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SMPM's Premier League Hall of Fame

So, the Premier League recently announced an official Hall of Fame for the greatest players in the competition's 28 year history, with its two inaugural members being selected next month. Here at SMPM however, Ben Wheadon, Fin Cousins and I came together, miraculously putting our footballing differences aside to draft a first ballot of "HoF"-ers, taking turns naming nine players to represent the very greatest of the Premier League's three decades. The results may be shocking... and we acknowledge that some may be offended by some major absentees, but that's part of the fun- isn't it?

And now the results!


1. Alan Shearer

2. Eric Cantona

3. Dennis Bergkamp

4. Paul Scholes

5. Ryan Giggs

6. Gianfranco Zola

7. Andy Cole

8. Roy Keane

9. Ian Wright

In an era dominated by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, we see 5 United legends stake their claim for the Hall of Fame. However, we've gone with Alan Shearer as our first entry as a striker that truly embodies the archetypal 1990's striker. A British record transfer signing *twice* in his career, Shearer is still the Premier League record goalscorer with an astonishing 260 goals, winning the Premier League Golden Boot three years in a row (1995-1997) and the league in 1994-95 with Blackburn Rovers. The legendary figures of Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp come close with their outrageous flair and finesse in an era dominated by long ball tactics and hard tackles, but simply do not have the numbers, nor the fanfare to beat Shearer to the top.


Paul Scholes, being a player that often features in extremely heated debate between myself and resident United fan (and kinda my boss??) Ben, quietly dominated the Premier League's midfield for an absurdly long time. Alongside him, teammate Ryan Giggs bombed down the wings annoyingly successfully for a suspiciously similar eon on his way to becoming the league's most-decorated player and the league's all-time assists leader.

The absolute brute (and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible) Roy Keane bullied his way to an incredible 7 league titles with his prolific (and incredibly underrated) teammate Andy Cole, who's 187 goals leaves him as the Premier League's 3rd all-time top scorer. The 'wizard' Gianfranco Zola added a spark of Italian brilliance and creativity to a comparatively mild Chelsea side and carried them to European success for the first time in their history earning him the 6th spot on our list, as Ian Wright pips 9th place with his 113 goals and his Crystal Palace loan spell (looking at you, Fin).


1. Wayne Rooney

2. Thierry Henry

3. Frank Lampard

4. Steven Gerrard

5. Rio Ferdinand

6. John Terry

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

8. Didier Drogba

9. Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Whilst the invincible Thierry Henry could arguably be considered the greatest Premier League player of all time, 2000's Wayne Rooney was not only a world beater, but bossed the Premier League for so long. As the record transfer fee for a teenager in 2004, Rooney also set the record for the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League in a 6-2 demolition of Fenerbache at only 18 years of age. Frequently playing with different strikers, Rooney was more than just a top finisher as his all-round game earned him both individual and club awards in his 13 year spell with Manchester United. Henry comes in second place, with his 175 goal tally enough for sixth all-time on the scoring charts.


Integral to Chelsea's absolutely absurd 2003-05 Premier League run, Frank Lampard and John Terry are shoe-ins for the highly anticipated HoF too with their ever-consistent performances. Steven Gerrard's lack of Premier League success, coupled with weaker Premier League stats (yes, stats aren't everything, but I am a Chelsea fan if you hadn't noticed) sees him slip (intended) to 4th. It pained me to place United's Rio Ferdinand above Terry, but he was a total bulldozer that, somehow, could also play the ball extremely competently too.

Placing Cristiano Ronaldo at 7th seems harsh, but he simply did not spend enough of his career in the Premier League with his peak really coming with Real Madrid in La Liga. One deadlier than the other (you choose which), Didier Drogba and Ruud Van Nistelrooy round off our list with their all-round striking abilities and elite knack for scoring in big games. The 2000s were truly stacked.



1. Sergio Aguero

2. Eden Hazard

3. David De Gea

4. Vincent Kompany

5. Harry Kane

6. Yaya Toure

7. David Silva

8. Jamie Vardy

9. James Milner

Football fans around the world will never forget the infamous 'Agueroooooo'- the little magician was the only player us three at SMPM unanimously agreed as our 1st picks. In an era where Manchester City dominated (Ed: *bought) the Premier League, Sergio Aguero has been the constant for City. As City's top scorer of all time, Aguero simply has to be player of the 2010s. Tenacious, elegant and lethal, Aguero has been doing it all decade long and is undoubtedly SMPM's Player of the Decade.


He's got some Kompany in his former teammate, Vincent (I will not apologise for that) one of five former Manchester City players that find themselves in the 2010's first ballot. Chelsea's sorely missed gem Eden Hazard also tore up the league for a number of years and collecting the coveted PL Winners' medal on two occasions, but Kompany's injury woes sees him fall to fourth place behind David De Gea, who's sole league title does not reflect his impact over the decade - certainly having been the best keeper in the world for a number of years. Harry Kane's extremely efficient goalscoring seasons earn him a respectable place on the list, but he is restricted by Tottenham's constant bottling. Yaya Toure was utterly sensational as he galloped his way through rival midfields, but was only really at the top-top level for a few years as his City career fizzled somewhat spontaneously.

David Silva is one of the most technically gifted players the league as ever seen and deserves similar credit to teammates Toure, Aguero and Kompany. Jamie Vardy's Hollywood-esque rise to the top of the game, coupled with still the greatest Premier League feat of all time (Leicester City's 2015/16 title winning season) and a league record of 11 consecutive games with a goal, earns him a place on the list as he closes in on the coveted 100 Premier League goal mark. Mo Salah's absence feels peculiar, but perhaps Fin just didn’t think he's been doing it for long enough.


Who did we miss? Who did we overrate? Find our home addresses and come shout at us about our footballing opinions. Let us know who you would select from the past decades of the Premier League.

Alex Kutscher is a 21 year old English Literature "student" at King's College London. He plays basketball and watches Chelsea on the weekend. He loves sports, television and live music. As you can probably tell, he's still tragically a New York Knicks fan.

Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England. Like us on facebook, follow us on instagram and subscribe to our mailing list below to be alerted every time a post is published on the site.

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