The Premier League’s unsung heroes

An unsung hero is someone who doesn’t necessarily get the kudos of others. They might not be the flashiest player but are often the first names on the team sheet. For many managers, they are often just as important as the global superstars. Let’s look at some unsung heroes that have become key players in the Premier League. We’ll also remember some heroes from the past.

James Milner

Milner is a Premier League stalwart. Since making his professional debut for Leeds United in 2002, he has played over 700 games for several clubs. His free transfer to Liverpool in 2015 was a great bit of business for the club. Since he signed for them, they have won the Champions League and Premier League.

Alongside the star players such as Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, he remains integral to the club and his importance at Liverpool hasn’t gone unnoticed. He arrived at the club when they were outsiders to win the major trophies and are now amongst the favorites every season. Looking at the current campaign, Liverpool are fancied to finish it with a major trophy. This is a future backed by bookies as the online betting odds also reflect faith in the side. It remains to be seen whether Milner and Liverpool will be celebrating in May, but we do know it will be an exciting season.

Kieran Tierney

Tierney was a hero for many Celtic fans. He was a local lad and part of a side that dominated the domestic game, winning successive titles. He is now well-liked by Arsenal fans, even if it’s not to the same extent. Tierney’s passion and work rate has been highlighted by a support that is notoriously hard to please.

The start of Arsenal’s current campaign has probably gone slightly better than many had previously expected. They now have a reasonable chance of getting into the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. How important will Tierney prove to be for them?

Mateo Kovačić

After playing over 100 times for Real Madrid, Chelsea signed Kovačić when they were struggling and going through something of a transition period. He has since been a crucial cog in a team that won the Champions League. Some believe that Chelsea can retain that trophy alongside success in the Premier League.

Whilst he isn’t celebrated like fellow midfielder Ngolo Kante and won’t score the goals of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard (Kovačić only scored 3 in his first 150 appearances), the Croatian is well-liked by fans and the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge. Not long after taking over, Thomas Tuchel spoke with great admiration about the player.

A look at some from the past

Denis Irwin was the perfect example of an unsung hero. His name was never sung with the same gusto as teammates like Eric Cantona or Roy Keane, but he was important. The Irish defender was crucial in United’s early domination of the Premier League, often scoring some fantastic goals.

Ray Parlour was another great example. He was part of three Arsenal Premier League title wins and also came up with some important strikes. One of his best moments came with a goal against Chelsea in the 2002 FA Cup final.

What makes an unsung hero so important?

For a manager, it can sometimes be difficult to manage a team of superstars. Players who perform well every week without much fuss are huge for a club. Quite often they can also be utility players. They might not necessarily play every week but they can easily fit into several different positions and formations.