Kevin Richardson was superb in the 89 season. Somehow though he is the forgotten player among fans when that season gets mentioned.
Vardy. I think if he didn’t look like someone straight out of a council estate he’d be rated higher
The irony of Makalele is that he was appreciated. Every single boring, dull, drawn-out Chelsea winning game between 2004 and 2006, you’d hear the commentator say something along the likes of “Claude Makalele must be one of the most underrated players in this Chelsea squad”, or.words to that effect
Manduzkic and Dzeko are great shouts. I always feel like Gilberto Silva fits into that category too. He’s rarely spoken about but I feel he was one of the best CMs in the league at his peak.
at times Messi when he is being compared to Ronaldo who is clearly two tiers below him.
Wait, not redcafe
Great shout on Gilberto. I’d go as far as to say that he was one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe during his peak years, not just the PL but was overlooked due to Vieira and then later Fabregas.
I think that all the years we’ve spent without what many of us would consider to be a proper defensive midfielder has meant that people appreciate Gilberto more than we did at the time.
But he’s probably still underappreciated in the wider football community in fairness.
That’s a bit a an exaggeration. Gilberto only got in the Brazil’ world cup winning team cause Emerson got injured in a stupid accident. From the top of my head the following defensive midfielders were at least as good as or better than him playing around the same time - Emerson, Makelele, Guttoso, Edmilson, Rubin Baraja, Cambiasso, Roy Keane
While Gilberto was very good at what he did, he was helped a lot by the system deployed during the invincibles era. When Cesc and the likes came along, Gilberto suffered cause he couldn’t take on additional defensive responsibilities cause Cesc never tracked back and Gilberto wasnt the best passer or the dribbler. It was often frustrating to watch him lose the ball continually in the midfield when we transitioned from a counter attacking to a possession based side.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration because I didn’t claim he was the best. He does deserve to be mentioned in the category of players you listed.
I think it’s irrelevant how / why he ended up playing for Brazil in 02, because when he got his chance, he showed his class and played every single minute for Brazil on their road to lifting the World Cup. He then took that level of performance to England and helped Arsenal win the league and some cups, as well as helping us get to our first European Cup final.
Playing alongside Vieira produced great results for both of them because there was a good understanding between the two, and a better sharing of the defensive work. Any DM would struggle if playing in a midfield consisting of Hleb / Rosicky / Fabregas (as was the case in 06/07). I don’t think that should be held against him.
The reason he should get a mention in this thread is when people remember the Invincibles, the usual names are mentioned but other team’s fans probably wouldn’t even remember him despite how good he was for us.
stayed at Villa for too long
We’ve had Carrick, we’ve had Barry, someone will be along momentarily to say James Milner.
I feel like Milner used to be under rated, but now so many people think he is under rated that he is no longer under rated.
He can go in @JakeyBoy ‘s category
and Tim Cahill
This thread is fun
All fair points Sol and he definitely deserves to be on this list. But as good as he was for us, there were glaring weaknesses in his game that makes me think he wasn’t the absolutely top tier.
I’ll toss in Philipp Lahm for the sake of it. It often takes a while for him to pop up in a discussion of the best at their positions of all time even though for me he should be there. In fact, depending on what you want at RB for your team strategy, he might be the best ever for me. He was also maybe the first FB I ever saw who could on the rare occasion drive the ball up to the 10 position to act as a clever regista and effectively +1 centrally during an attack if needed.
Always wondered - how good a keeper was Lukic? His peak playing days were before me.
Another one for me is Tevez. Think his antics overshadowed an absolute beast of a player.