EPL 2011/2012: 5 Star Attackers Who Are Playing Surprisingly Badly Right Now

Rohan SubraSenior Analyst IJanuary 7, 2012

EPL 2011/2012: 5 Star Attackers Who Are Playing Surprisingly Badly Right Now

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    This 2011-2012 season has been quite entertaining.

    You know the story: Manchester City with all their money; Manchester United fighting them for the top spot; Tottenham surprising everyone and perhaps challenging for the title; and finally the battle for fourth, between Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea.

    And this season, like in every season, there have been surprises.

    Tottenham have shocked everyone, Newcastle had a hot run at the beginning of the season which no one expected, and Blackburn and Bolton have been unexpectedly bad.

    The players mentioned in this list are all talented and have performed very well at some point in their career. But now, with the expectations raised this season, none of these men have risen to the challenge, and that gets them here.

    Here are five star attackers who aren't in great form.

Rafael Van Der Vaart

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    After a great last season, expectations were high for Rafael van der Vaart.

    However, he has had a mysterious drop in form, which could be explained by the fact that he has gotten slower. The Dutchman has put on some weight, and in games you can see that the quickness he previously had has gone.

    Last season, the Dutchman scored 13 goals and had eight assists. But last year was a low-scoring year, because the Golden Boot was won by Berbatov and Tevez, each of whom had only 20 goals—now Robin van Persie, the EPL scoring leader, has 17 goals in just over half the season.

    But van der Vaart only has seven goals this year, and that means he is on track for 13 or 14 total. In relation to how well some players are doing scoring-wise this year, it isn't enough.

    In the 2010-2011 season, he was the orchestrator of Tottenham, along with Luka Modric; their Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. But this year, he isn't such a major part of Spurs.

    Of course, Redknapp's side are doing brilliantly so far this year, and they can do even better if van der Vaart picks up his form.

Edin Dzeko

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    Edin Dzeko started the season red-hot, as he and Sergio Aguero were Manchester City's two major strikers, and together they dominated other teams.

    His most notable performance was against Tottenham, where he scored four different goals, and with each one, he showed the world what a wide variety of goals he was capable of scoring.

    Now, however, Mario Balotelli is also in the mix for Manchester City's strikers, and as a result, the Bosnian giant has seen less and less playing time, while the hilarious Italian has been seeing less and less bench time.

    Dzeko's performance against Liverpool recently was not good at all, as he had several bad touches, and had he controlled them better, the score could have been more than just 3-0.

    Just a few months ago, he was the EPL scoring leader, but now he finds himself in sixth with just 10 goals to his tally.

    Hopefully for City fans, Dzeko can turn it around, so that their team can retain first place in the Premier League and win the trophy.

Andy Carroll

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    A lot of people laugh when you do so much as mention Andy Carroll's name.

    Signed in January 2011 from Newcastle for a ridiculous fee of £35 million, the Englishman was doing quite well for Toon, as he was a major presence in the air.

    Like Peter Crouch, he is known for not being able to do much with the ball at his feet, but for many teams, aerial ability is one of the most important factors.

    At Liverpool, however, he has scored only four goals in 23 appearances, and this season, he has only two goals in 18 appearances.

    Due to his inability to score goals, he doesn't see as much playing time as he would like to, with Luis Suarez, Craig Bellamy, Charlie Adam, and Stewart Downing being the main players in Liverpool's stellar attack.

    When he does get windows of opportunity to play, he must prove to Kenny Dalglish that he is worthy of more playing time.

Fernando Torres

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    Nowadays, Fernando Torres is the laughingstock of the football world.

    When you mention flops, the Spaniard is the first person that pops into most fans' minds.

    Blessed with tremendous talent, he was doing very well at Liverpool, but upon arriving at Stamford Bridge, things haven't been too bright for El Nino.

    Not only has he not scored goals, he has missed several open chances, as well, for example the one against Manchester United.

    Torres has scored three goals in 29 appearances for Chelsea, and two in 15 appearances so far this season. In Chelsea's case, there are so many good attackers that Torres has only started eight matches this year, and Andre Villas-Boas doesn't seem too happy with him.

    If he wants to avoid more mockery, he should get his act together and start putting the ball in the net more often.

Wayne Rooney

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    Yeah, it may seem a little surprising, but Rooney has not even been close to meeting expectations so far this season.

    The Manchester United star started off the season very well, climbing to the top of the scoring leader board, with three goals against Arsenal in an 8-2 demolition at Old Trafford.

    After that, however, he hasn't done too well in terms of scoring.

    He has thirteen goals so far this season, and that makes him fourth-highest scorer in the EPL right now, but by his standards, that isn't very good.

    Right now, it's very important that United strikers start scoring, because they are trying to catch Manchester City at the top of the table. Right now, Dimitar Berbatov is scoring the most goals for them, which is helping their title chances.

    Out of all the people on this list, however, you can count on Wayne Rooney to pick his form back up, and maybe even win the Golden Boot award.