Premier League Worst XI of the season

By Sarad Bade Shrestha  |  May 12, 2014
Premier League Worst XI of the season

Goalkeeper

Maarten Stekelenburg

Maarten Stekelenburg1

Appearances

19

Minutes Played

1,681

Clean Sheet

2

Goals Conceded

43

 

Replacing a keeper of the stature of Mark Schwarzer was never going to be an easy task but in Maarten Stekelenburg, Fulham must have thought they had bought in a custodian with caliber as well as experience at the highest level, to replace the veteran Australian.

However, as things turned out, Stekelenburg was easily one of the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. While persistent injuries and a woeful Fulham defence did not help his cause, the Dutch international never looked convincing and conceded a whopping 43 goals in just 19 appearances.

Stekelenburg’s form was so poor that manager Felix Magath consigned the 31-year old to bench during Fulham’s relegation run-in and it looks certain that he is set to leave Craven Cottage.

Defence

Rafael Da Silva

Rafael

Appearances

19

Minutes Played

1,413

Goals

0

Assists

1

 

Following his heroics last season, Rafael was hailed as one of the finest right backs plying their trade in the Premier League and at 23, many believed that the Brazilian would go on to improve to become one of the world’s best right backs.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case at all this season and if anything, the Manchester United defender has regressed.

Injuries have limited his playing time this season but whenever the 23-year old has featured for United, he has endured a torrid time both in defence as well as in attack and will certainly need to improve drastically if he wants to fulfill his potential.

Fernando Amorebieta

Fernando Amorebieta

Appearances

23

Minutes Played

1,847

Goals

1

Assists

0

 

It was not too long ago that Fernando Amorebieta was coveted by some of the top clubs in Europe but the defender has seen his stock plummet in recent times and his performances for Fulham this season allied by relegation means that the Spaniard has now hit rock bottom.

Amorebieta is certainly a very good defender but he simply could not adapt to life in England and move back to Spain seems the most logical choice for the defender at the moment.

Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen

Appearances

23

Minutes Played

2,003

Goals

0

Assists

0

 

Jan Vertonghen was easily one of the best defenders in the Premier League last season but the Belgian international has easily been one of the worst during the current campaign.

Injuries have certainly hampered his progress this season but it seemed that Vertonghen completely lost interest soon after things started to go wrong for Tottenham Hotspur.

His ultimatum to Tottenham that he would leave if they failed to qualify for the Champions League did not help matters and it seems that Spurs would be better off without him as he already seems to have his eyes set on a move elsewhere.

Sascha Riether

Sascha Reither

Appearances

31

Minutes Played

2,648

Goals

0

Assists

3

 

It is clear to see that Fulham’s relegation was a direct result of their incompetent defending and Sascha Riether has been a testament to how poor the Cottagers’ backline really was over the course of the campaign.

Not for the want of trying, Riether simply has not looked good enough to play consistently at Premier League level and the reason why he was selected most of the time was due to the fact that Fulham did not posses any alternative at right back.

Reither was handed a three match ban for his ugly stamp on Adnan Januzaj as well and his form was so woeful that Felix Magath even elected play 6’6 central defender Dan Burn instead of him at right back for the last few games of the campaign.

Midfield

Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini Belgium

Appearances

19

Minutes Played

1,374

Goals

0

Assists

3

 

Arguably the worst signing of the season, Marouane Fellaini has been simply atrocious since his move to Manchester United. Hailed as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League last season, Fellaini was expected to solve United’s midfield problems.

That has not proved to be the case though and if anything, Fellaini seems to have further contributed to United’s problems. While the Belgian international is certainly a very good player, he just does not seem the right fit for United and one is left to wonder why David Moyes decided to splash a whopping £27.5million for his services.

The 26-year old has vowed to come good next season but on the basis of his performances during the current campaign, Fellaini should rather focus on doing his talking on the pitch.

Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick

Appearances

19

Minutes Played

2,413

Goals

1

Assists

0

 

While Tom Cleverley has been made the scapegoat for United’s failures this season, Michael Carrick, as a senior member of the squad, should take his fair share of the blame as well. While Carrick was simply sensational for United last season, the England international has been very poor this season.

Carrick was once described as a Rolls Royce of a player by Sir Alex Ferguson but his performances this year have been anything but smooth.

The whole United squad playing poorly has certainly not helped Carrick but the 32-year old seems to have lost that assurance on the ball which he so effortlessly displayed throughout last season and has certainly let himself down with some terrible performances.

Nacer Chadli

Nacer Chadli

Appearances

24

Minutes Played

1,452

Goals

1

Assists

3

 

When Tottenham Hotspur captured the signature of Nacer Chadli for just £7million in the summer, many felt that Spurs had pulled off a major bargain but following his disappointing campaign, one can be tempted to say that the London side perhaps overpaid for the winger.

Brought in to lessen the impact of the void left by the departure of Gareth Bale, Chadli seemed a good alternative, if not a direct replacement for Bale. However, the Belgian international has simply failed to produce any impact at White Hart Lane and his largely ineffectual displays has certainly left the Spurs’ faithful frustrated.

Chadli seems to have struggled to adapt to life in England but one can expect him to do better next season as it certainly cannot get any worse.

Strikers               

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore2

Appearances

30

Minutes Played

1,776

Goals

1

Assists

3

 

When Jozy Altidore arrived at Sunderland, he claimed that he was a completely different player to the one who struggled during his first spell in England with Hull City a few years ago. Following his fine performances for AZ over last two seasons, one could have been forgiven for thinking that the American international would be banging in the goals for the Black Cats.

However, Altidore has proven that he is still exactly the same player who struggled as a youngster for Hull City a few years back and perhaps has become even worse. While his hold-up play and work ethic is admirable, a striker’s job is to score goals and Altidore simply has been woeful in his attempt to find the back of the net, scoring a solitary goal in 30 appearances.

With the emergence of Connor Wickham, it seems very unlikely that the goal-shy striker will remain at the Stadium of Light beyond the current campaign.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

van Wolfswinkel

Appearances

25

Minutes Played

1,392

Goals

1

Assists

2

 

It might be a harsh statement, but Ricky van Wolfswinkel is one of the main reasons why Norwich City got relegated and why Chris Hughton lost his job. It does not take a genius to figure out that Norwich’s main problem this season has been in front of goal and Hughton was certainly let down by his strikers.

Bought for a whopping £8.5million, van Wolfswinkel managed only 1 goal in return for Norwich’s investment and is easily one of the worst signings in Premier League history.

The striker was reportedly unhappy at being left out by Neil Adams for Norwich’s final game of the season but given the 25-year old’s woeful form, one certainly cannot blame Adams at all.

Roberto Soldado

Soldado1

Appearances

28

Minutes Played

1,929

Goals

6

Assists

5

 

Roberto Soldado’s poor form for Tottenham Hotspur has simply been baffling. The striker has been a serial goalscorer wherever he has played throughout his career and many expected the Spanish international fire on all cylinders for Spurs as well.

However, Soldado has been toothless in front of goal for Tottenham managing a meager 6 goals, with majority of his strikes coming from the penalty spot. It is clear that Soldado’s return has not been good enough and his lack of goals have been the one the main reasons why Spurs have struggled this season.

Brought for around £25million, Spurs certainly will not be able to recoup the money if they decide to offload him in the summer and the club now have no other choice than to be hopeful that the Spaniard will eventually come good.

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