Premier League Underachieving Eleven


Everyone has been banging on about the best players of the season as of late, mainly due to the fact that we are heading into award season.

But for every star that has a great campaign, you’ve a whole bunch of players that have simply under-performed.

So I thought I’d look at some of these disappointments and make a team out of them. That would probably have been relegated by now.The team will play in an old fashioned 4-4-2 formation. It would probably be managed by Andre Villas-Boas.

So here goes…

Goalkeeper – Maarten Stekelenburg – (Fulham)

The Fulham keeper came to Craven Cottage with a very good pedigree. The Dutch internationalist had some wonderful years in the Champions League playing for Ajax. At one time he was being considered by Man Utd to replace fellow countryman Edwin van der Saar. But alas the thirty-one year old has failed to impress in London. He cost over £4m and has fifty-four caps for his country. Yet he hasn’t commanded his area and has let in some silly goals this term. Having conceded forty-three goals in his nineteen outings this term, the experienced keeper is now warming up the bench as he has been dropped by Felix Magath. More was expected from Stekelenburg but he has had a miserable first year in England.

Right-Back – Matthew Lowton – (Aston Villa)

Had a decent enough first season in the Premier League last term and it was thought he could kick on this season and establish himself as a good consistent performer. But that hasn’t worked out for the twenty-four year old. Average performances and a fall-out with his manager, Paul Lambert, has seen Lowton only make nineteen appearances so far this campaign. Having lost his place to Leandro Bacuna, usually seen as a winger, Lowton now finds himself playing second fiddle most of the time. He has came back in for Aston Villa’s last two games, in which they lost to Fulham and Crystal Palace. More was expected from Lowton who needs to mature and do so, sooner rather than later!

Left-Back – Ashely Cole – (Chelsea)  

The left sided Englishman has won it all at Chelsea and he has 107 caps for his national team. Yet this season Cole has only managed fourteen run outs for the ‘Blues’. Jose Mourinho has decided he is better off with right footer Cesar Azpilicueta in at left-back. At thirty-three, Cole would have preferred at better swan-song at the Bridge but his dramatic fall from grace may also stop him going to Brazil for this summers World Cup! Once seen as the best left-back in the world, Chelsea’s number three hasn’t reached anywhere near those standards this season.

Centre-Back – Fabricio Coloccini – (Newcastle Utd) 

The Argentine defender has been fantastic in the past for the ‘Toon’ but he clearly has his mind elsewhere this term. He wanted to return home last year but Newcastle stood firm and made him stay. But he hasn’t returned to form. He gets caught out too easily, dives in and gets punished. He is one of the more experienced players at Newcastle and should be leading by example but has failed to inspire whenever I’ve seen him.

Centre-Back – Chris Smalling (Man Utd) 

I’m a big fan of Smalling. The England international has all the makings of being a really good centre-half. But have no doubt he’s stalled this term. Obviously the club are in transition but with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand nearing the end of their Old Trafford days, Smalling should have seen that as his big opportunity. Yet he hasn’t. Not commanding enough when played in the centre he is now being seen as a make do right-back. Has been caught out on the front pages of the papers too many times this season, almost as many times as he’s been caught out at the back for United. Needs to grow up and take his chance while he still has it!

Winger – Andros Townsend – (Tottenham)

Much was made about the wide-man after his man of the match performance on his England debut back in October. But the Spurs player hasn’t replicated that form for his club. Again seen as a bit part player at White Hart Lane he has started on just twelve occasions and has been a used sub twelve times too. His wayward crosses and over eagerness to shoot has seen him become inconsistent at the top level. He has only one goal to his name this season and he’s yet to create an assist, that is criminal for a winger! So much was expected but Townsend has failed to deliver.

Winger – Ashely Young – (Man Utd) 

Could have been any of the Manchester United wingers to be fair. But Young has once again shown he isn’t good enough to be at a ‘top four’ side. He’s injury prone but even when he does play, he fails to excite the crowd or his teammates. You have to believe David Moyes has seen enough to realise that the former £18m man can’t cut the mustard at Old Trafford and needs to be offloaded in the summer. Can play on either wing but is just as bad on both. Says a lot when a winger has more yellow cards than he does goals and assists put together!

Centre-Mid – Leroy Fer – (Norwich City)

Another Dutch internationalist that hasn’t lived up to his billing. Has shown glimpses of what he can do but hasn’t done it enough to really help Norwich. Thought to have cost the Canaries £4.8m, Leroy has returned three goals and just one assist. Fails to put in commanding midfield display. Has suffered from injuries and a lack of discipline, picking up five yellow cards and one red this term. Really needs to step up now or Norwich could go down!

Centre-Mid – Marouane Fellaini – (Man Utd)

The big Belgian cost Man Utd £27.5m but he’s struggled to make an impact. Was a star at Everton in a more advanced role but has failed to cement a proper position at Old Trafford. Drifts in and out of games to much and lacks the ability to make a quality tackle. When playing in the centre of the park he also doesn’t get forward enough either. Has managed no goals or assists in his fifteen league games this campaign. He won’t become a star at Old Trafford until he finds his best position in their system.

Striker – Fernando Torres – (Chelsea)

Torres is the £50m man that always seems to end up on these lists while he stays at Chelsea. Can be a great worker for the team but can be just as moody and reclusive. What doesn’t seem to change is his inability to score enough in the English Premier League. The once prolific hitman has managed a meagrely four strikes in twenty-six league outings and he continues to miss some inexplicable sitters. The Spaniard may have had a trophy laden career but he might just be remembered for being a huge flop!

Striker – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – (Norwich City)

Yet another Dutchman in this miserable line up. A lot was made of this man when he signed on at Carrow Road for a fee in the region of £8m from Sporting Lisbon. He made an instant impact scoring a decent headed goal against Everton on his debut. But Ricky has failed to find the back on the net since that day. He has had a total of thirty-one shots in twenty-three appearances and has still only got that one goal! Shocking for any striker.

On the subs bench…

John Ruddy (Norwich City), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham), James Milner (Man City), Stewart Downing (West Ham Utd), Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) and Yannick Sagbo (Hull City).

So that is my team of poor performers and disappointing duds. As always this is all down to my own opinion, so feel free to add your own teams in the comments section.

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