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Soccer Scene Sheringham emerges as top veteran in Premier

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Joe Behan

After their midweek loss to Anderlecht, if Manchester United do not beat Dinamo Keiv at Old Trafford in two weeks, the Reds are out of the Champions League and the talk now of the club crumbling may get louder.

United’s 5-nil drumming of Southampton, with a Teddy Sheringham hat trick, an Andy Cole brace, and the EPL crowd record of 67,581, has not convinced all that things are easily amended overnight. Veteran striker Teddy Sheringham is not finished yet and is hungrier than ever to finish on top toward the end of his career. The 34-year-old topped a week of veterans doing well for themselves in EPL.

Sheringham signed a contract in May 2000 to keep him at Old Trafford for another season. He joined United in a £3.5 million deal with Tottenham Hotspur, the club he followed as a boy. After an impressive start to his career at Millwall, making 220 league appearances and scoring 93 goals, Sheringham went to Nottingham Forest in 1991. A fruitful first season saw Forest sell Teddy Boy to Spurs in a £2.1 million deal.

He was bought to replace Eric Cantona for the playmaker role in front of the forward line. His debut for United was a nightmare at White Hart Lane. Spurs fans had a field day booing him of the pitch as he missed a penalty. After a bright start to his United career, he faded badly as United lost out to Arsenal’s late charge for the Premiership title. His performances attracted the attention of the knockers and both United and opposing fans abused him.

After spending most of the 1998-9 season sidelined by injury or kept out by the amazing performances of the Yorke-Cole duet, he returned to the first team, usually as sub, to score some of the most important goals in United’s history.

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He scored after just 96 seconds of his arrival as a sub in the FA Cup final and then created the second goal for Paul Scholes. He was awarded the Man of the Match that day. Then, in a moment which will define him forever, he came on to score United’s equalizer and set up Ole Gunnar Solskj’r’s winner as United claimed an injury-time victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League final in Barcelona.

He is now making up for 1999-2000 when he had only 14 league starts with only four goals. His original contract was due to expire at the end of that season, but despite much media speculation, he chose to stay at the club for another year. What a move this is proving to be for club and player.

Sheringham was an integral part of England’s Euro 96 success and played during France 98, only to be replaced in the starting lineup by the young Michael Owen.

Another Collymore chapter

Stan Collymore is becoming one of the most interesting stories in the EPL. On the brink of becoming a veteran, Collymore has an opportunity to end his career on a positive note. If he did it would be great for football. It is impossible to write him off after he hit an unbelievable overhead scissors kick in Bradford’s 1-all tie with Leeds United. Mark Viduka saved the day for United with a later equalizer. Collymore may have hit the goal of the year with his sublime effort on his debut in the 21st minute.

Born Jan. 22, 1971, Big Stanley is 6-foot-3. He hardly needs any introduction, being as he is one of the most controversial figures of recent footballing times, but Collymore has started to once again show how well he can play after being signed by Leicester from Aston Villa.

At his best, he may be impossible to contain — due to his powerful pace he has the ability to steam past defenders as though they did not exist. Sometimes on the end of these moves he can release a ferocious shot. Also a fine header of the ball, his all-around skill should be able to guarantee him further glory, but one never knows with Stan the Man.

Collymore’s best top-flight form so far came during his spell at Nottingham Forest, earning him a multi-million-pound move to Liverpool and then to Villa. His troubled career took yet another turn for the worse when he fell out with new Leicester boss Peter Taylor in September 2000. He was immediately put on the transfer list after he refused to agree to being released from his contract.

Collymore then had a big bust up with fellow striker Trevor Benjamin during a reserve game after he claimed Benjamin was not running for his through balls. Bradford City then took a gamble on the striker by taking him on a free transfer in October 2000. He made 11 Premiership appearances for Leicester, four as a sub, and scored five goals – including a stunning hat trick against Sunderland. Right now he is Bradford’s savior.

Experience comes through

Arsenal goalkeeper John Lukic showed the enduring elasticity in his limbs just six weeks before his 40th birthday with a fabulous block to deny an attempted equalizer from Manchester City’s Shaun Goater. Dennis Bergkamp, the 31-year-old Dutch veteran who retired from the international scene, found the back of the net in Arsenal’s 5-0 drubbing of Manchester City.

Chelsea beat Spurs 3-0 to climb their way back into the top six under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored twice to add to his recent bag full of goals, since the arrival of the Italian coaching staff. The experienced Zola is back on the score sheet as both strikers enjoy their reunion with their ex-coach, Ranieri.

Liverpool got back on track to go third in the table with a big Merseyside derby win. Emile Hesky broke the deadlock in the 56th minute as Liverpool went on to make it 3-1. Nick Barmby opened with a diving header in the 12th minute but Campbell canceled out his effort in the 17th. Gazza, making yet another comeback in his latter days, did some great stuff to spark the Everton attack, but Liverpool’s Patrik Berger sealed the game with a penalty in the 75th minute. The in-form Heskey is now joined by two spectacular goal scorers, Barmby and Berger, as Owen and Fowler wait in the wings at Anfield Road.

Paul Merson is proving to be an important old timer for attacking football and Aston Villa. He was instrumental in Villa’s 2-1 win over Charlton.

Roundup

Rory Delap scored a gem against Leicester to open the scoring and give hope to Derby for their first win of the season. Icelander Arnar Gunnlaugsson, brought off the substitutes-bench by Peter Taylor after 73 minutes, made it 2-1 for Leicester with his first touch of the ball three minutes later.

The last time Ipswich was fifth in the table was when Bobby Robson was manager about 20 years ago. Richard Naylor and Mark Venus scored their first goals for the Town to make it 2-1 against Middlesbrough. These days Robson finds himself floating in the top 10, the wrong side of fifth place. It is a little setback for Newcastle and letting a struggling West Ham win 1-nil may be the fall of the Toon Army and the rise of the Hammers.

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