Owl List: The Premier League’s Worst.
Ok, so West Brom and Blackpool are exempt, not Newcastle though, as they’re a ‘massive’ club obviously. All players must be essentially first-team players…there’s very little point in laughing at a fat youth-team goalkeeper who has one Carling Cup appearance to his name.
So, with that in mind….
1. Manuel Almunia.
It’s not that foolishly coiffured Spaniard is a bad goalkeeper - although obviously he is - it’s more that he doesn’t exhibit goalkeeping attributes. He doesn’t make saves, he doesn’t catch the ball, and he doesn’t exert any authority over his defence. There have been times during his tenure where it has appeared that he’s in goal simply because he’s Arsenal’s most inferior outfield player. Almunia, and his equally hilarious sidekick Lukas Fabianski, has been at the heart of Arsenal’s inability to mount a title challenge in recent years - but, nothing buying another couple of wafer-thin forwards won’t solve.
2. Wes Brown.
The best current example of a player who owes his England career to the stature of the club he plays for…sits on the bench for. Can’t time a tackle, can’t go forward, has no aerial-presence…all these truths have been obscured by the dazzle of that red shirt. It would be fair to say that his International retirement over the weekend probably didn’t reduce Fabio to a blubbering mess.
3. Emiliano Insua
As Wes Brown benefits from his club association, Insua profits from his exotic name. Is consistently and hopelessly inadequate, and such was Rafa Benitez’s lack of faith in him, that Insua wouldn’t be played in Liverpool’s first-team without a defensively-capable player ahead of him. Congratulations then, to his parents, for had Emiliano been christened something more mundane - like Stephen Warnock - he would probably have never been given a chance at Anfield.
4. Gary Caldwell
His move from Celtic to Wigan last year highlighted the difference between the SPL and the Premier League. The quantum leap in quality proved far too much for Caldwell, and with no pace and the turning circle of a Lancaster Bomber he was brutally exposed.
5. Steven Taylor
A case study in what you can achieve with effort as a substitute for ability. He was also probably the only person in Newcastle to lament the departure of Jean-Alain Boumsong, because nobody loses that comparison. Hopefully Taylor’s comedic defending and substandard acting can distract us all from the usual drone of ‘Massive club, best fans in the world, back where we belong etc etc’ coming from the North-East.
6. John Obi-Mikel
Pointless. The more he plays, the more Chelsea fans yearn for Michael Essien. Ask anybody that watches him regularly, and request that they list his attributes - “he’s strong” they’ll say, “so what” you’ll retort. He must have cracking banter on the team coach.
7. Charles N’Zogbia
It’s very rare that a player turns-up with a full-set of negative characteristics - inconsistent, one-dimensional, predictable, and a wildly exaggerated perception of his own abilities. Newcastle and Wigan fans will be all too familiar with this sequence - a couple of good games, fall-out with the manager, declaration of intention to play for Arsenal. The silence when he declared himself eligible to play for England was deafening, as loud as the groans are when he cuts back to his left foot…again.
8. Jermaine Jenas
9. David Ngog
Having the Frenchman as a substitute for Fernando Torres equates to owning an unreliable Aston Martin but keeping a skateboard in the garage ‘just in case’. Ngog possesses that rare je ne sais quoi that means that no matter how many goals he scores, supporters will think ‘he’s still sh”t’.
10. Salomon Kalou
See David Ngog, replacing Drogba for Torres.
11. Kieran Richardson
Anybody who watches Match of the Day will immediately disagree, edited highlight packages have enhanced a lot of careers….Steven Gerrard? However, maybe just ask any match-attending Sunderland fan what he thinks of ‘Mr Richardson’ - as the player refers to himself. Yes, really.
Posted on August 10, 2010, in List and tagged Charles N'Zogbia, David Ngog, Emiliano Insua, Gary Caldwell, Jermaine Jenas, John Obi Mikel, Kieran Richardson, Manuel Almunia, Salomon Kalou, Steven Taylor, Wes Brown. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.