An interesting idea over at Soccer Lens. One of their writers has compiled an ‘unsung Premier League XI’ comprising players from outside the Big Four after Rafa Benitez’s shock revelation that Steven Gerrard should win the PFA Player of the Year Award.
The good news is that Clint Dempsey made the team. I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s assertion that Deuce might be a better player than McBride, but it’s nice to see Clint getting some praise.
Americans and football, eh? When will they ever learn. OK, so John Harkes was decent, Brian McBride was decent, even Joe-Max Moore had his moments (well…moment). But you wouldn’t sign one, would you?
Fulham have a pretty rich history when it comes to American players. McBride was a hero in his time at the Cottage, Kasey Keller was in goal as they staved off relegation last season, whilst Eddie’s Lewis and Johnson have plied their trade in West London with varying success. But in Clint Dempsey, the Cottagers have a player who — whisper this — may just be the best of the bunch.
Skillful in possession, a workaholic with an eye for a goal and an assist (5 goals, 2 assists at time of writing), Dempsey has been a major factor in Fulham’s solid season under Roy Hodgson. No fear of reputations either, the part-time rapper notched twice against Chelsea, and has assumed greater responsibility within the side (along with Danny Murphy and Simon Davies) since the January departure of Jimmy Bullard to Hull.
One of the comments questions why Dempsey’s team-mate Mark Schwarzer has been overlooked in favour of Bolton’s Jussi Jaaskelainen. Again, I don’t agree with the response but it’s interesting, particularly as he mentions he’s not sure about Pantsil, who has had an excellent season so far (like our goalkeeper).
Sorensen/Schwarzer- I am not a huge fan of either. I find it quite strange that Fulham have such a good defensive record with Schwarzer & Paintsil in the backline. Schwarzer to me makes a lot of errors, certainly not as secure as a lot of other keepers.
I’m trying to think of the number of mistakes Mark has made this season and bar the United juggling act and the goals against West Ham at home (if you are being ultra-critical) I haven’t come up with many. Care to help me out?