Recently I wrote an article on the current strongest Premier League starting XI. Fortunately we have had some of the greatest players of world football ply their trade in England’s top flight. The Premier League is and always will be the most competitive league in the world, known for its aggressive approach and physicality. Some players manage to step up their game and take the Premier League by storm, some however – struggle. Below is my own starting XI of players who really, well, 'struggled' in the Premier League.
Massimo Taibi – Goalkeeper
Massimo Taibi was possibly the worst goalkeeper to ever play in the Premiership. Quite a statement I know. Taibi came in as the replacement for, wait for it, the Premier League's best ever goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel. Although a man of the match appearance on his debut for United – Taibi was soon dubbed 'The Blind Venetian' by fans and reporters alike. Taibi went on to make an astonishing four appearances for Manchester United before he was sold to Italian club, Reginna.
Titus Bramble – Centre Back
Titus Bramble has somewhat become a laughing stock of the Premier League of late. His powers of concentration are severely lacking for an Premier League footballer and when his mind wanders off, his ability to play football completely disappears. In 03/04 season he was voted 'Worst Premier League Player of the Year' in a poll. Need I say more?
Jean-Alain Boumsong – Center Back
Graeme Souness signed Boumsong for 8million pounds from Glasgow Rangers, 8 months after he signed for them on a free! In what appeared to be a farcical move by Souness, Boumsong's only real productive input to the Newcastle back line was, to ensure that Bramble wasn't the worst Premier League defender at the time! Boumsongs defensive abilities began to lapse, and he was often blamed for the conceding of several goals. He blamed his poor form on his girlfriend, poor guy.
Frank Sinclair - Right Back
Frank Sinclair, the king of own goals. Frank wasn't too bad of a defender actually, but Sinclair had to go on my list due to his natural ability of scoring wonder goals, in his own net. Sinclair was always a comical danger in his own penalty area, and no one could possibly forget his epic 40-yard screamer past his own keeper in 2002.
Emmanuel Eboue – Left Back
Throughout his time at Arsenal, Eboue was so versatile for the Gunners that i'm willing to throw him in at the deep end at left back for my team. Similar to Sinclair, Eboue did have some ability, limited, but some. His often crucial mistakes and errors would often lead to Arsenal's downfall in crucial Premier League games. The Ivorian conceded a penalty in the 102nd minute against Liverpool – yes, the 102nd – and Arsene Wenger was livid. Ultimately, such a challenge may of cost Arsenal the title. Eboue is no doubt loved by Arsenal fans, but Arsenal fans alone.
Christian Poulsen – Center Midfield
Poulsen was one of those player that Liverpool fans were seemingly determined to hate since the Dane was linked to the club, after all, he was a Roy Hodgson signing. The fans were never going to give Hodsgon a chance, nor Poulsen. The Dane was slow, tentative and although willing to work his socks off at Liverpool, he was swiftly moved on soon after Hodsgon left the club.
Eric Djemba Djemba -Center Midfield
'So good they named him twice' by Manchester United fans. He was bought as a direct replacement for Roy Keane. However, he soon showed us that he was not fit enough to lace the Irishman's boots, let alone fill them. The problem wasn’t just his technical ability but his tempermant too. By the age of 26, Djemba Djemba was bankrupt, living the lifestyle of a footballer – although hardly playing like one.
Juan Seastian Veron – Center Midfield
Yet another Manchester United midfielder makes the list. Dubbed as 'Beauty' with his partnership with Roy Keane, Veron failed to make an impact for Manchester United in the Premier League. However, credit due to Veron for his average displays in the Champions League. Ferguson defended the £28.1million flop by labelling him a 'f****** great player.' Although subsequently sold the Argentine to Chelsea shortly after, Veron endured an even worse spell then, with just 14 appearances for the Blues.
Bebe – Center Foward
Arguably Manchester United's worst player, and that is a bold statement. The Portuguese was signed by Ferguson who later admitted he had never seen the player kick a ball. Everything about Bebe just screamed a lack of ability. He appears to be the least positionally aware footballer in the Premier League. Most bizarrely though, the fact he doesn’t even look or play like a footballer is astonishing. With rumours that Bebe was even homeless before Ferguson brought him, it really is one of the most comical transfers of the Premier League era.
Ali Dia – Center Foward
Ali Dia is a legend in English football. He earnt an undesirable status with fans due to his lack of ability, and is regularly featured in 'bad players' or 'bad transfers' list's. Dia was listed as number 1 in a list of 'The 50 worst footballers' by The Times. He somehow managed to earn himself a contract with Southampton, after claiming he was related to FIFA World Player of The Year, George Weah. Dia was signed on a one month contract, but was released just two weeks into it. He was that bad.
Emile Heskey - Center Foward
Unfortunately for Heskey, it was inevitable that he would end up in this list. Although currently topping the goal scoring chart in the A League, his time in England was, far from prolific. With 696 appearances in England and just 151 goals – Heskey was not known for his ability to score goals. Averaging a goal every 4.1 goals is unfortunately for Emile – not good enough for Premier League standards.
Manager: Paul Hart.
Managing my side is the legendary Paul Hart. Having lasted just 30 games in his last three jobs, perhaps a managerial career is not for him? With just 5 wins in his last 30 games as well as boasting impressive win percentage of 9% when boss at Swindon Town, I have no doubt he would the ideal candidate to take the helm of my Worst Premier League Team.
Do you agree with my Worst Ever Premier League Team?
Have I missed out on a specific player?
Should one player definitely not be in the list?
Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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