1 Opposing Player Each Premier League Fanbase Hates the Most

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2013

1 Opposing Player Each Premier League Fanbase Hates the Most

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    Premier League fans love to hate opposing players.

    Sometimes, such dislike is all too easy. Whether it's for on-pitch performances or for off-field mistakes, each fanbase has a number of individuals that it meets with disdain.

    Perhaps public comments spark anger. Maybe a star player quits his current club and joins its rivals. Possibly, he sleeps with a teammate's wife.

    I've compiled a list of one player hated by each set of supporters. Just a single rule to consider: the individual in question must currently represent a Premier League club. Sorry, Monsieur Barton.

Arsenal: Emmanuel Adebayor

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    Arsenal fans have a lot of players to hate.

    Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie have all moved on to receive higher wages and a greater chance at silverware. William Gallas exchanged Arsenal for Tottenham in 2011 and has spent two years trying to convince himself the Gunners made a mistake when letting him go (via The Daily Mail). Ashley Cole is Ashley Cole.

    One man sprinkles his own dousing of annoyance on top. Emmanuel Adebayor is one of many high-profile names to ditch the Emirates in recent times, but his departure and subsequent behaviour will irk Arsenal fans the most.

    The Togo international has a habit of netting against Arsene Wenger's team. Alongside this, he also has the nerve to run the entire field to celebrate in front of his former club.

    To top it off, Adebayor currently plays for Tottenham. He both scored and received a red card in this season's 5-2 loss to Arsenal, giving local fans the chance to cheer his walk off the pitch.

Aston Villa: Gareth Barry

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    Gareth Barry provided Aston Villa with 12 years of service.

    He left Villa Park with the intention of securing major honours at Manchester City. He has done exactly that, forcing many fans to question whether loyalty exists in football anymore.

    Barry knew he risked the wrath of the Birmingham club's followers when he moved on. The midfielder addressed the move in a letter and suggested he didn't want to become "stale" at his old club (via The Telegraph).

    Villa fans were treated to a Barry own goal when they beat Manchester 4-2 in the Capital One Cup. A few months down the line, Barry scored another own goal to dent Villa's relegation battle. Could his mistake in the 3-1 loss to Southampton indirectly send Paul Lambert's team down this season?

Chelsea: The Ferdinand Brothers

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    Anton and Rio Ferdinand stand together in this one.

    The Ferdinand family haven't endeared themselves to Chelsea fans over the last year, but that is hardly their fault.

    John Terry was fined and banned for racially abusing Anton on the pitch (via BBC Sport). Even though England's disgraced former captain is loathed by many of his countrymen, Chelsea fans have stuck by Terry across a difficult spell in his career.

    The defender was included in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad at the expense of Rio (via BBC Sport), who was supposedly left out for "footballing reasons." Roll on to September 2012, and Terry had retired from international duty after his guilty verdict (via BBC Sport).

    When Ashley Cole gave evidence against Anton in the court case, modern technology haunted Rio when the Manchester United man appeared to tweet the term "choc ice" to his millions of followers (via The Daily Telegraph).

Everton: Wayne Rooney

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    "Once a blue, always a blue."

    Those were the famous words underneath Wayne Rooney's Everton shirt in 2002. Two years later, Rooney became a red.

    Manchester United swooped in, and Everton's future drooped. The thought of a Liverpool-born forward being a Red Devil is difficult for many local fans. Rooney has since established himself as one of the world's top players and has enjoyed nine years at Old Trafford.

    Still, old wounds remain.

    Nearly 16,000 Evertonians joined a Facebook group declaring their hatred for Rooney before United traveled to Goodison earlier in the season (via The Daily Star). David Moyes' team have often quashed their former player's threat, much to the delight of a crowd that continues to boo his every move.

Fulham: Clint Dempsey

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    Clint Dempsey was a superstar in his final season with Fulham. The problem is, he knew it.

    The American forward scored 17 goals and played a huge part in the London club finishing ninth in the Premier League. When the big clubs circled, Dempsey's attitude changed.

    Before his move to Tottenham came through, Dempsey refused to play for Fulham ever again (via ESPN). He showed himself to be a mercenary who was only looking for a bigger job. He undid his relationship with the Craven Cottage crowd by refusing to work while still under contract.

