His performance against Scotland yesterday showed how talented he really is, but can he become an even better player?
If you watched the Spain v Scotland match last night, you will have noticed how Scotland were taken apart. Not by Xavi, or Iniesta, or Villa. It was by David Silva. Normally, Silva does make the Spanish starting line up, and rightfully so, but he can often be overlooked as one of their key players, seeing as both Xavi and Iniesta make the team. Silva is clearly one of the best Spanish players in the world at the moment, on a par with Xavi and Iniesta, perhaps even better than them. Okay, maybe not quite, but he is a wonderful player. But the question is - how good can he be?
Silva already has a brilliant record. At Valencia, he proved to be a tricky little player, and in his last few seasons at the club, he really began to shine. In the 2008/9 season, he achieved 7 assists for Valencia, and in the 2009/10 season, he again got 7 assists, more than Luka Modric, who only managed 6. In fact, if you take Iniesta as an example, he only got 6 assists. Looking now at the 2010/11 season, Silva really begins to shine. He came to Manchester City, and to England, arguably the toughest League in the world, and immediately excelled. He got 13 assists for City that season, 10 more than Modric managed, 4 more than Iniesta managed, and even 3 more than Xavi managed. So he has clearly come in to his own since joining Manchester City.
Even this year, he's having a fantastic season, and it's only 7 games in. He already has 5 assists, 4 more than Modric for Tottenham (who has played 5 games), 4 more than Iniesta at Barcelona (who has only played 2 games), and 4 more than Xavi as well (who has managed 6 games). He's also scored twice, which is the same that Xavi has managed, Modric only with 1, and Iniesta with 0.
So now you're probably wondering - so what? Statistics could mean nothing - they could make Heskey look like Messi. But Silva, even without the stats, just looks world class. He fits in everywhere, and not a game goes by at City where you don't hear about Silva doing something spectacular. So I go back to my question - how good can he be?
The only way for Silva now is up. He is still only 25, remember. That leaves him a good 8 or 9 years before he needs to start thinking about retiring. But that isn't what I want to look at. Footballers tend to hit their prime by the time they hit 27 or so, and Silva still has a while to go. He still has a lot to offer in his career, and Manchester City fans must be drooling at the thought of David Silva in his prime - what he could achieve then makes me drool. In case you haven't already guessed, David Silva is one of my favourite players in the world, as he has been for a long while. But don't think that little tidbit makes me biased - I realise that he has his disadvantages. His height, for example. He's only 5' 7", which means he should be knocked off the ball fairly easily by the bigger players. But Silva is also very good at using his disadvantages to his advantage, if you see what I mean. With his height, he proves to be even more tricky, especially with how neat and tidy his footwork is. He can turn any player inside out, even players like Puyol and Vidic, who seem like the kind of people who would eat bricks for breakfast. He barely ever misplaces a pass, and his eye for a through ball is just amazing. Take, for example, James Milner's goal against Everton. That goal was all about Silva, even though he wasn't the one who scored. His control of the ball to keep it away from Rodwell and Jagielka was good, but it was the pass for Milner that made that goal what it was. He placed an inch perfect pass, right between Distin and Rodwell, just out of their reach, perfectly placed for Milner to run on to and finish. I've watched that pass time and time again - it's the second best I've seen this season. Luis Suarez's cross with the outside of his foot for Stewart Downing against Bolton was another outstanding pass. But enough raving about passes.
Another thing about Silva is how much of a role model he is for young players. Alright, that again may seem a silly thing to say, but let's have a look at other players to play for City, shall we? Adebayor had his problems with Mancini, and running the whole length of the pitch to celebrate with the Arsenal fans just showed how much of a... character he is. Obviously, not a good one. Taking another player, Dzeko has seemed like a decent character, but his hissy fit after being sustituted against Bayern Munich isn't exactly what you want to be teaching young professionals. Balotelli is another, and his ridiculous antics aren't what you want to show to younger players either. De Jong, trying to puncture Xabi Alonso's chest in the World Cup is another example. Craig Bellamy - need I say more? And there is of course Carlos Tevez. I don't want to say that Silva is the perfect professional, there are other players in the City squad who match him for how respectable he is. But how often do you hear of David Silva accidentally doing something wrong in public? He's never done anything to my knowledge. He's the kind of player who enjoys a quiet life, going about his football in the best way possible, and doing an astounding job for City week in week out. That's the kind of player I admire. He's similar to Steven Gerrard in that respect, enjoying a quiet life at home with his family - except for the odd night out where he accidentally punches someone in the face. Despite that, he and Silva are similar.
The other thing about Silva is his brain. All good players have a good footballing brain, but Silva has a great one. He has the perfect eye for a pass, he's very clever on the ball, and doesn't have a half bad shot either. He always seems to know exactly what he's going to do. I'm going to link you to a couple of videos - again, I know, YouTube videos can make Heskey look like Messi - but there are certain things he does which are just absolute genius. No matter which one you pick, you're going to get the same thing - brilliance.
Some of his movement and touches are outstanding, and how he can pick an inch perfect pass by simply flicking his eyes in any direction is brilliant. He really is a top class player.
So I finally go back to my question - how good can he be? I wouldn't say he could become the best player in the world, that really would be pushing it. But he hasn't hit his prime yet, and even though his ability is as incredible as it is, it could get even better. It's something that gives me mixed emotions; it makes me really happy to think that the best is yet to come. But at the same time, it makes me worried, as he could completely tear Liverpool apart in the coming years. Even if what he does is pure brilliance and the most magical thing in the history of football, I would be rather annoyed. But it's not about how I would feel. David Silva has the ability to be one of the best players in the world, and I truly hope he does become one.
In my honest opinion, if the Ballon D'Or were to come about now, I would put David Silva at number 3 in the world. This may make me seem delusional, idiotic, and utterly ridiculous, but I see Silva as a better player than both Xavi and Iniesta at this point. This is my opinion of course; a lot, if not all of you will probably disagree with me. But just let me point out - Fernando Torres came third in 2008.
If you have an opinion on David Silva, or how silly you think I am, please feel free to say something. Any feedback is welcome.