Fat goalkeeper Kevin Pressman is somewhat of a Sheffield Wednesday icon having played 478 games for the Yorkshire club and was renowned for his penalty saving and scoring.
Pressman made his debut way back in 1987 for the Owls against Southampton. He had forced his way into the team but faced an eight month injury lay off after a knee-ligament injury in January 1990. After his injury Pressman missed out on some huge matches for the Owls – including the 1991 and 1993 League Cup finals as well as the 1993 FA Cup replay and final against Arsenal. Pressman however became a mainstay in Wednesday’s Premier League team after this initial disappointment gracing the Premier League for many years. Many said that he was one of the best keepers in the League at the time despite his hefty size.
The goalkeeper is also well loved for his penalty heroics in the FA Cup against Watford in 1998 when he scored the winner to send his beloved Wednesday through to the next round. He also scored an absolutely outstanding penalty for Wednesday against Wolves in the Cup in 1995 that any great penalty taker would be proud of.
Amazingly his eventful career say him red carded after just 13 seconds in a game for Sheffield Wednesday against Wolves in August 2000.
His penalty antics and terrific saves mean he has seemingly a Sheffield Wednesday legend with some of their fans giving me their views about the big goalie on twitter.
Daniel Jessop on twitter said: “MASSIVE, shot stopper and awesome penalties!”
And Ash Kitson told me that Pressman was an “absolute legend of a keeper at Wednesday” and he will never “forget his penalty against Watford in the FA Cup and he is a true gent too!”
Simon Whittaker said he was “the best penalty taker ever” and Laura Jones told me on twitter that “Kevin Pressman may have filled the net but he could take a penalty better than Chris Bart Williams.”
David Bly also told me that Pressman “would have played for England had he played for a more fashionable club.” And that “His performance at Spurs in the 1993/1994 season was one of the best in football history!”
Richard Reaney said that Pressman was the “greatest keeper,” he had seen at Hillsborough and that he “could smack a pen like no other!!”
And lastly Richard Holliman told me that Pressman would come into the Mcdonalds where he worked at least 3 times a week for breakfast.
Pressman left the Yorkshire club in 2004 and then played out the rest of his career rather nomadically. A 15 game spell at Leicester followed by spells at both Leeds and Coventry where he didn’t play saw Pressman through to 2005. He had spells at Mansfield Town, Portadown and Scunthorpe United before retiring in 2009.
Pressman was once voted Sheffield Wednesday’s best ever keeper, a title he seems to deserve and has recently moved into coaching. He was an assistant manager at Scunthorpe and at the beginning of the 2011 season Pressman stepped in to become goalkeeper coach at League 2 Bradford.
Defending is never really the strong point of defenders from Brazil and André
Santos certainly fits this stereotype…
Renowned for his attacking rather than defending despite being a left
back André Santos has already played in 3 continents since he made his
professional debut in 2004. The bulky left back started his career at Brazilian club
Figueirense where he came through the youth system. He stayed there until
2007 but Santos had loan spells at Flamengo and Atlético Mineiro. At Mineiro
Santos scored an outstanding 17 goals in 28 matches in Brazil’s second tier, a
record any striker would be proud of.
The start to his career was promising and perennial bullshitter Pele
said that he saw Santos as the next Roberto Carlos in 2003. This wasn’t the curse
of death on big Santos’ career. Although he seemingly has not lived up to those
expectations his career has progressed steadily.
André joined Corinthians in 2008 and this move proved vital to his
career; it saw him converted to an (attacking) left back. At Corinthians the left
back won 3 trophies including the Copa do Brasil.
July 2009 saw a move to the Asian side of Istanbul with Turkish giants
Fenerbahçe snapping the Brazilian up for a fee of €9 million. Amazingly then 26
year old Santos took the place of one Roberto Carlos in the Turkish outfit’s team.
In Arsene’s Wenger’s spending spree following the Gunners’ thrashing at Old
Trafford the North London side splashed out £6.2 million on Santos in August of
last year. At the time some Fenerbahçe fans questioned his loyalty but Santos
replied by saying “I love the country, Istanbul and Turkish people. I can come
back here at the latter stages of my career. I was happy at Fenerbahçe but I did
right thing for my career.”
Famous Arsenal fan and tweeter Gareth Parker (@GarethDParker on
twitter) took some time out of his busy schedule to give us these great thoughts
on Santos at the Gunners:
“André Clarindo dos Santos, or André Santos to his friends and those
pressed for time, is a big-boned Brazilian currently playing for Arsenal. He is every
inch the classical Brazilian footballer, and by that I mean that there are a lot of
When I heard that Arsenal were signing this left back from
Fenerbahçe I went straight to YouTube for the obligatory ‘scouting’ mission. I
watched over 15 minutes of his highlights. There was not one tackle. Not one.
My fears were confirmed when I heard that he had been given the
number 11 shirt. I am a traditional man, I like my full backs to wear 2 and 3, my
wingers 7 and 11, and my women to be in the kitchen.
It wasn’t until 17 September 2011 that I got to have my first look at
our new “left back” when he made his full debut against Blackburn Rovers. He
was at fault for all four of Blackburn’s goals. He looked more like a portly kitchen
porter than a professional footballer. But a kitchen porter with a delicious touch.
