As always, the start of the new football year provides us all with countless top player lists from all facets of the media.
Lionel Messi was deservedly crowned the best player in the world, after winning the Ballon d’or in early January. This award being the crème de la crème in individual footballing accolades, but among all these compilations there is always debate on who deserves their place.
We all say it, ‘He’s overrated!’ or ‘He isn’t that good!’, so why not give my opinion on who I feel this applies to most?
It is defined as overestimating the merits of someone we rate too highly and this certainly applies to a whole host of players.
Again the term ‘overrated’ is all based on a person’s opinion, as some people may see players differently to how other people perceive them.
Recently for example, I wrote an article looking at the effect Darren Fletchers’ absence would have on both Man Utd and Scotland.
This article divided opinion, as I rated Fletcher as one of the best midfielders in the world and a reader disagreed, citing Eric Djemba Djemba as a better Man Utd midfielder than the Scotsman.
Obviously this reader was making an attempt at humour, but he used Djemba Djemba as an extreme example to show how little he thought of Darren Fletcher.
So, I am going to give you a rundown of the players whom I think are highly rated, yet – in my opinion – do not deserve the plaudits and accolades that come their way:
Widely regarded as one of the UK’s brightest talents and half of the shoulders which carry the weight of Wales’ long term footballing ambitions, Ramsey is seen as a world class talent across the football world.
Admittedly I am no Arsene Wenger and the legendary French manager seen enough potential in Ramsey to sign him for £4.8million at the age of 17. However, I disagree with how high a regard the Welshman is held.
Since joining Arsenal he has been unable to cement a place in first team squad despite now being 21. In comparison, at the same age Cesc Fabregas was the midfield lynchpin in an Arsenal side blessed with an array of midfield options.
He has made 87 appearances in two and a half years at the Emirates, scoring 8 goals and giving 11 assists, a particularly poor statistic for a creative midfield player.
Arsenal’s away defeat to Swansea on the 15th January highlighted the Welshman’s deficiencies and also showed that when faced with a similarly talented player like Joe Allen – also a Wales international – Ramsey is unable to produce. The 21 year old gave away a penalty and also surrendered possession to Allen in the build up to Swansea’s 2nd goal on the way to that defeat.
Quite frankly, Ramsey is not a player of Arsenal calibre and I would be unsurprised if he makes a similar move to Nicklas Bendtner in a quest for a sustained run of first team football.
Manchester United’s Nani is undoubtedly blessed with magnificent talent. Quick feet, electric pace, exquisite technique in his crossing, first touch and shooting, but also blessed with an inconsistency to his game which is extremely frustrating.
Upon his arrival at Old Trafford, the former Sporting player was heralded as Cristiano Ronaldo’s successor and now after nearly 3 years without Ronaldo, he is no closer to filling his boots.
He has demonstrated his quality sparingly, especially in significant games for Utd. A lot of the time, he has either been injured, off form or not interested and his team suffer as a result of it.
Nani certainly has the potential, but so far he is not realising it at the point you would expect him to.
At 25, there should be mass worry and surprise when he is not included in a Utd squad, similar to when Rooney or Vidic are absent, however this is not the case for the Portuguese winger.
Right now I would not class him as one of the best wide players in the world, and until he wakes up and has a sustained run of good form in the Utd squad he won’t be anywhere near the best!
I have used the term overrated to describe Luiz ever since the first time I seen the Brazil defender come up against a top class striker, which on that day was Wayne Rooney.
Rooney and Utd destroyed Luiz in his first game in the Champions League for Chelsea, and I was quite dumbfounded when he was given plaudits for his performance.
That night his game was littered with silly fouls, as well as slack passing. All from a defender who had arrived on a big transfer fee and an equally big reputation.
Potential is one thing Luiz doesn’t have. He is 24 now and I feel he should be at a better level than he shows at the moment.
Unless he eradicates the petty fouling, lack of discipline and bomb scare defending he will struggle to play in front of a jailed Titus Bramble let alone Gary Cahill or an ageing John Terry.
There are a few others who have been too poor to mention. Gareth Barry is one who consistently makes England squads, yet couldn’t lace Scott Parker’s boots.
In Europe, I struggle to see the fascination with Ibrahimovic, a player who’s unsavoury and childish antics on the field always tend to overshadow his play. Again, he is undoubtedly talented but at Barcelona he failed miserably and had to return to what he knew in Italy. He is definitely not one of the best strikers in the world.
Per Mertesacker is another who has been unbelievably unconvincing since signing for Arsenal this season. I had fears that his lack of pace would be an area that opposing teams would target and this was shown against Swansea lately when Danny Graham strolled away from him before hitting their winner.
I am in no way doubting that any of these players have ability, I just don’t think they have enough.
I could be proven wrong and they go on to have outstanding careers for their club, but I won’t hold my breath!
Get in touch through twitter @beanroll with any views. Thanks.