Picking an All-Worst Starting XI from the Premier League in 2013

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2014

Picking an All-Worst Starting XI from the Premier League in 2013

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    It's the New Year, and there are new hopes and new dreams filling the minds of plenty of Premier League players.

    But the mistakes of 2013 can't be forgotten just yet.

    In some cases, the last year represented a watershed one in players' careers, with plenty not performing to the high standards that they've set themselves in the past.

    In picking a worst Premier League XI of 2013, we've largely focused on big-money performers who have failed to live up to the hype, be that through injury, bad luck or just plain underperformance.

    Not everyone will agree with the selection, so let us know your team in the comments section:



Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton)

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    Perhaps a harsh inclusion for Southampton's young goalkeeper, who got into the team at the beginning of the 2012/13 season and then again at the tail end of 2013.

    The Argentinean's second run in the side coincided with the Saints' dip in form at the end of the year though, with Gazzaniga conceding 10 goals in his five starts as the Saints slipped out of the European places.

Jose Bosingwa (QPR)

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    He may have had a successful career at Chelsea, but Jose Bosingwa immediately looked out of place as he took one last payday at Queens Park Rangers in the 2012/13 season.

    Frequently looking disinterested, Bosingwa was on the winning side just twice for QPR in 2013, and he compounded fans' anger by appearing to laugh following the Rs' relegation.

Modibo Diakite (Sunderland)

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    Impressive in Serie A with Lazio, there were plenty of clubs interested in signing the French centre-back Modibo Diakite when he became available on a free transfer in the summer.

    Sunderland were ultimately the somewhat surprising winners of that race, but Diakite has hardly been a success story in the north-east. He played six Premier League games in 2013, winning just one as the Mackems conceded 12 goals.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Newcastle)

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    Newcastle have made some terrific signings from France in recent years, but in 2013 they signed Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier.

    The central defender started reasonably well, before being part of the defence that conceded three and then six goals to Sunderland and Liverpool in successive home games. This season, a shambolic first half display against Everton saw the Blues score three goals and Yanga-Mbiwa hauled off at half-time, and then he was sent off on his return to the team against Liverpool.

Valentin Roberge (Sunderland)

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    A curious free transfer arrival from Maritimo in the summer, the French defender Valentin Roberge has proved to be anything but a canny squad addition for Sunderland.

    The centre-back was on the losing side in each of his first five Premier League appearances, with his style of defending causing plenty of Black Cats to be kicked by supporters in the North East this season.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton, Manchester United)

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    Even before completing his £27.5m move to Manchester United from Everton in the summer, Marouane Fellaini had scored just three Premier League goals in 2013.

    Five months into life at his new club, he's still to score for United too, and struggled to hold down a place in an Old Trafford midfield which he had been tipped to make the difference in upon his arrival. Injury hasn't helped, but the Belgian is looking a fish out of water in Manchester.

Park Ji-Sung (QPR)

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    Unveiled as the headline arrival at ambitious QPR in the summer of 2012, Park Ji-Sung never once demonstrated any of the form that made him such a fans' favourite at Old Trafford during his spell in west London.

    Park played 13 games for QPR in 2013, achieving nothing of note in any of them as Rangers succumbed to relegation and the South Korean left the club for PSV Eindhoven.

Nani (Manchester United)

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    Underperformance is most frustrating when you know that the player is capable of so much better, and that was certainly the case for Manchester United's Nani in the past year.

    The Portuguese wide man hasn't scored a Premier League goal since September 2012, and his influence on the United team has waned significantly at a time when his club have needed him most. Whether or not his career in England has much longer to run remains to be seen.

Erik Lamela (Tottenham)

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    Hailed as the star addition following Tottenham's post-Gareth Bale spending spree, Erik Lamela has completely failed to live up to the promise he showed during his time at Roma, so much so that there is talk of him moving back to Serie A on loan already.

    Admittedly his chances have been restricted, but a £30 million player should have enough about him to force his way into any team, and the Argentinean has appeared sadly lacking when it comes to Premier League football.

Danny Graham (Swansea, Sunderland, Hull)

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    After 2013 started with three goals in three different competitions in his first three games of the year, it ended up turning into something of a nightmare for Danny Graham.

    He played for three different clubs over the year, starting off at Swansea, before moving to Sunderland for £5 million (!) and then leaving on loan for Hull, for whom he scored his only other goal of 2013 against Swansea last month.

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City)

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    Clearly a gifted and talented player judging by his performances for both Fiorentina and Montenegro, things have been nothing short of nightmarish for Stevan Jovetic ever since he joined Manchester City in the summer.

    Injury and illness have combined to ensure that the forward has managed just 88 Premier League minutes this season, and as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have shone at the Etihad Stadium, he's become City's forgotten man.


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    David Stockdale (Fulham): In 10 starts this season, Stockdale has conceded 21 goals.

    John Arne Riise (Fulham): A shadow of his former self.

    Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham): Has struggled since his switch from Athletic Bilbao.

    Anderson (Manchester United): Adds nothing to the much-discussed Manchester United midfield.

    Michael Essien (Chelsea): No longer the driving force behind Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.

    Roberto Soldado (Tottenham): Has been nowhere near as clinical as Spurs expected.

    Modibo Maiga (West Ham): Looks horribly out of depth as this level.