Since the Premiership first formed back in 1992 there have been a number of stars who have graced the pitches up and down the country. Here is the Daily Dust’s Top 10:
The striker not only has blistering pace and agility but also an eye for goal like no other. His goal against Blackburn in April, where he volleyed it in from the edge of the area, was a perfect example of this.
9. Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier may not have had the stereotypical footballer’s physique, and was often criticised for looking overweight, but he more than made up for that with skill and vision. Le Tissier was renowned for scoring spectacular goals and the fact he spent his whole career at Southampton, in an age when player loyalty was almost dead, is a credit to the man himself.
Although the English media certainly exaggerate the talents of Gerrard (Man-mountain, Liverpool’s heart etc etc) there is no doubting his quality in midfield. The 29-year-old can play in a number of positions in midfield and his ability to come up with decisive goals in big games has made him an Anfield hero. He has pace, power, skill, a good pass and a blistering shot. He really is the all-round modern midfielder.
The recently departed Ronaldo needs little introduction. He took some time to settle in England at first, with his debut season revolving around a number of fancy step-overs that took him nowhere. However, once Ronaldo found his feet in the Premiership there was no stopping him. He may be famous for his tricks but the winger also has a tremendous pass and an unbelievable free kick. Ronaldo may have secured an £80m move to Real Madrid but he will have to produce something special to match his 2007/08 season, when the Portuguese star notched 42 goals in all competitions.
Paul Scholes may not get as much media attention as others on this list but he fully deserves his place here. The English midfielder has been an integral part of Manchester United’s midfield for over a decade now. He not only has a superb eye for a pass but has also scored his fair share of goals for Manchester United over his long career. When Scholes finally does hang up his boots, Sir Alex Ferguson will have quite a job on his hands to find a replacement to match the qualities of the ginger midfielder.
Much like Le Tissier, Ryan Giggs is renowned for spending his entire career at one club, Manchester United. The Welsh winger first broke onto the scene in the early 90′s and was famous for his tricky runs and lightening pace. Giggs may have slowed down some what in recent seasons but the great thing about him is he has managed to change his game to suit this. Giggs now plays more of a playmaker role and his incisive passers and pin-point crossers have helped Manchester United win the Premiership for the last three seasons. The fact that at 35-years-old Giggs is still a major part of Manchester United’s midfield says it all.
Some people may be surprised that Henry has only managed fourth 0n the list. The Frenchmen was not only charismatic but had a certain arrogance on the pitch. And rightly so, as Henry was blessed with lightning pace, sublime skill and scored goals for fun. The reason the striker didn’t make the top three is down to one reason – his reliance on his pace. If you took away Henry’s super speed then his style of play would be a lot less affective. I’m not saying he was a one trick pony but the difference between the top three and Henry is the fact that none of the top three had pace and yet they were all world class players. Henry certainly deserves his place high up on the list but it will be very interesting to see how effective he’ll be when he reaches his mid-thirties?
Cantona was another player who had arrogance in abundance, but when you’re as gifted as Eric it’s understandable. Cantona was known simply as ‘King Eric’ by Manchester United fans and in 2001 they voted him their ‘player of the century.’ He may be as famous for his flying kicks and strange philosophies about seagulls as he is for his footballing skills but there is no denying his overall quality as a footballer. He scored sublime goal after sublime goal for Manchester United during the 1990′s and was a hero to the fans that adored him. Here’s a little example of exactly why from youtube.
He may have been a pint-sized player but Gianfranco Zola exuded class. The current manager of West Ham enjoyed a sparkling career in England during his playing days at Chelsea. Due to his low centre of gravity Zola was able to tie defenders in knots and always had an eye for the killer pass. Arguably his most memorable goal was a cheeky back flick against Norwich which nestled beautifully in the top corner. To watch the goal click here. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you of Zola’s talents then this video of him tying defenders in knots should do the trick – Just click here.
And so the winner, perhaps a surprising choice to some, is Dennis Bergkamp. The Dutch forward may have often lived in the shadows of Henry during their time together at Arsenal but his all round play far out-shone his French striking partner. Bergkamp not only had a beautiful touch, a great shot and sublime skill but he could almost run games on his own when he was on top form. And, unlike Henry, he did all this without being blessed with any real pace. He scored countless goals in the Premiership, perhaps the pick of them all against Newcastle, but he also set up just as many with his creative passing and deft flicks. Just a taster of his array of skills can be seen on this Youtube video.
So the Daily Dust’s all-time Premiership player goes to: Dennis Bergkamp. We are not worthy.
Here are the players who were considered but just didn’t make the cut:
- Roy Keane
- Rio Ferdinand