Tottenham: Most Frustrating XI of the Premier League Era

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2013

Tottenham: Most Frustrating XI of the Premier League Era

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    Tottenham Hotspur are one of just six clubs that have played in each one of the 21 seasons of the English Premier League. 

    Over those 21 seasons, the North London club has seen plenty of star players pass through the club but they have also seen plenty of players who have not performed up to best of their abilities. 

    Out of all the disappointing players to wear a Spurs shirt in the last 21 seasons, it was my task to narrow that group down to 11.

    This group consists of players who never lived up to their potential at Tottenham after starring elsewhere and players who had promising starts to their career but then failed to perform during the rest of their time at White Hart Lane. 

    Here are the 11 most frustrating Tottenham players of the Premier League Era. 

Heurelho Gomes

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    Years at the Club: 2008-present

    Heurelho Gomes' time at Tottenham will be remembered mostly for his gaffes in goal.

    In his first season with the club, Gomes started off strong before he began to cement his place in Spurs folklore as the goalkeeper who made plenty of mistakes.

    Gomes' errors not only occurred during EPL matches, he also took his misfortune to the European scene during the club's 2010-11 Champions League campaign.

    After being sent off against Inter Milan in the group stage, Gomes committed a brutal error on a shot by Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in the knockout stage.

    Attached to this slide is a blooper reel of the worst howlers that the Brazilian committed.

    The good news for Spurs fans is that Gomes is currently out on loan at Hoffenheim and will probably never play for the club again.  

Goran Bunjevcevic

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    Years at the Club: 2001-2006

    Goran Bunjevcevic was hailed as the Serbian Beckenbauer when he joined Spurs from Red Star Belgrade in 2001, but his play came nowhere close to that comparison. 

    The defender played at numerous positions in defense, but he never found a consistent place in the starting 11 except for the 2002-03 season where he made 33 total appearances for the club. 

    Bunjevcevic's career at White Hart Lane was marred by constant criticism from the fans and the failure to fit into Martin Jol's plans at the club. 

    After the 2002-03 season, Bunjevcevic made just eight appearances in his final three seasons for Spurs. 

    Bunjevcevic finally left the club in 2006 for ADO Den Haag and then retired from football after one season in Holland. 

Ricardo Rocha

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    Years at the Club: 2007-2009

    Ricardo Rocha was in the process of turning into a defensive star when he joined Tottenham in January 2007. 

    Rocha had played for Benfica before moving to North London, and he earned plenty of praise for his performance against Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League quarterfinals.

    The same talent never translated to the pitches of England as Rocha played in just 18 matches over two-and a-half seasons for Tottenham. 

    Rocha did get a decent amount of time right after his arrival at the club, but then he drifted off into obscurity and made five appearances for the club over the next two seasons. 

    After leaving Spurs, Rocha moved to Standard Liege for a season before becoming a permanent member of the first team at Portsmouth, the club he is currently employed by. 

Anthony Gardner

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    Years at the Club: 2000-2008

    Anthony Gardner entered the fray at White Hart Lane in 2000 when he joined the club from Port Vale. 

    In his first few years in North London, Gardner worked his way through the reserve squad and eventually earned a spot in the first team.

    The defender played in a career-high 40 matches for Spurs during the 2003-04 campaign. 

    After that season, Gardner's playing time decreased due to numerous reasons. 

    Injuries played a big part in the lack of playing time that Gardner received in his final four seasons at the club. 

    Gardner was sent out on loan to Hull City at the beginning of the 2008-09 season, and he was permanently signed by the club during the following summer; his time at Tottenham finally came to an end. 

Gilberto

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    Years at the Club: 2008-2009

    Gilberto was the first Brazilian to ever play for Tottenham, but his time at the club was marked by plenty of lapses on defense. 

    Gilberto had a successful spell at Hertha Berlin that attracted the North London club to him and in January 2008 the two sides agreed on a transfer. 

    In his first match for Spurs against PSV in the UEFA Cup, Gilberto made an error that led to a goal for the Dutch club.

    After he committed that crucial error, the left-back was relegated to the Spurs bench, and he never made an impact on the club. 

    In July 2009, Gilberto's short and disappointing spell at Spurs ended as he moved back to Brazil to join Cruzeiro

David Bentley

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    Years at the Club: 2008-present

    David Bentley is a classic example of a player who had showed plenty of potential, signed with a big club and never made it at the big club. 

    Bentley joined Spurs from Blackburn in 2008 after he had two very successful seasons at Ewood Park. 

    The English midfielder was given plenty of chances to succeed during his first two seasons in North London.

    However, Bentley could never make a permanent impact at the club. 

