The reappearance this week of Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry in English football has given the Premiership a distinctive ‘Back to the Future’ feel. But all the media circus and excitement of fans got us wondering here at 1FITG towers what other players we’d like to bring back to the Premiership to spice up the league.
So here’s our top 6 players, who we reckon – for one reason or another – would be guaranteed to make the division “interesting, very interesting….”
Matt Le Tissier
One of the finest players players England has ever produced, certainly the Channel Islands at any rate. Le God was the arguably the last of the “lazy playmakers”. Midfielders whose outrageous level of talent allowed them to stroll through games pinging 60 yard passes onto teammates toes, mug off defenders with a silky touch, and dribble past opponents as if they were in slow motion. All without breaking a sweat. Sadly ‘modern’ football with its high tempo pressing has no room for these players. But just consider his stats. A goal every two and half games. From midfield. For Southampton. And they weren’t exactly tap ins either.
With apologies to fans of Leeds United and Crystal Palace, there are some players whose passage through English football gives much schadenfreude to the neutral observer. Players who you thank God aren’t at your club, but who bring great amusement to you through the hell they rain down on the poor club that employs them. In Brolin’s case it wasn’t so much what he contributed to the Premiership as what he didn’t.
Arriving at Leeds in 1995 he swiftly fell out with manager and fans for showing more interest in Yorkshire’s pie industry than in the team. His pudgy faced and paunchy waistline finally departed the EPL in 1998 after an embarrassing spell at Palace which epitomised the fact that any interest in football had completely disappeared. He effectively retired from football then, but not before a bizarre 15 minute appearance in goal for a Swedish semi-pro side.
It’s the classic scenario – a former World Player of the Year decides to give you a call completely out of the blue and decides your team is ideally placed to pick up an amazing player for free. In this instance, the victim of the prank was then Southampton boss Graeme Souness, who was tricked into thinking he was signing George Weah’s cousin. Subbed on after an injury to Le Tiss in the first half, Dia was then subbed himself towards the end of an appalling debut and released two days later. Dia by name, dia by nature. But everyone deserves a second chance, and 53 minutes as a sub is hardly enough time to make a conclusive judgment. He might be 46 now, but he certainly can’t look any worse than he did in 1996 and everyone deserves a second chance, right?
No, not the successful England keeper – it’s time for the return of Calamity James, the other goalkeeper that graced the Premiership. Never was the prospect of a hopeful cross into the box so exciting – it was the golden era for average wingers. Popular with most fans of his opponents, he was The People’s Calamity. His foray into proper goalkeeping saw this persona disappear for a long stretch. But all is not lost. The ageing James has shown a few signs this season at Bristol City of returning to his much-loved comedy routine, and what better way than to harness this further through a return to top-flight football.
Pound for pound the greatest striker the premier league has ever seen 1998™. After a fantastic season for Barnsley, where Ward scored 20 goals in 46 games, Ward got his big time move to then UEFA Cup challengers Blackburn.
His style and technique would not be out of place in the current Blackburn team, the (lack of) speed and (huge) physical presence would give the Yak a hell of a foil. They would ‘literally’ be the pound for pound heaviest strike force in the Premier League. I’m sure Venky’s would make profit purely on their chicken sales alone!
If you’re reading this Venky’s please do contact us, we’re happy to give you very good rates for this transfer….better than you’ll get for Ronaldinho or Becks.
Literally. I’d love to see him using these balls now making them literally explode off his foot. I’m sure he’d literally leave players for dead. Though it would literally be a miracle if he could play 90 minutes these days – then again sometimes you get a label and it literally sticks.
Be great to see him literally dominating that centre circle though.
Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments.