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Is there such a thing as a one-man team?

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Jack Ross | 15:56 UK time, Monday, 22 February 2010

Football is littered with stars, fans' favourites and cult heroes, but is there, or has there ever been, anyone so good that they could force the tag of a "one-man team" upon their side?

There are numerous examples of successful teams who have had this suggestion aimed at them, from the Maradona-inspired Argentina of 1986 to modern-day Liverpool, inspired by Steven Gerrard.

Even Manchester United now stand accused as Wayne Rooney continues his huge contribution towards their quest for silverware this season.

Teams will always have star players, usually goalscorers or creators, but to suggest that they can be solely responsible for success is, in my opinion, far from the case.

Falkirk legend Russell LatapyRussell Latapy, one of the finest foreign footballers to have played in Scotland
While there is no doubt that these types of players are extremely valuable to a team, they are only able to produce their moments of inspiration through the efforts and abilities of their team-mates.

A quarterback in American football would find it very difficult without a strong defensive line to protect him, so why should our own star performers be any different in requiring support to perform to their best?

In my own career, probably the best example I can provide is that of Russell Latapy during my time at Falkirk. Without any doubt, Russell is as close as I have come to playing and training alongside someone who was world class.

In terms of his ability to receive the ball, keep it, make passes, be creative and score goals, he was fantastic and was a massive factor in Falkirk's progression upon ithe club's return to the Scottish Premier League.

However, he was provided the platform to display his talents and influence games by the players who performed alongside him, and while John Hughes allowed Russell to play in the free role in behind his strikers, it meant huge workloads and game appreciation from his fellow midfielders - and his back four to recognise the opportunities he could sometimes leave for other teams.

These other players were also responsible for giving him good quality possession ball in the areas of the pitch from which he could punish the opposition.

Every fan will remember, or currently have their own football "magician" such as Latapy, but they should never overlook the water carriers, or "shovellers" as our assistant manager Andy Millen likes to call them.

They are just as important to the performance of a team, and hugely appreciated by those within a side, especially the star performers, and are the reason why there really is no such thing as a one-man team!

From my own viewpoint, it has been a difficult week, in that I sustained an injury at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

There was concern regarding the severity of the injury and, while the scans and expert opinions I have received have brought some good news, I am still facing a period on the sidelines.

Our draw at Kilmarnock was only the fourth game I have missed since I arrived at St Mirren and within that time I can only recall not training on a handful of occassions, and therefore the upcoming period of rehabilitation is going to be a frustrating one but obviously necessary as I aim to return as soon as is physically possible.

At the moment, the rehab process is a slow one as the initial damage begins to settle, but from there progress to a lot of work in the swimming pool and strengthening programmes in the gym will hopefully follow quickly.

I am desperate to return to playing at St Mirren and help us climb the table. I won't be short of inspiration as I only need to look at the mental strength shown by team-mates Tom Brighton and Chris Smith as they fight their way back from serious, long-term injuries.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I think teams can only be called one-man teams if they cant function in the same way they usually would when missing a significant player. Take Man City v Liverpool yesterday. Both teams were missing important players in Tevez and Torres, and couldn't make any decent chances, making the game less interesting than drying paint

  • Comment number 2.

    I wish our 'magician' Andy Dorman would start scoring! We could do with his usual run of form right now - we're struggling to score many at the moment (except the occasional Mehmet wonder-strike!). Any idea why he hasn't been scoring this year as opposed to the previous two seasons?

    All the best in your recovery from injury - we need you!

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jack,

    Nice article and it got me to thinking about virtuoso footballers. I do not think that there is such a thing as a one-man team (over time). But I do believe that there have been one off games where one man has more or less, run the show. 2 examples, England draw 2 all with Greece, it should have been Beckham 2 Greece 2. The second best performance by a midfielder I have ever seen! The best? Scottish League Cup final - Celtic versus Killie, except that for the first half hour it was Celtic versus Durrant, and Durrant was winning. Too bad he got injured!

    It will be interesting to read other fans recollections of such games.


