100 Greatest Premiership Players, 60-51 continuedâ€¦
60 MARK VIDUKA
(Leeds Utd 2000-04, Middlesbrough 2004-)
When he’s shit, he’s very, very shit, but when he’s good, he’s simply unstoppable. In his first season at Elland Road he scored an impressive 22 goals, including all four in a famous 4-3 win over Liverpool. Pity he hasn’t been able to have a few more days like that, because we all know he has the talent to make any defence look foolish.
59 EIDUR GUDJOHNSEN
(Bolton Wanderers 1998-2000, Chelsea 2000-06)
Lovely blonde Eidur. He’s the sort of footballer you could happily bring home to meet your mother. Bolton fans loved him and they’ll never forgive Chelsea for snatching him away from the north-west. Jose Mourinho once labelled him ‘the blonde Maradona’, which is a typical Jose exaggeration, but indicative of the high esteem in which the Icelander was held. Gudjohnsen is one of the most intelligent footballers to play in the Premiership and I can’t understand why Chelsea let him go to Barcelona.
58 DENNIS WISE
(Chelsea 1992-2001, Leicester City 2001-02)
If you could take Eidur Gudjohnsen home to your mother, then the opposite is true of Wisey. He is a player fans love to hate. On the pitch he was a nasty piece of work; off the pitch he wasn’t too clever either â€“ he was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver in 1995 and then broke Leicester team-mate Callum Davidson’s jaw with a punch on a pre-season tour of Finland in 2002. So he had his problems. We shouldn’t forget, though, that he was also a very good central midfielder: combative, committed and a fine passer of the ball too. And he scored more than 50 goals for Chelsea (in all competitions). The little shit.
57 LEE SHARPE
(Man Utd 1992-96, Leeds Utd 1996-99)
Lee Sharpe brought a touch of Beckhamesque glamour to the Premiership, way before anyone had even heard of Becks. Sharpey was a winger with a swagger, a twinkle in his eye and one of the great goal celebrations of our time â€“ that hip-shaking dance by the corner flag. He’s now more famous for his love-rat antics on ITV’s Celebrity Love Island, but we remember him as one of the Prem’s great lost wingers.
56 GARY McALLISTER
(Leeds Utd 1992-96, Coventry City 1996-2000, Liverpool 2000-02)
In 19 years as a professional, McAllister won just two medals â€“ a Scottish Division One league title with Motherwell in 1985 and the Division One league title with Leeds in 1992 (the last season before the start of the Premier League). Then he went to Liverpool and he couldn’t stop winning trophies: he was an integral part of the Liverpool squad which won the 2001 Worthington Cup, 2001 FA Cup, 2001 Uefa Cup, 2001 Charity Shield and 2001 European Super Cup. Five trophies in one calendar year! And he was in his mid-thirties at the time. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.
55 GARETH SOUTHGATE
(Crystal Palace 1992-95, Aston Villa 1995-2001, Middlesbrough 2001-06)
One of the most cultured central defenders England has ever produced â€“ he never relied on brute force or dirty tricks to get the better of an opponent. He looks like he could turn into a pretty decent manager too. Never ask him to take a penalty thoughâ€¦
54 COLIN HENDRY
(Blackburn Rovers 1992-98, Bolton Wanderers 2001-03)
Hendry, a Bravehearted Scot with very bad hair, was the cornerstone of Blackburn’s defence when they won the Premiership title in 1994/95. He was a big, tough bastard and didn’t think twice about putting his body on the line to stop the opposition scoring. Did you know that he started his career as a a striker but was converted into a defender at Ewood? We didn’t. True though.
53 PETER BEARDSLEY
(Everton 1992-93, Newcastle Utd 1993-97, Bolton Wanderers 1997-98)
Peter Beardsley makes Colin Hendry look like Brad Pitt, but he was a hell of a player. Most of his best years were spent playing in Division One for Newcastle (his first spell with the club, 1983-87) and Liverpool, otherwise he would have been much higher up the list. Here’s a compilation of him in action for Newcastle, to remind you just how good he wasâ€¦
52 STEVE BOULD
(Arsenal 1992-99, Sunderland 1999-2000)
Bould will never be thought of quite as highly as team-mates Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams (although some Arsenal fans may disagree with that statement), with whom he formed a formidable defence â€“ probably the Premiership’s finest ever back four â€“ but that’s not to say he wasn’t a brilliant defender. Very hard man, too.
51 DAVID SEAMAN
(Arsenal 1992-2003, Man City 2003-04)
Ah, Safe Hands. There are a few comical moments in Seaman’s career that we’ll never forget: Nayim’s lob against Arsenal in the 1995 Cup Winner’s Cup final, Ronaldinho’s lob against England at the 2002 World Cup, his unforgivable stint as a celebrity ice dancer. Shame these are all negative memories, because on his day â€“ and he was pretty consistent â€“ Seaman was the best goalkeeper England produced since Peter Shilton. We forget the many stunning saves he made. That said, let’s all laugh at the Nayim lob once more. Arsenal fans look away nowâ€¦