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Four Non Top Four Players to Watch This Premier League Season

 Four Non Top Four Players to Watch This Premier League Season

As the Community Shield approaches this weekend to officially kick off another ten months of Premier League football, here are a few non big four yet solid and exciting players to watch this season. For those more interested in big four teams, watch this space for more preview posts to come before the opening weekend.

Thomas Hitzlsperger – West Ham United: No stranger to the Premier League, the German international acquired from Lazio on a free, Thomas ‘the hammer’ Hitzlesperger returns to England with his famously powerful left footed shot for Hammers supporters to admire. The midfielder who’s most comfortable shooting from outside the box left Aston Villa in 2005 as a fan favorite and will likely gain the same admiration from the Upton Park faithful early on in the season if he can find his goal scoring form in East London.

As West Ham narrowly avoided relegation last season, Hitzlsperger’s experience in the center of the pitch and goal scoring abilities will be greatly valued by West Ham fans. Owner’s Gold & Sullivan made a great move for the club by picking up ‘the Hammer’ on a free and also by appointing experienced Premier League manager Avram Grant to the helm. With new addition Grant, West Ham supporters will want to put the results of last season’s campaign to rest as soon as possible. In Hitzlsperger, West Ham fans can expect a player with the ability to score crackers from midfield and with players such as Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Frédéric Piquionne to compliment Grant’s leadership, West Ham look to be on the right path.

Jermaine Beckford – Everton: After the ‘will he, or won’t he’ saga finally ended in the favor of ‘he did’, the former Leeds United striker now has his shot in the Premier League with Everton as the recently promoted Championship side Leeds United ended up with naught for Beckford as Everton secured his services on a free transfer. Most Premier League fans will remember Beckford for his famous goal v Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup last season, and while his qualities were on display last winter in that match, it shouldn’t be over looked that he’s a complete striker who possesses a good first touch, classy footwork and strong finishing abilities.

Beckford scored goals for fun in League One, but Premier League defenders aren’t League One defenders, so Beckford will have to prove he can create space and score goals v the best in a new and challenging league. Everton are a good side that will look to avoid the slow start they experienced last campaign when the squad was riddled with injury. The Toffees have options up front such as Louis Saha and Yakubu, but Beckford will get his chance to shine. Will he grasp it?

Ben Foster – Birmingham City: Having left Manchester United with his tail between his legs, Foster now has his chance to be the #1 for City, an ambitious goal while at United, but an unlikely occurrence for the former England keeper who fell out of favor with Sir Alex Ferguson. Riddled with injury after his brilliant on loan spell at Watford, Foster languished mostly on the bench over the course of the last few years at Old Trafford behind Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak.

As Birmingham City ready for the upcoming season, they’re still coming down from cloud nine and their best finish in the league, a hard fought ninth, since 1951. Once touted as the next England #1, Foster has slipped miles behind the man he’ll be replacing at St. Mary’s and the now realistic choice as England’s best keeper, Joe Hart. Now though is Foster’s time to shine and to get his club career back on track. The international accolades will follow, if he’s worthy.

Jerome Boateng, Manchester City: Although they want a top four finish at Eastlands so bad they can taste it, the Mancunians will have to settle for Europa League football this season having come oh so close last term in finishing fifth. No strangers to picking up world class talent whenever they can, I believe it will be the quiet roll players for City that will make or break their next attempt at qualifying for the Champions League. Boateng is just that role player.

The German left back who can play any position at the back will be a vital addition to a City defense who were good without being great last season. As Manchester City look to be once again loaded in attack, Boateng can provide assistance on the wing to support attacks while holding his own as a defender. Manchester City will need solid performances from players just like Boateng to make that crunching tackle or deflection so the David Silva’s of the world can do what they do best. At 21, Boateng was one of the best young players at this summer’s World Cup for a great German side. Manchester City like Germany will hope they can get the best out of the talented defender.

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7 Responses to Four Non Top Four Players to Watch This Premier League Season

  1. SantaClaus says:

    Have to disagree about Thomas Hitzlsperger. He isn’t the same player he was when he was in the EPL a few years ago. I’ve watched him the last few years in Germany and Italy and he’s been very disappointing. Maybe West Ham can rejuvenate him and but his best years are behind him and he no longer has the ability to score crackers from midfield.

  2. andrew says:

    Charlie Adam for sure. Also missing from the list on his way with Newcastle bet on Andy Carrol. Birmingham have a good signing in zigic as well, and n’zogbia may fit into their plans if they end up getting him.

    However I’m most looking forward to watching Bent hammer in a goal every game.

  3. Bishopville Red says:

    Beckford doesn’t have a good first touch at all. In fact, it’s why he’s going to have a terrible time in the top flight. If you want to watch something special at Goodison Park, stick with Jack Rodwell.

  4. Chris McQuade says:

    Nice work, good to see an article of this nature. The presence of Beckford will be interesting as he has some established Premier-League forwards ahead of him in Yak and Saha.

    I think one very interesting player this season will be Charlie Adam, the midfield maestro of Blackpool being put up against the best in the business. He’s the key to any success Blackpool may have this year.

  5. BD says:

    Hitzlsperger – Majorly disappointing for Stuttgart. Went to Lazio and disappeared. Hammers could have done better.

    Beckford – Agree with Bishop. His first touch is not good. Also, he is up with the big boys now. I don’t see him making an impact any time soon.

    Ben Foster – Good lord, he is awful. Couldn’t hack it at United. Too many mental errors.

    Boateng – Only one of the four that could potentially make an impact. But wait….he’s at CITEH. Let the round robin begin.

  6. Sir Guy says:

    “For those more interested in big four teams, watch this space for more preview posts to come before the opening weekend.”

    Thank goodness! ;-)

  7. Charlie Adam is an exciting player, great to see him in the Prem and even if Blackpool go down like so many predict I’m sure he’ll stick around

    Being slightly biased, but I can’t wait to see Andy Carroll this season. I think the point for me last season that made me think he could really cut it in the Premiership was when he came up against Sheff Utd and Chris Morgan marked him – he didn’t look phased at all and bullied Morgan of all people all night! I just have a little worry about the relationship with Steven Taylor, Carroll did break his jaw after all haha.

    I also think Fletcher for Wolves will be interesting this season considering his hefty price tag, I do have a feeling that Fletcher and Doyle up front can work really well together!

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