We are almost halfway through the Top 100 list which will be continued over the upcoming week and the Top 100 Players countdown today will be from 60th-51st place on our chart. Money has become even more important in football in the past year and big money takeovers and signings have shaped the way many teams positions in their respective leagues. In the Premier League there is a developing “top 6” of Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, with the latter top of the Premier League due to the investment they have gained in the last few years through Sheikh Mansour. With Qatar looking to get more involvement in football due to their hosting of the 2022 World Cup, Qatari’s took over two European clubs. One was Malaga in La Liga who are not going on the spending spree but planning to focus on youth and by buying players at market price, which should help the club in the long term future. The other club is PSG, who are top of Ligue 1 after a massive spending spree in the summer which most notably resulted in the signing of Javier Pastore. In the Russian Premier League, Suleyman Kerimov brought Anzhi Makhachkala and the Dagestan based club signed Balasz Dzsudzsak, Yury Zhirkov and most notably the Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o. Now let’s get cracking on with the countdown from 60-51.
Arsenal’s return to form has coincided with the return of centre back Thomas Vermaelen through injury as the Gunners have won 6 out of the 9 Premier League games he has played in this season. He also has gained a reputation for being a goal scorer as he has got 3 goals so far, which is better than the likes of Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov and Fernando Torres. He will be a key player for Arsenal and Belgium for years to come, providing he stays injury free.
Regarded by many as the “best player outside of Barcelona and Real Madrid” and after signing for £17.5 million pounds from Villarreal in the summer, this was regarded as the key transfer for the newly rich Andalusia based club. With 4 goals in his 16 games for his new side so far, he is hoping to show more of the goal scoring and creative ability that he is renowned for and if he does that, he will definitely be on the plane to Euro 2012.
58-Marco Reus—Borussia Monchengladbach—Germany—Midfielder
Monchengladbach’s rise from being in last season’s relegation play off to challenging for the title has been in no part to the form of winger Marco Reus, with the winger getting 10 goals in 15 games this season. He has attracted the interest of Bayern Munich and Manchester City, with the latter saying “He is one of the most talented players in Germany and we have often watched him.” This shows that the young Germany international has a big future ahead of him.
The Uruguay captain helped his side to a victorious 15th Copa America title and his defensive stability and experience helped his side to remain strong at the back while helping an inexperienced backline to stay calm. He also somehow won the tournament’s fair play award despite being notorious for his temperament which has seen him get 4 bookings so far this season for PSG in 6 matches. At the age of 21, he hopes to remain a key part of the Uruguay and PSG team’s for the next few years.
56-Phil Jones—Manchester United—England—Defender
When Fabio Capello voluntarily hands out praise, he has either taken the wrong pills or has seen something special. Phil Jones definitely fits into the latter and his versatility has seen him been played at centre back and centre midfield predominantly. Despite all the hype, the youngster has kept himself grounding and said “It’s nice to hear people talking about me being England captain one day … But I need to keep my feet on the ground and firstly play well for Manchester United.”
55-Scott Parker—Tottenham Hotspur—England—Midfielder
The transfer genius that is Harry Redknapp made another masterstroke by signing central midfielder Scott Parker for £5.5 million pounds from West Ham. He was named the Football Writer’s Association’s Player of the year despite his side finishing bottom of the Premier League. Parker has also made his mark on the England side and won the man of the match award in the historic victory over Spain. There is no doubt that Tottenham would be a worse side without him.
54-Ashley Young—Manchester United—England—Midfielder
The speedy winger made an instant impact at Manchester United after signing from Aston Villa after some stunning displays early on in the season, especially in the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal. Some could argue he has lost his way a bit since but he has the quality to regain that form. England are also seeing the best of winger and has scored four international goals in 2011 against Denmark, Switzerland, Wales and Montenegro.
53-Samuel Eto’o—Anzhi Makhachkala—Russia—Striker
Many people criticized the Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o for moving from Inter Milan to Anzhi Makhachkala for money but he is a sign of showing that the league will become a big force in years to come. With 8 goals and 3 assists in 11 games, there is no doubt that the striker will improve that record in the Champions Group of the Russian Premier League. He is still held in regard by both Barcelona and Inter Milan fans due to his work and many goals for both sides.
52-Yohan Cabaye—Newcastle United—France—Midfielder
Leaving Ligue 1 champions Lille for Newcastle United could have proven disastrous but it has turned out to be the opposite. He has arguably been the Geordie club’s best player this season and his playmaking ability has been second to none. Former Newcastle and France winger Laurent Robert said of Cabaye “I spoke to him and he really likes it at Newcastle. He knows the fans like him.”
Even though the Ivory Coast star got sent off on his debut against Newcastle, many people see him as the reason behind Robin Van Persie’s recent good run of form. His creativity, passing and finishing ability make him seem like the ideal Arsenal player. Gervinho was also a key part of Lille’s title win with 15 goals and 10 asists in 35 games. The only side of his game he needs to improve is to always pick the best option and to be less selfish at times.
Thanks for reading the Top 100 so far from the players ranked 60th-51st on the list. We are halfway through on the rankings and we go into the top 50. Please comment on what you think so far and if you think some players are being underrated or perhaps the opposite, tell me what you think. I will continue the rankings after the Christmas period so I wish you a merry Christmas.
Also, can you sign this petition to help Barnet FC stay at Underhill for the foreseeable future as they have been told by the Football League they can’t stay there next season due to Barnet Council’s pathetic stipulations and hypocrisy. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/keeping-barnet-fc-at-underhill/