Monday, February 07, 2005

Best defender in the world today? Jaap Stam

Yes, this is subjective, but, eh.

Wednesday night England and Holland play. When I thought about it Jaap Stam came to mind as I recalled an international, of which the details are sketchy.

It was a few years ago, an international, I’m sure because he was wearing orange. It was dreary game, and after about 50 minutes Jaap Stam began to get visibly annoyed with his team who were unable to breakdown a European minnow (I remember that too). So Stam took the game over from central defense with precise long passes centrally and out wide, and on a few occasions dribbling the ball thru the midfield himself right into the strikers. As he continued to attack the opponent slowly began to sink back deeper and deeper in defense to the point which Dutch pressure eventually popped thru an ugly goal around the 75th minute or so.

Stam had nothing to do with the goal but that game would have ended a boring 0-0 draw without him. His compelling play rewarded my own patience to sit thru 50 minutes of dull football.

They say the measure of a great player is the ability to take over and change a game. I don’t know many other defenders who can do that.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break! Jaap Stam! Are you serious? Jeez...

2/08/2005 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be the best you've got to play, and Stam has only played a couple matches this year. He put his studs into the chest of Lazio player in the penalty area last Sunday and almost cost Milan two points. In Italy alone, Nesta and the Juve pair, Thuram and Cannavaro, are better than Stam. Hell, Couto looked better than Stam on Sunday.

2/08/2005 5:13 PM  
Blogger James No. 7 said...

First anonymous user: at least propose an alternative!

I would say at least one of players the second anonymous user mentioned would have a better claim than Stam. Add Terry to that list. He can't be overlooked.

2/09/2005 5:15 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

I've taken a few hits on this one!

Well, I understand, there are many reasonable arguments for other players, I guess he's just a favorite.

2/11/2005 4:35 PM  

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