A strong start to the season for Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden has earned the American inclusion to a Premier League team of the season as picked by readers of The Guardian.
Holden and Bolton teammate Johan Elmander join a few representatives of the bigger clubs -- Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna of Arsenal, Namanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United -- on a team based on ratings compiled game-by-game during the season. Holden's average rating of 7.4 (on a scale of 10) is the highest.
Bolton is seventh in the Premier League (6-4-8, W-L-T, 26 points) and has won plaudits for an attacking style that has produced 30 goals, fourth best behind Man United, Arsenal, and Chelsea. Manager Owen Coyle has given Holden a regular starting spot in midfield, and the former Houston Dynamo midfielder responded with a string of solid performances as well as two goals, including a spectacular winner in the 88th minute in a 2-1 defeat of Blackburn on Dec. 12.