6 Most Disappointing Players in the Premier League So Far
With the Premier League season in full swing, we take a look at some of the early disappointments to arise in the current campaign.
We haven't counted players who've missed game time due to injury (Lukas Podolski, Coutinho, Jores Okore), nor players who've suffered due to selection policies at their respective clubs (Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata).
Serial disappointers such as Anderson have also been excluded.
Andi Weimann, Aston Villa
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Andi Weimann was expected to pick up where he left off last season after sealing a new, improved contract, but he's nowhere close to the heights of 2012-13.
He's underperformed in every single one of Aston Villa's Premier League games so far, and while the majority of fans adore him for his endless running and relentless work ethic, his technical game has been called into question.
When Villa are forced to control games and monopolise the ball his poor technique comes out, and in current form looks solely useful in rapier-like counterattacks.
Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal
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Laurent Koscielny finished the 2012-13 season in absurdly strong form, but he's retained his habit of starting fresh campaigns in shockingly poor fashion.
He was sent off in the opening-day tussle with Aston Villa and conceded a penalty to seal the visitors' win, then any attempt at a comeback in form was halted by a horrendous facial injury sustained against Fenerbahce.
He's not been awful, but he's nowhere close to the mantle of top Premier League centre-back—a title he held toward the tail end of last year. Per Mertesacker has been Arsenal's best defensive performer.
Roberto Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur
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When Tottenham Hotspur were being soundly beaten by a stubborn West Ham United on Sunday, Andre Villas-Boas sent on Roberto Soldado to try and fix the situation.
The problem is, Soldado is an incredibly similar player to Jermain Defoe, and where the Englishman was being denied, the Spaniard simply followed suit.
Spurs had originally set their sights on Christian Benteke this summer, confirmed by The London Evening Standard, and you get the impression he is just the type of player AVB wishes he had on the bench that day.
Soldado has not scored from open play in six Premier League starts, has offered very little in the buildup to attacks and cannot force his way into games like compatriot Alvaro Negredo can.
Lucas Leiva, Liverpool
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B/R's resident Liverpool expert Karl Matchett had this to say on the Brazilian's start to the season:
"The long-heralded 'regular run of games' didn't help, the expectant 'full preseason' hasn't changed things a jot, and now, over a month into the new campaign, Lucas is looking not much short of a complete liability in the centre at times."
Strong words, but undeniably true: Lucas, despite putting up wonderful numbers in the statistics columns, has been a soft touch in midfield and represents the one clear weak point opponents can exploit and target—just ask Victor Wanyama.
Sebastian Bassong, Norwich City
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Norwich City scraped clear of relegation last season thanks to their stubborn, sturdy defensive line.
Sebastian Bassong, the club captain, was monstrous alongside Michael Turner in ensuring the Canaries avoided the drop, but this season he's been all over the place.
Usually a rock, Bassong was positionally terrible against Aston Villa and Chelsea, and he has also taken a little time out for a hamstring aggravation.
The Cameroonian needs to step his game up.
Jack Wilshere, Arsenal
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Originally, we simply thought Jack Wilshere was being outshone by a confident Aaron Ramsey and a world-class Mesut Ozil, but upon closer inspection, it becomes clear he's not playing well.
He was in the middle of a very poor performance against West Bromwich Albion before he struck a deflected equalising goal from distance, and Tomas Rosicky would be a more welcome name to fans on the teamsheet than Wilshere's right now.
The fact that he's English has saved him from mass criticism thus far.