English Premier League: The 15 Biggest Disappointments of the Season

James WillisAnalyst IMay 23, 2011

English Premier League: The 15 Biggest Disappointments of the Season

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    With the season finally over and everything decided (domestically), the time has come for the flops of the season to be chosen.

    There will no doubt be multiple articles like this, suggesting who the most disappointing players were and which players should be listed in the team of the season, but here is just one take on the matter.

    With a number of huge transfer fees going on throughout the season too, there were bound to be one or two flops and you'll find the 15 most disappointing players of the past Premier League season right here.

Joe Cole

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Joe Cole of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Blackpool at Anfield on October 3, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Age: 29

     

    Club: Liverpool

     

    Position: Midfielder

     

    Nationality: English

    Perhaps it's unfair to say since he hadn't had a long run of games at Chelsea before signing for Liverpool, but when he was snapped up on a free transfer by the Merseyside club, many fans were truly excited.

    After a short while though, that excitement subsided and was replaced by disbelief as Cole failed to make any impact at Anfield.

Robbie Keane

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Robbie Keane of West Ham United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at the Boleyn Ground on April 16, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Dul
    Tom Dulat/Getty Images

    Age: 30

     

    Club: Tottenham Hotspur (On loan at West Ham for five months)

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: Irish

    For the first half of the season, Keane was once again sitting on the bench much of the time for Tottenham, rarely scoring any goals.

    West Ham decided to take the striker on loan in January based on his past pedigree, but once again, Keane was left behind other less experienced strikers on the bench as his form hit rock bottom.

Fernando Torres

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Age: 27

     

    Club: Chelsea

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: Spain

    £50 million is always going to be a big fee to live up to but it would be safe for a club to still expect at least a few goals.

    Instead, after having a poor start to the season at Liverpool, the spark that reignited his career at Chelsea turned out to be little more than a dying ember of a flame.

Paul Konchesky

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06:   Marc Albrighton of Aston Villa is challenged by Paul Konchesky of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on December 6, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Mark
    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Age: 30

     

    Club: Liverpool (on loan at Nottingham Forest for five months)

     

    Position: Left Back

     

    Nationality: English

    Most people will have forgotten that he even played in the Premier League this year, let alone for Liverpool.

    Konchesky signed for Liverpool for a small fee last summer after putting in a number of solid performances last season. After just a few games, he was demoted to the bench and eventually loaned out to a Championship team in January.

Edin Dzeko

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - APRIL 25:  Edin Dzeko of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City at Ewood Park on April 25, 2011 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Alex
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Age: 25

     

    Club: Manchester City

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: Bosnian

    Luckily for him, he was largely overshadowed by Fernando Torres for the last six months as much of the abuse was directed away from Dzeko.

    Still, for a fee of around £27 million a goal return of more than just two in 15 league appearances would have been expected. He may still have settled in now for next season though.

Christian Poulsen

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    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Steven Fletcher of Wolverhampton Wanderers tangles with Christian Poulsen of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 22, 2011 in Wolverha
    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Age: 31

     

    Club: Liverpool

     

    Position: Defensive Midfielder

     

    Nationality: Danish

    Expected to shore up a very shaky Liverpool defence with his cool head and past experience, but instead, Poulsen practically summed up the Roy Hodgson era at Anfield.

    Some poor performances, during which time he was at fault for multiple goals, cost him a place in the starting XI and he's never really returned to form since.

Benni McCarthy

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  Benni McCarthy  of West Ham Unitedspeaks to team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers at the Boleyn Ground on August 21, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Get
    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Age: 33

     

    Club: Unattached (Spent most of the season with West Ham United)

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: South African

    The fact that he's now unattached after spending most of the season with a relegated club pretty much says it all.

    After many questions about his weight problems and form, McCarthy failed to prove his critics wrong and instead went out of the Premier League with barely a whimper.