Over the next few weeks I watched him play his way into form and
something approaching fitness. He started to shed some of the pounds, and even
went as far as occasionally tracking back after a foray forwards. He also showed
us a new form of tackling, a high-risk, head-on, ball-stealing technique. If
successful it means he is already on the front foot. It is not always successful.
His Arsenal career to date can be summed up by his performance at
Stamford Bridge. Occasionally shaky, technically brilliant, regularly out of
position and always available in the final third. Such as when he appeared in the
left wing position to calmly slot in his team’s second goal.
Just as he appeared to be cementing his place in an improving Arsenal team he suffered an ankle injury against Olympiacos, and wasn’t seen again for three months. My fears that he’d spend his rehabilitation time in Nando’s were unfounded as a surprisingly trim Santos returned to duty. He still has an awkward gait, his shorts are still necessarily XL and he still defends in his own inimitable way… but he does it with such style.To paraphrase the man himself, he’s a verry good player gays! “
Recently Mr Santos has recovered from his ankle injury and is starting to regain his place in the team, although he will face stiff competition from similarly attack minded left back Kieran Gibbs.
Santos has earned 22 caps for Brazil and despite stiff competition from Marcelo and Michel Bastos he played 9 games for Brazil last year under manager Mano Menezes. The prospect of seeing play at his home World Cup is an amusing one is not an exciting one.
He does need to work on his English but Santos definitely looks like he could well start to nail down a place in the Arsenal team if he can stay injury free, especially in a league where defences can’t really defend that well.
As Alan Davies once said “There are two types of footballers in Argentina. There are the skilful ones and the murderers.” Well, it seems Cristian Fabbiani fits somewhere in between.
Nicknamed El Ogro (The Ogre) Fabbiani is a real journeyman having played in Chile, Israel, Romania and of course Argentina. Starting his career at Lanús in Argentina in 2001 the rather large striker had loan spells at Palestino and Beitar Jerusalem.
2007 saw a move to CFR Cluj of Romania for the Argentine where he won the League and Cup double in the 2007/2008 final. However he did spend 2 years of his 3 year spell at Cluj on loan at Newell’s Old Boys and Argentine football giants River Plate. At River Plate he was even told to lose weight by manager Nestor Gorosito .Seemingly his weight has never really held him back with South American football expert Rupert Fryer giving this account of the striker that underlines his raw talent:
“Last time I saw Christian Fabbiani in all his flesh was on a scorching afternoon in Floresta during his stint with All Boys. Battling relegation and 2-1 up at home to Estudiantes, El Ogro came off the bench for the final ten minutes. My friends and I had big of a giggle as he waddled on; we had another a couple of minutes later when he shuffled into the corner and placed his wide frame between an opposition player and the ball.
Then the laughter stopped…
With a swift twist of his big hips, Fabbiani span the defender, flicked the ball up into the air and launched a ferocious volley from an impossible angle that skimmed Agustin Orion’s crossbar. It was an instant reminder of the remarkable talent that Fabbiani has showed all too intermittently throughout his career. His talent has never been in question: you have to be pretty bloody good to weigh 16 stones and still be playing for River Plate.”
Unfortunately Fabbiani has to a large extent marred his career with his off the field antics. At one point “Ogro-mania” was sweeping Argentina with some people calling for his inclusion in the national team yet after being dropped at River Plate his stock soon fell.
The hefty striker may be a journeyman but he’s no Steve Claridge with Fabbiani being a hugely controversial figure. El Ogro is now known across Argentina for his poor treatment of women, a trait that is becoming all too common in world football. He fathered a child with actress Amalia Granata before a scandalous relationship with model Victoria Vanucci. Fabbiani was rumoured to have acted violently towards his wife prompting her to appear in a photo-shoot posing with blood stained clothes. He has also been accused of inappropriate behaviour in night-clubs although Fabbiani felt he has been “persecuted by the press.”
In January 2010 Fabbiani got himself caught up in a row with television presenter Jorge Rial. After Rial had questioned how Fabbiani was able to obtain a Hummer as a gift for his wife. The gigantic striker responded with “He’s a wimp, a coward. That’s why he can’t have children, because he is a coward.”
Despite being unknown in England Cristian Fabbiani has become a mainstay over the front and back pages in Argentina. The bundles of talent possessed by this football fatty have never been in doubt, as shown by Rupert Fryer’s account of the star. El Ogro’s weight has only played a small part in the failings in his career. The ‘big man’ weighs 97kg, even after having liposuction in 2010. Unfortunately the evils of fame, fortune and footballing inconsistency mean Fabbiani has never truly reached his peak.
Shrek may provide the basis for his nickname, though Fabbiani’s rise and fall would not look out of place in a blockbuster.
Not strictly a question, more of a find of our own. We assume you know about Jeroen Verhoeven who, by some amazing fortune, has found himself playing as the reserve goalkeeper for Ajax in the Netherlands. It's a shame that we're seeing less and less fat footballers gracing the fields today. Keep plumbing the lower leagues!
Yes I know of Verhoeven, a fine specimen of a man!
Don’t worry I’ll keep plumbing the lower leagues.