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Thread: Underrated players

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    Underrated players

    I was just watching old highlights on YouTube when one of my favorite retired players popped up: Xabi Alonso. It occurred to me, watching him routinely complete passes that at times look physically impossible, that his name does not often come up in the discussion of great midfielders of our day, or even amongst the best Spanish ones. Indeed, the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, et al seem to have earned much greater clout over their careers (not that they don't deserve the clout they have, to be fair).

    It got me thinking about players, either recently retired, still active, or, hell, from different eras, that perhaps didn't acquire the brand recognition their performances deserved. Clearly, Xabi Alonso is the one that sticks out for me. Who are some of yours?
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    Xabi Alonso was a footballing GOD.

    I'm surprised you think he was under-rated.

    It's like saying Tostao was under-rated because he wasn't Pele, Jairzinho, or Rivellino.
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    Trevor Steven
    Roberto Donadoni
    Jim Magilton
    Hasan Salihamidzic
    Daley Blind
    Dion Dublin
    Mark Hateley
    Leon Osman
    Clive Mendonca
    Sylvain Distin
    Vinnie Jones (seriously)
    Mark Burke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddingtonwolf View Post
    Xabi Alonso was a footballing GOD.

    I'm surprised you think he was under-rated.

    It's like saying Tostao was under-rated because he wasn't Pele, Jairzinho, or Rivellino.
    I just mean in terms of the recognition he gets after the fact. Maybe it's different here, where football doesn't have anything close to 24/7 coverage like I'm sure it must over there, but since he retired I think I've heard his name twice, and one of those was an announcement that he was coaching for Sociedad.
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    Distin is a great shout. And I didn't even get to see him in his prime. But that first year Martinez was at Everton; wow. What a season he had. And then immediately fell off the face of the Earth.
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    If I was going to offer one (probably similar to your choice as he comes from a fucking STELLAR side), then I would say Falcao didn't get the same recognition as Zico and Socrates in the 1982 Brazil side. No way he was underrated though.

    Papin doesn't ever seem to feature as high up in the "greatest strikers I have seen" lists as I would expect. That's a possibility.

    But my choice is Georgi Kinkladze. Breathtaking at City, in a pretty fucking bang average City side. He had everything. Should have been at one of the absolute European giants in his pomp.
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    As much as we had the pantomime between him and Bully for the best part of a decade, Steve Walsh was a damn good player. Probably not when Colin Lee tried to sign him aged 74 though.

    Robbie Earle should never have had to end up playing for Jamaica.
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    I'll chuck in Ray Wilkins too. That crab nickname stuck with him for years. But you don't play for Man Utd, AC Milan and PSG if you're some kind of joker, and he was still regularly bossing games in the PL when he was nearly 40. QPR sacked him as player/manager shortly into 1996/97. We played them in our first home game of the season and he was the best player on the pitch by an absolute mile.

    A lot of revisionism goes on about Becks these days, that he was more personality than player, that he was limited and all the rest of it. Not having a word of it. He was incredible.
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    Steve Walsh was a tremendous defender. Absolutely solid. The partnership with Matt Elliot at the twilight of his career was really, REALLY good for Leicester.
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    I am going to offer Steve Coppell as well. Ridiculously talented winger in his time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddingtonwolf View Post
    Steve Walsh was a tremendous defender. Absolutely solid. The partnership with Matt Elliot at the twilight of his career was really, REALLY good for Leicester.
    And they both played in a three with another seriously good player - Gerry Taggart. Bully regularly used to pick him out as his toughest opponent.

    Ah, if we'd picked O'Neill (when he was good) ahead of McGhee...
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    ...We would have had Muzzy Izzet and Emile Heskey as well...
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    His career fizzled out into nothing towards the end, but I loved Gaizka Mendieta at Valencia and when we played Boro down here in 2004, his touch was absolutely ludicrous. Didn't get topped until I saw Modric for Spurs.
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    Good shout. Just wish talkshite didn't have him on speed dial now!

