Since the Premier League began in 1992, we have enjoyed watching some of the world’s greatest footballers in England. Here I look at the greatest players to have played in the Premiership, but never won the title.
And before Liverpool fans go mad, Steven Gerrard has been omitted because he has not yet retired and could still lay his hands on the big prize, if Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton all get into financial trouble and get relegated by the FA.
David James was not immune to the odd clanger and earned the unfortunate nickname of “Calamity James”. However, he did play for several big clubs and was a consistent performer throughout his career, spending nearly two decade in the top flight.
Lets be honest, how many great right-backs have there been in the Premier League? Dan Petrescu gets the nod for the least glamourous starting position. He had a spell with Sheffield Wednesday before joining Chelsea’s flair team of the late nineties and his technique on the ball and attacking adventure fitted in well alongside the likes of Poyet and Zola.
Stuart Pearce, known as “Psycho”, would surely have won a Premier League title had he joined Man Utd in the early nineties. But he chose to stay with his beloved Nottingham Forest where he earned cult status with the club’s supporters before leaving for Newcastle after ten years at the City Ground.
Sami Hyypiä spent ten years playing for Liverpool where he won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League. An outstanding defender and organiser at the back, Hyypia was always a favourite of the Kopites and was team captain from 2001-2003. But he couldn’t lead the team to the Premier League, twice finishing as runners-up.
Desailly won the biggest prizes in world football after lifting the World Cup with France and the Champions League with AC Milan. A genuine world class player, Desailly arrived at Chelsea just a few years too early when their ambitions were limited to qualifying for the Champions League as opposed to winning the title.
Hamann was a consistent performer for Liverpool for over seven years, anchoring the midfield to allow his team mates the freedom to get forward. He also possessed a fierce shot and was the last player to score at the old Wembley stadium in a 1-0 victory for Germany over England. Hamann won almost every trophy during his time at Anfield but the league title was always a step to far for Hamann and his team.