The strikers usually hog all the plaudits, but the tireless midfielders are the real heroes who make all the scoring chances possible. We wanted to recognize these unsung dynamos so here is our list of the 10 Best Premier League Midfield pairings of all time:
10. Paul Scholes and David Beckham
Though not exactly a central midfield pairing, Beckham and Scholes shared a partnership that allowed Manchester United to create chances freely, with both players doing what they did best. Scholes would pick up the ball in the middle of the park and then play a long ball to Beckham’s right-foot, where a pinpoint cross would reach the oncoming strikers.
9. Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira
During Arsenal’s title winning campaign, most eyes focused on leading front-man Thierry Henry and his goal scoring exploits. But the duo of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva were the ones that commanded the pitch with their technical as well as aggressive style of play.
8. Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri
Arsenal have always had the services of quality midfielders and during Arsene Wenger’s recent years, it was Fabregas and Nasri that tore apart opponents with their agility, finesse and creativity.
7. Yaya Toure and Fernandinho
Midfielder powerhouse Yaya Toure is one of the prime reasons why Manchester City are challenging for the title season after season, but the induction of Fernandinho has stepped up things for the Ivorian, who has finally found a partner that he can he rely for defensive cover when he ups the tempo in the attacking third.
6. Frank Lampard and Michael Essien
Essien allowed Lampard to maraud forward, play kick passes and score clinical goals that the midfielder was famous for. The duo complimented each other quite well, with Lampard exhibiting finesse on the pitch while Essien could change the game with his brute force alone.
5. Ryan Giggs and David Beckham
In the English Premier League, the two greatest wingers would have to be Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. And the fact that both played for Manchester United during the club’s greatest moments makes it a memorable partnership that is unlikely to be matched anytime soon. The sight of Ryan Giggs running down the wing and David Beckham curling in a cross shall be forever remembered in English football.
4. Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard
When Liverpool consistently bugged Manchester United for the title under Rafa Benitez and mauled them 4-1 at Anfield. It was Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard that commanded attention from United’s midfield and made them run around in circles. And after Alonso’s departure, Gerrard clearly struggled to carve out performances like he used to.
3. Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye
The unassuming midfielders were the heartbeat of Newcastle United’s Premier League success and it’s safe to say without their partnership, the Magpies would have never reached the heights they soared.
2. Cesc Fabregas and NemanjaMatic
Although the duo have only started their blitz last season, the impact they have had at the Bridge has been phenomenal. Matic, with his tough-tackling approach breaks up play, while Fabregas uses his creativity to distribute the ball with ease.
1. Paul Scholes and Roy Keane
Keane dominated the midfield with his fierce presence and ousted opponents with ferocious tackles. He then simply laid the ball on for Paul Scholes to work his magic and help United get a goal. This brilliant philosophy worked wonders for the Red Devils and resulted in the 1999 treble season.
Do you agree with our 10 Best Premier League Midfield pairings of all time
Do you agree with our list? Will the current Tottenham midfield muscle their way onto the list? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.