In their latest Top 20, the Telegraph have had a very loose definition of the word "underrated". One Irish player features in the list, that features some very highly heralded players.
One such player is the Irish legend Denis Irwin, who could not be thought of any higher in the halls of balls.ie.
The man that got Alex Ferguson to say that he'd be the first name on his teamsheet can't be underrated. The man who was voted into the Premier League's team of the decade in 2001 can't be underrated. Just who are the people that don't rate Irwin that highly?
People ask you who is your best Man United team, it is absolutely impossible. But honestly, I would say Denis Irwin would be the one certainty to get in the team. I called him an eight out of 10. At Highbury in one game he had a bad pass back in the last minute and Bergkamp came in and scored. After the game the press said ‘you must be disappointed in that pass back. I said, well, one mistake in 10 years isn’t bad. He was an unbelievable player.
The rest of the Telegraph's list feature some good shouts. Players like Ray Parlour, Dunga, and Nigel Clough deserve their place on the list; while others like Kevin Davies, Claude Makele and Emile Heskey are heralded as underrated so often that they are probably rated as high as they deserve to be.
Of Irwin, The Telegraph say:
Few Manchester United fans underrate the Irishman's contribution over 12 years and 529 appearances, because a left-back has to be more than Mr Dependable to hold down a position in a Sir Alex Ferguson's all-conquering side for that long. Such hunger translated into one Champions League, seven Premier Leagues and three FA Cups - an incredible achievement that should be lauded more.
1. Michael Carrick (England/ Manchester United)
2. Alesandro Costacurta (Italy/ AC Milan)
3. Stan Collymore (England/ Liverpool)
4. Dirk Kuyt (Holland/ Liverpool)
5. Nigel Clough (England/ Liverpool)