Continuing the theme of 6 here at strong on paper, here are 6 players plying their trade at different levels of english football that you must see this season!
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez
Chicharito, or as it means in Mexico, ‘little pea’ is Alex Ferguson’s marquee signing for the season and a bit of shrewd business from the thrifty scotsman saw him get his man before the world cup where after some great performances, his price, I’m sure, would of skyrocketed.
With the ability to play on either flank and up front, Hernandez looks a great prospect and should thrive in the premiership. If he can strike up a partnership with Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes continues to roll back the years, then Man United could well take back the title from Chelsea.
The only question is whether he can deal with the physicality of the English game – something which of course he can get used to over time – but is Fergie patient enough to give the little pea time to settle in? Time will tell.
Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere, you won’t of missed one of the most audacious transfers of the summer, namely Edgar Davids signing for Crystal Palace on a pay-as-you-play deal.
The midfield enforcer, who’s previous clubs include Milan, Barcelona, Juventus and Tottenham hasn’t played a competitive game for two years and is seen by many at the club as a huge risk.
However, it appears he will be playing at left back so that 37-year-old engine may not be as big a problem as it would of been if he was integral to the hustle and bustle of the midfield. Also, as a club famed for producing young talent, Palace may be seeing Davids as a scholar, there to share his worldly wisdom with the next generation of Palace players.
Either way, his and indeed Palace’s season should be fascinating and also picking Davids was a great excuse to show you this….
I’ve always had a soft spot for Tom Huddlestone, mainly because he can do this…
But mostly I just love how graceful he is on the pitch and of course, the way he passes that ball is a joy to behold. In past seasons he has failed to get the games due to his lack of defensive ability, but as last season showed, he is now a lot better positionally and has settled into the centre midfield ‘quarter back’ role very nicely.
Showing the sort of passing we haven’t seen from an englishman since messrs Beckham and Hoddle, maybe this season is also the year this giant among men breaks into the England setup – here’s hoping.
Adam le Fondre
I’ve mentioned this man before and nothing’s changed since, he’s still way too good for League Two, and he’s still at Rotherham.
With 30 goals last season and 5 goals already this season, Le Fondre is showing the sort of form that has got the scouts of Championship teams climbing over each other to buy him – or so you’d think.
Derby seem to be the most likely but Rotherham seem to be either waiting for a big offer or just telling everyone “F’ off! He’s ours.” which is highly commendable.
Whatever the outcome, he certainly won’t be playing at this level after this season (unless he has some massive drug problem that we don’t know about, a la Trundle) as his finishing is sublime off either foot, he’s quick and strong and his movement is intelligent. Basically, he’s the best player in the league.
All the talk about young english keepers this season has been directed (quite rightly) at Man City’s Joe Hart who after shoehorning Shay Given out of the number 1 spot has preceded to do his best impression of superman in goal for the Citizens.
But in Peterborough there is another bright young thing playing in League One and his name is Joe Lewis. The 22-year -old is an excellent shot stopper, quick to come off his line and has good distribution.
One thing that may be in his favour is the luxury for him to be able to play at a lower level for now, without all the pressure of the premier league. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it will be long before this guy is playing at the highest level, but for now, maybe it’s better if he hangs around at Peterborough.
My final choice may be a surprise to many but it is as much to do with circumstance as it is to do with the player (although I do think Poulsen is a very talented footballer). Christian Poulsen has the unfortunate job of filling Mascherano’s large boots after his £17.25m move to Barca. If you’re unsure in his ability to do so, watch this video of him doing a job on jesus-loving Kaka…
Liverpool’s season will depend on a number of things not least whether Poulsen can do a job in midfield – he certainly has the ability, great positional awareness, does the simple things well and has a bulldog like spirit – basically, just what liverpool need right now.
The only problem may be his discipline as the great Dane has got a habit of picking up cards and has, what some may call, a short fuse. If he can link up with Gerrard well and break up play then Liverpool may just have a top four chance, despite their abysmal start.
So there you have it, strong on paper’s six to watch this season. Stay tuned for more posts, a review of the weekend’s action and even a report from a serie D match in the coming weeks!