Player Of The Last Ten Years Poll, Round One: Jordan Henderson Vs Julio Arca

Two firm fan favourites go head to head with Jordan Henderson taking on Julio Arca. Not to put any potential voters under pressure, but if one of these two -- and I think you know who -- loses, then I'm shutting down the site. Just kidding, vote away as you please.

Jordan Henderson

Although he made his Sunderland debut as a substitute in a heavy defeat away to Chelsea and followed that up with a start against Blackburn in the League cup, it took a loan spell at Coventry before Jordan Henderson really started to shine. Once he returned from that loan, he broke into the Sunderland first team and became a mainstay in the side.

Alternating between the right wing and central midfield, Henderson impressed in both positions. From putting in a world class cross for Gyan to opening his goalscoring account for Sunderland at Wigan to controlling the midfield with Lee Cattermole in the legendary 3-0 away win at Stamford Bridge. He was also vital in keeping Sunderland in the Premier League in the 2010/11 season, after scoring twice in the six-pointer at home to Wigan.

Without doubt the biggest success story to emerge from the Academy of Light, two Sunderland Young Player of the Year awards, along with a Liverpool Young Player of the Year award and England u21 Player of the Year award, multiple caps for England u21, a full England international and earning himself a £19.5m move to Liverpool. Not bad for a local lad from Farringdon. (AT)

Julio Arca

Rarely has a player in the red and white shirt had as much natural talent as Julio Arca. It's always an indication of a full back being too good for a side when he dictates play so frequently, and when at left back, our Argentinian maestro was better than any other left back to have played for Sunderland in modern times. And i include Mickey Gray in that. It was because of this raw ability that Arca was regularly employed further up the field for Sunderland, such was our reliance to have someone with flair, creativity and all round general ability to produce for us.

We can't let the fact that Julio played in two stinking relegation sides cloud our memories either, he was phenomenal amongst a bunch of half wits in the 15 point season and a victim of the Howard Wilkinson syndrome in the 19 point one. He was composed on the ball, never allowed a winger to pass him or a marker to evade him. He had a full range of passing in his locker and scored world class goals.

He's a player who you would think would look back on his career and wonder where it went wrong, yet the fact a South American still resides in Sunderland town centre shows he not only graced the pitch with that wonderful left foot of his but bought into what being from the area was all about.

I'd personally have Arca as left back in my all star SAFC team. 'twas a pleasure Julio. Juliiiiiooooooo. (SG)


Be sure to make your vote count and send one of these two through to the next round. Make your voice heard below, because you only have until 11pm (GMT) tonight to get your vote in...

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