Great managers have always stressed on the importance of quality players who can change the game on its head by just a touch of the ball. They have always believed it is the execution the plans and strategies on the pitch which eventually decides the fate of the match after a gripping and excruciating ninety minutes. Today, in this section, we take a look of some of the most hard-working players in the EPL in the last 5 years. These players work their socks off with their tireless commitment for the team. As football fans and lovers of the game, we sometimes fail to realize their sheer grit and determination to put in a shift week in and week out with a smile on their face. Hence, we look at some of the characters who put in 200% effort with perseverance and passion for their club colours.
Ramires (Chelsea): One of the unsung heroes of Chelsea’s Champions league triumph last season, Ramires had secretly been Roberto Di Matteo’s trump card whenever needed. His fitness levels have been a revelation for the EPL and the world alike and it’s for everyone to see. Whether it’s making runs in to the opposition penalty area or helping his team in defence, he has always been there for the West Londoners since his arrival from Benfica in the summer of 2010. Though he doesn’t make defence-splitting passes like other Brazilians, he makes it up with his hard working displays and what’s more, he scores goals as well.
Scott Parker (Tottenham): You don’t get named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year if you haven’t allowed your boots do the talking. Hence, it’s no surprise that Parker won the award in 2011. Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp had termed him “an engine”, given his industrious displays for the London outfit. His never-say-die attitude, coupled with the enormous stamina that he possesses, makes him an asset for any side. His fearless and gutsy challenges and the ability to throw himself in front of the ball make him a genuine contender to feature in our list.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United): If there was ever an epitome for commitment, Wayne Rooney would be right there challenging for a spot at the top of the charts. His ability to spot a pass from anywhere on the pitch, his vision and powerful shooting have been United’s driving force in recent years. Though he lets his frustration get the better of him sometimes and loses his cool, he has always been a team man and his unselfish displays come as no surprise. He doesn’t like getting substituted, and his disappointment at not hitting the back of the net speak volumes of his commitment. A top contender if there was ever one.
Park Ji Sung (QPR, formerly Manchester United): Rarely has an Asian made an impact like this guy. From being dubbed as a player signed to sell shirts in Asia, Park Ji Sung worked his socks off whenever called on to do so by Alex Ferguson, and eventually became a big-game player. Four league titles for United speak a lot about his tremendous hard-working abilities. Would any Manchester United fan forget his diving header against arch rivals Liverpool which gave them 3 points in such a close match?
Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbache, formerly Liverpool): Though this Dutchman was signed as a striker, Dirk Kuyt won accolades from all over the football fraternity for his work rate and being a team man. His ability to hold the ball high up the pitch and bring others into play, coupled with his tracking back runs to help out the defence, would be everything a manager dreams of from a player. He runs, runs and runs for his team’s sake until the last minute, which makes him an asset for any team in the world. Thus it comes to no surprise that former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez heaped praise on Kuyt’s commitment to the club. Surely this Dutchman tops our list. There can’t be any arguments.
These are what we feel should be the top 5 most hard-working players in the EPL over the last five years. However we have some honourable mentions as follows:
Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
Gael Clichy (Manchester City, formerly Arsenal)
Phil Neville (Everton)
Maroune Fellaini (Everton)