50 Most Disappointing Players in England National Team History

Thomas Atzenhoffer@socceratzCorrespondent IIOctober 19, 2011

50 Most Disappointing Players in England National Team History

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    England's National team has seen its fair share of great players from Sir Bobby Robson to Alan Shearer and from Gary Lineker to Michael Owen.

    However, even with all of those talented players there have been the loads of disappointments. All the players that were expected to be great and never were, or even those that were thought to at least be worthy stand ins.

    Beyond that there is still the question as to why some of them where ever called up in the national team at all.

    Whatever the cause, all the following players have either been a major disappointment for one reason or another, and a load of them and have made it into this list.

Michael Carrick

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    Michael Carrick was once tipped as one of the future greats of the National team alongside his West Ham academy fellows of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Joe Cole and Jermaine Defoe.

    Carrick has never really laid claim to the England squads midfield like many had once thought he had a chance to.

Warren Barton

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    Defender turned Fox Soccer pundit, Warren Barton was was a disappointment to say the least as he only made three appearances for both the English B side and the National first team.

    None of which ever impressed.

Keith Curle

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    Part of a terrible national team performance at the 1992 European Championships, current Queens Park Rangers coach Keith Curle is another failed national team member.

    He managed only four B-sides and three first team caps between 1991-92.

Ben Foster

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    Former Manchester United keeper Ben Foster never looked set to take over for Edwin van Der Sar. He also is yet to have made a claim to the England National spot between the pipes.

    At age 28, and only on five caps, it is unlikely he is going to return to supplant a younger and better Joe Hart any time in the future.

Paul Konchesky

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    Two caps in 2003-05. Please no more, seriously poor all the way around. Were the Three Lions really just that into experimenting at the stage?

Kieron Courtney Dyer

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    Kieron Courtney Dyer has spent more time on the treatment table than he has on the pitch for most of his career. It is no wonder he never made it as a member of the England team.

Joey Barton

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    There is not much to really say. He has talent when his head is screwed on straight but most of the time that failed to happen in the last five years of his career. He is yet to win his second cap for his country.

Justin Fashanu

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    Justin Fashanu was a great U21 England talent scoring five goals in only 11 appearances. His club career also had started brightly when he scored 35 goals in 90 appearances for Norwich City from 1978-81.

    However, he never was called up and his life was shrouded in controversy until his suicide in 1998.

Tony Cottee

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    Cottee broke into the England team while with the Hammers. Despite an excellent goalscoring record in the League, he never found the back of the net for his country and made just seven appearances in the 1980s.

Michael Rickets

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    Michael Rickets is currently on the payroll for Tranmere Rovers. He had one chance at England success when he was called up in 2001 to face the Netherlands in a friendly.

    At the time he was in fine goal scoring form for Bolton Wanderers. However, he failed to impress for England and never scored another goal for his club that season.

Andy Sinton

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    During the height of Queens Park Rangers last spell in the EPL, Andy Sinton was in his best form.

    His continued success during that period saw him earn a total of 12 England caps, but never impressed as part of the horrid 1992 Euros squad. Why he was ever selected over Chris Waddle is still up for question.

Danny Wallace

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    One of many products of the Southampton youth system, Danny Wallace hung his boots up early unfortunately due to a battle with multiple sclerosis that was not winnable.

    He only earned one cap for England but scored in that one showing. He was not so much the disappointment, but it was disappointing for him to never have seen another chance for this country.

Nick Pickering

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    Nick Pickering made only one appearance for the English squad but was a great U21 player where he made 15 appearances and helped England win the U21 European Championship in 1984 and nearly again in 1986.

    It is unfortunate he never turned it into larger success for England as his career went down hill after he left Sunderland in 1986.

Neil Webb

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    Neil Webb is another victim of the tragic 1992 Euros. He never pulled on an England shirt again after he had earned his 26th cap in the final match England would play in Sweden.

    He scored a total of four goals for his country, and was also notable for his only appearance in the 1990 World Cup coming as the Three Lions were knocked out by Italy.

Gary Birtles

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    Gary Birtles won two European cups as a striker for Nottingham Forest in route to earning a call up to the England National side.

    However, he never got it right in the England team and did not last as a Three Lion.

Trevor Sinclair

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    Trevor Sinclair never made any note with the English National side as anything other than the guy that tried to back up both Danny Murphy and Owen Hargreaves at the 2002 World Cup.

    He tallied 12 caps and loads of disappointment as he was a model on inconsistency. 

Emile Heskey

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    Aston Villa's Emile Heskey has about as poor of a strike rate for his current club as he does his national side. Although is considered a striker he has never been an out and out goalscorer for any club he played for.

    He currently sits on 62 England caps with only seven goals and has been a part of a decade of football that the Three Lions will hopefully be able to forget after one disappointment after another from 2002-2010 between the World Cups and European Championships.

David James

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    David James had the opportunities to become a legend as the England keeper but he has had the ability to drop the ball on more than one occasion and has given up some howlers for the Three Lions during his 53 cap career.

Geoff Thomas

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    Only nine England appearances were made by the one time Crystal Palace captain. Injury was the major downside of his playing career.

    His current battle is with Leukemia and his disease has him focusing his full attention on raising funds to help find a cure.

Steve Stone

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    Another disappointing player was Steve Stone who made his most notoriety from his time at Nottingham Forest.

    He earned nine caps and scored two goals for England but never made it back to the side after the 1996 World Cup thanks to a severe knee injury that nearly ended his career.

    Stone is currently a coach for Newcastle United.

