The English Premier League is undoubtedly the most exciting and debated league in the World. And while we may argue over who is a bigger douche between RVP, Nasri, Suarez or who is a bigger racist between Suarez and Terry, or even which referee did United pay the most, there is something more pressing that should be discussed. And with that seed well and truly planted, I present to you my Disappointment XI of the Season so far!
GK – Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
A horrible start to the season for Reina, he has now seen the number one jersey passed on to Brad Jones. Jones is solid without being spectacular and his promotion to starting keeper must be a bigger slap in Reina’s face than being dropped. A few years back there was talk of him being the best keeper in the PL but, unfortunately, on current form he would struggle to make most teams.
LB – Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
Arsenal endured a 7th successive summer of departures that started in 2005 with Vieira leaving. In this time they have lost a key player each year. This past summer it was their captain and leader for the second year in succession. Thomas Vermaelen took over the captaincy and has not had a great start to his tenure. He has recently been moved to left back in a bid to keep the Gunners strongest centre back pairing of Koscielny and Metresacker together. Many are of the opinion that if Thomas was not captain, he would not currently be selected.
CB – Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
A few years back he was the man that would solve Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool’s defensive woes. This season he would just add to them. His back passes are sloppy, his communication with Hughes is poor and his distribution makes some Sunday League footballers look incredible. He used to get away with it in the goals that he scored, but these have dried up too!
CB – Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
As captain of the champions (The third captain in our back 4), he was outstanding in the 2011-12 season. This year his performances have been somewhat lacklustre and of a much lower calibre. Some of it may be down to the tinkering of the formation by Roberto Mancini, but more of it seems to be down to a player who is blissfully out of form.
RB – Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspurs)
Last year he was the PFA Young Player of the Year, surprisingly. This year he is less surprisingly the biggest fool at Tottenham. A Spurs fan told me the other day that he believes giving Kyle the award and the call up is the best thing that has ever happened to Glen Johnson’s England career. Walker is a liability at times who cares more about the limelight than the success of his team.
RM – Nani
It’s not every day that Sir Alex Ferguson blames a defeat on one player, but he did that to Nani in the Capital One Cup. Nani started the season with claims that he would love to go to Real Madrid, but on current form he is more likely to end up at Levante than the Spanish Champions. His love for himself is only overshadowed by the distance that he sometimes manages to miss goals by. How this man ever makes the team can only be down to Ashley Young!
CM – Gylfi Sigurdsson
He was the star of the show last season for Swansea and as a result managed to secure a transfer that was more surprising than the interest in 50 Shades of Grey, when he signed for Spurs. The attacking midfielder was brought in to replace the outgoing van der Vaart and every day since that; the Spurs fans have missed van der Vaart. Sure he is made to look extra bad by the good start that Dembele has made, but he is currently as useful as a beer at an alcoholic anonymous meeting.
CM – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Okay, so more Liverpool fans would probably put Henderson or Allen here, but for me Stevie G is nowhere near the heights of greatness that he once scaled. The forceful leader of Istanbul 2005 looks like a shadow of that player and looks incapable of leading a scholar patrol, let alone a listless Liverpool side. LFC have been helped by the form of Suarez, but hindered by the lack thereof by their talismanic captain.
LM – James McLean (Sunderland)
It’s hard to pick out disappointing players in the Sunderland side as they all rightfully deserve a place here. But it’s James McLean who earns my wrath more than others. Last season McLean burst onto the scene with the type of performances that caused Mr. Trappatoni to include him in the Ireland squad. This season he has been as impactful on the game as COPE in South African Politics. His strong running has been cut down quickly this season and he appears to be more chump than champ.
LS – Papiss Cissse
The man who scored arguably the greatest premier league goal last season, in amongst 13 others in 14 appearances, has failed to deliver more than a solitary effort this year. That effort itself hit his back and flew in when he was facing the other way. He was even given a penalty that Ben Arfa would have usually taken and that ball has still not returned from orbit it was so bad. The Senegalese hit man and his countryman Ba seem to have an inability to score at the same time so could probably interchange in this team based on who is on form.
RS – Darren Bent
Aston Villa broke their transfer record to sign the Premier League hit man. The Englishman is one of only 19 men to have scored 100 league goals and last season this prolific ability was honoured by Villa with consistent selection. This year Bent has notched up 2 league goals and his profligacy has seen both Agbonlahor and Benteke selected repeatedly above him. Paul Lambert would be desperate to get the old Bent back.
GK – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspurs) – Superstar Frenchman signed to shine the bench
DF – Gael Clichy (Manchester City) – No marauding runs, no beautiful crosses, is he back at Arsenal?
FW – Mario Ballotelli (Manchester City) – Not because of form, disappointing because he hasn’t been in the news once this season yet?
MF – Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) – Sorry old man, should have hung up your boots three seasons ago.
MF – Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – Not of the same calibre as Cesc Fabregas, but constantly being measured by that yardstick will always mean disappointment
FW – Fernando Torres (Chelsea) – Drogba is gone so he doesn’t have that excuse. Nowhere near his Liverpool form or worth 50 million.
DF – Jose Bosingwa (QPR) – Because QPR have been terrible and I have none of their players in this team. Not the force he was when Mourinho brought him to England
Mark Hughes (QPR) – Sparky may have spent a gross amount of money on players, but he can’t buy a win this year. His team is the only team to not have won and he spent more than Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Fulham, Everton and more. His time has come.
Martin O’Neill (Sunderland) – they used to be a difficult team to beat, now they just a difficult team to watch!