It’s the latest international week so it’s time to drag up three-week old stories and package them as revelations search for every Premier League squad on Google and stare at a load of ‘Honours’ lists on the Wikipedia pages of various footballers in the name of discovering who is each club’s most-decorated player.
Every trophy won at club and international level will be counted. A Champions League winner’s medal is as important as a second-tier title won in Kazakhstan here. As are those various South American championships that we are simply too stupid to understand. The only trophies discounted are ones won at youth level.
ARSENAL – David Luiz (18)
It took Arsenal a matter of months to react to Petr Cech (and his 18 trophies) swapping sporting professions this summer. David Luiz might not seem like a considerable improvement on what came before him at centre-half just yet, but he has won more silverware in English football – six trophies with Chelsea – than all but two of his new teammates and, courtesy of a spell as a particularly hairy magpie in Paris, at least twice as many as any player overall. That surely makes up for the whole ‘being David Luiz in defence’ charade. Against all odds, Paul Merson was right. He’s like a bag of revels, that fella; you never know what you’re gonna get.
2nd: Mesut Ozil (9)
3rd: Kieran Tierney (8)
ASTON VILLA – Wesley Moraes (6)
To those who knew Brazilian Wesley achieved his personal haul in Slovakia and Belgium, props are in order. The 2015/16 league and cup double he achieved with AS Trencin was a mere precursor to his two Belgian First Division A championships and two Belgian Super Cups with Club Brugge. He is also the current holder of the ‘best of the expensive strikers signed by historically established Premier League clubs in summer 2019’ award – which is a genuine and beautiful thing that really does exist in the realms of Twitter – ahead of Joelinton and Sebastien Haller.
2nd: Trezeguet (5)
3nd: Orjan Nyland (4)
BOURNEMOUTH – Artur Boruc (9)
Now permanently stapled to a Premier League bench purely to save time and effort, Artur Boruc has been consigned to a role as back-up to a player who was not even born when he made his senior debut in the Polish third division. Aaron Ramsdale has taken his place but he will never claim ownership of his numerous trophies. Boruc has won more Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic than any of his Bournemouth teammates have won silverware overall. And this is a side with a Premier League winner (Asmir Begovic), Europa League winner (Nathan Ake) and Champions League runner-up (Dominic Solanke) in and around their midst.
2nd: Nathan Ake (2)
3rd: Loads of players, but mainly the fellas that won the Championship in 2015 (1)
BRIGHTON – Martin Montoya (7)
With loanee Beram Kayal and his nine trophies excluded, 2015 Champions League winner Martin Montoya finally has the platform his honour roll demands. Brighton were winning League One at the time of his first of three La Liga titles with Barcelona in 2011; it always felt inevitable that their paths would cross. Montoya presumably mercilessly teases Graham Potter about his lack of trophies as a player and paltry three managerial titles in the dressing room.
2nd: Mathew Ryan (4)
3rd: Leandro Trossard, Jose Izquierdo, Davy Propper (3)
BURNLEY – Joe Hart (5)
He has conceded 150 goals and kept 14 clean sheets in his last 79 league games across spells with four clubs in two countries as part of the anti-climactic, ignominious end to his career. Believe it or not, kids, but Joe Hart was once really bloody good.
2nd: Danny Drinkwater and Chris Wood (3)
CHELSEA – Pedro (26)
It just so happens that Frank Lampard’s Stamford Bridge Centre For Deprived Children plays host to three unruly kids who won more than he ever did as a player (14). Chief among them is the Premier League’s most decorated overall, who finally completed his personal jigsaw back in May. Pedro became the first player to win the Europa League, Champions League, Premier League, World Cup and European Championships, as well as the fifth to score in the finals of Europe’s two premier competitions, when he helped guide the Blues to victory over Arsenal in Baku. Starting with the Tercera Division title with Barcelona B in 2008, the only calendar years in which the 32-year-old has ended trophyless since are 2014 and 2016.
2nd: Willian and Mateo Kovacic (15)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Gary Cahill (8)
Even with an 80-year head start and the distinct advantage of being an entire club instead of a jobbing centre-half that started out at Aston Villa, Crystal Palace’s own website has them level with summer signing Gary Cahill on eight trophies. And the 33-year-old does not have to point to 1941 Football League South Regional League titles or 1991 Zenith Data Systems Cups to augment his figures. Maybe Manchester United should have signed him.
2nd: Cheikhou Kouyate (7)
3rd: Luka Milivojevic/Jordan Ayew (6)
EVERTON – Lucas Digne (12)
“He is accustomed to winning,” noted Marco Silva when signing Lucas Digne from feeder club Barcelona in the summer of 2018. “This is his mentality having captured titles in his career and having these on his résumé.” That unlucky wait for No. 13 might only be ended through international intervention. France are looking good for Euro 2020, at least.
Joint 2nd: Andre Gomes/Maarten Stekelenburg (8)
LEICESTER – Jonny Evans (11)
Not many current Premier League players can boast a Club World Cup winner’s medal. Not many players possess the unerring longevity of Jonny Evans. The 31-year-old is a crucial part of a club currently occupying a Champions League place with the second-best defence in England’s top flight, and recently shone against the Czech Republic. Harry Maguire left his side and was soon left regretting it.
