There have been plenty of ‘dirty’ forwards in the game, usually in the form of big bustling centre forwards who seek to dominate the opposition’s defence by either fair means or sometimes foul. Football Fancast takes a look at five of the dirtiest forwards to have played the game.
1. John Fashanu
‘Fash’ was part of Wimbledon’s legendary ‘Crazy Gang’ of the early nineties, and he certainly fitted in with the club’s mantra of rough and tough play. Fashanu was a big, burly centre forward who acted as a target man and actually scored hatfuls of goals for Wimbledon. Fashanu though, is perhaps best known for a sickening elbow against Spurs captain Gary Mabbutt, which left his victim needing surgery for a fractured skull.
2. Kevin Davies
Kevin Davies has recently won a call up to the England squad for the first time in his long career, a reward for a very impressive spell at Bolton where he has constantly proven to be a thorn in Premier League defence’s side with his strong physical play. Davies physicality forms the crux of his game, and he holds the ignominious record of committing the most fouls of any player in Premier League history.
3. Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer is rightfully revered as one of the greatest strikers England has ever produced, and he is still the all-time top scorer in the Premier League. Shearer however, was also well known for his frequent use of his elbows which became an infamous part of his game as they flailed about inflicting damage on his opponents faces.
El-Hadji Diouf is not one of the more well liked players in the Premier League arena. In fact, he can probably lay a strong claim to be one of the most hated after a series of incidents involving fans and rival players. Diouf is undoubtedly a talented player but his attitude stinks and he gained a reputation as a ‘spitter’ after gobbing in the face of Portsmouth’s Arjan de Zeeuw in 2004.
5. John Hartson
Welsh battering ram John Hartson played for a number of clubs in his career, and he always offered a big, strong and no-nonsense presence up front. He may not have been the most technically gifted of players, but there was no doubt he was effective at what he did, and his spell at Celtic was particularly successful. Hartson was not exacly averse to the physical side of the game however, and fouls by him were not rare. Hartson also leathered teammate Eyal Berkovic in the face with his sizeable boot in a training ground incident at West Ham.
Whose missing from the list? Add the names in the comments below.