Saturday, 12 September 2009

Most Overrated Premier League XI


David James
Despite being the holder of the record number of clean sheets in Premier League History, the former Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth Keeper has been around enough seasons to acquire such an accolade (548 games in fact). That Harry Redknapp labels his the best English Keeper at a time where our nation is hardly blessed with goal keeping excellence is barely a tribute to a man who has also conceded the most goals in Premier League history.

Currently unemployed like myself, the Cameroonian international was Arsenal's right back during the 'invincibales' season of 2003/04. Part of a back-line that failed to lose a game during the Gunners' stunning season, Lauren's name will not be featured at the Emirates' role of honour as messrs Henry, Basten, Nicholas and Brady are. To say he was fortunate enough to be a part of this historic achievement would be a rather mild understatement.

John Terry
But for the inclusion of his Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard, he would retain the armband in this outfit. The nation's skipper has recently been voted the best defender in Europe, but this does not pardon him from an over-rated team. What all of his accolades and champions fail to show are his limitations as a footballer. He lacks the required pace to come up against Europe's fastest strikers, and this was highlighted as Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi tested his resolve over the two legs of last season's Champions League semi-finals. But for his two Premier League medals, Terry, 28, has failed to deliver when it truly matters, spurning a penalty kick in Europe's premier cup competition in 2008 and has hardly scaled the heights internationally. Hopefully he proves me wrong next summer in South Africa.

Joleon Lescott
The new Citizen, purchased for a modest £24 million pounds, became the third most expensive defender in world football history last month. To say he is situated in the same bracket as the two above him, Rio Ferdinand and Alessandro Nesta, is tomfoolery of the highest order. He is a decent top flight footballer at best, and City's financial loss (not that they care too much anyway) is very much David Moyes and Everton's gain. Another astute bit of business by the Glaswegian.

Jesper Grønkjær
Whilst at Chelsea, the 70-capped Denmark international flattered to deceive almost as much as a Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Pizza. Due to his lack of crossing ability, the pacy winger never quite made the grade at Stanford Bridge, and failed to live up to the £7.5 million price tag Chelsea paid for him in October 2000; making him the most20expensive Danish football player of all time. The kings Road are a rather unforgiving bunch, and Grønkjær found himself the butt of many jokes, one of which was the chant to the tune of Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer: "Oh, he's halfway there. Oh, oh, Jesper Grønkjær. Give him the ball, he'll F**k up I'll swear. Oh oh..."

Darren Anderton
Arguable the most technically gifted midfielder to be conceived during the Premier League's inauguration, Darren 'sick note' Anderton, was no use to Spurs fans if he failed to make it onto the pitch (which was the majority of the time). In twelve seasons at White Hart Lane, he managed just 299 appearances. To put this into perspective, in this period, he would have had the opportunity to have appeared in around 460 top flight games. Recently retired, Anderton will unfortunately always be remembered for his injury record, rather than his one on the pitch.

Frank Lampard (C)
Yes, Chelsea's darling is my midfield engine - you have no need to re-adjust your computer screens. Remember, in an 'over rated' XI, there can be room for exceptionally gifted players. Exceptional gifted at getting the rub of the green that is. Lampard has this incredible knack of finding the wall from free-kicks and then somehow, miraculously and unbeknown to man, the ball ends up in the opposition's net, following the slightest of deflections. Sure, Lampard will be in most people's fantasy teams and he consistently bags 20 or so goals every season. But that does not give him immunity from my team. You can even take the skipper's armband off JT this time Frank.

Seth Johnson
Johnson is arguably as injury prone as the aforementioned Anderton, and would be as equally vulnerable as a china vase should a bull enter an antiques shop. The once capped Englishman moved to Leeds Utd for £7 million in 2001 after impressing for both Derby and Crew. It would be an underestimate to say Leeds didn't get value for money. In 4 years in West Yorkshire, Johnson managed a measly 50 games, suffering from a series of horrendous injuries. There are rumours that when Johnson first met chairman Peter Ridsdale, his agent wanted to hold out for £13,000 a week. Ridsdale entered the room and said "Right, I'm sorry but I can only offer you thirty thousand a week". Johnson's agent uttered some exclamation of disbelief so Ridsdale replied "Alright, thirty-seven thousand then". Leeds went into administration on the 4th May, 2007.

Emmanuel Adebayor
OK, so he has started pretty well this season - and is unrecognisable from the sultry figure that ended the last campaign at Arsenal, but this is the very reason this prima donna is in my line-up. In three seasons under Arsène Wenger, the Togolese international only had HALF a good season - not the ONE good season some critics claim he had. He was petulant, sulked, and was the very essence of a disruption on the young squad Wenger is seemingly continuously moulding. £25 million quid is good business for Arsenal, their only gripe is that they did not sell him last summer for a far larger sum to Milan.

Robbie Keane
When 'Keano' returned to White Hart Lane in January, his reputation as one of the Premier League's most talented forwards took a bit of a bashing following his ill-fated 5 months in Liverpool. It also took the combined transfer total spent on the Irishman to around £75 million pounds with Coventry, Inter, Leeds, Tottenham and Liverpool all splashing the cash on him following his emergence at Molineux with Wolves. There is no doubting he is in the better half of the top-flight's strikers, however, such a combined fee for someone who, in 390 professional games, has only been a regular at 3 of his 6 clubs is rather inflated and he now faces a struggle to keep the Tottenham captaincy with Peter Crouch knocking on the door.

Duncan Ferguson
Hailed by many on the blue half of Mersey side as their best striker since the lofty days of the mid 80s with Andy Gray and Graeme Sharp, Duncan 'Disorderly', as he became known to his doubters, spent more time in the treatment table at Goodison than on the pitch. When he played, few could match his passion, aggression and aerial presence on the park, and he was surprisingly good on the deck as well. That's when he played.

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