    One other thing. Your point about the Quarterback in the NFL is correct. I should know, I follow the Seahawks. But its the offensive line which protects the QB. The defensive line wants to kill him!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Honestly, I don't think there is something as a one man team as such, obviously certain teams may have a star player who the fans a the team look to to save their team from defeat, or get them a win. But those 'star' players can't perform at their best without the input and efforts of the rest of the team out on the field.

    By the way guys, check out my new football blog I recently made... http://footballblog247.blogspot.com/

    Many thanks,

    Jamie

  • Comment number 5.

    Am not sure there is such a thing as a one-man team but I've never seen a player dominate a season like Rooney is doing at present. Without him, or with him subdued, Manchester United are a fairly average team.

    Sorry to hear the injury - trust you recover quickly.

    RCM

  • Comment number 6.

    "There are numerous examples of successful teams who have had this suggestion aimed at them, [...] modern-day Liverpool, inspired by Steven Gerrard."

    This is one of the biggest myths going, Liverpool actually perform better without Gerrard:
    [...] show that over their last 150 Premier League games, Liverpool have won 55 per cent with Gerrard as a starter but of the games without him that figure is 61 per cent.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good blog this... and to answer the question - No. No team is a one man team - however every team will have a greater reliance on one player above any other... however if you picked that 1 player in a side with 10 people who had never played football before they would lose heavily and probably not get a touch of the ball... so by definition it can't be a 1 man team!

    on another note - with the greatest amount of respect. Russell Latapy, Falkirk and "world class" do not belong in the same sentence... even if you do tone it down with "as close as i have come to playing with someone"... why not just say he is the best player you have ever played with... it is a phrase that is so over used it is untrue - i think "world class" belongs to a select group of "top" players in the WORLD - making thus making them "world-cass"..i.e. amongst the best in the world... therefore this reference is best saved for players such as (in no order)Torres, Drogba, Xavi, Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, Kaka, Iniesta, etc... not used to describe Russell Latapy - who whilst is a decent player - is nowhere near the same standard as these guys (and many others).... maybe i am being a bit precious about the term - but hopefully you get my point.

    6 - FACupWinners2008 - i think the stats about Gerrard are interesting but probably just show that due to his huge injury issues they tend to rest him for the games that they are likely to win and play him in the big games (even if he is unfit) - hence, as always, the stats don't show the true picture.. as a 3-0 home win without Gerrard against Hull/Bolton etc cannot be fairly compared to a 3-2 defeat with Gerrard away to a European giant and then just conclude that Gerrard is therefore a hindrance to Liverpools success.

  • Comment number 8.

    I too don't think there are 'one-man teams' although there is often a born leader or talisman who is made out to be invaluable ... and often is.

    Taking my team as an example (and we've had a few supposedly), in the 80's we were carried for years by Robbo. If a player led by example then Bryan Robson epitomised this. He dragged us kicking and screaming through so many games that when he wasn't playing it showed. But in games like Barcelona 3-0 in '84, he inspired a very good team to victory.

    Eric in '95. Fergie sells Ince / Hughes / Kanchelskis at end of '94 season, replaces them with a bunch of kids. Eric leads them to a memorable double and scored so many 1-0 winners it was untrue ... but it was a great team going on to bigger things with an inspirational leader, a father figure, a mentor.

    After Ronaldos goals over the past few years, especially the 30+ last season, we were again supposedly a one man team but we've scored more goals this season !

    And now without Rooney we'd be rubbish ?!

    And so it'll go on but without a decent team around you these players would be nothing. You couldn't drop Ronaldo or Rooney into a mid-table team and they'd go on to win the league. They need the other quality around them who don't grab the headlines, just do their job to allow the 'superstar' to grab the headlines.

    One-man teams? .... No.

    Inspirational leaders or Talismen in very good teams ... Yes.

  • Comment number 9.

    Closest I have seen to a one man team was Matthew Le Tissier at Southampton. He was outstanding, keeping the Saints in the top league for years, but he did have several water carriers around him.

