Monday, March 21, 2005

Players which just keep getting better

I’ll preface by saying some of the players mentioned are not, nor will ever be susperstars. The intention is to highlight growth, at whatever level it comes.

Samuel Eto’o sparked me to write this article when I mentioned him yesterday. Having watched him since the age of about 18, he has done nothing but steadily improve. He plays football on a different level and should have consideration for world player of the year in the coming few.

Speaking of world player of the year, Theirry Henry has not peaked and has shown me that he is the top striker in the world. He was my vote for world player of the year this year. His goals are more impressive every season and he can own a game.

Speaking of owning games, Adriano looked like an NBA player shooting baskets at goal against Porto in their 2nd leg Champions League matchup. His performance was a statement to his price tag of 70m Euros, a price that makes most clubs look like dogs barking at a flying airplane.

Speaking of airplanes, I remember a moment during the 1998 World Cup final after Brazilian Denilson was introduced as a substitute where he started dancing with the ball around the box and a Spanish commentator said (in reference to a Nike ad running at the time with the Brazilian national side) “your not in an airport, this is the World Cup final”. Recall that at one time Denilson was the most expensive player in the world, but this is not about him, as he has not panned out, it’s about another player which has incredibly quick feet who is giving product: Christiano Ronaldo. He is getting better literally every week. He brought Manchester United three points this week with a smashing goal. His footwork is improving also; he is making fewer mistakes and is showing an unmistakably improving nose for goal.

Speaking of goals and Manchester United, hasn’t Wayne Rooney been fantastic? His strikes on goal, ever accurate, are more confident. Rooney, with a powerful shot, shows a lot of consideration for ball flight and restraint and because of that quality scores more goals. We have some serious future in Manchester.

Future and Manchester don’t just end at United, Shaun Wright-Philips, for Manchester City could play for any club on the planet; and he’s so much fun to watch! Because of size, he often looks incapable of competing for the ball in a moment of play and amazes me with another example of cleverness. In attack, he’s so quick, and smart too, and unselfish, and his brother Bradley is also a really good player. An anecdote, once I saw him injured and I thought ‘whoa, that’s his season’, but he got up a few minutes later. Then I heard that his father said, after it happened, ‘he’s fine, he’s bendy’. Ha ha, and it’s true, he is very flexible and I think that is one reason he can often score goals from nowhere.

The past of Manchester rode off in Diego Forlan, former Manchester United striker, who is player excellent football in Spain for Villarreal: in fourth place, and Forlan is a large part of their +22 goal difference. I thought United made a mistake to sell him, compared to the form of former Fullam player Louis Saha, I have a private 'one up' on Ferguson.

Well, had to find some way to mention Fulham, for I have been a big fan of Papa Bouba Diop even since the 2002 World Cup. Dioup has been playing great recently, having dipped from his breakout performance in 2002. His emergence at Fulham shows that his football brain has matured and he plays the game with patience along with natural instinct now. Yes, he still makes mistakes, too many, but if you notice careful, they are fewer and fewer, and his promise is why Fulham manager Chris Coleman smartly leaves him in.


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Blogger Rui Rocha said...

hey i entered accidentally in this blog and i find it a very good one. i'm portuguese so if you have doubts about portuguese or even foreign football you may ask me be my guest. like: football players' names like we write it, teams, anything about football. great blog this one. i have one, but it's in portuguese as you may guess so you won't understand anything it's www.afrontamentos.blogspot.com

3/21/2005 7:12 PM  

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