David Ginola played for four Premier League clubs including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. He undoubtedly showcased his best football at Newcastle United and Spurs. The Frenchman loved being on the big stage and fans loved him. Especially women! He had flare, pizazz and personality. But he was also a great footballer.
Ginola had beautiful feet and he scored some really tasty goals when he was in his prime. He also played the game with a lot of passion and in 1999 was voted PFA Footballer of the Year while playing for Spurs. Ginola also won his only English domestic trophy with Spurs in 1999, the League Cup. Outside of English football he won the French league and cup with Paris St-Germain.
Size really doesn’t matter in football and Gianfranco Zola is proof of that. The pint-sized Italian superstar set the Premier League on fire when he arrived at Chelsea. Even non-Chelsea fans were excited to watch him dazzle on the pitch. He was just that type of player.
From 1996 to 2003, Zola entertained the fans at Stamford Bridge scoring 59 goals in 229 appearances. He helped the Blues win the F.A. Cup twice, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup and the Super Cup. In 1997 he was voted Player of the Year and he was also voted as Chelsea’s greatest ever player. His #25 shirt has not been worn by any other Chelsea player since he retired.
Peter Schmeichel was a goalkeeping gladiator. He was formidable. He was a giant. He was almost impossible to score against. Opponents feared him. United fans loved him. They knew if they had the great Dane in goal, they could beat anyone. As quickly as he would make a save, he would distribute the ball to a hungry Manchester United player and make a goal.
He played for Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle. He was captain of the England football team. He scored goals…lots of goals. He was built like a Hummer. So strong, physically and mentally. The chants were simple. The name was clear. Shearer, Shearer, Shearer.
Alan Shearer will go down as one of the greatest English strikers to have played the beautiful game. When he made a choice to leave Southampton, he decided to join Jack Walker’s revolution at Blackburn Rovers and at the time, he cost a record-breaking 3.3 million pounds. Loose change in the transfer market these days! Surprisingly, Shearer won the title with Blackburn in the 1994-95 season. He never won it again.
This week’s legend is French genius Eric Cantona. Before Arsenal played beautiful football, there was King Eric spreading the ball about the pitch as smooth as nutella on a slice of toast. He mesmerized the Old Trafford faithful with his magical feet and unbelievable passion. He made goals, he scored goals, and even created a litte bother along the way.
This week, the “Nod” goes to Arsenal and Dutch genius Dennis Bergkamp. Classy, entertaining and inspirational would best describe Sir Dennis. His magical feet wooed the Arsenal faithful for years and the rest of the world got to appreciate his talent when he played in the World Cup and European Championships.
His goal scoring show reel is absolute poetry. His touch was amazing, his finishing clinical and his attitude towards the game an example for every young professional. He was responsible for the odd dirty foul, but it didn’t overshadow his footballing brilliance. Is he the best to have played in the Premier League? Let the debate begin.