    SalfordRed, sorry, but for me Cantona wasn't that special, but his influence was. The impact he had on Scholes/Giggs/Beckham et al was very good. Schmeichel was special though! Agree about Robson. Currently you rely on Rooney when the going gets tough, but Utd are far from a one man team.

  • Comment number 10.

    According to Lord Justice Griffiths there is.
    Not only can one man be totally responsible for a team winning a match (even after being substituted), he can even be the sole reason a team survives relegation from a league such as the Premier League.
    Additionally - this man can also influence games that took place before he came to the club.

    This man, of course, is Carlos Tevez.

  • Comment number 11.

    Is there such a thing as a one man team?

    Clearly the answer is no, but I think most people know what is meant by the expression.

    As others have said, where there are examples of an individual providing much of the spark, it is likely that the rest of the team are perhaps having to indulge them to some degree to allow them to do what they do best. Nothing wrong with that as it is the very essence of team.

    Deschamps behind Zidane in 98. Makelele behind Lampard in 2004/05 and Hamman behind Gerrard in Istanbul are three examples that come to mind.

    However, I think this article is perhaps aimed at Rooney's contribution and I think people are getting a little caught up in hype for this one.

    Rooney is in a rich vein of form, however, isn't Drogba doing much the same for Chelsea. And in less appearances? Of course, if people want to work themselves into a lather over Rooney then what a blow it will be for Man U psychologially if they lose him? Likewise for England unfortunately where professional journalists such as Phil McNulty insist that without Rooney England 'have no chance' of winning the world cup. Such utter tosh can be damaging.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thistle - beg to differ over King Eric. He was a special player. Some of the goals he scored and the moves he was involved in were truly outstanding. Only special players can do the things he did.

    For example, Choccy McClair came along in the late 80's, was the first 20+ goalscorer for years, was a great goalscorer for a number of years and was involved in us winning countless trophies. Andy Cole came in '95 and the same can be said for him, great player, great goalscorer, loads of trophies. But when you see a list of (say) the best 25 goals of the past 20 years, Eric will crop up time and time again yet you'll be lucky to see Coley or Choccy in the pick of the crop. They were great players, Eric was a special player (although personal opinion obviously).

    But back to the point and forgetting Eric as a player, as a talisman I think we are agreed he was a massive influence on the team that went on to dominate for 5 - 6 years, and as I said earlier, with great players around hime like Becks, Scholes, Giggs, etc.

  • Comment number 13.

    Salford Red from the Height - "And now without Rooney we'd be rubbish ?!"

    Not rubbish, just nowhere near where you are in the league now. In the past when players have left united had players to replace them waiting in the wings, cantona > the the fergie generation (beckham, scholes, giggs etc), ronaldo > rooney (already a quality, if not world class, player), but now if you take rooney out of the team who replaces him? besides rooney uniteds best player this year has prob been darren fletcher, who could not inspire the team and win matches as rooney does. so who would replace rooney - berbatov? owen? valencia? giggs? nope, none are good enough, no disrespect to giggs hes just too old to have that kind of effect now. So although united would not be rubbish by any means, my OPINION is they would not be close to where they are now.

  • Comment number 14.

    Talk of 'one man teams' is completely ridiculous.

    Take Manchester United for example. They were accused of being a 'one man team' with Ronaldo, yet Rooney (United's current 'one man team') played in those teams!

    Lets not forget too that Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic and Van De Sar all made the 'premiership team of the year' last year having achieved the best defensive record, including a record-breaking 14 successive clean sheets. Fair to say they did their job?

    As did Giggs, who also made the 'team of the year'. Add in the likes of Rooney and Tevez (as well as the unglamorous players like Fletcher, Park and Scholes) and it looks very much to me that United had an 11 man team last year.... and yet in some quarters of the press, United were a 'one man team' because Ronaldo grabbed most of the headlines.

    It shows how little some observers actually know about football. Oh, and for the record, United have scored 13 more league goals this season than they had at this same point last season.