2nd: Filip Benkovic (7)
2nd: Dennis Praet (6)
LIVERPOOL – Xherdan Shaqiri (15)
One can only wonder what Kasper Schmeichel was like in his younger years after father Peter accused Xherdan Shaqiri of having “behaved like a child” in his pursuit of the Switzerland captaincy. The barrel has been locked in something of a dispute with his country over an apparent and understandable reluctance to be governed by Granit Xhaka. Considering the success he has experienced over the years, you can see why he’d rather not be told what to do – even superficially – by a walking yellow card. Now just for Jurgen Klopp to remember he exists.
2nd: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (8)
3rd: James Milner (7)
MANCHESTER CITY – Fernandinho (23)
No wonder Pep Guardiola – 17 as a player and 29 as a manager, for those counting – so desperately wants to keep him. Manchester City have shed 17 and 14 trophies respectively over the past two summers in the forms of Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, with David Silva and his collection to complete the hat-trick of departures. So retaining the experience of Fernandinho has been deemed of the utmost importance.
2nd: Nicolas Otamendi (17)
3rd: Claudio Bravo and David Silva (16)
MANCHESTER UNITED – Fred (12)
Has this been the problem all season? Is Fred sitting at the back of the team bus each week while picking abhorrent music for their journeys? Does he refer to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as ‘gaffer’ as he clambers out of the car he has just parked in Sir Alex Ferguson’s vacated space every morning? Has dressing-room leadership been dictated purely by three Ukrainian Premier League titles and Ukrainian Cups apiece, as well as four Ukrainian Super Cups and a couple of Campeonatos Goucho? He ain’t young, he ain’t British, he ain’t hungry, and much like when they signed him, he ain’t wanted. But he has already matched Solskjaer’s playing career haul of 12 trophies, and will surpass him after inspiring United to the (Championship) title next season.
2nd: Paul Pogba (11)
3rd: Juan Mata (10)
NEWCASTLE – Jetro Willems (6)
Steve Bruce and his 14 playing career trophies is being asked to work with possibly the least decorated squad in the Premier League. Mind you, Steve Bruce and his two play-off wins, two Championship runners-up medals and one FA Cup final as a manager is reaping what he has sowed.
2nd: Ki Sung-yueng, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez (4)
NORWICH – Patrick Roberts (7)
Poor Patrick Roberts has never played more minutes in a Premier League game than the 35 he was given on his competition debut for Fulham in a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in March 2014. He was 17 then, and clearly impressed enough for them to sign him and eventually send him out on loan to just win all of the stuff during a three-season spell with Celtic. He’d trade it all, or at least the Scottish League Cups, for a paltry start.
2nd: Teemu Pukki (6)
3rd: Timm Klose, Michael McGovern (4)
SHEFFIELD UNITED – John Fleck (5)
There are many ways to explain just how ridiculous and under-appreciated a job Chris Wilder is doing at Bramall Lane. This is among them.
2nd: Enda Stevens (4)
3rd: Billy Sharp, Richard Stearman, Leon Clarke (2)
SOUTHAMPTON – Stuart Armstrong (8)
While Sheffield United’s collective trophy cabinet makes Southampton’s look positively bristling, Saints are relatively barren in Premier League terms. Their leader won all eight of his trophies in Scotland, although Stuart Armstrong was at least in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for the seasons in which he claimed four of his winner’s medals at Celtic.
2nd: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (6)
3rd: Oriol Romeu (4)
TOTTENHAM – Lucas Moura (18)
At one end of the Tottenham scale is Harry Kane, officially the best Premier League player to have ever won f*** all. At the other end is a player that has started two Premier League games all season. It is a wonder that Liverpool themselves did not sign the poor, “bemused” b*stard. What Kane would do for just one touch of that Confederations Cup medal.
2nd: Serge Aurier (12)
3rd: Toby Alderweireld (6)
WATFORD – Heurelho Gomes (12)
Remember when he was “99 per cent” certain he was going to retire at the end of last season to become a pastor? It turns out that losing 6-0 in your farewell match at one of football’s most famous stadiums is enough to force a change of both heart and mind.
2nd: Danny Welbeck (9)
3rd: Jose Holebas (6)
WEST HAM – Andriy Yarmolenko (7)
West Ham themselves have a slight lead over the Premier League’s greatest Andriy, with the ‘Honours’ page on their official website listing the Intertoto and Football League War Cups among their eight overall successes. They appear to have omitted the 1966 World Cup, mind you. Silly.
2nd: Pablo Zabaleta (6)
3rd: Fabian Balbuena, Roberto (5)
WOLVES – Joao Moutinho (15)
Five years in the first team at Sporting CP delivered four trophies. Eight winner’s medals in three years at Porto followed, before one Ligue Un title in half a decade at Monaco. His 119 Portugal caps have also been rewarded with two championships. Wolves ought to start pulling their weight a little more.
2nd: Raul Jimenez (9)
3rd: Rui Patricio (5)