Picking a Premier League Worst XI on Form

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

Picking a Premier League Worst XI on Form

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    We are seven matches into the English Premier League season, and so far we have seen the best of the best rise to the top and the worst of the worst sink to the bottom. 

    Not only have we seen the worst clubs play themselves into form worth being mocked everywhere, we have also seen some individuals put in some dubious performances. 

    Based on statistical data judging every aspect of play from WhoScored.com, the worst 11 players in the EPL on form have been put together in this list. 

    The formation used for this compilation of the worst of the English top flight is a 4-1-3-2 that employs a plethora of attackers that have failed to live up to expectations. 

GK: Keiren Westwood

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    Sunderland have been massively disappointing this season, and one of the reasons to blame for their poor start is the play of goalkeeper Keiren Westwood. 

    Westwood, who replaced Simon Mignolet in net this season, has conceded a whopping 16 goals in his first seven matches between the pipes. 

    The Black Cats keeper has seen three goals fly past him in four of those seven matches with Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Brom and Liverpool being the clubs that have bagged a trio of goals against him. 

    As for his predecessor, Mignolet: He began his season with three consecutive clean sheets for Liverpool.

RB: Joel Ward

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    Joel Ward has only played in five matches this season for promoted side Crystal Palace, and in those five matches, the Eagles defense has conceded nine goals. 

    If you dig deeper and look at Ward's statistics closer, he has not earned a permanent starting spot in Ian Holloway's 11 one bit. 

    The right-back has been a piss-poor passer at best as he has completed just 76 percent of his passes while he has completed just three crosses and produced three accurate long balls in the same five-match span. 

    To put his meager statistics in perspective, the 23-year-old Englishman has attempted 14 crosses and 12 long balls. 


CB: John O'Shea

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    Westwood has not been the only player in the Sunderland lineup to take blame for the Black Cats' pitiful performances on the pitch.

    Center-back John O'Shea is equally as guilty as his backstop for Sunderland's struggles. 

    The 32-year-old veteran of the EPL has only played in six matches this season because he was sent off in the August 31 match against Crystal Palace.

    To partner the sending-off on the list of his awful statistics are his 1.2 fouls per game that outweigh his 0.8 interceptions per game. 

    Also on O'Shea's list of statistics that he would rather not talk about are the 50 percent long-ball accuracy and 81.3 percent pass-completion records. 

CB: Ben Turner

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    Cardiff City have started their first season in the EPL off with just two wins to accompany two losses and three draws. 

    One of the defenders guilty for the slow start by the Welsh side is center-back Ben Turner. 

    Turner, who plays at a position where you are supposed to make a massive impact in defense, has been eerily quiet by recording less than one tackle, interception and foul per game. 

    The English center-back has 68 clearances this season, which may seem like a positive statistic, but his long ball accuracy rate is really pitiful.

    Of the 69 long balls Turner has played, only 25 of them have been accurate. 

LB: Marc Wilson

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    Yes, I understand Marc Wilson has played all seven of his matches in the defensive and center midfield. But for the purposes of this list, the versatile Stoke City player has been moved to left-back, which is a position he has played in the past. 

    Maybe Wilson would be better off at left-back given his statistical performances in the defensive midfield. 

    Wilson has a poor accuracy rate in both crosses and long balls to pair a disappointing amount of dribbles conceded. 

    The 26-year-old Irishman has been dribbled past 17 times this season while he has had just two of eight crosses be the accurate type.

    Wilson has also seen just over half of his long balls be accurate and he has also been dispossessed 12 times in seven matches. 

CDM: Craig Gardner

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    With so many attackers in our squad, central midfielder Craig Gardner is being moved to a defensive midfield position, although it may not help the squad given his play for Sunderland this season. 

    Gardner has played a total of five matches in three different roles and scored two goals for the Black Cats.

    That is where the positives stop with Gardner, who has a propensity for picking up bookings, as he already has three yellow cards this season. 

    With most of his teammates playing poor as well, Gardner's two goals have stood out as a positive that hides his negative contributions to the side.

    Gardner has just two interceptions on the defensive end of the ball while on the offensive end he has a pass success rate of just 71.7 percent. 

    With statistics like his, and the ones of Westwood and O'Shea, it is no surprise that the Black Cats are sitting in dead last in the EPL table as we speak. 

RM: Bryan Ruiz

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    Fulham have scored just five goals this season, which is a total that will not get you anywhere in the English top flight. 

    One of the worst contributors to the Cottagers' starting 11 has been Costa Rican winger Bryan Ruiz. 

    Ruiz's ball control has been one of the most troubling aspects of his game as he has been dispossessed 13 times in four matches while he has turned the ball over eight times. 

    The player that has been moved around on the pitch by manager Martin Jol because of his inefficiency has made just three key passes to his teammates that are starving for a chance to score and improve their place in the table. 


CAM: Iago Aspas

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    Over the last two seasons in Spain, Iago Aspas impressed many people with his play for Celta Vigo.

    The play of the 26-year-old impressed Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers so much that he signed Aspas to make him a member of the Reds this summer. 

    Since he moved to Merseyside, Aspas has laid an egg in regards to his performance. 

    The creative central attacking midfielder has a pass success rate of 76.6 percent and he has recorded just one accurate cross. 

    In his six appearances for the Reds, the diminutive Spaniard has just one assist and two shots.

    To add to his statistical misery, Aspas has been dispossessed eight times, which equates to 1.3 per match. 

LM: Jay Rodriguez

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    There has not been much to complain about in regards to the performance of Southampton so far this season as the Saints currently sit in fourth place. 

    However, some of their established attackers have been slumping in their attempts to create an attacking threat. 

    Jay Rodriguez has turned the ball over 17 times and has been dispossessed nine times in seven matches for Mauricio Pochettino's club. 

    Do not ask Rodriguez to bounce back from his offensive misery and help on defense because his statistics on that end of the pitch are just as brutal to look at. 

    While tracking back on defense, Rodriguez has earned twice as many fouls (six) as interceptions (three) and he has blocked just one shot. 

FW: Nikica Jelavic

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    Given the recent heroics of Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku at Everton, do any fans of the club even remember who Nikica Jelavic is at this point? 

    Jelavic, who came to Goodison Park in January 2011 from Rangers, is in the middle of a goal-scoring drought of epic proportions. 

    The 28-year-old Croatian has scored just seven league goals in his last 42 EPL matches for the Toffees, and with Lukaku now in the squad, his time on the pitch will be extremely limited. 

    The statistics that Jelavic has this season do not help his cause to start for new manager Roberto Martinez. 

    Jelavic has had just one more shot (nine) than dispossessions (eight) on offense, and he has not helped his teammates at all as he has just four key passes in five starts this season. 

FW: Ricky van Wolfswinkel

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    Ricky van Wolfswinkel started his career in the EPL with a bang by scoring against Jelavic's Everton side in the first match of the season for Norwich City. 

    Ever since then, the flying Dutchman has been silenced while playing up front for the Canaries. 

    In his first seven starts in the EPL, van Wolfswinkel has more turnovers (13) on his resume than he does shots (12).

    The 6'1" Dutchman has also failed to perform in the air as he has won just nine of his 48 aerial duels. 

    Van Wolfswinkel does have the track record of a proven goalscorer, but if he does not find the back of the net soon, he could go down as one of the biggest transfer busts in EPL history. 


    What do you think of the Premier League worst 11? 

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