    Liverpool always get called a 'two man team' because of Gerrard and Torres and yet they beat Ronaldo, sorry United, last season an Anfield without both players.

    Talk of 'one man teams' is purely lazy journalism or envy from rival fans.


  • Comment number 15.

    It's an indisputable fact is that the majority of teams - no matter at what level - base their style of play around their 'better' players; simply because most of the game has to pass through them.

    Cesc Fabregas gets labelled the 'Quarterback' at Arsenal because of the way he dictates the Gunners' passing style. Same with Stevie G at Liverpool (who's more up and at'em). Rory Delap at Stoke...(yeah..yeah..okay!)

    Marking them out of the game (if at all possible..probably not in Rory's case) is the best way for the opposition to defeat them - breaking up a side's general dynamic. So in this way you could call them one man teams!

    Top sides like Barca can get around this of course...stop Messi, they go through Xavi or Henry.

    This is where good management comes into the equation. Develop a 'plan B' for altering your sides' style of play when your main man is negated - confuse the opposition - opening up space for your star player to come into force.

  • Comment number 16.

    One man team? Of course not! No-one believes that if Rooney on his own, played Darlington, even at Old Trafford, it would be anything but an anihilation.
    What is true is that one man can make the difference between winning and losing.
    As has been mentioned before, David Beckham's performance against Greece stands out as the perfect example. Then there was "the Matthews final" where Stanley Matthews so heavily influenced the result.
    Those were just one-off games but although I can't stand Steven Gerrard, I have to say that I stand in awe of the effort he puts in in so many games where, it seems that without him, Liverpoo would vanish without trace.

  • Comment number 17.

    Its the Offensive Line that protects the QB. :)

  • Comment number 18.

    I play in the Midland Combernation for my team and I no its not a great standard but I can tell you now that there is such thing as a one man team! If it wern't for me........well......

    I am kind of a big deal round these parts!!!!

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes of course it takes 11 players to field a team, but one man carrying the team for Blackpool at the moment is Super Charlie Adam. It is not just the fact he is our top scorer and top with assists. It is his whole personality that is stamped on our team. Sadly I think he will go on to the Prem in the summer, but he will be forever a legend on the seaside.

  • Comment number 20.

    In regard to the Man Utd being a one man team debate, every team has an individual who makes the difference for them, scores a high proportion of their goals or is regarded as their star player or leader.

    Take Drogba out of Chelsea, Torres out of Liverpool, Fabregas out of Arsenal, Defoe out of Tottenham, it's the same debate.

    I think people are being disrespectful to many of the players in Man Utd's squad by saying they would be nothing without Rooney. Berbatov, Owen, Giggs, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Van der Sar- these are all fine players who have played a key role in Man Utd winning three consecutive Premierships before this season. I mean, to just turn around and say players like Berbatov or Owen are rubbish is completely over the top, in my view. Rooney has played nearly every game for Man Utd this season and been used as the sole spearhead in a 4-5-1 when they've used that tactical plan.

    If he got injured, it would be a blow but it would be naive to think that Berbatov/Owen would do nothing, particular with the talented players Man Utd have in midfield and the chances they create from players like Valencia, Park, Carrick, Nani, Scholes and Giggs. People wondered how Man Utd would cope without Ronaldo and Tevez but Rooney stepped up and profited from their absence.

    Berbatov has been benched frequently this season and Owen has hardly played- they are just as likely to profit from Rooney's absence as Man Utd are to miss Rooney.

    Football is a team game, not just an individual game, even though individuals can sometimes be the difference.

  • Comment number 21.

    Similar to yourself Jack, I also don't believe in a one man team. But, I believe certain players can influence a team to become greater, whether this be with on the field performances and motivation, or off the field, whcih as the audience, we miss out on. Examples currently are of Rooney at Manchester United and Fabregas at Arsenal, although the greatest example is Maradona's move to Napoli in 1984. Having previously battled with relegation, the siging of Maradona for a world record $12 million, led them to 2 league titles, a domestic cup and the UEFA cup.

  • Comment number 22.

    In certain aspects YES!

