Sunday, 16 May 2010

Top Five - Players who Enjoy a 50:50 Tackle

One of the great sights of the game is a good old-fashioned fifty, fifty tackle. A tackle where two players each have only the same chance win the ball. Some players will run a million miles to avoid the possibility of a fifty, fifty but some just love it. Here are my top five: - 
  1. Norman Hunter (Leeds United) - the Gateshead legend, Norman 'Bites Yer Legs' Hunter, was a very, very good player. Never hid from a tackle. Hunter had a reputation for giving away one or two fouls ( or three or four....), but he understood the art of  tackling  and enjoyed the defensive part of the game. His ability on the ball is often ignored. He was an excellent passer of the ball.
  2. Stuart Pearce  (Nottingham Forest) - his season for Forest after the 1990 World Cup was immense. Missing a  penalty in the semi-final shoot-out seemed to galvanise Pearce. Very good going forward.
  3. Nigel de Jong (Ajax) - Since joining Manchester City in 2009, I have been impressed with his approach to defending. For de Jong, every ball can be won. It's about commitment and technique.
  4. Bryan Robson (Manchester United) - Robson moved to Manchester United for a British record transfer fee of £1.5 million on  1981 from West Brom and continued on his mission to cut through the heart of every opponent. Strong but fair in any 50: 50, Robson became the longest serving captain in the clu'bs  history.
  5. Graeme Souness (Livepool) - The Scottish international was a top class player. One of the most focussed and driven players I have ever seen. Never shirked a 50:50 on the road to winning  three European Cup Finals. Not so good at the acting game (in the brilliant 'Boys from the Blackstuff'. Try to catch it, if you can).

Do you agree? See my other 'Top Fives' and let me know what you think.
Top Five - Wingers with No Pace
Top Five - Goal Hangers
Top Five - Short Centre Backs

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