Shearer provides us with his top five players of the season so far
It’s already been a dramatic Premier League season so far, with there having been plenty of thrills and spills, and in our latest sit-down with Coral ambassador Alan Shearer, he outlines his top five players of the season so far.
The all-time Premier League marksman has liked the look of five in-form attackers from the top-flight, so read on to find out who they are and why Alan has rated them so highly this season…
Diego Costa, Chelsea
Whether you love him or hate him Diego Costa has been one of my top five. Yes, in the first two or three games he could have been sent off, but he’s continued his goalscoring form and has become a central figure for Chelsea again.
He’s horrible to play against first and foremost. He’s a top centre forward when he’s ‘at it’, when he’s playing in that aggressive way, and in that form he’ll continue to score goals. Yes, there’s the other side that we don’t like to see – the diving and carry-on off the ball – but he’s certainly been one of the top five players I’ve seen in the Premier League this season up to now.
Chelsea certainly wouldn’t want to lose him to injury because he’s absolutely integral to what they are all about.
Mesut Ozil, Arsenal
He’s one of those gifted midfield players that just floats around the park setting up goals and scoring goals, and he’s had a great start to the season. He’s an excellent footballer. He was superb again in Europe this week scoring a hat-trick, and he’s now getting goals to go with all those assists.
There is nothing better for a striker than when you play with a midfielder that you know is going to find you with the ball when you make your run. And he does that, he makes that happen, and it doesn’t half make the centre-forward’s job easier. I would have liked to have played in the same team as him. When you make runs you want to know that the ball is going to come to you and he is someone you can rely on for that.
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
I know he didn’t play much against Barcelona midweek but he’s been in top form again. He’s a world class player and, if he can stay fit, then he will be integral to what Manchester City achieve this season.
He’s missed quite a few penalties this season and yet he’s still been scoring loads of goals and playing brilliantly, so it just shows what a season he’s been having. I don’t know whether he’s had the vote of confidence from his manager and his team-mates to continue taking the penalties? He’ll be a lucky boy if he has. In my day if you missed two penalties, or at a push three, that would be it, you’d be taken off them. But take those penalty misses away and he’s still a top goalscorer.
He’s very good at every part of the game. First and foremost as a centre forward you have to score goals and he does that, consistently. But then you look at his other attributes; he brings other players into the game; he stretches the game for his team with his movement; he can run in behind; he comes short to receive the ball. He almost glides across the grass, and he’s very intelligent. He’s also physically strong. He may only be five foot eight but you don’t see him getting pushed around which tells you a lot about him.
Roberto Firmino, Liverpool
He’s been superb this season. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him, whether it’s to play wide, or centre forward. He’s a great link up player for the team and he’s been scoring some important goals as well. To me, he’s the trigger for when Liverpool do their high tempo pressing game. When he goes, the rest of the team follow.
It took a while for him to settle in when he arrived which is totally understandable when foreign players come to the Premier League. The pace of the game is so much faster than any other league around and it’s more physical. So it’s no surprise that it takes many foreign players time to settle in. He was one of those but now Liverpool are reaping the rewards. He seems to be really enjoying himself at the club, and the way that Jurgen Klopp likes his teams to play really seems to suit him.
Theo Walcott, Arsenal
He’s on a hot run of form but we have seen this before from Theo Walcott. He’s never been able to hold down a place in the England side, and once again he failed to perform for his country in his two starts recently. But in an Arsenal shirt this season he’s been having a very good time of it. I think he’s a good player, but I can’t say he’s a great player because every time he’s had these runs of good form he hasn’t been able to maintain it.
If I’m sitting here in three years’ time saying what a great few years Theo has had, then I will call him a very, very good player. He simply has to do it on a more regular basis. He’s doing it right now, and he’s been doing it for the last two months which is brilliant, but he now has to do it for the next three years. He’s at an age now where it’s not about potential anymore. He should be at the pinnacle of his career so he needs to be performing at this high level consistently over whole seasons not just a few months.
He seems to have a bit more freedom in that front line at Arsenal with the movement of Ozil and Sanchez but he’s only ever scored double figures in a season once for Arsenal, so let’s see him score twenty goals a season.
If it’s more exclusive videos and interviews with Alan you’re after, then head on over to the Shearer says archive.