    Xabi alonso leaving for Liverpool, passing and creativity has been a problem since. Its all very well having Torres up front but if you cant get the ball to him and create space with the pass from midfield then he is ineffective.

    Rooney has run the united Team in recent weeks.

    Also Stoke last year - James Beattie single handedly kept them up, same could be said about Tevez for West Ham. I also remember Van Hoijdonk ( Prob incorrect spelling), he was the only decent player in Nottingham forest's last campaign in the Premier League!

  • Comment number 23.

    Great blog!!! It is a real rarity to find someone to shower praises on a Trinidadian playing in Europe but Latapy is a true professional in the game.
    As with Rooney and Man United, people said the same last year when CR7 was there and now its Rooney. There is always that one person but to think a team like Man U will crumble without him is absurd because we have players that could walk into any other Champions League playing team.

  • Comment number 24.

    Though I can't recall precise details, here are a few examples of matches between 1 man & 11:

    1. Best for N. Ireland v USSR [I think] in late 60s
    2. Di Canio for West Ham v Man U - Man U won either 4-2 or 4-3 but Di Canio scored all Hammers' goals & ran Utd's defence ragged singlehanded.
    3. Myhill v Spurs in 0-0 this season - if there's been a more inspired goalkeeping display I've not seen it.
    4. Clattenberg for Liverpool in Merseyside derby last year.

  • Comment number 25.

    why do the bbc blog writers not double-check their work? week in, week out i find either typos, grammatical or spelling mistakes that do not befit the nation's broadcaster.

    please sort it out!

  • Comment number 26.

    #22 Craig McConnell

    I also remember Van Hoijdonk ( Prob incorrect spelling), he was the only decent player in Nottingham forest's last campaign in the Premier League!
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Thing is, with his swollen ego, it was difficult to fit any other members of the team on the pitch!

  • Comment number 27.

    I can't believe no-one has mentioned Matt Le Tissier!
    I know you can't fit all possibilities into one blog, but Russell Latapy???

  • Comment number 28.

    Liverpool were constantly referred to as a two-man team last season (Torres and Gerrard).

    Then Alonso left and we were told we had lost our best player! Go figure that one out!

  • Comment number 29.

    @#25- get a life! Who cares about the standard of grammar from those who contribute their opinions on this board, either the bloggers themselves, or indeed those who contribute to the boards. In case you hadnt noticed this is a blog about the idea of 'one-man teams' as opposed to 'does it matter if I, Jack Ross or any of the other bloggers on the BBC use correct punctuation, sentence structure and grammer?'

    Onto the main topic, no a one-man team does not exist, as previous posters stated, Ronaldo, Messi et al wouldn't produce the magic they do if the other players in the team won the ball and then gave it to them. they take the plaudits, but in many repescts every team has the unsung heroes who deserve the plaudits more.

  • Comment number 30.

    Robsteros - please see No9 re Le Tiss :-)
    And Russell Latapy I assume was the example as it is the blog of a SPL player and referring to his experience with Latapy at Falkirk.

  • Comment number 31.

    Best examples I've ever seen of the "one-man-team" phenomenom was Maradona for Argentina in Mexico '86, and Francesco Totti in the Roma team of the early 2000's. It's sad that outside of Italy very few people seem to be recognise what a sensational talent Totti is.

  • Comment number 32.

    As a United fan I've always noticed how we've been accused of being a one man team during the successful years - Cantona, then Beckham, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, and now Rooney. It's a fair comment in the sense that each became the dominant player and biggest star - but only in an attacking sense.

    What strikes me is that the one-man team label only ever gets applied to attacking players. Truth is that the same United teams over the years could have been described as totally reliant on Schmeichel, Keane and Ferdinand - but that never happens.

  • Comment number 33.

