Following on from the announcement of the PFA team of the year. Hanish Bhatt looks at who would possibly make the ‘flops of the year’ team
Dorus De Vries
Why did the promotion-winning goalkeeper leave Swansea and join Wolves? Having barely played this season due to the form of Wayne Hennessey, there seems to be no logic whatsoever in this move on De Vries’ part. Had he stayed at Swansea this season, he may have played more games and it looks awful now now with Wolves relegated and Swansea looking certain to stay up. The transfer seems to have drastically backfired for Wolves’ second goalkeeper - welcome back to the Championship!
When will Sir Alex Ferguson see that Phil Jones is not a right back/left back/centre midfielder! There is no question that Jones is an excellent English talent, however, it seems ever more likely that SAF is turning him into the new John O’Shea and trying him out in a variety of positions. Phil Jones excelled at Blackburn as a centre half, and was the position that Manchester United brought him. However, he has played minimal games at CB for United, struggling there too through a lack of regularity, and be thrust into a host of different positions. For all his promise his first season will be judged a disappointment.
The majority of City fans will be hoping Vincent Kompany never gets injured as they will have to cope with Manchester City’s very own, Titus Bramble – Jean Alain Boumsong hybrid. Shocking performances at the heart of City’s defence caused them to lose valuable points in games they should really have won. This left the title race destined to stay at Old Trafford. It is no surprise that with Kompany’s return City is only three points behind and can go top if they beat United.
The former Birmingham player was attracting plaudits from the Premier leagues top clubs- including Arsenal and Liverpool. Instead he made his decision to move to Blackburn, and has been rewarded with a relegation battle, fan unrest, abuse to the manager, questions regarding the new owners. He must regret his choice.
How Glen Johnson is seen as England’s No1 right back in previous seasons is quite remarkable. There is no doubt that he has natural attacking ability but to be frankly honest I have seen youngsters defend better than him. At fault for the goal that caused Liverpool to lose at home last weekend, Johnson has got to be praying that England’s new manager picks him to start Euro 2012 ahead of both Micah Richards and the young PFA player of the year, Kyle Walker.
The worst thing that could have happened to Matt Jarvis was being called up to the England Team, being linked with Liverpooland staying at Wolves. His form rapidly declined culminating in him being benched for some games and finding his fitness being questioned. Jarvis, no doubt is a very good player, however, his decision to stay at Wolves when there was interest in him has seen his career stall.
Stewart Downing took 5 months to score a goal for Liverpool, and even that was in the FA Cup. He’s been completely ineffective, and resembles the type of player who seems scared to take on defenders. For wingers it should be the other way around. How he still gets in England's squads amazes me, Downing has quite simply failed to live up to his inflated £20 million price tag, which will go down as one of Liverpool's worst buys of all time.
When Villa decided to sell Ashley Young and Stewart Downing to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively they needed a signing to shout about- and along came the £9.5 million signing of Charles N’Zogbia from Wigan. Yet those hopes have been heavily trampled upon. The over confident, arrogant N’Zogbia seems to have lost his way, often out of ideas, and tends to lose the ball when he does even get on the pitch. The purchase now looks like money that should have been reinvested somewhere else.
The Russian international is one of the most experienced players in the Arsenal squad yet still seems a Premier League novice. When younger team-mates needed inspiration, or even just a dash of vim, especially when Cesc Fábregas and Samir Nasri departed, where was the Arshavin? He played more league games than anyone else at Arsenal during the last Premier League campaign but, proportional to calibre, he contributed less than anyone. Subsequently loaned out back to Russia, will we see him back?
£50 million- the haunting figure which hangs over a player who was once feared as one of the world’s deadliest strikers. Torres has gone from a player idolised at Liverpool to a Sunday league footballer at best. Due to the hefty price tag Chelsea paid for the Spaniard, and a poor start which only got worse, and three managers to impress, the pressure has played havoc with Torres’s form and confidence. Even his goal against Barcelona last night can't give him a reprieve from this line-up.
Throughout this season, especially throughout Luis Suarez’s 8 match suspension, Andy Carroll has been given chance after chance by Kenny Dalglish to prove his worth. He has only scored 3 league goals all season, a statistic bettered by Pavel Pogrebnyak in just three games in English football. Carroll has consistently been woeful and doesn’t seem to be able to show the form he produced at Newcastle. His style of football does not suit Liverpool’s tactics in the slightest and he’d be better off elsewhere next season.
Steve Bruce – A huge transfer kitty that some clubs could only dream of and failed to deliver the goods at The Stadium of Light
Kevin Davies, Bobby Zamora, Joey Barton, Charlie Adam, Steven Ireland, Alexander Doni.
What do you think of the selections- who would make up your 'Flop XI' of the season?