Manuel Almunia

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:  Manuel Almunia of Arsenal looks dejected after defeat in the FA Cup sponsored by E.On Sixth Round match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on March 12, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason
    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Age: 34

     

    Club: Arsenal

     

    Position: Goalkeeper

     

    Nationality: Spanish

    Arsenal and their goalkeepers could be turned into a book series longer than Harry Potter by now. The Gunners finally thought they'd found a strong keeper in Szczesny, as the youngster was regularly picked ahead of the flailing Spaniard.

    After Szczesny was injured, the club bought in 41-year-old Jens Lehmann as another keeper alongside the very disappointing Almunia.

Peter Crouch

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    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 07:  Peter Crouch of Spurs looks on from the bench during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Blackpool at White Hart Lane on May 7, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Age: 30

     

    Club: Tottenham Hotspur

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: English

    A bit of a tough one to explain, given that it was his goals that helped Tottenham enormously through the Champions League and internationally, his scoring record continued.

    In the league, however, Crouch failed to hit the target on too many occasions with his only highlights being link-ups with Rafael van der Vaart.

Carlos Salcido

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Carlos Salcido of Fulham in action the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and West Ham United at Craven Cottage on December 26, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Age: 31

     

    Club: Fulham

     

    Position: Full Back

     

    Nationality: Mexican

    He was expected by Fulham to be a solid left back who could get forward just as easily as defend well.

    Instead, Salcido failed to live up to expectations and while he put in a few average performances, he was largely disappointing given his past experience.

Wayne Rooney

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood park on May 14, 2011 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Ima
    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Age: 25

     

    Club: Manchester United

     

    Position: Striker

     

    Nationality: English

    Maybe a controversial one to include, but if you compare Wayne Rooney's season to the previous year, then it becomes far more understandable.

    By his standards, Rooney had a shocking year; and although he had a good run of form towards the end of the season, his contract saga pretty much sums up a dire year for the top-class striker.

Heurelho Gomes

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    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 07:  Heurelho Gomes of Spurs reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Blackpool at White Hart Lane on May 7, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Age: 30

     

    Club: Tottenham Hotspur

     

    Position: Goalkeeper

     

    Nationality: Brazilian

    Usually, goalkeeping is the part of the game that Spurs fans can sit back and actually laugh at Arsenal for. This season they had worries of their own, however.

    Although Gomes made a number of remarkable reflex saves again this season, his mistakes overshadowed all of his strong performances and ultimately, could have cost him a starting place at the club next season.

Stephen Ireland

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    BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Stephen Ireland of Newcastle United looks on from the bench prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Blackpool and Newcastle United at Bloomfield Road on April 23, 2011 in Blackpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Bruns
    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Age: 24

     

    Club: Aston Villa (On loan at Newcastle for two matches)

     

    Position: Midfielder

     

    Nationality: Irish

    Perhaps one of the most disappointing of all, Stephen Ireland was for a long time seen as Manchester City's next big thing in midfield.

    Even when the money started flying around Eastlands, Ireland worked hard to keep his place. Eventually though, he moved on and his career has plummeted since.

James Perch

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    NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  James Perch of Newcastle United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park on September 26, 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Mi
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Age: 25

     

    Club: Newcastle United

     

    Position: Right Back

     

    Nationality: English

    So he has very little experience in the Premier League, which may come as a slight excuse for his performances, but Newcastle fans were still expecting far better of the defender.

    In his first few months at Newcastle, Perch received numerous suspensions, many fouls called against him and eventually dropped to the bench.

Wayne Bridge

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    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 05:  Wayne Bridge (R) of West Ham United holds off the challenge of Jermaine Pennant (L) of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Stoke City at the Boleyn Ground on March 5, 2011 in
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Age: 30

     

    Club: Manchester City (Spent five months on loan at West Ham United)

     

    Position: Left Back

     

    Nationality: English

    When he retired from international football, many England fans were concerned as to who would play backup to Ashley Cole in the left back position. Those fears were soon put aside, however, after just a few performances over the new season.

    West Ham loaned him in January, expecting him to solidify a poor defence, and instead, he ended up contributing to the poor defence with far too many mistakes of his own.