Rabu, 30 Oktober 2013

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Top Ten Players Waiting For The Window

We're only two months into the season but with some players used less than Gareth Bale's right boot, here's a top ten list of those holding out for the January window.

10. Chris Brunt

As a non-West Brom/Norn Iron fan, when I think of Chris Brunt I think of penalties being leathered naughtily hard. And I think of someone that can cross the ball surprisingly well.

What doesn't spring to mind, and therefore causes some surprise, is that Brunt has started just one Premier League game for the Baggies this season, playing 120 minutes all season. At 28, he must surely be looking for first-team football.

9. Mark Albrighton

"I am sure the way he is playing, England won't be too far away." One of the great sporting predictions from Stewart Downing when discussing then teammate Mark Albrighton in December 2010.

That said, there was genuine excitement when the young winger showed that having both pace and crossing ability was not mutually exclusive during his early Aston Villa forays. Albrighton suffered a broken foot on two separate occasions last season, and now finds himself on the periphery at Villa Park.

"If something comes up and I think it's right I'll look at it. If I don't he'll stay here," was the honest September assessment from manager Paul Lambert. A loan move to the Championship would seem perfectly logical. Leicester, perhaps?

8. Hugo Rodallega

It may not exactly be a high-profile demise but the deterioration of Hugo Rodallega's form has been alarming over the last few seasons. His first two-and-a-half seasons in England brought 22 goals in 89 league games for a perennially struggling Wigan side, but since the beginning of 2011/12 the Colombian has averaged a goal every 11 PL appearances.

In the middle of such a drought was a free transfer move to Fulham , but 15 months and three goals later, Rodallega rightly stands behind Darren Bent, Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz in the Craven Cottage striker queue. Now 28, Rodallega may consider it time to cut his losses on these shores.

7. Ryan Bertrand

Already the subject of a Bavarian quiz question - die Fussballer spielte fur Chelsea auf der linken seite im mittelfeld in die 2012 Champions-League-Finale? - Bertrand is rather suffering from Bainesitis, a nasty disease caused by the presence of an immovable Ashley Cole.

Never realistically going to make the left-back spot his own at Chelsea (largely because he's not good enough), a January loan move to a lower Premier League club may prove to be the solution. Sunderland? Fulham? Or another struggler.

6. Johnny Heitinga

"I took a risk by staying at Everton," Dutch defender/midfielder/World Cup kung-fu kicker Heitinga admitted last month after choosing to sign a new one-year deal at Goodison.

"At the moment I'm not in contention to be selected," the Dutchman continued. "Roberto Martinez has said Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin are his first-choice central defenders."

"It is good to have clarity. Maybe something will happen for me in January."

Sometimes this sh*t just writes itself. Cheers Johnny.

5. Gaston Ramirez

The tactical changes that Mauricio Pochettino has made at Southampton to instigate startling early season success, and one of the conclusions drawn is that a high pressing game without the ball and a propensity to look direct left little room for a luxury trequartista in the Ramirez mould, especially when the South Coast is yet to see the best of the Uruguayan.

Uruguay scraped through World Cup qualification for Brazil, but if Ramirez is to play a significant part next summer he will need to considerably increase his 73 minutes of league action so far this season. Without an international start in seven competitive games since the 8-0 win over Tahiti at the Confederations Cup, Ramirez really needs a fresh start. A January move to Italy or Spain could beckon.

4. Emmanuel Adebayor 
Before we start, let us remember that the selection criteria for this is 'need' rather than 'want', for one suspects that Adebayor is pretty content to lounge around for his £100,000 a week (that's infinity pounds per minute of action this season).

Here's the thing: Adebayor is a fine striker when in the mood. He's a menace, he holds the ball up wonderfully and he can volley it like a tracer missile. He scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid two years ago - but that now feels like it was in a previous generation.

So please, Emmanuel....EMMANUEL take your headphones out and listen... leave. Leave Tottenham, leave London and leave England. Go to Spain or France and score some goals. Make us fall in love with you again.

3. Joleon Lescott 
The choice of both Javi Garcia and Martin Demichelis in central defence were both daggers in the heart of Lescott's City career and, having been dropped from Roy Hodgson's England set-up, one suspects that the time has come to move on. It's amazing that the centre back made 30 starts during a title-winning Premier League season in which City conceded just 29 goals.

The issue for Lescott is that any route out of Eastlands looks tricky given the inadequate supplementing of City's backline in the summer, particularly after Vincent Kompany's upper legs seem to be currently fashioned out of balsa wood. A move to Newcastle or back to Everton would make a degree of sense, but there is the small roadblock of £90,000 a week wages to consider. Something has to give.

2. Wilfried Zaha

You've been signed for £12million by one the all-time great managers for one of England's all-time great clubs, having already made your international debut two months earlier whilst in the second tier. The footballing world, you'd have thought, is your oyster.

Fast forward nine months and all is not well in Wilfried's World (I'll do the titles, you write the sitcoms). The winger has not played a single minute in the Premier League, Champions League or Capital One Cup, which was completely unthinkable after his Community Shield performance in August.

"I've said if I couldn't get him a game I would look at it in January," said David Moyes. "There are a lot of players to give some playing time to. Unfortunately we've not been able to do that with Wilf. If I can't do a lot for him by January then I will look at it." A loan move would make sense for all parties.

1. Thomas Vermaelen

Now is not really the time to be Belgian and out of your club's first team plans, and Thomas Vermaelen is very much both of those. With his country having emphatically qualified for their first international tournament since 2002, a year ago Vermaelen would have been a shoo-in for a place on the plane to Brazil. But no longer.

Still Arsenal's captain, Tommy V recently admitted his frustration at sitting on the bench, but the performances of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker leave Arsene Wenger with little choice. If it ain't broke don't fix it is the mantra, and the Gunners are currently in the rudest of rude healths.

Wenger has rubbished reports that the defender could join Inter in January, but with a World Cup fast approaching, the manager's opinion may not be wholly shared by his captain.

source: http://www.football365.com/topical-top-10/8996614/Top-Ten

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