    Interestingly, Dempsey has been something of a disappointment since moving across London. Big fish, big pond.

Liverpool: Patrice Evra

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    Patrice Evra isn't the most popular man at Anfield. As with Anton Ferdinand's spat with John Terry, though, it's hardly the defender's fault.

    Many Liverpool fans were highly frustrated to see Luis Suarez banned for eight games after racially abusing the Frenchman (via The Guardian). Handshake shenanigans followed, and the whole affair got rather silly.

    Although Evra wasn't at fault in that instance, he does have some role to play when inciting hatred from the Liverpool crowd. In the first meeting between the pair after the row took place, Evra's wild celebrations were uncalled for, as United beat Liverpool 2-1.

    This season, the defender scored a vital goal in the win over Brendan Rodgers' side. Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Suarez/Evra case played a huge part in Kenny Dalglish losing his Liverpool job, so perhaps the club's fans should be thanking United's left-back? (via FOX Sports).

Manchester City: Robin Van Persie

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    Let's take a step away from racism for a minute and focus on a player that is hated out of admiration.

    There's no denying Manchester City were close to signing Robin van Persie last summer. The Dutchman had a choice to make, a decision that would leave him a hero in one half of the city and a villain in the other.

    He chose United.

    While City fans don't necessarily "hate" van Persie for this, his last-minute winner in this season's Manchester derby could play a huge part in where the Premier League title ends up.

Manchester United: Luis Suarez

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    Yes, yes, no surprises here.

    Luis Suarez will never receive a warm reception at Old Trafford. The Uruguayan forward's public abuse of Patrice Evra will be reacted to every time he steps foot on Manchester United's ground.

    United fans have plenty of hate figures. The likes of Carlos Tevez and Jamie Carragher are amongst the individuals who receive a difficult time when playing against Ferguson's men.

    When pushed, many United fans are likely to admit some kind of respect for the careers of such individuals, something you won't find when discussing Suarez.

Newcastle United: Andy Carroll

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    Andy Carroll's career has been calamitous since leaving Tyneside.

    Newcastle was the perfect club for an up-and-coming forward who has plenty to offer when confident. St. James' Park was right behind him, and it seemed as if Carroll would serve his home city for the majority of his career.

    You know the rest. Chelsea sign Fernando Torres for £50 million. Liverpool sign Carroll for £35 million. Hidden amongst the ridiculous price tag was an Englishman who feared the hatred of his former club upon his first return (via The Sun).

    How anyone can hate someone who does this, I'll never know.

Norwich City: Luis Suarez

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    Wait, what?

    No, I'm not jumping on the Suarez hatred bandwagon. Although it was tempting to put him on every slide, the current Premier League top scorer deserves to be applauded on his fantastic form this campaign.

    Norwich City fans should hate coming up against the striker. Suarez has scored seven goals in his last three matches against the Canaries. This includes two hat-tricks and a brilliant display in the recent 5-0 thrashing of Chris Hughton's side.

    See? It's not all about hate. Let's bring it in for a hug.

Queens Park Rangers: John Terry

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    Maybe it is all about hate.

    John Terry is English football's Dick Dastardly. He is the only man to be stripped of his England captaincy twice, has a career of memorable mistakes in the public eye and is famous for sleeping with his teammate's wife.

    The racism row with Anton Ferdinand just confirmed the fact that he will never be admired for anything other than footballing ability.

Reading: Gabriel Agbonlahor

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    Gabriel Agbonlahor scored a goal that could proceed to relegate Reading.

    The Aston Villa man netted the vital strike in the recent 2-1 win, allowing Paul Lambert's side to push the Royals onto equal points with a terrible Queens Park Rangers outfit.

    Maybe Reading fans don't hate Agbonlahor yet. Come the end of May, though, Gabby could be a central figure in the club's potential demise to England's second tier.

Southampton: Harry Redknapp

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    Okay, so Harry Redknapp isn't a player.

    Even so, he is wildly hated by Southampton fans. The rubber-faced manager took over at St. Mary's after a stint with rivals Portsmouth. Redknapp's terrible season saw the Saints relegated for the first time in 27 years, but to make things worse, he rejoined Portsmouth after one year in charge (via The Daily Mirror).

