici has found the going tough in the Premier League but his contribution towards Reading's 2011-12 Championship title and subsequent promotion cannot be underestimated. He's beginning to find his feet in the top flight too.
4. Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace's ever-consistent midfielder has been a key part of their gradual success over the past 12 months where they've gone from relegation candidates to promotion contenders. Palace's team spirit is lauded and Jedinak is a vital component of that, wearing the captain's armband.
3. Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Kruse was a bit part player in 2011-12, battling injury as Fortuna won promotion which works against him looking back on the whole calendar year, but his form in 2012-13 has arguably been second to none. Kruse has come on in leaps and bounds, backing his skill and ability to beat players, setting up plenty of goals and getting a few himself and all in a top quality league.
2. Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)
The evergreen shot-stopper doesn't grab too many headlines nowadays but he continues to deliver a high and consistent standard for the Cottagers despite now being the wrong side of 40. Schwarzer's preparation is meticulous, keeping him at the top of his game despite his age. His penalty save in Fulham's 3-3 draw at Arsenal was memorable but there's been plenty of other highlights.
1. Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Aston Villa)
It's hard to go past Holman in 2012, who has made an excellent transition into the Premier League after his off-season move from the Netherlands. Holman's energy and workrate have won over the Villa fans while he's popped up with a few goals too and is often at the heart of goalscoring moves. He had a fine 2011-12 campaign with AZ too, with his sensational volley in their Europa League quarterfinal against Valencia a particular highlight.

Top 5 Socceroos Bolters
5.Jason Davidson (Heracles)
It's funny what a bit of game-time in a well-regarded European league does for your Socceroos ambitions. Davidson is a player few know much about, given he never played A-League before popping up in Portugal and now the Netherlands. Made his debut against Scotland in August, but netted an unfortunate own goal.
4.James Holland (Austria Wien)
Holland is a player whose name used to always pop up in Socceroos camps, having been a train-on member for the 2010 World Cup. However, after a few anonymous years with AZ Alkmaar, his move to Austria has revived his faltering international career.
3.Eli Babalj (Red Star Belgrade)
Babalj hasn't done a whole heap since moving to Serbia, but his previous goalscoring exploits with Melbourne Heart and Australia's dearth of striking options make him a real talking point. Made his debut against South Korea and was a coat of paint away from the winner.
2.Ryan McGowan (Hearts)
The former Australia youth international skipper has enjoyed an excellent past 18 months, holding down a starting spot at Hearts, leading to his Socceroos debut against Scotland, ironically in the same city where he plays his club football. Now there's talk he may leave cash-strapped Hearts in January.
1.Tommy Rogic (Central Coast)
Rogic has been hailed by many as the future of the Socceroos, with his positive style and ability to beat players. His rise in the A-League has been phenomenal and he looked like he fit in at international level on his debut against South Korea.

Top 10 Aussies Abroad Moments
10. Tommy Oar's stunning last-minute winner
Eredivisie, March 30, Utrecht 3 Excelsior 2
9. Chris Herd's debut EPL goal at Anfield
Premier League, April 7, Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 1
8. Robbie Kruse's maiden Bundesliga goal
German Bundesliga, November 10, Fortuna Dusseldorf 1 Hoffenheim 1
7. Mark Schwarzer's stoppage-time penalty save from Mikel Arteta at Emirates Stadium
Premier League, November 10, Arsenal 3 Fulham 3
6. Brett Holman's first EPL goal
Premier League, December 1, QPR 1 Aston Villa 1
5. Ryan McGowan's strike in Hearts' Scottish Cup final triumph over Edinburgh rivals Hibernian at Hampden Park
Scottish FA Cup final, May 19, Hearts 5 Hibernian 1
4. Brad Jones' emotional return in FA Cup semifinal win over Everton at Wembley
English FA Cup, April 14, Liverpool 2 Everton 1
3. Mitchell Langerak's shock substitute appearance in Dortmund's DFB-Pokal triumph over Bayern at Olympiastadion
German DFB-Pokal final, May 12, Borussia Dortmund 5 Bayern Munich 2
2. Adam Federici helps Reading win promotion and celebrate at the Madejski Stadium
English Championship, April 17, Reading 1 Nottingham Forest 0
1. Brett Holman's stunning volley for AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League quarterfinals
Europa League, March 29, AZ Alkmaar 2 Valencia 1