    After recording a total of 26 assists in his final two seasons at Blackburn, Bentley has recorded just nine in his Spurs career. 

    Bentley was sent out on loan to fellow English clubs Birmingham City and West Ham United during the last two seasons before he was banished to Russia this season on loan at FC Rostov

Milenko Acimovic

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    Years with the Club: 2002-2004

    Milenko Acimovic is a perfect example of a player who had plenty of success at the international level, earned a big deal with a premier club where he failed miserably, but then had success after he left that big club.

    Acimovic impressed Tottenham with his performances at Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Slovenia. 

    Acimovic scored one of Slovenia's two goals in Korea and Japan, his goal came in a 3-1 loss to Paraguay that eliminated Slovenia from their first World Cup. 

    After the 2002 World Cup, the midfielder signed with Spurs and only lasted a season-and-a-half with the club. 

    Acimovic made just 17 appearances for Spurs and was a fringe player for the majority of his time at White Hart Lane. 

    After he left Tottenham, Acimovic had plenty of success with Lille, Al-Ittihad and Austria Vienna, he also continued to have success at the international level with Slovenia by making 74 appearances over a nine-year span. 

Giovani dos Santos

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    Years with the Club: 2008-2012

    Giovani dos Santos may be one of the most frustrating players to ever surface in the English Premier League. 

    Dos Santos joined Spurs from Barcelona in 2008 and was tipped to become one of the best players of his generation. 

    Tottenham never benefited from the talents of the Mexican midfielder who made just 31 appearances in all competitions for the club over a span of four seasons. 

    During the time in which he was either relegated to bench, out of the matchday squad or out on loan across Europe, Dos Santos was thriving for the Mexican national team. 

    The crowning achievement of his international career came last summer when he was a part of Mexico's gold-medal-winning Olympic squad. 

    Dos Santos also impressed during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup where he led El Tri to an emphatic 5-0 victory in the final over the United States.

    After his Olympic success, Dos Santos finally left White Hart Lane for good and joined La Liga side Mallorca. 

Adel Taarabt

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    Years with the Club: 2007-2010

    Adel Taarabt is currently helping Queens Park Rangers escape relegation, but before he moved to Loftus Road in 2010 he was a Tottenham player, a fact that many fans are not aware of. 

    Taarabt joined Spurs on a permanent basis in 2007, and he never had a chance to star in the starting 11 on a regular basis. 

    The highest number of appearances in a season that Taarabt made while at the club was his 10 during the 2007-08 campaign. 

    Taarabt failed to impress then-Spurs manager Juande Ramos and he was sent out on loan to QPR for 18 months beginning in January 2009. 

    Since he moved to QPR, Taarabt has been a consistent first-team performer, and he even won the Championship title during the 2010-11 season while contributing 19 goals to the QPR cause.

    With his success since leaving White Hart Lane, Taarabt can be put in the same category as Dos Santos as a special talent who never found his way at Tottenham. 

Steffen Iversen

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    Years with the Club: 1996-2003

    Steffen Iversen spent seven seasons at Tottenham and only two of them pleased fans of the club. 

    Iversen scored 13 goals in all competitions during the 1998-99 season, and he improved that total by four during the next campaign. 

    However, after his two standout seasons at White Hart Lane, Iversen's form flatlined; he was eventually shipped off to Wolves during the summer of 2003.

    During his time at Tottenham, the former Norwegian international forward suffered from a handful of injuries. 

    After he left the club, Iversen showed how many goals he could score when he was healthy as he scored over 10 goals in each of his seasons with Rosenberg from 2006-2010.

    Iversen turned into a classic case of a player whose goalscoring output was struck down by injuries, and Spurs fans are left to wonder how many goals the Norwegian could have scored with the club had he avoided the injury bug. 

Helder Postiga

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    Years with the Club: 2003-2004

    Helder Postiga has had himself quite a successful career, but his one-year pit stop in North London was not a smart move for the Portuguese forward.

    Postiga had his worst professional season while he was with Tottenham by scoring just one goal in 24 appearances in all competitions. 

    The season before he joined Spurs, Postiga put up a career-high 19 goals in all competitions for Porto, and he was tipped to have a lengthy and successful career at White Hart Lane.

    Luckily for Spurs, they were able to ship the forward back to Porto after just one season at the club, and they did not have make their fans suffer from Postiga's putrid scoring total for another season. 

    Since he left North London, Postiga has wandered all around Europe playing in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

    Postiga currently plays for Real Zaragoza in La Liga where he has scored nine goals this season. 

    Who do you think belongs in the Tottenham Most Frustrating 11?

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.