This season's disappointments
So as discussed on todays show, my team of disappointments of the year. All of the players in this side either were disappointing in comparison to expectations, poor in relation to previous form, or simply not good enough to play in the side they do.
GK: John Filan (Wigan Athletic)
Particularly poor in his decisions, and his command of the area, the defence in front of him seemed nervous and apprehensive whenever he was required to make a decision. Particularly slow to recognise a threat or attempt to stop it.
RB: Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea)
Though he is far from the worst right back in the premiership, he is by no means good enough to play for Chelsea, weak defensively, and ineffective going forward, a constant weak link.
CB: Khalid Bouhlarouz (Chelsea)
Signed for 7 million as cover for Terry and Carvalho, this 25 year old was one of the worst signings of the season. Often found out of position with a poor reading of the game, his clumsy challenges, poor tackles and general inability to win the ball legally made him a defensive disaster.
CB: Anton Ferdinand (West Ham)
Often found wanting defensively this season, it would appear his relatively good first season in the Premiership was something of a fluke. Caught out too often by simple movement and touch, he lacked the positioning and reactions to keep the most average of strikers at bay.
LB: Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
I’m not saying he’s a bad player, but considering the amount of fuss made by him and Mourinho and him becoming a Chelsea player, he showed little to suggest he was worth it. Disappointing going forward, not given the freedom or opportunity to play the football he did at Arsenal, he showed nothing to warrant Chelsea feeling they were better off with him than Wayne Bridge or indeed, William Gallas.
RM: Aleksandr Hleb (Arsenal)
After a promising first season at Arsenal, showing good control and falir on the ball, he seemed to little offer little more than being a player to pass to and receive the ball back from. Rarely taking on defenders, and only scoring 3 goals in all competitions this season, Hleb has failed to show the form of Ljungberg or Pires of a few years ago. Arsenal lacked goals and genuine attacking threat from midfield, Hleb was one of the men culpable.
CM: Michael Ballack (Chelsea)
Having shone at the previous two World Cups, showing both goalscoring class, and great passing, Ballack seemed to offer Chelsea very little of difference this season to they had last. Only scoring 4 goals in the league, his contributions at time seemed minimal, and certainly not enough to warrant his place in the side over a genuine attacking midfielder, or warranting the movement of Lampard out of position at times to accomodate him.
CM: Stillian Petrov (Aston Villa)
Scoring 2 goals this season for Martin O’Neill, Petrov though by far the most talented player in Villa’s midfield, has failed to offer Villa a cutting edge and genuine threat. Slow to adapt to the pace and strength of the Premiership, he’s failed to recreate his Celtic form, and will be expected to offer much more next season.
LM: Mark Gonzales (Liverpool)
Having teased Liverpool fans for a year as he waited for his work permit, this Chilean international has shown very few of the qaulities he promised. Poor ball control, a lack of quality in his crosses, and an inability to get past people, he never showed the quality required of a Liverpool player. Moving on after just one season, he was a failer in the Premiership.
CF:Andrei Shevchenko (Chelsea)
Although his price was an inflated one, he has looked nothing like a £30 million striker. Whilst admittedly, Chelsea were not always playing to his strengths, or even playing him in his best position, the Ukranian star of Seria A struggled to adapt to the Premiership. Often wanting more time on the ball, and failing to cope with the league’s physicality, he seemed to lack the threat and danger he showed in his AC Milan days. Only scoring 4 goals in the league, his return was not good enough of a player who has shown so much.
CF: Craig Bellamy (Liverpool)
Appearing to be exactly what Liverpool required last summer, he failed to make a major impact on Benitez’s side. 12 goals from over 40 appearances is not enough from a striker who often looked unwilling to use his pace to chase balls in the channel, or potential lost causes. Rarely threatening when dribbling, and looking anxious in front of goal, he failed to show the quality required.