For a variety of reasons, there are some players that football fans just love to hate. Here’s a look at some of the most unloved players currently in the Premier League.
Manager | Rafael Benitez | Chelsea
The position of Rafael Benitez at Chelsea is reminiscent of Steve Kean’s nightmare at Blackburn during the relegation scrap last season.
The failure to win the trust of Blues fans is a recipe for disaster, and the Spaniard will be thankful he is only employed on an interim basis.
Who better to lead this controversial, scandal-ridden squad than the most under-fire manager currently in the Premier League?
Goalkeeper | Adam Federici | Reading
The 28-year-old endured an abysmal start to The Royals’ return to the top-flight this season.
Following blatant errors against Stoke and Chelsea throughout a series of lacklustre performances, the Reading man had conceded 14 goals in 4 appearances.
The Aussie was subsequently dropped to the bench after the Reading faithful could no longer tolerate his poor form.
When the shaky keeper finally returned to the Reading goal last November, he bounced back to keep his first clean sheet of the season in a 0-0 draw with Norwich.
Right-back | José Bosingwa | Queens Park Rangers
In between scoring the odd wonder goal for his former club Chelsea, the defensive awareness of the Portuguese fullback was regularly criticised by the Blues fans.
In 11 appearances for the Hoops, not a lot has changed since his departure from Stamford Bridge.
The 30-year-old has failed to convince the Loftus Road supporters while also firing up his short-fused manager - Harry Redknapp.
The Rangers manager fined Bosingwa two weeks wages after the miss-fit defender allegedly refused to sit on the bench against Fulham last December.
Centre-back | John Terry | Chelsea
Although his commitment to Chelsea and The Three Lions is unquestionable, numerous incidents have given the football world a reason or two to dislike the former England captain.
The 32-year-old may well look back on his past with regret and disgrace. His scandalous behaviour includes assault, parking fines and adultery to name a few.
Perhaps the most high profile scar on his reputation, the FA found the Chelsea captain guilty of using “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour” in a racial context towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand last September.
JT would deserve immense respect but for his off-pitch actions, and it is unfortunate that the controversial personal life of the centre-back has overshadowed his incredible consistency and devotion as a footballer.
Centre-back | Ryan Shawcross | Stoke City
The Stoke City captain has never regained his solid reputation since shattering Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey’s leg in 2010.
Since then, a number of other reckless tackles have labelled Shawcross somewhat of a mercenary on the football pitch.
However, Shawcross has won the hearts of the Potter’s faithful and has secured his status as a club legend.
Left-back | Ashley Cole | Chelsea
Loved in some areas of London, loathed in others. The England international’s controversial move from Chelsea to Arsenal was the beginning of a relentless hostility between himself and the Gunners fans.
Off the pitch, Cole has humiliated himself on a numerous occasions.
The Blues left-back was fined £90,000 for an offensive Twitter rant aimed at The FA after the organisation criticised the legitimacy of his testimony during John Terry’s hearing relating to his altercation with Anton Ferdinand.
In 2009, the 32-year-old also snubbed a handshake from then-England manager Fabio Capello after Chelsea were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United in the Community Shield.
Cole is another player whose trophy cabinet and unquestionable quality is tainted by his foolish antics off the pitch.
Midfield | Lee Cattermole | Sunderland
Every side needs a tough-as-nails midfield general to bully the opposition. However, Lee Cattermole’s combinative style has often been criticised and lead to disciplinary issues.
The Sunderland hard-man wins most 50/50 contests, but one his more reckless challenges on former Tottenham man Luka Modric landed him in hot water back in 2010.
The Real Madrid playmaker luckily managed to somewhat hurdle the violent slide-tackle, but the Croatian insists that ''maybe if I stayed on the floor I would have broken my leg but I jumped and that has probably saved me”.
Perhaps misconceived as a ‘dirty’ player, Cattermole told Mirror Football “if there’s a tackle to be won I will go in hard and fair. I don’t go in to hurt people and never would".
Midfield | Marouane Fellaini | Everton
Probably the most surprising inclusion considering the Belgian has arguably been the best midfielder in the Premier League this season.
However, after a poor display against Wigan Athletic on Saturday, Fellaini was subjected to a chorus of boos as he walked off the pitch to be substituted.
Not only do his own fans boo him but he has also gained a reputation for letting his elbows wander from time to time.
Attacking Midfield | Luis Nani | Manchester United
Although Nani is an absolute joy to watch in full flight, it must be said that he goes down rather easily. The Portuguese winger’s tendency to hit the deck frustrates both Manchester United fans and opposition fans alike.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists that the flamboyant 26-year-old is not the type to dive.
Given that simulation is such a subjective topic – perhaps you should form your own opinion of the undoubtedly talented United wide-man.
Attacking Midfield | Carlos Tévez | Manchester City
Having burnt his bridges with the red half of Manchester when he to the Etihad Stadium, the 29-year-old is currently working to win back the affection of the Citizens supporters after multiple counts of disrespectful behaviour.
The Argentinian supposedly refused to come on as a substitute under the instruction of manager Roberto Mancini in City’s Champions League group stage fixture against Bayern Munch in September 2011.
Tévez then fled home to Argentina, and his time at Manchester City appeared to be up as Mancini described him as “finished”.
Following months of speculation, the controversial forward returned to the club in February 2012 where he is still rebuilding his relationship with the Manchester City fans.
Striker | Luis Suárez | Liverpool
One of the Premier League’s best players this season alongside Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie, the Liverpool star is unfortunately also becoming increasingly notorious for going to ground very easily.
As good as Suárez is, the livewire striker lost a significant amount of respect worldwide when he admitted to diving to win a penalty against Stoke this season.
The Uruguayan explained to Fox Sports Argentina “I was accused of falling inside the box in a match, and it’s true I did it that time”.
Stoke manager Tony Pullis described the diving antics of Liverpool’s key man as “an embarrassment”, and the reception Suárez now receives from opposition fans suggests they agree.
Striker | Emanuel Adebayor | Tottenham Hotspur
The simple fact that the former Arsenal striker now plays for bitter rivals Tottenham is already enough to make life hard at White Hart Lane.
During his time at Manchester City, the lanky Togo man elected to sprint the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal in the faces of the travelling Arsenal supporters in City’s 4-2 win in 2009 – an act the Gunners faithful will never forgive.
Recently he angered Tottenham by failing to return from the African Cup of Nations when Togo were knocked out. His lack of respect not only cost him two weeks wages but the respect of many Spurs fans.
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