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Stevenage's defensive stalwart is next on the list

Playmaker's EFL 72: #22 Carl Piergianni

2024/05/01 18:16

We recently profiled a teammate of our next man on the list as we get to the pointy end of our ’72 of the 72’ countdown.

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

We head back to Stevenage for this next profile with a focus on their captain and key leader at the back, Carl Piergianni, who has reached a new level personally in the last season or two.

Number #22: Carl Piergianni (Stevenage)

Stevenage have outperformed most, if not all, pre-season expectations by finishing ninth in the table and competing for a play-off spot for most of the campaign. A key reason for that are the two men at either end of the pitch with Jamie Reid thriving up front thanks to the excellence of Carl Piergianni at the back.

Prior to joining Stevenage from Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2022, Piergianni had only ever made one appearance above the fourth-tier of English football and that came all the way back in 2011 when starting out at Peterborough United in League One.

Spells at Spalding United, Altrincham, Stockport County, Corby Town, Boston United and South Melbourne followed before he was a key cog in the Salford City side that achieved back-to-back promotions in 2018 and 2019 to make the EFL for the first time ever.

Piergianni spent three seasons in League Two with the vast majority of that being with Oldham Athletic after a move from their Greater Manchester rivals in 2020.

There was a perceived limit and ceiling to Piergianni’s game that has since been completely torn up in the last two seasons. At 31, statistics on a personal level this season have marked him out as one of the standout players in the entirety of the third-tier – a level he had never meaningfully played at before. 

380 aerial duels won is the most of any player in the league and he also leads the way for the most shots from set-pieces (50), as well as the most shots blocked back at the other end (46). Further, only Derby's outstanding Eiran Cashin (71) has made more interceptions in League One this season than Piergianni (68).

He has managed 105 appearances for the club in just the last two seasons and been absolutely essential to Boro's rise to the top-half of League One. Welcome back to the Playmaker 72, Carl!

Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

23: Jaden Philogene 24: Alfie May

25: Will Evans 26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer


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2024-05-01 20h04m by gkingsley
Wow, what a player! Piergianni has been the backbone of Stevenage's success this season. His leadership and defensive prowess have been crucial to their impressive finish in the top half of the table. Definitely deserves a spot in the
2024-05-01 19h50m by eyoungs8
As a football fan, I have to say, I'm really impressed with Carl Piergianni's performance last season. He was a key leader at the back for Stevenage and played a huge role in their success. His improvement over the last season or two has been remarkable and he definitely deserves to be recognized as one of the top players in League Two. Well done, Carl!
2024-05-01 19h23m by jwhiteheadbarnes
As a football fan, I have to say that Carl Piergianni has been a standout player for Stevenage this season. His leadership at the back has been crucial to their success and I can't wait to see what he brings to the team in the future. Great job @StevenageFC!
2024-05-01 19h00m by omitchellsonjones
I'm a football fan from en-GB and I just read this article on Twitter about the '72 of the 72' countdown. I have to say, I appreciate how the list is not just about the best players, but also about those who have had memorable seasons and impressive stats. It's great to see players like Carl Piergianni being recognized for their contributions to their team's success. Stevenage definitely exceeded expectations this season and he was a key leader at the back for them


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