Special Sub-Topic: Premiership Footballers #2
|I am HER ARTY BRAG from the South Coast and have played all of my career by a villa.|
Gareth Barry. Barry was born in Hastings, Sussex and represented his country at schoolboy level at the age of 16. His first club, Brighton and Hove Albion, were left fuming after Aston Villa signed him in 1997. Barry went on to play over 300 times for Aston Villa, and represented England at full international level under five different managers.
|OH DOG ANNOTATE JAW, maybe not a dog's jaw, but I certainly have taken a few knocks to mine. I have been in Leeds, Madrid and in the smog of the north east. Who am I?|
Jonathan Woodgate. Woodgate started his career at Middlesbrough, but due to contract difficulties left for Leeds United in 1997. He became part of a young and exciting Leeds United side during the next six seasons, culminating in a Champions League semi final appearance. However, due to huge debts run up by his club, Woodgate was sold to Newcastle United, where he became a firm fans favourite with some assured displays. Injury became a common theme with Woodgate, and it came as a surprise when Real Madrid signed him alongside Michael Owen. After yet more injury plagued times, Woodgate found himself on loan at his first club, Middlesbrough, before signing a permanent deal in April 2007.
|HEAVY SIGN. Indeed, you may as well try to beat me, but many have failed and goals are not often given away from my team of barcode wearers. Guess who I am?|
Shay Given. Shay Given started his career at Celtic but failed to make the grade and was sold to Blackburn Rovers in 1994. His time was limited in terms of chances to play, as he was understudy to England keeper Tim Flowers. He then took the opportunity to move on, and after brief loan spells at Swindon Town and Sunderland, he joined Newcastle United in 1997. Given's displays in the goal for the 'barcodes' (Newcastle play in black and white stripe shirts) caught the attention of the Republic of Ireland, for whom he made his debut in 1997. Eighty plus international caps later and over 300 appearances for Newcastle has seen Given constantly held in the highest regard from his fellow professionals and fans alike.
|CHIC HARMS RAID and I will harm you if you try to ruin my blue moon feeling in Manchester. I dare you to guess who I am?|
Micah Richards. Micah was born in Birmingham and lived most of his childhood in Leeds. His abilities as a footballer were soon noticed and he was signed to schoolboy terms for Oldham Athletic at the age of 12. In 2001 he moved to local rivals Manchester City where he became an instant success moving through the ranks at the club. In 2005 he made his league debut and came to national prominence when heading a 94th minute equaliser in the FA Cup at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa. After the game, the excited 17 year old swore on live TV, later apologising for his gaff. November 2006 saw the young Micah gain international honours when he was called up to the full England squad for a friendly against the Netherlands.
|DARN FINE AND NOT, my brother has been to Rio and I have been to Upton Park, but who am I?|
Anton Ferdinand. Anton's older brother Rio was a household name before Anton made his own headlines. Like his older brother, Anton made his league debut for West Ham United at Preston North End (whilst Rio made his for WHU against Sheffield Wednesday in 1996) and continued to play in the heart of the Hammers defence. International honours were limited to the Under 21 team for England, and Anton was very honest with the fact his brother was ahead in the centre back pecking order for his nation. Anton is also related to former England striker Les Ferdinand.
|I have sort of a KATZ THING when I purr across the defence of those at the Cottage. Who am I?|
Zat Knight. Standing at six feet and six inches tall, Zat was one of the tallest players to ply his trade in the Premiership. Born in Solihull in 1980, Zat signed full professional terms for London based club Fulham where he enjoyed many good moments. In May 2005, Zat made his England debut against the USA but seemed to fall off the radar from that moment on when squads were announced. His first name Zat was, in fact, shortened at his request from the original Zatyiah.
|I left Sheffield and travelled to Wigan, I scored a goal that demoted the blades and the DAWN VOID HURTS very much after I was then released. Who am I?|
David Unsworth. With one England cap to his name, it was seen as a surprise that Unsworth did not win anymore in his long career. It all started in 1991 when the young Liverpudlian turned out for Everton. In 1995, he was part of the Everton side that won the FA Cup, and he established himself as a regular in the team. By 1997, he had moved on to West Ham United, but only one season was played in London before he signed terms with Aston Villa. This was one of Unsworth's most embarrassing moments as a fortnight later he changed his mind and went back to Everton, much to Villa's annoyance. A further seven seasons were played at Goodison Park before he was released and became a bit of a journeyman. Portsmouth, Ipswich Town and then Sheffield United took him on. It was the latter side that would provide the most talked about moment of the 2006-07 season. Whilst with United, he missed a penalty in a Premiership match against Blackburn Rovers. In the January of 2007, he was allowed to leave and join rivals Wigan Athletic. On the final day of the season, Sheffield United faced Wigan Athletic in a match that would send either side down if they lost from the Premiership to the Championship. At 1-1, Sheffield United were safe from relegation. However, a penalty was awarded to Wigan Athletic, and up stepped David Unsworth. It was easily dispatched and Wigan had stayed up with Sheffield United relegated. If Unsworth had converted the penalty he had missed earlier in the season, then Sheffield United would not have lost their top flight status. Unsworth was released by Wigan Athletic the next day, the day after the final day of the season.
|HA PIG JAIL ELK, or better still, I feel as sick as a pig after losing Premiership status on the final day. Who am I?|
Phil Jagielka. Born in Manchester, Jagielka had played his entire football career at Sheffield United. Over 250 appearances had him firmly loved by all the fans at the club with his never say die attitude. As was the case with Everton defender Joseph Yobo, Jagielka played every single minute of the 2006-07 Premiership season. But unlike Yobo, his club (Sheffield United) was relegated to the Championship. In May 2007, Phil was called up to the England B squad that beat Albania 3-1 in a friendly match.
|THAT MELLOW HAND often made light work of many a midfield. Ipswich was my first love, and then I became an Addick, an Addick of the highest quality. Who am I?|
Matthew Holland. Holland was rejected by Arsenal as a schoolboy for being too small and instead signed for West Ham United. Having played three seasons of reserve football, he was released in 1995 without a first team appearance at Upton Park. His destination was Bournemouth where he spent some excellent seasons before he moved onto Ipswich Town. After seven seasons of ups and downs, which included captaining the side in Europe against Internazionale of Milan, Holland was again on the move. This time it was Charlton Athletic who acquired his services. In 2006-07, he suffered relegation to the Championship in a season that provided little cheer.
Holland represented the Republic of Ireland 49 times.
|AM TIDY JEER so they say down at the Vicarage. My American blood pumps hard through my veins, and I earned my right to play in the top flight on my own merits. Who am I?|
Jay DeMerit. One of a small number of Americans to play top flight football in England, DeMerit proved his worth whilst playing for Watford. His displays for Chicago Fire in the MLS had a number of clubs interested in securing his services. He signed for Watford in 2004 and was a steady member of the 2005-06 promotion winning side scoring vital goals along the way. Sadly DeMerit's Watford was promptly relegated back to the Championship with a vastly inferior points difference to those above. Still, DeMerit won his first cap for the United States against Guatemala in March 2007.
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