The Alternative 2009/10 Team of the Season: Worst Players in English Premier League
The following is a run-down of the worst players in the English Premier League this season. Who are the players who have had a poor season or a flop in their debut for much money and expectation? All in all, these are players who would see Alex Ferguson laugh at the prospect of being linked with them (even if it has happened in recent years).
Manager: Rafael Benitez (Liverpool)
Rafael Benitez has always had the fans' backing during his tenure at Liverpool, but none can comprehend his dealings in the transfer market. The onus was on him when he felt Xabi Alonso was surplus to requirements compared to Gareth Barry—and ended up losing both.
After a poor start to the season, Benitez then had the cheek to "guarantee" a fourth place finish. As luck would have it, it seemed beyond Liverpool, with Tottenham and Man City favourites to clinch it.
Perhaps Albert Riera said it best by calling the Spaniard "aloof."
Lucas Fabianski (Arsenal)
There's nothing better in football than watching a goalkeeper make a schoolboy error that embarrasses himself and becomes a scapegoat by the media.
A gaffe once in a while? Fair enough. We are human, after all. But on a regular basis in crucial matches? That's not going to win you any fans, let alone a place in the starting 11.
Lucas Fabianski has made key errors in the Champions League and Premier League; the latter all but ending Arsenal's hopes of winning the league title.
Although, his fellow goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has too been prone to the odd error, notably in the 90th minute against Birmingham.
Given the above, a goalkeeper must be top priority next season for Arsene Wenger to purchase.
Emiliano Insua (Liverpool)
Some plays should be "left back" on the bench. Emiliano Insua should take note. A fullback should have the ability to defend first and attack convincingly second. The Argentinian can do neither well, yet is supposed to be a better left back than former Liverpool player and fan favorite John Arne Riise.
Insua is lucky, of course, to have only just made this list. His spot could have easily gone to Italian Andrea Dossena had Dossena not been sold.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (Liverpool)
Sotirios Kyrgiakos is the first Greek player to play for Liverpool, and based on his performances, may be the last. Judging by his displays on the field, I'm not surprised that it's taken so long for a Greek to force his way into the side.
This one's more of a Greek tragedy than a Greek God.
If I said slow and sluggish, you would be forgiven to think that I'm referring to Dimitar Berbatov. However, I'm actually speaking in relation to Liverpool's tall defender.
There's inevitably one of these players every season, and Liverpool never seems to be at a loss for poor defenders. Previously, it was Mauricio Pellegrino, but perhaps the less said about him the better.
Titus Bramble (Wigan Athletic)
Unfortunately for Titus Bramble, and whichever club he plays for, he can be guaranteed a starting position in this team season after season.
Bramble seems vulnerable defensively in any match and any given time. Fortunately for him, Chris Kirkland is there to mop up any errors or mistakes he makes.
He left Newcastle before they got relegated, which was a smart move. Perhaps Roberto Martinez should act quickly and leave as well.
Stewart Downing (Aston Villa)
Remember this player? Supposedly the next England star in the left wing? Maybe you don't remember because he failed at his mission.
When Middlesbrough was relegated, it was expected that he would leave. He did, and consequently joined the English contingent at Aston Villa for £10+ million.
Even though he has featured for Villa, it has largely been a hugely disappointing result for him. This is a player who was supposed to be the better play compared to Manchester City's Adam Johnson, who has taken the Premier League by storm since his recent move.
A few seasons ago, Downing was linked to a move to Manchester United when he was with Boro. This season, he'd be better off playing regularly in the Championship.
Alberto Aquilani (Liverpool)
The little prince arrived from Roma for a fee of £20 million, but didn't seem to play until what seemed like 20 years later. Injured when bought, he was too fragile for the English game despite showing rare glimpses.
The signing of Aquilani was supposed to fill the void left by Xabi Alonso, but his lack of games due to injury and fitness has labeled him the flop of the season, partly due to his transfer fee.
For £20 million, you wonder whether he will finish this season with even 20 games to his name.
Gabriel Obertan (Manchester United)
Gabriel Obertan arrived at Manchester United for a minimal fee but on the back of criticism from former United player Laurent Blanc. Obertan was at Bordeaux prior to moving to United, where Blanc was manager, yet he felt the Frenchman was not good enough so he was loaned out to Ligue 1 side Lorient.
Blanc further expressed his surprise at his former manager Alex Ferguson for purchasing Obertan—a reasonable reaction, given his displays this season.
Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United)
£30 million for a player coming up on 30 years of age was always a risky purchase for Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. Perhaps it's because of Wayne Rooney's rich vain of form, but Dimitar Berbatov has had a poor season that has labelled him by many United fans as "Berbaslob" due to his lack of concentration and passion for the cause at times.
Ferguson is known for his ruthlessness at times, and Berbatov could be shown the United door in the summer as United signs Javier Hernandez in an attempt to raise funds for new players.
Mido (West Ham United)
Mido signing for West Ham seemed good purchase for the club as they stepped up transfers to stay in the Premier League. Such has been Mido's recent career—he agreed to play for a mere £1,000 per week.
Given his performances and goals ratio, it seems that West Ham drew the short straw. They often say, "it's cheap for a reason," and Mido will find it hard to find any reason to disagree with this.
Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City)
Roque Santa Cruz seems to have appeared in less games than his Christmas namesake. Signed from Blackburn, injuries have hampered him this season.
Regardless of injury, it seems to be £17.5 million wasted by Manchester City.
And we've seen this happen before. Anyone remember a Brazilian by the name of Robinho?
Jason Scotland (Wigan)
They may have great records at the lower leagues, but some players are just not Premier League quality. The immense step from the Championship to Premier League is one that is too big for some players to handle, no matter how hard they try.
Jason Scotland (under current manager Martinez) signed for Wigan based on his efforts at Swansea City. However, he has failed to score for the better part of the season, and when he did, it was fortuitous.
The sooner he leaves Wigan and steps down a league or two, the sooner he can get his career back on track.