Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Cole and Yorke were the best combination I ever faced
3:00pm Wednesday 2nd April 2014 in Sport
To most people when they hear the name SAS, they think of the elite forces in the British Army, the Special Air Service and the term “Who Dares Wins”.
This year’s Premier League title race has produced another SAS, but they are wearing the red of Liverpool and not the green of the army.
Twenty goals each from Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge this season has given Liverpool a very special service indeed and has made them the envy of their rivals.
They are a deadly duo and proving to be one of, if not the best attacking partnerships in the league.
Suarez is a top player, one of the best forwards in world football right now and slightly edging my vote for PFA player of the year.
Some of his play this season has been nothing short of brilliant, the sort of football we have been accustomed to seeing from the likes of Cristianio Ronaldo and Lionel Messi week-in, week-out.
His strike partner is just as deadly and fast becoming one of the country’s best marksmen. Breaking the 20-goal mark and some Liverpool records along the way, it seems Sturridge has finally found somewhere he can call home.
In my career, I was lucky enough to play against some of the best forwards of my generation who formed some of prolific partnerships.
Shearer & Ferdinand, Wright & Bergkamp, Beardsley & Cole and Rooney & Ronaldo were just some of the dangerous attacking duos I faced in my time.
All gave me problems individually and collectively; some battles I won and some I lost, but I loved every minute of it.
There are a couple of pairings I thought were even better than some of those I mentioned earlier.
Rivaldo & Kluivert were playing for Barcelona at the time I was at Leeds United.
Their movement was unbelievable. Kluivert was both powerful and fast, whilst Rivaldo had the best feet and ball skills I had ever seen.
They combined so well and showed why they were world class, Kuivert scoring two and Rivaldo chipping in with one as Barcelona beat us 4-0.
Henry & Bergkamp led the line for Arsenal together for many years and were always a tough afternoon’s work when I faced them.
Bergkamp was a playmaker extraordinaire but could also score goals and when your strike partner is Thierry Henry, it just adds to the headache for defenders.
Henry was unstoppable at times, the fastest I ever faced, one of the most skilful and at over 6ft tall, very strong too.
They worked so well together, with Bergkamp usually finding Henry’s every run, while Henry needed only one chance to score.
Of all the strike partnerships I came up against, it is easy to say which I thought was hardest to face – Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.
Individually, they were great players, but as a partnership they were THE best.
They had a rapport and a connection that made them unique, knowing just where they were on the pitch and what the other one was doing or going to do – all this was done without talking to each other!
Call it telepathy or whatever, it made them near impossible to defend against.
Both were unselfish and had the ability and desire to assist each other, as well as score goals themselves.
They gave you no hope to cling on to, you had to earn every header, every tackle and every interception you got against those two.
If the new SAS continue the form they are showing I am sure their names will be thrown into the hat as contenders for the deadliest Premier League duo of all time.
In the meantime, Liverpool are hoping they will help them to their first title in 24 years.
Comments are closed on this article.