    Is it just me or are some people taking this a bit too literary? Obviously a one man team, ie one player vs 11 would be a disaster, but I do think it exists.
    People are drotting out the old Rooney, Gerrard, Messi nonsense, clearly teams in the Champions League or top leagues in the world will be full of exceptional players. But in places like the lower English leagues, or SPL or SFA a one man team can be found.
    Latapy is a good example. A team like Falkirk will play better football, influenced by the confidence Latapy brings them. Its this confidence that can turn decent footballers into good footballers. The club benefit from shirt sales and increased tickets, from people wanting to watch the confident swagger the team has, or just wanting to say they seen Latapy play (much like Best at Hibs, his major contribution to the team was bums on seats, but the rest of the players played better as a result).
    So, in conclusion, a one man team can exsist, but only if the rest of team is mediocre, the club aren't European powerhouses and the standard of football isn't too high.

  • Comment number 34.

    Every major club has at least one one stand-out player. They would miss them, of course, any team would miss one of the world's best players ... but it does not need mean they are a one-man team.

    A few posts suggest United would be 'nowhere near' where they are this season without Rooney. I reckon third. So one place lower. Not exactly a calamity. I think it just gives their detractors something to pick at. Better a on man team than a no man team.

    No disrespect to the rest of the Premier League but United could lose half their squad and still finish in the top half. It's that other cliche - 'strength in depth' - that keeps getting wheeled out.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi jack, good topic for discussion, glad your on the mend we need you back asap fella.

    on the does one man maketh a team front?

    many of the best teams in respect of actually winning stuff were so called one men teams.

    Brazil - pele, ronaldo
    argentina - maradona
    liverpool - gerrard
    man u - cantona
    St mirren - somner
    morton - ritchie

    ok the winning fizzles out by the time we get to ritchie :) but the point is that many teams as described were never one men teams.
    the coaches in their wisdom (or not) choose to build a team round what they belived was their biggest asset in creativity or goals.

    think about Hoddle, great at club level where the manager would build his side round a gifted individual, but his national team would not offer such defrence.
    and good old matt le tissier same scenario for club and country, his other true gift was his ability to actually "Put weight on" during the course of a game.

    so as you already knew the one man team, is a bit like meeting a good looking virgin on a nite out in paisley. we all want it to be true, but sadly realise it's a pipe dream. :)

    p.s. put your arm round AD and tell him to just believe it.

  • Comment number 36.

    Regarding the comment #25 by the uberpedant known as 'foonyroo would give both his knees to hargreaves' about the grammatical skills of the author, I would like to point out that his/her/it's own failure to correctly use capitals made me spit out my haggis sandwich over my mug of whisky.................

  • Comment number 37.

    #16 Rooney did actually play Darlington on his own at Old Trafford in a pre-season friendly.
    Far from it being the expected anihilation Rooney only lost the game 1-0.
    The Darlington centre-forward scored the winner in the final minute of 3 minutes of added injury-time. Ironically, this extra time had been added on as a result of an ugly incident in the 85th minute between Rooney and the Darlington centre-half in which both players were sent-off...!! ;-p

  • Comment number 38.

    @10 "According to Lord Justice Griffiths there is.
    Not only can one man be totally responsible for a team winning a match (even after being substituted), he can even be the sole reason a team survives relegation from a league such as the Premier League.
    Additionally - this man can also influence games that took place before he came to the club.

    This man, of course, is Carlos Tevez."

    hahaha too right! even though im a newcastle man and have no opinion on either west ham or sheff utd, i always found it ridiculous that he was touted as the sole reason for utd's relegation, it was just sour grapes that was given too much attention and debate.

    though it is true that tevez was, and still is, to blame for every game sheff utd lose.

  • Comment number 39.

    #34
    Check out Mr M Tylers most recent blog on Skys website.
    If you took out Rooneys contribution to the team and the top scorer in every other team, United would still be second. Interestingly Arsenal would be top (So not so reliant on Fabregas) And Chelsea would be third without Drogba.

  • Comment number 40.

    And here I wait, awaiting moderation!!

  • Comment number 41.

    Thanks again for the comments and responses.

    Interesting to read different opinions of the influence of individual players upon their teams and while it seems most would agree that it is not as simple as one man being wholly responsible for success, there are undoubtedly players who we prefer to have available for our own teams, and unavailable for opposdition sides.

