With the news that Liam Delap is set to join Stoke City on a one-year loan, it got us daydreaming about the glory days of the Barclays Premier League, when his father Rory absolutely terrorised Premier League defenses with his mile-long throw-ins. The Ireland international created incredible havoc during the height of the Pulis era, and we can only hope Liam has a similar effect in his loan move to the Brittania. Rory will coach Liam at Stoke, and here's a look back at some of Delap Snr's greatest throw-ins.
Rory Delap retired with 11 caps for Ireland, which in hindsight, is a headscratcher. For a solid five years, at the height of Pulisball, Delap's famous long throw-ins essentially gave Stoke City a set piece every time they had a throw in from an attacking position. At the same time, Ireland was crying out for attacking options and scoring mostly from set pieces.
His throw-ins seem like a natural fit with the often prehistoric approach to the game employed by Signore Trapattoni.
It's fair to say no one has ever thrown a ball in like Delap: the distance, the speed, the spin. Sky were kind enough to compile all of the goals Delap set up from the touchline and throw them on youtube.
You can watch them below.
They also tell a story about the Premier League back in late noughties-early teens, when teams full of well-organised and very big lads could muscle their way through opponents. You learn from this video that skilful teams like Arsenal could not defend throw-ins.
Were Delap playing today, its unlikely any Premier League manager would consider playing him, and though no one really misses those Tony Pulis-coached Stoke teams, Delap possessed a unique talent. It's a shame there's no room for the Delaps of the world in today's Premier League.