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3 Ireland Internationals Make The Telegraph's 100 Best Players Of Premier League Era

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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We're always interested whenever a big English paper undertakes the task of a massive list like they have done with their 'Premier League's 100 best players' which was published today, as we like to see whether or not the contributions of Irish players are as well recognised in England we would like them to be.

That is why we were a tad disappointed to see just three players make the list, and although Roy Keane was close to topping the list entirely, we would have liked to see a few more boys in green breakthrough.

Taking only the Premier League era into account, the Telegraph have compiled the top 100 players and here are the three Irishman who made the cut:

#92 - Robbie Keane

Robbie barely squeezed in but his goalscoring exploits have been recognised, here is what they had to say about the first Keano on the list:

Keane falls into that category of players whose talents were rather underappreciated: certainly his scoring record, at Coventry, Leeds and Tottenham made him one of the most consistent goal threats in the top flight. His spell with Liverpool was less happy but it is his form at Spurs – where his endearingly naff forward-roll goal celebrations were a regular sight – which earns him a place in our list.

#46 - Denis Irwin


If Irwin was omitted there would have been riots, thankfully that is not the case. Here's the verdict on Mr.Dependable:

Reckoned by Sir Alex Ferguson to be his best ever pound-for-pound signing, the undemonstrative left-back won seven league titles across a 12-year career at Old Trafford. Renowned for his consistency and concentration – he was another player who seemed impervious to injury – Irwin was also a ruthless penalty taker, and took a mean free-kick.

#3 - Roy Keane

And of course he was always going to be right up there, but Keane finished behind only Ryan Giggs and Theirry Henry in the list. Here is the view on the current Ireland assistant manager:

The most dominant midfielder of the Premier League having arrived at United in a British record £3.75m transfer from Nottingham Forest in 1993. Keane scored goals, tackled ferociously and led from the front during an eight-year reign as United captain. His toxic exit from the club - amid a flurry of claims and counter-claims - was catastrophically handled and United have never found a player of his ilk to succeed him.

So there we have it. We would argue the case for Shay Given, Damien Duff, and possibly even Niall Quinn to have cracked the top 100, and Paul McGrath's time seems to be overlooked despite his PFA POTY award, but it's their list, not ours, as can be seen by the lack of Kevin Kilbane and Gary Breen.


Here is the Top 10:

10. Frank Lampard
9. Dennis Bergkamp
8. Eric Cantona
7. Patrick Vieira
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
5. Paul Scholes
4. Alan Shearer
3. Roy Keane
2. Thierry Henry
1. Ryan Giggs

You can view the 100-strong list over on Telegraph.co.uk.



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