Who to watch in English Football this year

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Despite the loss of players such as Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, and Thierry Henry, the Premier League maintains its allure and continues to display a dominating number of the world’s best footballers. Some players have little to play for aside from personal glory, others have the weight of the entire club on their shoulders. Each team in the English Premier League displays loads of talent on the pitch week in and week out. I’ve assembled a list of who I think are the top players from each club to watch this upcoming season:

Arsenal: fans may have gone gaga over new arrival Andrei Arshavin last spring, where he tallied 6G and 8A in only 12 games last year, but Arsenal’s fate will be up to Cesc Fabregas. Certainly the most impactful Gunner on the pitch, the young Spaniard controls the tempo of the game and will be the main force behind Arsenal’s title dreams.

AshleyYoungAston Villa: with the departure of Gareth Barry, the machine that made Aston Villa go, and the retirement of skipper Martin Laursen, Ashley Young is now the face of Aston Villa. With two player of the month honours and the Best Young Player Award (how fitting) the 24-year old Brit will be called upon to lead an offensively gifted club.

Birmingham: these Premier League newcomers are no strangers to life in the big time, as 16 first team players have enjoyed time spent in the top division of English football. Former European Golden Boot winner Kevin Phillips has displayed a goal scoring prowess that will be needed if the Blues wish to remain in the Premier League this time around.

Blackburn Rovers: it seems as though there are very few players for fans to get giddy over at Ewood Park. With the departure of Roque Santa Cruz, longtime Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst-Pedersen steps up as the leading candidate to wow Rovers fans.

Bolton Wanderers: Despite their obscurity, there are several Bolton players who can step up and score a big goal… unfortunately they all seem to share names, thus confusing fans (see Davies’ and O’Brien’s). Matthew Taylor has no double on the squad, in terms of his name or his stellar performance on the pitch.

Burnley: it took me a while, as I didn’t recognize anyone on the Claret and Blue squad, but I came across veteran forward Robbie Blake, he can score ‘em and set ‘em up.

frank-lampard Chelsea: Frank Lampard is unarguably Chelsea’s best player over the past 5 years. Lampard has shown the class and skill needed to drive an effective attack on the biggest of stages. Despite the hoards of big arrivals at Stamford Bridge, Lampard continues to outshine names such as Drogba, Anelka, Terry, and Cole.

Everton: midfielder Mikel Arteta has only featured in 54 games for David Moyes over the past two seasons. However, when on the pitch, Arteta is easily Everton’s most talented and exciting player, and is always around the ball. With his ability to score goals and create chances, his presence will be essential if Everton want to finally crack the top 4.

Fulham: with such a lack in offense at Craven Cottage, Mark Schwarzer provides a flurry of saves and breathtaking plays each week. The Australian ranked 5th in the Premier League in clean sheets last season.

Hull City: during Hull’s impressive early play last year, Geovanni fueled the fire at midfield for the Tigers. He tailed off towards the end of the season last year, but certainly asserted himself as a top playmaker for a club that will battle to avoid relegation.

Liverpool: although Fernando Torres was held to just 20 appearances last season, he still put 14 balls in the back of the net. Steven Gerrard is clearly the glue at Anfield, but El Nino is likely the most dangerous.


Manchester City: even with forwards galore, Robinho is the most interesting story at Eastlands this season. Loads of questions already come to mind: Was he worth the money? Can he maintain a place above the slew of other strikers? Can he lead City to promised land? Will he regret the move to a non-big four Premier League club?

BRITAIN SOCCERMan United: Although the Michael Owen story is very intriguing, Wayne Rooney has to be considered the man in the spotlight for United. With the departure of Ronaldo, Rooney will be able to take on more of a striker’s role, where he feels most comfortable. He has dazzled us before, and it seems like his motivation to impress is higher than ever.

Portsmouth: with the departure of Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson, and Sol Campbell, there is very little left on the Pompey squad. Fingers will point to the defense to help avoid relegation, especially veteran David James, the Pompey keeper and one of the club’s longest tenured players.

Stoke City: The Potters improved drastically as the season progressed last year, winning 7 games towards the seasons end to finish 12th in the table. Their success can be attributed to their solid defense, headlined by versatile centre back Abdoulaye Faye.

Sunderland: several arrivals may boost their chances of staying up, but a large portion of the load will fall on the shoulders of Kieran Richardson, who will need to continue to elevate his game.

Tottenham: although most of the pressure at White Hart Lane will fall on Harry Redknapp this year, Luka Modric will likely continue to patrol the midfield and facilitate the strike force up front. He now has plenty of options ahead of him.

SOCCER West Ham 9 West Ham: Carlton Cole got off to an impressive start last year, but was not able to consistently stay on the pitch. The Hammers already are short on offense; Cole will need to maintain his presence up front.

Wigan: several key departures have left the Latics with a massive hole in the scoring department. It looks as though Wigan will need to rely on its solid defending, especially from centre back Titus Bramble, to keep them relevant.

Wolverhampton: with 25 goals last campaign in the Championship, Sylvan Ebanks Blake looks to be to go-to-guy for Wolves in their step up. The youngster will look to continue showcasing his goal scoring abilities.

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One Response to Who to watch in English Football this year

  1. luxuryskiarticle says:

    Thank you very much for your article.

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