EPL: Who Are the Most Underated Players?
I have always found myself admiring the most hard-working type of players, but nowadays, unless you have the tricks to match, you are forever in the shadows of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba.
Here is a list of overshadowed and underrated players in the EPL:
Richard Dunne (Defender, Man City)
The Kingpin of City's defence, Dunne put workmanlike and inspirational performances for City while Elano provided the fireworks.
"Dunney Monster" has shut down some of the strongest attacks, including his silencing of Man United golden boys Ronaldo and Rooney during City's 1-0 derby win and attack-stifling performances throughout the season.
Strong in the air, as well as agile on the ground despite his size, he formed a temporary linchpin with Micah Richards. However, all the commentators and fans did not recognise Dunne's contribution.
They did when his red-card against Middlesborough sparked City's heaviest defeat in nine years (8-1). And even then they are looking to let go of the Irish international.
Ricardo Carvalho (Defender, Chelsea)
When you are standing beside the England and Chelsea captain, you are bound to get a bit overshadowed. Carvalho is known to be a very intelligent. He is not as strong as John Terry in the air, but unlike JT, what Carvalho doesn't have in strength, he makes up for in speed.
He has the ability to read an opponents attack and mark a player to the inch.
Carvalho had a flawless season despite his Man United mix-up. Carvalho finally got some due recognition when Spain and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres labelled him "the best in the business."
Carvalho is one of those players who when you have him you don't notice, but when he's the opposition, you realise his worth.
Roque Santa Cruz (Striker, Blackburn)
With Cristiano Ronaldo's 40+ goal season and Fernando Torres's dynamic EPL debut, Cruz's superb first season was lost somewhere between the stat books.
However, the Paraguayan hit-man netted an impressive 20 goals in all competitions while half of England was in either Berbatov-fever or Adebayor-euphoria.
Having pace and accuracy, Santa Cruz bought some South American flair to what otherwise was an uneventful season for the Rovers.
In many cases he was the Rovers' last gasp of hope—e.g. his hat-trick in blackburn's 3-5 loss to Wigan or pulling a goal during the UEFA Cup against Mypa. One thing is for sure, at 26, Santa Cruz has much more to give to the EPL.
Owen Hargreaves (Midfielder, Man United)
In what was a successful first season with the Red Devils, the amount of exposure or praise Hargreaves got left something to be desired.
However, Sir Alex never doubted the former Bayern Munich player's ability, stationing him on the wing in the Champions League final where he produced a workman-like performance.
In the red side of Manchester it was all about Ronaldo, commentators forgot to acknowledge the English midfielder for his consistent and energetic performances. He often played out of position but was never one to back out of a tough spot. The Man U hierarchy should be grateful for his efforts in 07/08.
Jamie Carragher (Defender, Liverpool)
One of my favourite players in the EPL, Carragher's modesty and class epitomises the heart and soul of Anfield.
One the best defenders along with Terry and Ferdinand, Carragher has held together the Reds defence behind Mascherano and Xabi Alonso. Continuous changes in defensive partnership did little to faze the Anfield prince as his age-defying antics were overshadowed by the Torres Show.
His underrated image even leaked onto the international team when team selection differences forced him to retire. However, at the end of the day, the one-man club is still one of the best center backs around, even at the age of 30.
Please leave your comments comments. The topic of underrated players is one of my favourites and I want to know you're thoughts and feelings on the topic.
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