Hello. Remember us? Your favourite Interweb football journos-slash-pundits-slash-hacks? We know, we know, we haven’t posted in awhile. But that’s because we’ve been busy doing very important stuff. Ian’s been planning his wedding… and I’ve been… well, let’s just say it’s reaaaaaallly hard to get up in the morning. Stuff is hard.
But since we’ve last written for your reading pleasure, the MLS has started, the European leagues have finished, Barcelona has proven they are actual Valhallian gods… and FIFA has engaged in a circle-like exercise usually reserved for fraternity initiations.
Nevertheless, we have been paying attention. Honest. So now that the dust has settled, and Manchester United fans have realized that their squad won the Premier League by default this season, let’s get to my picks of the Premier League’s best…. which are not up for discussion.
Robin Van Persie (NED) — Sigh. This one pains me. Robin Van Persie bugs me. He’s a shining example of why the people hate the Dutch… national team. He is, quite simply, a bit of a whiner and he was injured a lot. But when he did play, he found the back of the net almost every match. Twenty-two goals in 27 matches. Cesc who?
Ashley Young (ENG) — A supremely talented winger who will not be with the squad, come August. Young was a stalwart of a team that really didn’t survive the abrupt departure of Martin O’Neill. He lead the team in scoring in all competitions… but his real talent lays in his crosses. Rumours are that he is headed for Old Trafford. Hopefully, Sir Alex will help him lose his Ronaldo-like habit of falling over in the box at the slightest touch.
Liam Ridgewell (ENG) — A centre back by trade, Ridgewell was a shining light at left back on a defensive squad that should have been too good to go down. This writer believes he could compete with Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines for England’s LB spot. In fact, Capello might do the whole country good by switching Ridgewell to the right, thereby ending the Glen Johnson experiment. Although Ridgewell signed a three-year deal last year, look for the East Ender to quickly return to the Prem. Fulham, anyone?
Christopher Samba (CON) — While I was tempted to pick Jason Roberts — aka the Second Coming of Alan Shearer (Ed. Note: While I writing that line, I laughed so hard, I had to get a Kleenex) — with his five goals in all competitions, I have to go with a man who was a giant on a team of footballing dwarves. Samba stood tall in the middle of the defence on a team that missed Big Sam. Wow… I never thought I’d write that. The blogosphere is rife with rumours that the Congolese national is heading to the Emirates.
Charlie Adam (SCO) — A right pest in the midfield, Adam did himself a thousand favours by leaving Rangers in 2009 for a squad that had recently been promoted, and was languishing at the foot of the Championship table. Cue Blackpool’s surprise promotion and subsequent taking of several big scalps. Although Ian Holloway beat off the big boys clamouring for Adam’s services during the season, expect the Scotsman to join one of the Big Six teams before August. But still the question remains: can he repeat his Tangerine Dream elsewhere?
Tomorrow: Bolton Wanderers to Liverpool