God Save the Queen – Argentines in the Premier League

12 Aug

1.  Marcos Angeleri
Club : Sunderland FC
Age : 28
Position: Right-Back

Transfer fees: 1.5 million pounds in 2010 from Estudiantes  for 3 years

Quick Hits : Plays in a position of need for the Argentine NT, but unfortunately is coming off a couple of serious injuries. He has an aggressive style of defense, and he was even in conversation till the very end for a spot on the squad for 2010 WC but failed to make the grade. Angeleri saw very limited action for Sunderland FC last year, and to make things worse , he has shot himself in the foot by launching some scathing verbal volleys on his club manager Steve Bruce – most of it which don’t make too much sense.  I don’t expect to see him as part of the starting XI, and for all you know, he could even transfer before the season begins!

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2.   F. Coloccini
Club: Newcastle United FC
Age: 29
Position: Centre-Back

Transfer fees: 10.3 Million pounds in 2008 from Deportivo for 5 years.

Quick Hits: “Captain Caveman” , as he is now known by adoring Toon fans (Fans of Newcastle United), has quickly risen up the popularity ranks of the North-eastern club in UK.  Such has been his rise that he has been elected Captain for the 2011-2012 season for his club! Much berated by many fans of the Albiceleste, Coloccini surprisingly puts up some very good performances at the club level.  He is quite dangerous from corners and set-pieces,  and  having watched quite a bit of EPL, I am in the minority when I say that he is definitely not bad. Heck, if Demicheles, G.Milito, and Burdisso  have gotten consideration, Coloccinni does too.  With the NT in a transition period, Colo still has a couple of years to offer . A definite starter for his club, and we’ll keep you posted on his performances in the EPL.

3.   Emiliano Insua
Club: Liverpool FC
Age: 22
Position: Left-Back

Transfer fees:  Unknown

Quick Hits: One of the more promising players in the recent past, but has yet to live upto expectations. Insua practically made every Argentine Fan’s fantasy squad in the last couple of years based on talent or promise alone. Unfortunately , not much on-field action has come his way. Snapped up early from Boca Juniors by Liverpool, he did make numerous starts with the first team during the 2008-2009 season. Like any young player playing in a very demanding position in such a physical league, Insua did have his moments of greatness ( a wonderful goal against Arsenal) and insecurity. He did suffer a burn-out and fell out of favour.  He was loaned to Galatasaray for the 2010-2011 season where he had very limited appearances with the first team because the manager – Hagi (remember him from 1994 ? ) , was not keen on playing loan players.  He is currently back with Liverpool , and has noticeably put on more muscle to his stocky frame. IF he isn’t transferred or loaned out in the next few days by Liverpool, he will be competing for 3rd spot at LB behind Jose Enrique and Fabio Aurelio. Always good going forward with the ability to pick out a good cross or pass, but slightly suspect during defending, Insua needs to improve his speed during tracking back and endurance.  For his own future, it will be wonderful if he gets loaned out to a lower team to get more first team action.

4.   Jonas Gutierrez
Club: Newcastle United FC
Age: 28
Position: Left Midfield

Transfer fee: Undisclosed from Mallorca

Quick Hits: “Spiderman” is another one of those players hugely unpopular at the NT level, but a polar opposite at club level.  He surprisingly displays a little more trickiness and pace with Newcastle than he ever has done with the NT. This is possibly because he is playing a position he is comfortable in at the Club level. A definite starter at club level, his defensive abilities will be sorely tested this season because of the move of LB  Jose Enrique to Liverpool, who was quite an established defender.  Gutirrez will be expected to track back a lot more often , and it remain to be seen how he’ll cope with it.  A return to the NT is unlikely as there are many more candidates ahead of him.

Carlos Tevez Manchester City5.   Carlos Tevez
Club: Manchester City FC
Age: 27
Position: Striker

Transfer Fee:  undisclosed from Manchester United ( around 40 million pounds)

Quick Hits:  One of the most polarizing Argentine players in recent history, Tevez’s  popularity in the EPL has been of equal drama. His late goals for West Ham saved them from the brink of relegation and attracted the biggies of the league. Ironically , it was a goal on the final day of the season against Manchester  United  that tipped the scales for the latter and Sir Alex Ferguson to snap him up. He was a darling of the fans of the club for the next couple of seasons, and an absolute villain when he transferred to in-city rivals Manchester City.  He donned the captain’s armband for the last season and had been in terrific form for City, scoring many crucial goals.  With the introduction of Sergio Aguero to Manchester City, it remains to see what off-field trick Tevez will pull up in the near future.

6.   Sergio Aguero
Club: Manchester City FC
Age: 23
Position: Striker

Tranfer fee: 45 million from Atletico Madrid

Quick Hits: His prodigious talent and skill is undeniable, and there was no question that in a season of heavily inflated transfer fees, Aguero would fetch one of the most.  Like his new club partner Tevez, his transfer from Madrid has earned him the wrath of the fans there, where as City fans are convinced that they have the final piece of the puzzle to win the league.  With Silva and Johnson being able suppliers from midfield combined with his own abilities make him well positioned to achieve super-stardom in the EPL.  He is now re-united with 2 other Argentines in Tevez and Zabeleta and it will be interesting to see what sort of an understanding they develop.

7.   Pablo Zabeleta
Club: Manchester City FC
Age: 26
Position: Right-Back

Transfer fees: Around 6.5 million in 2008 from Espanyol

Quick Hits: He has been penciled in as a starter for the last season for City. Another fan favourite,  he has also been credited for talking Aguero into favouring Manchester City during the transfer ordeal, and subsequently helping Aguero settle down.  City’s formation allows him to overlap extensively from the right side (a lot more than what he does for Argentina), and he has shown enough defensive awareness at Club level. I believe that he will be one of the players who’ll effectively be used by Sabella for the next couple of years.

8.    Maxi Rodriguez
Club: Liverpool FC
Age: 30
Position:  Right Wing

Transfer fees: Free transfer from Atletico Madrid

Quick Hits: Known in the NT for his impactful performances during the 2006 world cup (who can forget his goal against Mexico!), Maxi was part of Atletico’s attacking group of Torres and Aguero. He briefly was reunited with Torres at Liverpool in the beginning of the 2010 season. Maxi has significantly lost his speed in the last couple of years following a serious knee injury, but remains a player of high footballing IQ . His strengths are off-the-ball movements, one touch passing and positioning. He came back into reckoning late last season ,scoring 7 goals to end his venture. However, Liverpool has a crowded midfield for this season with some promising younger players (Downing, Henderson) who are likely to steal time away from Maxi. He remains an important squad player as of now, and will hope to make his mark as a substitute to start the 2011 season. A return to the NT is unlikely.

  • Seba

    Hey! Seba here! You’re missing Alejandro FAURLIN who plays for my favourite team in England: Queens Park Rangers. I know he has never been capped with Argentina, but I still rate him very highly!

    Great passer of the ball, very intelligent.

    Good post anyway!

  • Vick

    Hi Seba,

    Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll check him out on TV this weekend, and also need to add Mauro Formica to this list!