Stuart Ripley

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    Two caps and nothing to speak of is the extent of Stuart Ripley's short lived and disappointing England career.

Seth Johnson

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    One England cap was all it took to realize that the Leeds United player was not worth the time he spent on the pitch.

Danny Mills

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    Another Leeds United player earning England caps was Danny Mills. Thanks to an injury to Gary Neville he saw his squad time increase and earned 19 caps all while playing away.

    However, he never really displayed enough skill to merit continued time on the national side.

Francis Jeffers

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    No one really knows what went so wrong after a one goal one cap England career for Francis Jeffers, but he never really has had much luck anywhere else either.

Lee Hendrie

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    A 12 cap and five goal English U21 career looked promising for Lee Hendrie but his only life in the England shirt came in a 23 minute cameo in 1998. Given he never made it back from there proves the writing was on the wall.

Carlton Palmer

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    Carlton Palmer has been ranked as the worst England international ever by several sources including this one from Sport.uk.

    He never really had the class to be a top international, although he somehow earned 18 caps.

Alan Smith

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    Not the one currently at Newcastle United, but the former Arsenal great Alan Smith. He was excellent for this club but never got off the ground scoring only two goals in 13 England caps.

Colin Cooper

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    A great spell at Nottingham Forest saw Colin Cooper called up to the England squad. But he was only able to earn two caps as his defensive skills were lacking for the top level of world football.

David Hirst

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    The only claim to England fame for David Hirst in his three cap stint was that he got to play alongside of Alan Shearer. Oh, and he did score once against New Zealand.

Joe Corrigan

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    Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence pushed Joe Corrigan out of having much chance to figure in England's plans aside from nine caps and a trip to the 1982 World Cup.

Michael Gray

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    Michael Gray was selected during Kevin Keegan's England reign but out of his four appearances never proved he was worthy of the Three Lions kit.

Richard Wright

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    Richard Wright is just one of many of the current generation of English keepers that is being considered the worst of all time. Wright made two appearances before being kicked to the curb.

David Bentley

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    At one time David Bentley was expected to do great things at both club and international level in England. However, seven caps from 2007-08 proved he was not up for either challenge.

Luther Blissett

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    Luther Blissett debuted for England with a hat trick and had many anticipating his career in a Three Lions shirt. However, he never scored again in the following 13 additional caps of his international stint.

Paul Robinson

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    Many thought that England finally had a solid choice in 41 capped Paul Robinson, but a misplayed Gary Neville back pass pretty much ended all hopes from both parties.

Alan Smith

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    Alan Smith, the Newcastle United one this time, somehow earned 19 caps in his career for England but his low point has to be during the 2004 European Championships where he was dreadful.

Scott Carson

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    Scott Carson is yet another keeper to disappoint in the last decade for England. He earned three caps and is yet to ever be worthy of another.

Dion Dublin

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    At the time of his debut, Dion Dublin was thought to be at least capable, but to start your England career the same day as Michael Owen in his glory days was already looking shady.

    Dublin only managed four caps for England as his international form never showed up.

Lee Bowyer

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    Lee Bowyer somehow managed a cap in 2002. He did so despite an FA ruling that saw both he and Jonathan Woodgate banned from the National side during a tense time of there accused attacking of an Asian student.

Earl Barrett

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    Earl Barrett made three appearances for England, but like many before him he never was able to fill the right back spot for the Three Lions.

James Beattie

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    The deck was stacked against James Beattie as he tried to make his way into the England squad amongst the giants of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen. He never really had a chance or the class.

Tony Daley

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    Tony Daley had the gift of pace, unfortunately that is where his gifts appear to have ended. His seven caps for England were highlighted by a terrible showing at the 1992 Euros.

Mel Sterland

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    Mel Sterland was a genuine hardman and one of the toughest in the game, but that did not translate into quality on the pitch. His England career ended swiftly after only one cap.

Larry Lloyd

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    Larry Lloyd was nothing but pure ability as a stopper for Nottingham Forest. However, his four England caps were saw blacklisted the first time as being part of a losing side to Northern Ireland.

    He returned to the side years later with a 4-1 loss to Wales. It just was not meant to be. 

Steve Bull

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    One of the few third division players to ever get the call, he was set up to disappoint from the beginning. He made 13 appearances but was never looking to be a long serving steward of the Three Lions.

Neil "Razor" Ruddock

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    Razor never lived up to the hype that his Millwall youth days suggested and ended his England career with only one cap in 1994.

Robbie Fowler

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    Robbie Fowler is one of the most prolific goal scorers in English club history between his time at Liverpool, Leeds United and Manchester City.

    He made 26 appearances for England scoring seven goals, but never became the dominant national team player he could have been.

Wayne Rooney

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    Wayne Rooney is not a disappointment on the whole, but he has never shown up for England in a championship when they needed him.

    Now he will once again possibly leave his nation out to dry if the English Football Association cannot win an appeal against his three match ban for next summers 2012 European Championship's.

Ledley King

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    Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King has never been able to reach his full potential on the club or international level.

    A physical and dominant defender, injury has held him back on all fronts, and at the age of 31 years old now he will never have the chance to be the player he might have been for England.

Steven Gerrard + Frank Lampard

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    Alone these two have produced some of the best moments in English club history. You would think the two of them together would have been a match made in Three Lions heaven. However, they have never been able to be the amazing combo everyone thought and at times still think they could be.

    With Lampard now 33 years old and Gerrard 31, there is unlikely to be a time they ever figure out how to be what should have been one of the most devastating midfield tandems in English history.


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