Every club has their star players: Tottenham Hotspur have Harry Kane now, and Gareth Bale before that. Manchester United have Paul Pogba, but before him there was Cristiano Ronaldo. Liverpool now have Philippe Coutinho, who has taken over the mantle from Steven Gerrard as the Reds’ star man. However, it’s the players around the superstars, the ones that make things possible, who deserve a bit of recognition now and then.
The players that deserved more credit, but sadly slink out of the back door into the footballing abyss, confined to being a mere footnote of the beautiful game’s history. And Liverpool have had more than their fair share of unsung heroes, for every Luis Suarez there’s a Lucas Leiva.
Of course in football, players are often judged from a fairly narrow-minded view; if you’re in attack, you’re judged on goals, if you’re a defender, you’re judged on dominating opposing strikers.
This way of judging players can lead to fairly skewed ratings of players. Particularly for players like Emile Heskey and Djibril Cisse, who may not have scored as many goals as an Aguero or Suarez, but their physical style of play caused havoc for defences. It’s not all about scoring (unless you only watch Match of the Day highlights), so there needs to be more appreciation towards players who are pivotal in the build up to goals. As well as some for players who excelled at other areas of the game – such as creating space for other players or maintaining possession.
Effectively, fans need to look at the bigger picture. Not every player will come in and be up there with the league’s best, but if they’re doing their job well, regardless of how small, they shouldn’t be overlooked.