fredag den 18. december 2009

The 200 best players in the world: 173-170

Three more players.

Again relatively short writeups.

Instead of the Semak's of the world getting all the words and all the space, I guess I'm now saving it for the Xavis and the Kakas instead.

Introduction to the list.

The list so far:


200: Alberto Zapater - Genoa - Spain
199: Nikola Zigic - Valencia - Serbia
198: Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid - Spain
197: Lucio - Inter - Brazil
196: John Obi Mikel - Chelsea - Nigeria
195: Sergio Busquets - Barcelona - Spain
194: Philippe Mexes - Roma -France
193: Anatolij Tymoshchuk - Bayern München - Ukraine
192: Theo Walcott - Arsenal - England
191: Aaron Ramsey - Arsenal - Wales
190: Pepe - Real Madrid - Portugal
189: Sergei Semak - Rubin Kazan - Russia
188: Alberto Aquilani - Liverpool - Italy
187: Clarence Seedorf - Milan - Holland
186: Diego Capel - Sevilla - Spain
185: Yossi Benayoun - Liverpool - Israel
184: Riccardo Montolivo - Fiorentina - Italy
183: Kolo Toure - Manchester City -Côte d'Ivoire
182: Yuri Zhirkov - Chelsea - Russia
181: Martin Demichelis - Bayern Munich - Argentina
180: Marouane Fellaini - Everton - Belgium
179: Cristian Zapata - Udinese - Colombia
178: Tim Cahill - Everton - Australia
177: Paul Scholes - Manchester United - England
176: Arda Turan - Galatasaray - Turkey
175: Ezequiel Lavezzi - Napoli - Argentina
174: Klaas Jan Huntelaar - AC Milan - The Netherlands
173: William Gallas- Arsenal - France


Shaun Wright-Phillips - England - Manchester City


Pace and considerable dribbling skills are of course SWP's very well known strengths.

Added I think to his game in recent years also is a very good work-rate and while that still wasn't good enough for him to regularly get games at Chelsea (bought for a staggering 21m£, he was a massive flop) for Manchester City he has at least some the time without the ball been able to hold his own without that much help on his wing.
When under pressure though he definitely becomes a major liability defensively where he is a poor player.


Pavel Pogrebnyak - Russia - VBF Stuttgart


Big strong center forward who can be a very useful target-man actually creating more for others than himself.
Be it with his head or with his back to the goal in narrow space making use of his strength as well as his good technical skills.

Like similar players Pogrebnyak will look clumsy at times but his short passing and ball control skills are both very good. He is also a really smart player who reads the game well and makes good decisions accordingly.

What he still hasn't proven though is that he is a great goal scorer ( (likely he just isn't).

H is not the type of striker who will consistently make sharp runs in between defenders into the dangerous area. Neither with or without the ball, so he really does need, most of the time, for players to create for him, if he is to get consistent goalscoring opportunities.
I think that his movement between the defensive midfield and the backline is superb. Whether it's sideways or drifting back seeking the ball, but his forward movement compared to that is rather ordinary and exposes his lack acceleration.

His new team Stuttgart who has a bad start to the season hopefully are not expecting Pogrebnyak to score in abundance like Stuttgart goal-heroes from the past.
He is much more a team player where an effective attack involving many players can be build, more than he is anykind of individual goal scoring machine.

Unfortunately for Stuttgart one integral part of such an attack would be a skilled pacy striker who could work alongside Pogrebnyak and feed off his qualities, but while they do have some young striker talent I'm not sure if they are good enough (yet at least) for Stuttgart to seriously challenge this season.
Then there is someone like Brazilian born Cacau, but I see him more as a second-striker type of player and the few times I have watched Stuttgart this season him and Pogrebnyak haven't had the best of understandings and not complemented each other very well.

A more likely recipe for success would be Stuttgart's on paper impressive core of good midfielders with at least some things to offer coming forward. They could work well with Pogrebnyak.
Khedira, Kuzmanovic and Hitzlsperger all have things to offer both ways but of course most helpful for everyone would be if Alexander Hleb would FINALLY snap out of his drought and rediscover some form.


Darijo Srna - Croatia - Shakhtar Donetsk


Srna can play both as a fullback (wingback in this case if you will) and a winger.

In neither role he is as flashy as other people on the list. As a wing, while he does have good pace, he can't dribble like a Lavezzi or Shaun Wright Phillips but compensates fully by instead being an effective hard working (up and down his flank all game long) player who is blessed with great right foot.

He uses that for high caliber crosses, dangerous set pieces or simply powerful shots on goal.

He captains his club team Shakhtar Donetsk and has had a lot of success there collecting league titles as well as most impressively last season's UEFA Cup.

Still playing where he does means I don't see him play all that much except for sometimes in European competition and internationally for Croatia. It's possible this has hurt his ranking.

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