We often see successful sides criticized as being a “one-man” team, whereby they rely heavily on one individual’s inspiration and skill to provide results.
Similarly, teams doomed to fight for scraps at the bottom of the league can also be seen suffering from dependency issues. Below are 5 such players that seemingly hold the delicate future of their club in their hands.
Julio Cesar, QPR
Why? Since the turn of the year Cesar has hit terrific form, keeping 4 clean sheets in his last 5 appearances, 3 of which came against teams in the top 4 of the Premiership; Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea. If Cesar had been performing this well throughout the season then there is a huge possibility that QPR would not be embroiled in this year’s relegation battle.
Arouna Kone, Wigan
Why? Wigan’s defence is, simply put, awful. Therefore, the only way they will be able to pick up points for the rest of the year is if they can outscore their opponents, which is why Kone is so valuable for the team. Kone is set to return from representing Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, and will hopefully be able to provide these much needed goals.
Jimmy Kebe, Reading
Why? Despite super-sub Le Fondre netting several vital goals this season, his overall performances have been simply out-shadowed by the sublime and tireless Kebe, who puts 100% into every single minute of playing time. So crucial is he to the team, that out of the ten games he has missed, Reading have only amassed a meagre 4 points, relegation form indeed.
Rickie Lambert, Southampton
Why? With 11 goals to his name already, it is no surprise to see Lambert make this list, as without him Southampton would surely be heading straight back to life in the Championship. This goal scoring machine is especially important to the club’s chances of survival considering the recent managerial shake-up and how few goals his team mates have been putting away.
Christian Benteke, Aston Villa
Why? Without his 10 goals and numerous assists, Aston Villa would probably have conceded defeat and began preparing for life in the Championship by now. Many have already dubbed him as a “young Drogba” due to his combination of skill, power and speed and consequently, out of all the players mentioned here, he is the player that single-handedly holds the most influence over his team’s future.