Four Top Four Players to Watch This Premier League Season

Marouane Chamakh Arsenal 2010/11 Arsenal V Celtic (3-2) 01/08/10 The Emirates Cup 2010 Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

After a long, hot summer filled with plenty of football, we now stand between what’s left of the work week before the Premier League returns with guns blazing, before Arsenal look like world beaters for four months on all those pristine green pitches before the weather turns, and before your least favorite post, Premier League Footballer of the Week returns with an unabashed arrival.

If you’re an Arsenal fan or don’t understand self-deprecating humor, then you’ve probably already stopped reading. If you have a sense of humor and a halfway open mind, here are four top four players I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on (and why) this season for one reason or another. Liverpool fans, maybe next time.

Daniel Sturridge – Chelsea: Having joined Chelsea from Manchester City in 2009, Sturridge looks set to have a break through season at Stamford Bridge after impressing last season for Chelsea in the FA Cup and more recently in the FA Community Shield v Manchester United last Sunday. Upon his arrival in the Community Shield, Sturridge injected pace into Chelsea’s attack with his probing runs, movement and positioning in front of goal, a welcome arrival to a stuttering Chelsea attack.

Although he’s still struggling with a niggling ankle injury that kept him from appearing for the Blues on their recent pre season trip to Germany, the England U21 insists he’s constantly improving. The talented Sturridge still has work to do to break into the first team at Chelsea. At only 20, Sturridge has Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in front of him in the Chelsea pecking order. But if he can take his early chances and impress Carlo Ancelotti, Sturridge could have the break out season his potential says he can have. If he fails to impress right off the bat, he’ll likely be relegated to Cup duty but could still be one for the future.

David Bentley – Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs look set to build upon their fantastic season last year as they’re favored to advance to the Champions League group stages for the first time in the club’s history. As Gareth Bale last season made more than good on his potential, another young Spur hopes to do the same. Arguably yet to really break through into regular first team action at Tottenham, Bentley had shown flashes of brilliant play for the past two seasons, but has equally showed some dull moments in attack.

As Spurs approach a season where they’ll potentially have an extra load of Champions League fixtures, Harry Redknapp will have to use the majority of his squad to assure Spurs don’t burn out or neglect other competitions. Used to playing second fiddle to Aaron Lennon on the right wing, Bentley will get his chance to re-gain a starting spot and to impress for Spurs in the upcoming and most important of seasons.

Marouane Chamakh – Arsenal: The silky smooth French striker (but playing internationally for Morocco) acquired from Bordeaux will be a welcome addition to Arsene Wenger’s squad as Arsenal look to capture some silverware this season. Upon hearing about Chamakh’s move to Arsenal some months ago, I immediately realized the 26 year old could potentially be that piece up front that Arsenal have lacked in seasons past. Whether through injury to Robin van Persie, the inconsistency of Niklas Bendtner, or the massive hole left upon the departure of Thierry Henry, Arsenal have lacked a consistent goal scorer not named Fabregas over the past few seasons.

Equally as good with his right foot or with his head, Chamakh will score goals for Arsenal this season. He’s just come off a sub-par campaign in Ligue 1 finishing sixth with Bordeaux but also helped Les Girondins finish first in their group and reach the quarter finals of the Champions League. Chamakh has recently stated he ‘already plays the Arsenal way’ and that his move to the Gunners was a ‘dream’. Also dreaming: Arsenal fans hoping Chamakh will come good and help bring trophies to the Emirates. Chamakh, sure to impress.

Paul Scholes/Ryan Giggs – Manchester United: As young players and new additions to the Premier League such as Daniel Sturridge and Marouane Chamakh (respectively) interest me, so too do the old guard, the experienced, and the living legends of the Premier League tractor beam my peering eyes to their performance.

Not much really needs to be written about the brilliance and timelessness of Scholes and Giggs that hasn’t been written before. As fans loose track of and attempt to count just how many seasons the dynamic duo has represented United at the senior level, the talented midfielders quietly go about their business. Training, acquiring match fitness, already a sharp knife, Giggs and Scholes will ready themselves for yet another campaign and look set to methodically use their skills on the pitch: spreading the ball with accurate passes, linking with forward players, scoring important goals and leading the team by example.

Just how much longer can the two effictively push on is yet to be known. What is known is that until the two hang up their boots, they’ll impress United fans by keeping them on their toes wondering what they’ll come up with next.

29 thoughts on “Four Top Four Players to Watch This Premier League Season”

  1. Interesting choices. 5 players, though, isn’t it Jesse? One short in your title there.

    Sturridge – can’t see him making the grade at a top 5 club based on performances so far. With all the talk of England’s youth, he’s never mentioned at all. So I hope he comes good.

    Chamakh – will be interesting to see how Wenger uses him – central up top with RVP and Arshavin wide, maybe. Or is he battling RVP for the 1 in the 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1?

    By the way, he hasn’t just come off a title winning season with Bordeaux – he’s just come off a disappointing out-of-the-Euro-league places finish. The Ligue 1 title was in 2009.

