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An article praising JT

sweet waffle
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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I think we have reached a point with JT now that even the most churlish and pig headed fans of other teams grudgingly accept that JT is the best centre half in the country. There is still the occasional Utd fan who laughably thinks Rio is better (or just won't admit he isn't) and most of the Scousers who, even more laughably, used to claim Carragher was better have now seen sense. The only real competition to JT is Gallas and I would acknowledge that he may be the one player who could challenge JT (certainly in terms of technical ability, not in terms of leadership etc)

This got me thinking. What other players in the league would you say now command this kind of acknowledgement - i.e. players where all fans, albeit grudgingly, would accept they are the undisputed best in their role.

For me I would say Chelsea have three - JT, Cech and Maka for centre half, keeper, and purely defensive midfielder.

Man Utd I would say Ronaldo as right winger and Rooney as support striker.

Arsenal would have Henry as main striker. Yes I know some on here will claim this season by Drogs means Henry is no longer undisputed as the best in the league but I think he would need to be scoring regularly for longer - Henry has been doing it for seasons.

Other than that I struggle to name anyone. Liverpool may claim Gerrard, but we would dispute that with Lamps and Essien and Man Utd would justifiably throw Scholes name into the mix as well. (OK I know Essien is a slightly different type of midfielder but I think this is the group he is most comparable to).

Utd fans may throw Giggs name in as left winger however I wouldn't say that he is the best to such an extenet that it is not disputable. If we could keep Robben fit for any length of time then he would be a contender and a fit Joe Cole would certainly be in the running.

Any thoughts? (remembering I am not saying 'Who do you think is the best? - more 'Who do you think is widely acknowledged as the best?')

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and I would bet Man Utd fans would say Neville is every bit as good as Finnan.

and Gooners who would say that whend deployed as a right back Kolo Toure is also comparable (personally I wouldn't go along with that, Toure is best in the centre)

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I honestly believe JT is underrated. Yes he's England captain and captain of the Champions and regularly gets lavish praise for his leadership and commitment, but it's pretty obvious to me that these qualities - which he possesses in abundance and on their own make him a worthy skipper of the national side and most successful club - make observers blind to his superb footballing skills.

He is a superb passer of the ball. Not just in terms of accuracy, but in terms of judgement. He sets up so many moves by his calmness and skill on the ball, and so rarely plays the side into trouble. Gallas is a phenomenal defender but he is not a patch on JT when in possession. His disciplinary record is excellent, as his his goal scoring. He is a truly exceptional player. If he has a weakness it is that he can be done for pace (ditto Bobby Moore), but it is a tribute to his footballing brain and skills that this happens about twice a season.

The total sh!te posted in those replies just confirms how deep the hostility is to us as a club and how it destroys any kind of balanced judgement. This is of course as true of full time journos as it is of inane posters on web forums.

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