The Seven Most Improved Reputations This Season in the Premier League

Although poor performances have left the reputation of certain people in tatters, some have gone from strength to strength and we couldn't help but take notice. Let's take a look at the positive side for once and give credit where credit's due.

Although poor performances have left the reputation of certain people in tatters, some have gone from strength to strength and we couldn't help but take notice.

Let's take a look at the positive side for once and give credit where credit's due. Here are seven of the most improved reputations from the 2013/14 Premier League season.

7. Roberto Martinez

This season saw Martinez's reputation go from that of a manager who was good but not ready for the pressures of a 'big club' to that of one of the most talented managers in the country.

The Spaniard ended last season at a low ebb, having been relegated with Wigan, the first time a side he managed had gone down.

However, since taking over from David Moyes at Everton, his damaged reputation has been repaired and then some.

Less than a season since taking Wigan down, Martinez is leading Everton's charge for an unexpected, but absolutely deserved Champions League spot and is now being touted as Arsenal's next manager when Arsene Wenger eventually moves on.

6. Ross Barkley

Still at Goodison Park, one of the other keys to Everton's success this season has been young midfielder Ross Barkley.

Barkley spent most of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United, but has become one of the first names on the team sheet under Roberto Martinez this season.

Barkley's performances, characterised by surging runs forward from midfield, endless energy and a powerful shot, have earned him three England caps since the start of this season and many are touting him as a potential key player for his country at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

5. Jordan Henderson

For a while, it appeared as though Jordan Henderson would go the same way as the other two members of the English trio signed for around £70m by Kenny Dalglish and leave the club an overpriced flop.

However, unlike Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, Henderson stayed at Anfield and has finally begun to blossom into the player his price tag suggested.

Under the steady hand of Brendon Rogers, the 23-year-old has become an integral part of the Reds' title push, playing in every single one of their Premier League games so far this season.

4. Nicola Cortese

When Cortese joined Southampton as the club's executive chairman in 2009, it's fair to say that he ruffled a few feathers. Phrases like "a bit of an ego problem" and "an embarrassment" surrounded the Italian when he sacked Nigel Adkins last January, reflecting the general feeling towards him at the time.

However, just 12 months later he was riding high on the adulation of almost everybody at the club, credited with masterminding the sweeping changes at the club which have led to their massively impressive performances this season.

When he left the club halfway through this season, by all accounts forced out after personal disagreements with the club's owner, his departure was mourned by most at the south coast club, having played a huge part in turning them into a top-half Premier League side.

3. Goalline Technology

After years of lengthy debates about the merits of goalline technology in football, Hawk-Eye technology was finally introduced in the Premier League this season.

Concerns about the introduction of technology interrupting the flow of the game have proved completely unfounded, with referees not even having to stop the game to check whether or not the ball crossed the line.

The introduction of the Hawk-Eye system has saved referees and linesmen from having to make a lot of close calls this season, freeing up their attention for other decisions.

Maybe in a couple of seasons we'll have an automated system for Andre Marriner to double check which player he should be sending off?

2. Luke Shaw

The youngest of Southampton's trio of rising England stars, Luke Shaw's reputation is very much on the up at St Mary's Stadium.

Frequently compared to fellow Southampton youth player Gareth Bale, Shaw has attracted massive amounts of attention from top English clubs, with a huge summer battle for his signature looming in the near future.

That battle may have to wait until after the World Cup though, as Shaw looks to have booked himself a seat on England's plane to the competition in Brazil after his consistent performances in the Premier League.

A strong showing for England on the biggest stage of all would do nothing to dampen the interest in him and could drive his price up even further than the rumoured price tag of £30m.

1. Luis Suarez

Rarely has a player been viewed with as much universal disdain in English football as Luis Suarez this summer. In the middle of a ten game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, he alienated Liverpool fans further by begging for a move away from the club he called 'not good enough'.

In light of his nightmare summer, the turnaround for the Uruguay striker is even more incredible and a testament to his astounding performances this season.

Despite missing Liverpool's first six games this season through suspension, Suarez is well on course to break the Premier League's goal scoring record for a 38 game season, having already notched 29 goals this term.

With the Kop back on his side, who'd bet against him smashing that record and taking Liverpool to a first league title in 24 years?

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