    Giggs and Scholes – will be very surprised if they each play as many games as last term. Great players though…

    Bentley – needs to get career back on track – again could be one for England but needs to get playing time and form back.


  2. I am an Arsenal fan (have to add that disclaimer) but Chamakh is this year’s Vermaelen for Wenger. As you said Jesse, he is the creative tall scorer that Arsenal has lacked the past few years and he will really spearhead the Arsenal attack.

    Now if we only had a keeper……..

      1. Fellas,

        Think of it this way: The reason I’m watching Bentley is because of the very reason you’re making fun of him. He came to Spurs with a pretty big reputation and a lot of potential that he hasn’t lived up to.

        If you read what I actually wrote about him you’d have known that I’m watching him because now, more than ever, he needs to prove his worth to Spurs.

        I’m not just picking all the best players from these teams, but players that interest me for one reason or another.

        1. I’m a Spurs fan, and Bentley doesn’t interest me at all. If I had to pick someone to break out or who is interesting this season, it’d be Dos Santos all day over Bentley. This pick makes no sense.

          Spurs season will not hinge on the success or failure of Bentley. And if it does, God help us.

  3. 10 Players, Stock Rising:

    Adam Johnson
    Samir Nasri
    Jack Rodwell
    Lee Cattermole
    David N’Gog
    Daniel Sturridge
    Gary Cahill
    Gabriel Agbonlahor
    Michael Dawson

    10 Players, Stock Falling (this might hurt):

    John Terry
    Steven Gerrard
    John Carew
    Jonathan Woodgate
    Kevin Davies
    Emmanuel Adebayor
    Gary Neville
    Andy Johnson
    Brad Friedel
    Gareth Barry

      1. Bale was in outstanding form as a left-sided midfielder for Spurs last season, but ‘Arry has intimated that he may play at left-back some more this campaign. Plainly speaking, I don’t think he’s effective as a defender. Outstanding player who’s receiving plenty of justified praise.

    1. After watching the World Cup and the Community Shield I now wish we had sold JT to ManCity last year for $$. I want to see Michael Mancienne and Branislav Ivanovic teamed up as center backs with Bosingaw and Cole as the right and left backs.

        1. That is good too. I always thought that Bruma was a right back because that was the only place I saw him get a chance play with the first team.

          1. Yep, Bruma plays CB for the Reserves. With Carvalho gone, Bruma and Mancienne may get more playing time this season.

  4. Chamakh is a guy I have followed since he was linked to West Ham last season… he seems a bit too much like Nasri… And does he really score goals? Last year he had only 10 in Ligue 1 starting 32 matches.. Seems yet another undersized forward for the Gooners…

    Daniel Sturridge … may be the next great English forward… but he will for sure he as hated as Ashley Cole… They guy is just an unlikable prick. Talk is he may get loaned out if CFC picks up a few last minute players.

    which leads nicely to David Bentley… I watched the entire NY Football classic and don’t remember Bentley once. In fact I don’t remember him playing since???? 2008. Will he even make the 25 man PL squad?

    Giggs… I love watching him play. The ageless wonder just seems to know where the ‘spots’ will be…

    Scholes never liked the way he plays the game, and doesn’t fit in Giggs boots nor will he ever. He will break down quickly and it may be this season.

    my player to watch, Nikola Zigic. Croutch with skill and pace.

    1. “Scholes never liked the way he plays the game, and doesn’t fit in Giggs boots nor will he ever. He will break down quickly and it may be this season.” Everything about this statement is either vague, erroneous or speculative.

      1. What is erroneous or vague about the fact that he is a documented hard tackler best suited for Bolton? Or that he isn’t half the person Giggs is… Or that he is aging faster then Giggs and this could be the year he breaks down. I think we all get force feed enough Man U to make these observations. Scholes took a ton of late tackles in the friendlies. Was beaten to many a ball by lesser skilled players, Whilst Giggs used his instincts to make up for the loss in pace.

        Believe it or not Paul Scholes isn’t very well liked outside of certain parts of Manchester and Essex. ( that’s a joke about Man U fans if you don’t get it sorry…)

        as for it being speculation. well of course it is… I sadly can’t see the future.

        1. Honestly, I don’t think Fergie has ever considered his tackling an asset. He is fiery and quite often that turns into poor tackling. But if I had to chose someone to score a goal in one touch, I choose Scholes over Giggs any day of the week. Sure, Giggs is a better all-around player than Scholes, but saying Scholes is nowhere near the caliber of Giggsy just goes to show how little you have seen of the prem and the CL in the last 15 years.

          1. I’m not gonna be drawn into who is better overall. My point is that Giggs in his old age understands space and where to go to get the ball. The ginger is a ramrod. I’m no Man U fan… And I will freely admit my dislike for Paul Scholes.

            If you had Giggs or Scholes at 20 to build a team, you’d have to take Giggs… He is a leader, great on the training pitch, great with the youths, great with the huge egos in a dressing room. Great for levity. that and I hate Scholes.

  5. Chamakh not gùd enough to help arsenal.wenger’s squad now lacks a potent strike force.If this current team is maintained with better inclusions upfront,defensively é diaby at è middle we hàv ‘invincibles 2’.

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