Saturday, June 11, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 80 and 79

80. Marco Reus- One of a new generation of upcoming German footballers, Reus enjoyed a hugely successful individual season with German strugglers Borrussia Mochengladbach. An attacking midfielder/  forward, Reus is hugely dangerous, with speed and trickery two of his main assets.

Over the past couple years, Reus has earned a penchant for the spectacular; his first Bundesliga goal was scored after a fifty meter run, not to mention a screamer of a strike against Schalke earlier this year. With eleven tallies in thirty-three Bundesliga games, Reus proved that his goals come in quantity as well as quality, and remember, he was playing for a side that eventually finished third from bottom.

Reus has all the weapons of a top class player, his speed and trickery are complemented by a superb ability to finish, as well as an excellent big game mentality; something embodied by his crucial goal in Mochengladbach's relegation play off game. At the moment, youngsters like Andre Schurrle and Marko Marin are ahead of him in the National Team pecking order, though if Reus continues to improve next year, we could see him break into the Euro 2012 squad.

As far as future destinations go, he has been linked to all the big guns in Germany; as ever, Bayern Munich are lurking, as are reigning champions Borrussia Dortmund. At this point in his career, Reus would do well to stay in the Bundesliga, but later on, a move abroad might not be a bad idea.

79. Joe Hart- Though his terrific season was marred by a poor display for England against Switzerland last weekend, there is no doubt that Joe Hart deserves a place in the INFTH Top 100. Joe Hart's ability as a shot stopper is one of his most prominent talents, though he is also solid at collecting crosses, and is a daunting man to face for strikers running through on goal.

During the World Cup, Hart's reputation inflated with every passing mistake from David James and Robert Green; it is an absolute travesty that Hart didn't see a minute of action in South Africa. Heading into the season with Manchester City, it was unclear whether Hart or Given would start in goal for Mancini's side, eventually Hart was given the vote of confidence and put in a blinder at White Hart Lane. Given meanwhile, had to be content with the odd Republic of Ireland friendly and a short lived Carling Cup campaign.

Since the end of England's World Cup campaign, Hart has been the uncontested number one for the Lions, and his competition continues to drop like flies; Ben Foster has embarked on a "sabbatical" from international football.

Now with an FA Cup winners medal tucked away safely, Hart can concentrate on the pressing matter of City's Champions League involvement next year. Mancini will expect his team to reach at least the quarter finals, and Hart's performances will have a large say in whether or not they do.

Read more by "The Chairman," David Yaffe-Bellany @ Red Flag Flying High and EPL Talk

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