Speed is a key ingredient to be a successful player in the Barclays Premier League. AN opposing threat with excessive speed is a manager's worst nightmare. Here is a list of my top 10 fastest players in the Premier League.
10. John Utaka
Portsmouth's club record £7million signing from Rennes is the first player on my list. Utaka has a huge amount of speed, as many Portsmouth fans will know, he provided the cross for Kanu to score the winning goal in the F.A. Cup final against Cardiff. In his first season he has shown that he is a legit wide threat that the opposition should take notice of.
9. Patrice Evra
The Manchester United full back showed us all last season how good he is not only in defence, but also in attack. Creating goals and having enough in the tank to get back and recover, the Frenchman had a poor first season but hasn’t looked back since, showing he is one of the most exciting defenders in the world.
8. Ashley Young
Aston Villa had one of the best attacking forces last season, and Ashley Young was one of the main reasons why. With great burst and explosiveness, he found gaps easily with his skill providing great deliveries for the likes of John Carew and Gabriel Agbonlahor— he ended up ranking 2nd in assists behind Cesc Fabregas and scoring 7 goals in one of the top offences in the league last year.
7. Fernando Torres
Had a great first season in the Premier League for Liverpool, has somewhat deceptive speed, running smoothly through tackles, gliding across the floor. Defences know what Torres can do to them, running in behind to beat the offside trap and he is a natural finisher. Scoring more than 30 goals last season, look for his goals tally to drop a little this year, however with the addition of Robbie Keane, he will still be a regular 15-20 goal a season player.
6. Obafemi Martins
The Newcastle striker can be somewhat inconsistent from time to time, but there is no doubt he’s lightning quick. Sketchy he is, but he is also a human highlight reel with over-head kicks and 30 yard strikes. Not only is he fast but he is extremely powerful, able to break through tackles and shrug off defenders makes for a strange but effective dual threat.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
Showed us all yet again he is more talented than superman, scoring upwards of 40 goals last season. Don’t expect the same again this season as he is recovering from major surgery. Blistering pace, head spinning skills, a finish and delivery to match. Plus he can out-run a Bugatti Veyron.
4. Gael Clichy
The underrated left-back at Arsenal had a potentially lethal heart condition when he was a child. Now the best left-back in the league, as voted by the Premier League Players Football Association. Ranked 2nd in assists for a defender tied with his team-mate Bacary Sagna showed he is more than just a speed threat. Possibly the best full-back tandem in the league?
3. Aaron Lennon
The Spurs winger came in for a lot of criticism last year for his poor crosses into the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Darren Bent. As he's still very young in footballing terms, he's expected to improve under manager Juande Ramos and hopefully become one of the finest wingers of his generation. He made an appearance on Nike’s vapour boots advert called “Who Is Fastest?”
2. Gabriel Agbonlahor
The Villa striker netted eleven times last season earning a national side call up. The promising 21 year old outran defences on his way to a successful season with Aston Villa. He also made an appearance for Nike, clocking one of the fastest times of the event.
1. Theo Walcott
Not many would argue with my choice for the fastest player in the league. Theo Walcott destroyed defences on his way to 7 goals and 5 assists last season, mainly used a substitute in the later stages of a game. Walcott scored his first goal for Arsenal in 2007 Carling cup final against Chelsea. Regularly scoring for England’s U21 squad, including 2 great goals against Germany U21’s. Earlier this year he scored his first Premier League goals against Birmingham in a dramatic 2-2 draw. He helped create the 2nd goal for Emmanuel Adebayor in the famous 2-0 win over AC Milan.
However, there will be no doubt that his greatest career moment to date was “that run” against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter final. Only 10 minutes after coming on, he controlled the ball from the edge of his own area and blitzed on a 80-metre run— breaking tackles, going past four Liverpool players in the process and playing the ball back to Emmanuel Adebayor to score the equalizer. Arsenal went onto lose the game 4-2, but it was arguably the highlight of his season.
He will continue to draw comparisons from Thierry Henry, whom he spent 2 years learning from. Wearing the Number 14 jersey for Arsenal this season there will be a whole lot of expectation on his shoulders for the upcoming season.
Here's who just missed out:
Andrew Johnson - Fulham
Kenwyne Jones - Sunderland
Shaun Wright-Phillips - Chelsea
Jermaine Defoe - Portsmouth
David Bentley - Tottenham
James Vaughan - Everton
Steven Gerrard - Liverpool
Nani - Manchester Utd
Emmanuel Adebayor - Arsenal