THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

I would doubt strongly whether any Premiership player was contractually permitted to be described as “underrated”. Ken Gall

Muzzy Izzet, who deserves to play for England far more than Most Overrated Player Emile Heskey. Outside the Premier, Stuart Barlow of Wigan is so good seemingly because he hates every single one of your players and plays football as a vendetta. Maybe he just has it in for Luton. John Earls

XIt seems strange to pick one of the biggest names in a team who finished third in the Premiership, but Gustavo Poyet gets my vote. I’m not saying he could have won the title for Chelsea if he’d not been injured, but he certainly added steel and vision when he played. Ian Cusack

Dependable Denis Irwin, reputedly nicknamed “Bogman” by the international wits in the OT dressing room. Had to be sent off to be noticed. Joyce Woolridge

If Keegan thinks Michael Gray – who sauntered along the left flank for Sunderland this season against the might of Bury and Crewe etc – is a better left back than Dean Gordon, then England are in trouble. Of course, if Dean were to move to a more fashionable club – or, failing that, Newcastle – he’d become first choice. Dave Robinson

The Premiership has done away with the notion of underrated. Seriously can’t think of one. Outside it (and I’m being partisan) – Niall Quinn. I’m fed up with people saying he’ll never make it next season. Still brilliant in the air, his touch is “surprisingly good for a big man”, he’s clever and speed was never part of his game so don’t tell me he’s too slow. He’d be slow in the Isthmian League. Joe Boyle

Swansea central defender Jason Smith. An absolute behemoth from the Screwfix League who could walk into the Liverpool defence now and halve their charitable status. AS Thomas

Steve McManaman
(no, I mean it). John Williams

Eifion Williams. He was by Cardiff City anyway – they missed the Third Division championship by not having a hitman striker, should have signed him from Barry Town and now we have to watch him score goals for fun at Torquay before he moves to a higher level to prove the fans right and our (otherwise godlike) manager wrong. Nigel Harris

Steve McManaman
. Strange to say, but the Liverpool attack he is part of is the second highest scoring in the Premiership, and everyone says it’s the defence’s fault, yet somehow he gets roped in with James, Friedel, Babb etc. And for England he is usually stuck out of position on the wrong flank. Philip Cornwall

Peter Beagrie at Bradford City. Bit of an oddball, but in the right team at the right time he displays world-class talent. Richard Darn

Karl Ready of Queens Park Rangers. I simply can’t believe that some Premiership manager hasn’t come and snapped him up for a couple of million. Surely the bargain of the decade. I wouldn’t waste time sending a scout or watching videos of him play – I’d just get the chequebook out sharpish. Yes sir-eee. Anthony Hobbs

Paolo Di Canio. We should acknowledge any footballer who can, in the space of one season, score goals for two Premiership sides, abscond to Italy, pick up a record ban, alienate the fans of Sheffield Wednesday and still find time to do something to Paul Alcock that most of us can only dream about. Steve Field

I’d nominate the entire Leeds Utd young gun posse. They’ve had a bit of publicity, but none compared to mid-table M Ginola and chums, and certainly nothing like the adulation they’d have received had they been the latest crop of Man Utd youngsters. If it’s just a single player, George Boateng makes Coventry tick. Operating on the edge of the law defensively, well capable going forward. Gary Parkinson

Lee Bowyer, boundless energy, commitment, stamina, hard as nails and skilful. If I was English, I would be very angry that he was not a regular for the national side. Padraig McKenna

From WSC 149 July 1999. What was happening this month

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