Premier League: 11 Players Who Should Be Performing Better in the EPL
My fantasy Premier League season has already been shot to pieces, thanks to players who were destined for great things this season but haven't been living up to their plaudits.
Whether it is missing sitters, letting in shockers or particularly poor passing, there are some footballers who need to up their game, and shine like they are supposed to. Everybody has an off day, but these 11 men have had around 90.
History—and past form—dictates that all these players should be performing better in the EPL than they are. But who has had the worst start when he should be playing much better, and who stands out as the biggest letdown of the season so far?
Queens Park Rangers' hero in 2012 has turned sour this season, producing some lackluster performances. On the back of the great escape, the Frenchman looked like he could be notching near-on 20 goals this season, but none of that form has been recaptured after the summer break.
Cisse scored his first goal of the season in the Capital One Cup, but in the League, he has been less than effective. Both Rangers and Cisse need their fortunes turned around sharpish.
The second Cisse on our list comes from the North-East in the shape of Papiss. He is another player who made an immediate impact following his January transfer, but this season he has an entirely different story. One goal in the League Cup and one in the Europa League isn't exactly what Alan Pardew was expecting from the Senegalese forward.
If Cisse can reconnect with Demba Ba as he did last season, Newcastle could prove real contenders for the top four, but Cisse needs to pull his finger out and remember where the back of the net is.
Stephane Sessegnon was Sunderland's shining light the past 18 months, but this year he has fizzled out into a dull glow. With eight goals in all competitions in 2012-13—coupled with countless assists—Sessegnon was tipped for even greater things in his second full season for the club, but so far, that hasn't materialized.
Once a shoe-in for team of the week by journalists all over the land, the boy from Benin needs to find some luck from somewhere to kick-start his season.
Joe Allen should never have left Swansea City, but even so, he has the ability to make a difference to a rather average Liverpool squad.
Brendan Rodgers has a midfield selection headache in that he has to fill his team with players such as Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing and Stewart Downing. You would think that Allen would relish this opportunity to become one of Rodgers' main men alongside Steven Gerrard. However, he hasn't really done anything since his move, and all the promise he showed at Swansea seems to have been left back in Wales.
Another player who made a move on a promise of goals, yet those goals seem to have dried up.
Phenomenal at both Reading and 1899 Hoffenheim in recent seasons, Sigurdsson looked like Tottenham Hotspur's only good bit of summer business—until the double deal of Dembele and Dempsey—but so far, he has been ineffective.
Gylfi—like Joe Allen—was at Swansea last season (on loan) and scored seven goals in 18 appearances. Perhaps it's something in the water down there?
A move to Norwich City should have been a good one for Michael Turner, and he should be starting every game. But he's not.
Turner is a very good player and much was expected of him, but his appearances have been limited thanks in part to Sebastien Bassong and Leon Barnett. I think Turner is a class above Barnett, but he hasn't been helping himself as he seems to be making more mistakes than tackles when he does get a chance to play.
Turner definitely needs to turn it around.
Despite the influx of midfield talent into the Chelsea team over the summer, Ramires held onto his place—and rightly so, judging by last season.
Judging by this season, however, he has barely earned a squad number, let alone a starting place. Okay, maybe a little harsh, but Ramires' fall from form was like a rock out of a 20th storey window. Whether his confidence has been bashed by Oscar, Hazard and the other glitterati Roberto di Matteo has signed remains to be seen. But RDM still appears to back him, so maybe it is Ramires who just doesn't back himself anymore.
Brede Hangeland is a very good centre-back, and has been linked consistently with a move away from the Cottage in recent years. But this season he has looked a little off the pace.
Three clean sheets may tell a different story on paper, but out on the pitch he hasn't looked like the Hangeland that has gained him so much praise. Who knows why. Perhaps it is the fact that he is getting older and his chance of a move to a top club is slowly drifting away. Or maybe it is because he feels the pressure of having to become Fulham's top scorer—he was second to only Clint Dempsey last season.
From three Golden Glove Awards (well, it would have been if it weren't for that pesky Petr Cech), to just one clean sheet in seven games.
Pepe Reina has had a very poor start to the 2012-13 campaign, which correlates directly to Liverpool's current League position. The team has conceded 12 goals in the Premier League so far, and Reina has started making mistakes on a regular basis, including against Manchester City and Arsenal already.
Pepe has been renowned for the occasional blunder, but this season it seems to becoming more of a habit, rather than an unusual occurrence.
Everyone knows Nani has been rubbish this season, even Nani.
His heart doesn't seemed to be in Manchester anymore, and much like his Portuguese counterpart CR7, when he can't be bothered, it is glaringly obvious on the pitch. His 18 Premier League assists last season put him on top of the pile, but he has only made one goal for United so far, and only scored one too.
With Fergie not tolerating poor attitudes, Nani will need to buck his game and his ideas up before the transfer window re-opens, else he could see himself out of Old Trafford—and out of my fantasy team—come January.
Before the Manchester City fans jump down my comments feed telling me how Vincent is a great captain and their Premier League success was all down to him—may I remind you, that was last season.
This season, Kompany has been poor. The City defense has leaked goals, and as quick as people are to laud Kompany with clean sheets, they must also admit that he has been partly at fault for many of the goals his team has conceded.
Kompany is a player I have admired for many seasons, since his Anderlecht days, and to say I am disappointed in his performances this season would be an understatement. I want him to do well, but if he doesn't fix up soon, he'll not be making it into Manchester City's team of the season, let alone claiming Premier League Player of the Year.