There is a select list of players throughout football history who have either been so revolutionary or so influential (or both) that they inevitably have a “role” named after them. The Premiership has been the lucky beneficiary of the “Cantona role”, “Bergkamp role” and most recently “Makelele” role.
CaughtOffside writer Craig takes a look at a few more of the latest Premiership stars to define a position unto themselves, and we certainly want to hear your own suggestions:
Claude Makelele role (Chelsea)â€“ Ok we said forget about him, but he has to kick things off. Nobody plays defensive midfield like him. You can always rely on him to be sitting in front of the Chelsea defence and sweeping up every single opposition attack. Usually doesnâ€™t go forward much â€“ but earlier this season he got a rush of blood to the head and did this. His importance is underlined by the fact that Real Madrid have not won a single trophy since he was sold in 2003 for having the audacity to ask for similar wages to Zidane, Figo etc.
Steven Gerrard role (Liverpool) â€“ Central midfield? Right midfield? Second Striker? Right Back? You can play anywhere but in goal and still be playing the ‘Gerrard role’. Immense success is a must – he is the only player to have scored in the finals of the Championsâ€™ League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup â€“ and all by age 26. But back to the task at hand, anybody wishing to play the â€˜Gerrard roleâ€™ must have a nasty streak and the strength and stamina to run around like a headless chicken for 90 minutes with no regard for team shape or tactical positioning, forcing your manager to play two other central midfielders just to cover you. Then get applauded for it, English passion and all that.
Frank Lampard role (Chelsea) â€“ Stand around for a bit. Get the ball. Whack it as hard as you can towards the goal. Hope for a deflection. Lampard thrives because the team is built around him, Makelele and Essien do all the leg work and give him the ball. Sure heâ€™s scored 20 goals â€“ but so could many players if they took every set piece and had 2 other players doing all the work in midfield allowing them to concentrate on shooting as often as possible. Imagine how many goals Lyon’s Juninho or some other more naturally talented player could score if you gave him the freedom and opportunities ol’ Franky enjoys. Maximum results for minimal natural talent defines the ‘Lampard role’.
Cesc Fabregas role (Arsenal) â€“ Get the ball, get fouled. Get the ball, get fouled. Get the ball, get fouled. Get the ball, get fouled. Get a yellow card for complaining after being fouled for the 327th time. Wind up opposition manager/players/fans/ballboys/mascot/tea lady by getting in their faces, despite the fact that you have to jump to do so.
John Terry role (Chelsea) â€“ Ideal for players with no positional awareness. Similar to the ‘Gerrard role’ but for defenders. Get yourself constantly on the wrong side of attackers but make up for it with numerous last ditch tackles and generally flinging your body about with reckless abandon. Looks great on the highlights.
Phil Neville role (Everton) â€“ The requirements for this unique role do go beyond “uglier than Gary Neville” – as difficult as that is. Requires a trophy-to-talent ratio that sends even the most jaded conspiracy theorists into fits, and an ability to show than a second string full back at a Big Club (Manchester United) can go and become a midfield at a smaller club (Everton).
Jamie Carragher role (Liverpool) â€“ Fancy doing a job and not getting the credit you deserve? Try playing the â€˜Carragher roleâ€™. The ‘Carragher role’ requires great patience as you are constantly overshadowed by more high profile team mates. You will get international recognition but only fill in for injured players at left-back, right-back and even defensive midfield – but never your natural position. But fear not, for those in the ‘Carragher role’ will soon join those in the ‘Makelele’ role as they are called underrated so often than they become overrated.
Albert Luque role (Newcastle) â€“ Think about the least interested you could look in a game of football. Multiply it by 100. Congratulations, you are playing the ‘Luque role’.
Other ‘interesting’ characters that could use a bit of fleshing out:
Ahmed Mido role (Tottenham)
Julio Baptista role (Arsenal)
Andy Johnson role (Everton)
Cristiano Ronaldo role (Manchester United)
Kevin Davies role (Bolton)
If you have your own suggestions for a revolutionary ‘role’, let us know in the comments.