    With regards to my own team mate Andy Dorman, he has still shown the same finishing qualities in training as he displayed last season-and while the goals have not come as regularly, I have every faith that he will make a significant scoring contribution between now and the end of the season.

    The inclusion of Charlie Adam in the Scotland squad is thoroughly merited. He was perhaps unfairly criticised during his time with Rangers, and having played against Charlie on several occassions I am well aware of the talent he has. Hopefully he will get the opportunity to reproduce his club form at international level.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    can't believe my comments have been removed , poor show bbc.

  • Comment number 44.

    1. At 6:31pm on 22 Feb 2010, NCFC - On The Ball City wrote:
    I think teams can only be called one-man teams if they cant function in the same way they usually would when missing a significant player. Take Man City v Liverpool yesterday. Both teams were missing important players in Tevez and Torres, and couldn't make any decent chances, making the game less interesting than drying paint

    this is very dim. liverpool have played good football without both Gerrard and Torres. All the game had was a pair of world-class defences, unlike ManU vs Arsenal, which has better attackers and Disney defence.

    Tottenham became a one-man team when Klinsman used to turn up every Feb. Before then i'd say Dragan Stojkovic for Red Star and Serbia/Croatia(?), and now i'd personally put Man U as the current team most dependant on one (prehistoric) man.

  • Comment number 45.

    When Argentina won the 1986 World Cup with Maradona, they were definately a one man team. There was no way they would have won it without him.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good to hear that Andy Dorman has still been scoring in training - the sooner he starts during game the better! We really need him to start scoring because Kilmarnock, St. Johnstone and Falkirk are all doing well at the moment and we are in danger of getting well and truly sucked into a relegation battle.

  • Comment number 47.

    good morning jack , we need more than Andy to start finishing the chances they are making ! A good time to start would be tomorrow (weather permitting) A good old fashioned 6 pointer or what? we will miss your contribution but I am sure the lads will step up to the plate.
    I hope the saints fans will as well .if you don't get to many games this one is very important and the team need your support. Sid.

  • Comment number 48.

    Jack,
    Sorry to see you get injured the other week at Ibrox. Well done for soldiering on so long after the initial knock. I hope your rehab is as swift as possible, Saints are missing the width and forward passing you provide. I spent November out through injury and it was really the most boring few weeks I can remember. It would be interesting to hear more about what pros do to recover?
    People above have made good cases above for the existance of one man teams but it can be a double-edged sword if the team is overly reliant on the star player. I remember St Mirren playing against Falkirk when Latapy was there and it seemed to be a simple equation that if one of the central midfielders ruthlessly man-marked him, Falkirk’s game came to naught. On the days we thought this an unnecessary tactic, we came unstuck and he inevitably caused us grief.

  • Comment number 49.

    Naturally I'm biased as my username suggests but for people to belittle Latapy's contribution to the game, particularly in Scotland shows a distinct lack of the wee magicians talents.

    This is a player who played at a high level well into a footballer OAP status, his exploits off the field being well documented as well. He once quipped that his training for the world cup was to cut back to 20 cigarettes a day. In fact I saw him on a Wednesday night being carried into a taxi but his commitment on the following Saturday was the same as always.

    He came close to clinching a world player of the year award, played at a extremely high level and although Scotland might not be the English Premier League or La Liga it certainly was a place for him to show what a great player he was. It showed his commitment that he stuck around for as long as he did, playing in Scottish winter rather than retiring and sitting on a Trinidad beach enjoying his fortune he made from the game.

    It's only a shame he came from Trinidad and Tobago and not Scotland, we can only dream of a player with that ball control and eye for a pass pulling on the navy blue.

    Tell you what though I'd have a Jack Ross over a Russell Latapy pulling on a Falkirk jersey right now, I'm sorry we didn't do more to keep you.

  • Comment number 50.

    I dont think there is such a thing as a" one man team" anymore as football has evolved and there is more emphasis on teamwork, work rate etc

 

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