For all the attention afforded the Premier League’s leading lights, some players are unfairly marginalised. Here, news.bwin.com/en/ lists five players who don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Where once Arsenal’s back four was the envy of England, defenders at Arsenal now seem to be magnets for criticism. With good displays all-too-readily overlooked and every mistake held up as an example of the Gunners’ brittleness as a defensive unit, Bacary Sagna’s consistent performances have largely gone unnoticed. Defensively solid and adventurous going forward, he is arguably the stand-out right back in the Premier League.
No lesser judge than Martin Keown has described him as the best central defender in the Premier League, yet ask the average fan to name their top-three centre backs and the Manchester City player is unlikely to feature. While the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry get all of the headlines, Kompany quietly and effectively goes about his business. Good in the air, an excellent reader of the game, confortable on the ball and blessed with more than enough pace, at £6 million Kompany was one of the Citizens’ most prudent purchases.
If the sign of a great goalkeeper is the ability to react well to danger after a prolonged period of inactivity, then it would be hard to rate Jussi Jaaskelainen. As a Bolton player, Jaaskelainen has had to save more than his fair share of shots over the last ten years, meaning comparisons with the likes of Petr Cech are hard to make. However, if the sign of a great goalkeeper is to consistently shine as a shot-stopper while keeping mistakes to a minimum, then Jaaskelainen is surely one of the best there is.
Another Bolton player, Davies is extremely unfortunate that, at a time when Fabio Capello has a lack of striking options, he has made just a solitary England appearance. Despite having a reputation as an arm-swinging brute of a forward whose only success comes through bullying defenders into submission, Davies nevertheless has a deft touch and perceptive passing ability which makes him extremely adept at holding up the ball and making astute lay-offs to teammates. His goalscoring record might not be too impressive but that’s unlikely to stop Davies’ club manager from keeping his captain out of the starting XI.
Fans who thought Manchester United’s purchase of Park Ji-Sung from PSV Eindhoven in 2005 was a way of tapping into the lucrative Asian market had clearly not seen much of the South Korean in action. One of the leading lights in PSV’s run to the 2005 Champions League semi-finals, Park has continued to prove himself on the European stage with the Red Devils. However, his ability to take up astute positions between the opposition’s midfield and defence and astonishingly high work rate are too-often overlooked by fans, with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Nani happy to bask in the limelight they should be sharing with the reticent Park.