    He then steered Pompey to an F.A. Cup title. Right now, he is in charge of QPR, one of Southampton's relegation rivals.

Stoke City: Demba Ba

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    Just imagine if Demba Ba joined Stoke City.

    The Senegalese forward failed a medical at the Britannia before joining West Ham in 2011 (via BBC Sport). Shortly after, Ba moved to Newcastle and became one of the Premier League's hottest strikers.

    Tony Pulis outlined the striker's fitness as a "massive risk." Two years and plenty of success later, the Potters are still searching for a forward to lead the front line with a consistent amount of goals (via The Daily Mail).

    Despite suggesting Ba is injury prone, Pulis decided to sign Michael Owen. The irony here is unbelievable.

Sunderland: Danny Graham

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    Danny Graham is hated by many Sunderland fans. Danny Graham plays for Sunderland.

    The Newcastle fan made some derogatory comments about the Black Cats in his Watford days (via The Independent). When asked whom he would support if Newcastle failed to exist, the striker eloquently replied (via The Daily Mail):

    "Put it this way. I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could."

    I have nothing more to say.

Swansea City: Scott Sinclair

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    Perhaps Scott Sinclair isn't hated by Swansea fans. If anything, the former Swans forward should be pitied.

    Sinclair jumped ship as soon as a bigger club came calling. Many people knew he would never be afforded a real chance at Manchester City, but higher wages and the chance of silverware saw the youngster's eyes light up.

    Of course, Swansea won the Capital One Cup this season. Michael Laudrup's side have received plenty of plaudits and deserved to be the first Welsh club to capture the trophy.

    Meanwhile, Sinclair has made three starts in all competitions.

Tottenham Hotspur: Jack Wilshere

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    Jack Wilshere is arguably English football's most talented youngster.

    The Arsenal man is recognised for his technical ability, energy and creativity. On the opposite side of North London, a real hatred for the 21-year-old exists.

    In 2011, Wilshere received a police warning for spitting at a London cab driver. The individual in question was wearing a Spurs hat and didn't even receive a tip for his trouble (via Yahoo! Sports).

    Wilshere also urged Luka Modric to leave Spurs in favour of Chelsea at the end of last season (via Metro).

    In this case, it seems Wilshere and Spurs share a mutual hatred that could come back to haunt the player at the end of the season. Will Arsenal fail to topple their rivals for the first time since 1994?

West Bromwich Albion: Peter Odemwingie

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    Like Danny Graham, Peter Odemwingie isn't an opposing player. That doesn't dismiss the fact that, if the striker had his way, he would be.

    Odemwingie's drive down to Loftus Road served up one of the January transfer window's funniest stories (via The Guardian). He tried to force himself into Harry Redknapp's plans and out of the Hawthorns in one fell swoop, but it wasn't to be.

    The Nigerian striker has repeatedly let Steve Clarke down this campaign. Despite suggesting he owes Baggies fans after an early season red card, he went on to slam them prior to his QPR madness (via Goal.com).

    Expect him to move on in the summer.

West Ham United: Scott Parker

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    Scott Parker was upset and hurt when he returned to Upton Park. Despite being voted Football Writers' Association player of the year when the Hammers were relegated, Parker's return wasn't met with admiration (via The Daily Mail).

    Is it the fact he joined Spurs?

    Hatred of Parker is more complex than that. Since joining Tottenham, he has never matched the form we saw when he wore claret and blue. His creativity has been exchanged for a quieter role behind the halfway line and less chance to shine amongst a group of talented individuals.

    West Ham and Parker had an excellent relationship. The player didn't fancy representing London's famous club in the Championship, though, and left for one of their most bitter rivals. Did he really deserve better?

Wigan Athletic: Hugo Rodallega

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    Hugo Rodallega's career continues to stutter on.

    The Colombian striker hasn't lived up to his massive potential. Most disappointingly for Wigan fans, the 27-year-old scored the goal that kept Roberto Martinez's team in the Premier League during the 2011-12 season, before announcing he wanted to leave.

    Rodallega has accomplished very little since joining Fulham. His most notable achievement is a match-winning goal against his former club. As we head into the final weeks of the season, and Wigan flirt with relegation, Rodallega's goal could send his former club towards the trapdoor.

     

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