Top Ten Players Never to Win the Premier League

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Sometimes life isn’t fair and in football this isn’t any different. With Steven Gerrard soon departing for the MLS and remarkably never winning a league title, here’s a list of the top ten players never to win the Premier League.

10. David Ginola—Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton

David Ginola remains the only Frenchman to win the Player of the Year in both France (93/94) and England (98/99) during his career. What’s more remarkable about his award in England is that it came in Manchester United’s outstanding treble winning season; showing his undeniable talent in the Premier League. The closest he came to winning the league, however, was at Newcastle in the 1995/96 season. Heading in to January ten points ahead of eventual winners Manchester United, Ginola looked sure to win the Premier League—only for his side to surrender the title.

9. Brad Friedel—Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham

The 43 year old veteran and only American on the list, Brad Friedel was an incredible keeper in his earlier days. With 132 clean sheets to his name (just two behind four time Premier League winner Edwin van Der Sar) he made his name at Blackburn, becoming an ever-present reliable keeper throughout his career. Friedel even scored what seemed to be an equaliser for his side against Charlton in the 2002/03 season; only for Claus Jensen to score the winner seconds later. After a successful career at Aston Villa, he is now at Tottenham with just months remaining on his contract where he is also enjoying life as a Club Ambassador.

8. Xabi Alonso—Liverpool

Probably one of the greatest midfielders in the world, Alonso came so close yet so far in his time at Anfield in the 2008/09 season—finishing four points behind winners Manchester United. His time in the Premier League was so highly regarded it earned him a £30million move to Real Madrid, where he went on to have more success. With 114 caps to his name for Spain, two European Championships, one World Cup, two Champions Leagues, an FA Cup, La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Super Cup and what looks to be a Bundesliga with his Bayern Munich side; the Premier League has eluded his career. Xabi Alonso recently returned to Liverpool for Gerrard’s testimonial, receiving an unbelievable reception from the fans, and remains one of the most highly respected footballers to play in the Premier League.

7. Marcel Desailly—Chelsea

Considered to be one of the best centre-backs in the world during his six years at Stamford Bridge, the ex-Chelsea giant, who won the World Cup and European Championship with France, left the club a season before they won their first Premier League title. Desailly won the Champions League for the second time in his career with AC Milan (his first coming with Marseille) before joining Chelsea in 1998 for £4.6 million. With Frank Leboeuf he formed a formidable partnership in defence, but the FA Cup in 2000 was the only end of season silverware he picked up.

6. Robbie Fowler—Liverpool, Leeds United, Man City, Blackburn Rovers

163 goals in just 379 games in the Premier League justifies why Robbie Fowler was the best striker never to win the Premier League in his career. Fowler still holds the record for the fastest Premier League hat-trick ever which looks likely to never be beaten; scoring three times in four minutes against Arsenal in August 1994. He only ever won cup competitions during his time with Liverpool, including the FA Cup, League Cup, Uefa Cup and Super Cup. Somehow, Fowler was only picked for England 26 times, scoring seven goals, and England managers have received understandable criticism for this. During his career though, he never came close to winning the Premier League despite his impressive goal scoring record.

5. Cesc Fabregas—Arsenal, Chelsea

Although he was part of the Arsenal squad in their Invincible 2003-04 season, Fabregas only made appearances in the League Cup and his Premier League debut came the season after. His debut season was the closest he ever came to winning the title, finishing second behind his current club Chelsea. Following seven seasons with Arsenal without winning the league, the Spaniard returned to his boyhood team Barcelona, winning everything except the Champions League. Fabregas returned to England last August and looks very likely to end his Premier League drought very soon with Chelsea, who, at the time of writing, are six points ahead of second placed Manchester City with a valuable game in hand too.

4. Jamie Carragher—Liverpool

Oddly enough, the closest Liverpool ever came to winning the Premier League was the year after Carragher retired. Watching painfully on from the Sky box with Gary Neville, Carragher could only see his side slip up. However, that particular failure doesn’t take anything away from his time at Liverpool where he enjoyed some marvellous seasons at the heart of defence. Winning Player of the Year for his side three times and getting in the PFA team of the year in 2006, Carragher earned 38 caps for England and is regarded as one of the Liverpool greats. Like Gerrard, he has won all the cups on offer, but that Premier League was never meant to be.

3. Matt Le Tissier—Southampton

‘Le God’ could only ever play for one club in his career at the top of English football and this was at Southampton. But had he not been so loyal there and moved to a better club (Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United were all interested in his services) there is no doubt he would have won at least some silverware in his career. England’s finest Guernsey-born playmaker didn’t come close to winning the Premier League with his side, but his goalscoring was quite remarkable from a player who wasn’t an out-and-out striker; scoring 45 times in two seasons at his peak. Netting 47 penalties from 48 attempts proves he is the best penalty taker in English football history, and many consider it a travesty that he was so underused by the national team.

2. Gianfranco Zola—Chelsea

Two time Player of the Year, Cup Winners Cup, FA Cup and League Cup winner but the Premier League just couldn’t be won for Zola. A fan favourite and for many one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players, the Italian left shortly before his side took over as the best team in England, and had he been able to stay a little longer, he surely would have been at the forefront of their dominance. One of the most gifted and talented players from overseas the Premier League has seen, Zola’s ability on the field left nothing to be desired and the fact that he never won the title doesn’t take away from his legacy.

1. Steven Gerrard—Liverpool

It’s quite sad having to write this man’s name on the list. Being made captain at just 23 years old in 2003, Gerrard couldn’t win the Premier League in his time in England. Considered one of the greatest players to wear the Red shirt and grace the Premier League, Stevie G has done everything for his beloved Liverpool in his career: scoring in and winning the FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and League Cup finals—the only player to do this. In hindsight, he seems to have been the architect of his own downfall. That movie-like mistimed slip which led to Demba Ba scoring the opener in a crucial title-deciding match practically handed the league to Man City, who went on to win the league by two points. A Premier League won’t be won by him this season, and ultimately last year was the perfect chance. Hopefully Gerrard will finally make up for lost time with La Galaxy, although this would only slightly cover up a huge gap in a wonderful career.