Everyone loves a workhorse, it’s incredible how a player who has little talent can win over fans just by giving there heart and soul to the game for 90 minutes. Luckily the players I have chosen also have a fair amount of quality to boot which makes a damn fine combination. These are in no particular order as it would be unfair to do so, but if you wish to vote on the matter a poll is situated to the right of your screen so please make your voice heard
Carlton Cole/Scott Parker (West Ham): I find it hard to split these two so decided they both warrant a place on this list. Scott Parker has some engine on him and has no problem flinging himself into every challenge and block. Cole’s workmanlike attributes are of a different variety, tirelessly holding up pass after pass and looking for runners aligned with his marauding first line of defence as he runs after defenders forcing them to back pedal back to their keeper. Both are very good examples of players who really do love the game and give their all. This was never more evident than in the Spurs fixture where Parker ran himself into the ground even though his side had pretty much lost them game after the first 15 minutes.
Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal): If a player’s work rate could be measured in sweat then the Frenchman would win every time. I have a theory that he walks onto the field wearing a damn shirt from a previous game, although it’s more likely that from the first whistle the midfielder is already manically chasing down every opposition pass. The way he manages to appear as fresh in the 90th minute as he does in the first is remarkable.
Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool): The Dutchman never appears to lose hope, runs all day chasing opposition players into mistakes, his new role as a wide man has helped develop new abilities and has shown the stamina the former Feyenoord man has. Often mocked and much maligned, his transformation from striker to provider could be a masterstroke. I’m not sure about the 80s hair-do, although like Flamini, the sweat-ridden look does add something to the work factor.
Robbie Keane (Spurs): Another striker who isn’t afraid to challenge back and chase down lost causes. I have never really understood why the Irishman doesn’t ever seem to get the credit that his goal tally and work rate deserve. He reminds me of the proverbial dog that runs onto a Sunday league pitch desperate to get his teeth on the ball. This is not meant in a derogatory manner, rather that Keane clearly wants to be involved as much as possible in what is happening on the pitch. Maybe if he had an 80s mullet it would be more apparent to those outside White Hart Lane, but it is clear to me that Robbie gets through more than his fair share of work on the field.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United): Yes yet another striker, but I think he is worthy of a place on the list. The England international runs non-stop throughout the game and doesn’t take kindly to losing the ball and will always fight to win it back. He always looks annoyed when Sir Alex Ferguson decides to bring him off so as to give him a rest for the next fixture. Rooney loves the game and looks like the kind of player who would run as hard and as long during kick-about on a street corner.