Hitting the heights: Fabregas is the latest pocket rocket to explode into football
18 March 2009 12:53
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They are the diminutive midfield players who nip at your heels and drive their team forward.
Small, but perfectly formed, the 'pocket rocket' can make a well-timed tackle, has an eye for goal and isn't afraid to get stuck in when it matters.
Billy Bremner (5'5")Too small for Arsenal and Chelsea, but a talisman for Leeds United, Bremner spent eight years at Elland Road after signing as a 17-year-old.He was an inspirational captain, driving Don Revie's Leeds to the Championship (1969 and 1974), Fairs Cup (1968 and 1971), FA Cup (1972) and League Cup (1968) and playing in Scotland's 1974 World Cup side. But he wasn't averse to the odd tussle, getting sent off alongside Liverpool's Kevin Keegan in the 1974 Charity Shield and missing 11 matches for his trouble.Combative, hard-working, fiery and aggressive - Bremner was a true 'pocket rocket'.
'Dennis the Menace' did not make many friends on the football pitch, but Wise certainly earned himself a reputation during his stints at Wimbledon, Chelsea, Leicester, Millwall, Southampton and Coventry.
Sir Alex Ferguson once remarked Wise could 'start a fight in an empty house', but the England international's work rate could not be faulted.
Whether a 'pocket rocket' is a necessary component of a Newcastle boardroom, however, is another matter.
Jody Morris (5' 5")Nobody's putting Morris in the same league as Bremner or even his Chelsea mentor, Dennis Wise, but Morris' size and snappy style of play make him a 'pocket rocket'. Another small midfield player with a penchant for getting into trouble, Morris had spells at Leeds United, Rotherham United and Millwall after leaving Chelsea and now, aged 30, he plays for St Johnstone. The club's official website states Morris 'counts John Terry, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand as close personal friends' and you can sponsor him for £275. What a steal.
Paul Scholes (5'6")One of the Premier League's greatest ever players, Scholes is still playing an important role for Manchester United aged 34, more than 14 years after he made his first United appearance. The 'Ginger Prince' exemplifies the small, neat, compact midfield player with an eye for a goal and a range of passing.
Cesc Fabregas (5'8")Arsenal have missed their midfield maestro since the club captain was sidelined with a knee problem in the Gunners' game against Liverpool in December. When fit, the Spain international is an attacking midfielder with flair - and he is still just 21. Maybe he still has time to grow?