    Attilio Lombardo. Didn't work overly well in England (Palace fans mileage may vary) but he was class in Serie A.
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    When people talk about the best strikers in the history of the PL, Ian Wright hardly gets a mention. He was superb though. And Arsenal weren't even any good in the latter Graham era.

    Played them in a friendly down here in 1995. Everyone else is playing like you do in a friendly. Watching him, you'd think it were the World Cup final. Because he came late to the pro game and had had to work so hard to get a go, he just wanted to win every game and score every time. All kinds of goals too - chipping keepers from 30 yards, outpacing centre halves, tap ins, lovely bits of interplay, the lot.

    Quality, quality player and a bit like Robbie Fowler (who could also arguably get a mention here, although he was pretty much done by the time he was 27), unlucky that Venables was never ever going to break up the Shearer/Sheringham partnership at that time. Although Taylor could and should have played him more.
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    Tony Currie.
    John Richards - 1 England cap
    Derek Parkin - 0 England caps
    Robbie Dennison

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    Farcical that Alex Rae never won a Scotland cap.
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    Ruben Neves

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    Currie is a really interesting and great shout. Superbly skillful player.

    Frank Worthington. Down marks for playing for that shitehole of a club and sharing a pitch with the Count, but he could SERIOUSLY play a bit

    Tony Cottee - superb striker if a bit on the tiny side. I would consider putting MacAvennie in as well. They were lethal together up front for West Ham.

    While on things Hammer, Alan Devonshire. Billy Bonds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deutsch Wolf View Post
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    If you want your centre half pushing toward the "deserves twenty years in Parkhurst" side of hard, then Vinnie was your man. He said they shall not pass and Balrogs shat themselves.
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    He was a proper decent footballer. Yes, he used to deliberately play the hardman and there's no defending some of his play - but he could pass a ball short or long, good finisher when called upon, could fill in at centre half, had a degree of footballing intelligence about him.

    Leeds had a seriously good team at the time and their fans adored him.

    Not making him out to be a magician but the consensus generally was that he was just a thug, like some roughneck you'd drag off the street and stick in a shirt. No, he was a good player as well as someone who did undoubtedly go too far sometimes.

    Hence underrated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I'm not arguing but I'm interested in your thoughts ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deutsch Wolf View Post
    He was a proper decent footballer. Yes, he used to deliberately play the hardman and there's no defending some of his play - but he could pass a ball short or long, good finisher when called upon, could fill in at centre half, had a degree of footballing intelligence about him.

    Leeds had a seriously good team at the time and their fans adored him.

    Not making him out to be a magician but the consensus generally was that he was just a thug, like some roughneck you'd drag off the street and stick in a shirt. No, he was a good player as well as someone who did undoubtedly go too far sometimes.

    Hence underrated.
    Also, unless you put a load of beer in him, a genuinely nice bloke off the pitch. Met him many many times as he lived in the town where I had the dubious pleasure of helping run a petrol station while I finished off getting qualified. One of the most polite and genuine men you could ask to meet. Until he was pissed and then he turned into an absolute nightmare at times!

    His late wife was an absolute diamond as well.
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    Ian Wright, definitely. On the subject of England strikers, I would add Peter Crouch. If he was 6ft dead instead of seven inches taller he would have been considered a serious baller instead of a desperation plan B. His volleying was superb, plus his ability to take the ball back to goal on the edge of the box, turn to create space to shoot then finish.
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    Loved Kevin Sheedy in probably my favourite none Wolves side - the Everton one of the mid 80s

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    Definitely Crouchie. He was actually crap if you just hoofed the ball at him. Really good footballer.

    Scandal that Carrick only got 34 England caps (over about 15 years as well).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deutsch Wolf View Post

    Scandal that Carrick only got 34 England caps (over about 15 years as well).
    An absolute travesty

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    For reference, that's fewer than Ashley Young. FFS England.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Towner View Post
    Loved Kevin Sheedy in probably my favourite none Wolves side - the Everton one of the mid 80s
    Cracking side that was. Southall, Stevens, Mountfield, Ratcliffe, Bailey(?), Steven, Reid, Sheedy, Sharp Gray. Can't think of the other midfielder.

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