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BBC Sport readers vote two Newcastle United stars in top 10 best ‘non-big six’ Premier League players

2 years ago

BBC Sport have been looking at the best ever players in the Premier League era, who never played for a ‘big six’ club.

For the avoidance of doubt, they stated that the ‘big six’ definition (for the time being…) meant Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

BBC Sport came up with a shortlist and asked their readers to rate them, now they have published the results of the voting.

Gary Shearer, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have also discussed the 10 shortlisted players on Match of The Day and some of their comments feature in the BBC Sport article.

Presumably Shearer himself was left out of the list due to the fact he is the greatest goalscorer and player of the PL era, including ‘big six’ players, little point having him in a poll for just non ‘big six’ club players.

At the top end I think the leading pair deserve to be there, although I would possibly have had Jamie Vardy first and Matt le Tissier second, instead of the other way around.

Former Newcastle midfielder David Batty is number 10, whilst Gary Speed is voted fifth, I think I would have had Speed higher than Paolo Di Canio.

To be honest, I think if I was looking at Newcastle players who should have made the shortlist, I would have had Robert Lee at the very top, ahead of David Batty and Gary Speed. Lee is still underrated I think by non-NUFC fans.

Ian Wright says about Gary Speed: ‘I can’t believe he didn’t move to a club in the top six’, well when he was at Newcastle he WAS playing for a club in the top six under Sir Bobby Robson.

BBC Sport top 10 ‘non-big six’ players, the write-ups on the two former NUFC players and then the full top 10 in order of voting.

10. David Batty (midfielder)

Clubs: Leeds United (1987-1993, 1998-2004), Blackburn Rovers (1993-1996), Newcastle United (1996-1998)

Honours: Premier League, old First Division

Alan Shearer: “He was last into training and first away. He used to come in his kit and was already driving away by the time the forwards finished their extra shooting session. In terms of loving the game, I’m not sure. But he was a fierce competitor and came back from a serious injury. He was very good on the ball and was an excellent passer.”

Ian Wright: “I loved him. Did he love football deep down? I’m not sure. He was always very cool. He hardly spoke and was somebody who, if that ball was there to be won, would win it no matter what.”

5. Gary Speed (midfielder)

Clubs: Leeds United (1988-1996), Everton (1996-1998), Newcastle United (1998-2004), Bolton Wanderers (2004-2008), Sheffield United (2008-2010)

Honours: Old First Division

Ian Wright: “Nobody could stay with him when he moved out of that midfield to help the front men. I’ve never seen anyone leap as high as him either. I can’t believe he didn’t move to a club in the top six. He was more than good enough to play for them.”

The top 10 in reverse order as chosen by BBC Sport readers:

10. David Batty (midfielder)

9. Gareth Southgate (defender/midfielder)

8. Tim Cahill (striker)

7. Kevin Phillips (striker)

6. Jay-Jay Okocha (midfielder)

5. Gary Speed (midfielder)

4. Juninho (midfielder)

3. Paolo Di Canio (striker)

2. Jamie Vardy (striker)

1. Matt Le Tissier (midfielder)


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