Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Liverpool's Projected Midfield: Overrated Meets Underrated

Underrated: The ones who are already there-

Lucas Leiva- I'm truly tired of hearing people make cheap shots at Lucas, accusing him on not being a "true Brazilian." People need to start moving away from their stereotypical image of a Brazilian footballer, after all they're not all Peles. Over the past year, we have seen the Brazilian central midfielder make a bit of a rise in English football, Lucas' performances have continued to be impressive, while Spurs man Sandro has made a huge impact on the Premier League and Champions League. Towards the tail end of last season, I felt that Lucas and fellow holding midfielder Jay Spearing began to dominated midfields, their performance at the Emirates was particularly impressive.  

Raul Meireles- This man really is one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League. A Roy Hodgson signing,  Meireles was unable to put a stamp on the team for the first four months of the season, much in the way Liverpool were unable to put a stamp on the league. However,  following Dalglish's take over, Meireles and Liverpool exploded into form, two upturns which resulted in the Reds' sixth place finish. For a period last season, Meireles was scoring virtually every match, a run which included a screamer against Wolves, a smashing finish against Everton and a winner at Stamford Bridge. Clearly confident, Meireles was absolutely everywhere for most of the second half of the season, sprinting from box to box, producing crunching tackles, and of course, burying balls into the back of the net.

Overrated: The ones coming in-

Jordan Henderson- After each round of U21 action, I compile a list of a few of the brightest stars of the day. On Sunday, given the poor performance of the English midfield, I was considering publishing a list of the top five flops of the day, there was also ample material provided by the Czech game. In the end, I elected not to publish the list, but I can tell you now, headlining my draft was Jordan Henderson. Like a talentless, nomadic squirrel, Henderson ran from left to right, front to back trying to get a whiff of that very Spanish smelling football; for the period he wasn't wrapped in his cloak of invisibility, Henderson was useless. At one point, I found myself yelling at the TV screen, frustrated at another sloppy Henderson give away, one which set the Spanish possession game back on track. With only a handful of goals in two and a bit seasons starting for Sunderland, Henderson does not score enough to make up for his often sloppy passing, and Liverpool have made a huge mistake in splashing out twenty million pounds for him. However, my distaste for Henderson was not one acquired after a solitary poor performance, it is one that has been festering inside me since his ill fated debut for the senior England side. In a 2-1 loss to France, Henderson was conspicuous only in his mediocrity, he managed to make Gareth Barry look good for crying out loud.

Charlie Adam- I have been slated for criticizing him in the past, and I expect more abuse this time, but I'm sticking with my opinion, Charlie Adam is the most overrated player in British footballer. A big fish in a small pond at Blackpool; Adam earned admirers due to his stunning eighty yard passes, ones which glossed over his sloppy play in the center of midfield. Trawl back through all the goals Blackpool conceded last season (there were a lot of them) and you'll find several examples of poor Adam passing letting the Tangerines down, I remember a mistake at St. Andrews being particularly gruesome. The truth of it is, Adam is a poor man's alternative to brilliant playmakers like Sneijder and Modric, you can buy him on the cheap but be warned, you will get exactly what you payed for.

I know some of you will disagree with me, so why not comment with your abuse, praise, or anything else you want to say.

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