Premier League 2012/13: Overrated XI
Steven Gerrard, James Milner and Danny Welbeck all make the Premier League's most overrated XI
This team is made up of the players who, in 2012/13 failed to reach their potential but were the benefactors of hype which made their performances better than they actually were.
This is not necessarily to say that they played badly or are bad players generally, as there are individuals in this list who could easily be categorised as world-class. So, here we go, the overrated XI of the Premier League...
Goalkeeper: Jose Pepe Reina (Liverpool)
While in previous seasons Reina has been one of the best keepers in the land, in the last couple of years he has been distinctly average. To highlight this is the fact that, in 2005 (when Reina won the Champions League with Liverpool), the stopper had a high success rate in saves.
However, ever since then his save rate has declined heavily.
However, in the last two seasons he has been in line with the Premier League average: A poor turn-out for a supposedly world-class goalkeeper who is playing for a team that are challenging for a place in the Europa League.
Right-back: Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
As a Spurs fan this is very difficult to say as I do rate Walker highly, but his performances have simply not been good enough this year, especially in the first half of the season.
Because of his explosive pace, the young full-back assumes that he can work out of position and simply catch his opposition if they break on the counter-attack. This is not always possible.
When he does make a bad pass they often lead to interceptions by the opposition and a goal-scoring opportunity, which has been the cause of several of Tottenham's losses, most notably in the 3-2 defeat against Liverpool
Centre-back: Christopher Samba (Queens Park Rangers)
Again, while Samba is a decent footballer he is by no means of the ability that he is often credited for. His sheer size makes people assume that his power will compensate for his obvious lack of speed, which it often does not.
There is no way that the 29-year-old Congolese defender is worth £12.5m and the £100k a week he was brought to QPR for. This is shown by the fact that signing him made no impact whatsoever in the London club's relegation to the Championship, finishing 20th.
Centre-back: Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
When players are given the captaincy of their clubs you usually see an extra spark in their performance with their chests puffed out: proud to be given such an honour. This was not the case with the Arsenal skipper saw him be replaced by the defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the latter stages of the season.
Vermaelen has struggled in the big games this season, most notably against Tottenham and Manchester United. Since that game against Spurs, Vermaelen only made the starting line-up once for the rest of the season.
Left-back: Andre Santos (Arsenal)
Possibly one of Arsene Wenger's worst signings in his time with the Gunners, Andre Santos has been ridiculed throughout the season due to his terrible performances and lack of pace, leading to his loan move to Gremio. His most common fault is the commonplace with which he would give the ball away and then fail to make any effort at all to track back.
Right-midfield: Ashley Young (Manchester United)
The United winger came to Old Trafford with so much promise and did, in fact, have a decent first season. However, it seems that former Aston Villa midfielder has lost his touch somewhat.
He had a poor tournament at Euro 2012, being labelled by many as one of our worst players, when expected to bring some creativity. In the 2012/13 season Young made 17 starts yet just seemed to fade away in games, not managing to score a single goal, while only making three assists in total. In fairness, in April he did suffer a bad ankle injury which kept him out for the rest of the season, but this does not make up for the poor performances previous to this.
Centre-midfield: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Another individual who, while is world-class on his day, has lacked the consistency to achieve this in recent years. Of course, age eventually catches up to all of us, but it appears to affect the Liverpool talisman quite heavily.
This can be considered understandable when you think that one of Gerrard’s best attributes was his driving runs through midfield which have become more and more infrequent. His passing, while still sensational, has also started to lose accuracy.
Gerrard remains an excellent player but Liverpool may wish to bring in new talent so that they will not have to rely as much on their ageing talisman.
Centre-midfield: Samir Nasri (Manchester City)
It is clear to many observers of football that Nasri is not the player he once was at Arsenal. Mancini himself said that he ‘would like to punch’ the French midfielder due to his massively inconsistent form.
Nasri has only managed seven goals in 58 appearances for the Citizens, which isn’t good enough for such a talented player.
Centre-midfield: James Milner (Manchester City)
Every time I see the City midfielder play I wonder why he is deployed on the right of midfield. He is not a winger by any stretch of the imagination, due to his severe lack of pace and any reasonable level of skill or trickery.
His function appears to be to chase around for the ball like a terrier (which he is adept at) and then to lose it as soon as he attempts to break forward.
Milner was at his best for Aston Villa when he was a centre-midfielder with players who were more on his level in terms of quality.
Left-midfield: Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
Although predominantly a striker, the England forward has been deployed to a greater extent on the left-wing this season in order to accommodate the prolific Robin Van Persie.
This positional change has been used by United fans to explain why Welbeck has failed to score a single goal all season. That isn’t good enough, as there are plenty of wingers in the league who manage to score goals such as Eden Hazard, among others.
One would hope that Welbeck would compensate with a number of assists yet only managed four all season. For a player who is considered one of England’s brightest young starlets, his performances have just not been good enough.
Striker: Nikica Jelavic (Everton)
The big Croatian forward has simply failed to deliver this season. Last season he was being billed as the next superstar goal-scorer in the EPL. However, this has failed to happen, with Jelavic only managing seven goals and two assists all season.
This has led to him being dropped to the Goodison Park bench in favour of Victor Anichebe. If Jelavic wants to lead the Everton line next season he must improve, and fast.
Obviously there will be those who firmly disagree with my list as they believe that certain players deserve more credit. Feel free to leave your comments below.
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