Friday, July 8, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 38 and 37

38. Jack Wilshere- From the moment Jack Wilshere emerged onto the footballing scene, everyone knew that he was something special. A string of impressive performances in the Carling Cup caught the eye of English football fans everywhere, and the youngsters poise and maturity throughout his loan spell at Bolton also gave reason for premonitions of a brilliant career.

Set to be loaned out at the beginning of the season, Arsene Wenger must be glad that he eventually chose to keep Wilshere on, the English midfield player fast became a crucial part of the Arsenal team. Capable of dictating play from the center of midfield, Wilshere is mature beyond his years, often controlling games like a seasoned pro.

Though not much of a threat in front of goal, Wilshere's passing and movement helped to create opportunities for others, his carefully threaded passes proved to be one of Arsenal's most important attacking weapons.

A terrific performance against Barcelona in the first leg of Arsenal's Round of Sixteen European Cup tie helped to direct overseas attention towards Wilshere, with the Englishman even attracting praise from Pep Guardiola.

Now a key part of Fabio Capello's plans for the England team, Wilshere is set for another terrific season next year, and with Nasri and Fabregas both set to leave, it will be important for him to continue from where he left off at the end of last year.

37. Ryan Giggs- After scandalous revelations smutted what was once a squeaky clean reputation, people have begun to forget how important Ryan Giggs was to the Manchester United cause last season.

Though not as speedy as in the past, Ryan Giggs still retains a fabulous amount of footballing intelligence; the Welshman's experience and poise on the ball helped Manchester United steer through a number of tough tasks last season.

Three assists for United's three Champions League Quarter Final goals against Chelsea embodied the importance of  Giggs to the United cause, without his contributions Premier League glory would not have been forthcoming.

One particular performance, against Birmingham at Old Trafford, stands out in my mind as vintage Giggs; along with Rooney and Berbatov, the veteran player ripped apart Alex McLeish's team 5-0. That showing was just one of many impressive ones last season though, it seemed that every time United were in need of creative inspiration Giggs was the one to deliver.

Next season is expected to be Giggs' last as a player, at thirty-seven the ex winger is likely to be phased out, as United turn to a new wave of creative players.

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