Many great players have faded away following big-money moves and high expectations. The following is an all-star Premier League 11 of forgotten players.
Goalkeeper: Shay Given | Aston Villa
For years Shay Given was widely-regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League. Not anymore. The Republic of Ireland international now finds himself playing second fiddle to Brad Guzan at Aston Villa, while the less said about his performances at Euro 2012 the better.
Right-back: Paulo Ferreira | Chelsea
The 34-year-old joined Chelsea nine years ago as part of the Jose Mourinho transformation. A consistent performer no doubt, Paulo Ferreira has an impressive collection of winners' medals including three Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy to his name. However, with Branislav Ivanovic and the emergence of young Cesar Azpilicueta, Ferreira’s playing time has been reduced to one league appearance this term from the bench.
Centre-back: William Gallas | Tottenham
William Gallas is the only ever player to feature for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. However, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he turns 36 in August. With Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker all fighting for his position, it looks like William Gallas’ time is due.
Centre-back: Sébastien Squillaci | Arsenal
Sébastien Squillaci is the definition of a Premier League panic buy. Signed by Arsene Wenger for a reported £12.5 million, his performances haven’t warranted such a hefty price tag. To put it into some context, he made only six appearances last season, just one league appearance from the bench. This season, however, things have started to look up – mainly him looking up from the bench at his teammates because the Frenchman has only one appearance to his name this season. He looks certain to leave this summer.
Left-back: Joleon Lescott | Manchester City
Last season, Joleon Lescott was a pivotal part of the Premier League’s best defence. However, this year is a much different story. Following the arrival of Matija Nastasic from Fiorentina, Lescott has been used as back-up to the young centre-back. With first-team football hard to come by at City, Lescott may need to move on if he is to get game time and stay in Roy Hodgson’s plans.
Right-wing: Andrey Arshavin | Arsenal
Andrey Arshavin arrived in England with a big reputation following a successful spell with Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national side. He announced himself on English shores by scoring all four of Arsenal’s goals in a 4-4 draw at Anfield. However, since then, poor performances have reduced his playing time - he was shipped out on loan back to Zenit last season and has started just two games this term. His excellent ball-control and agility make him a great asset to any team, even if he is 32 in May.
Central midfield: Tom Huddlestone | Tottenham
Originally a crucial part of Harry Redknapp’s side, Tom Huddlestone is just another example of a player who has been hampered by long-term injury. He was out of action for ten months and in that time has struggled for fitness. Despite his lack of athleticism, he is strong, has a ferocious shot and has an excellent passing range. However, he is down the pecking order at Spurs following the arrivals of Mousa Dembele, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey and Lewis Holtby. His future certainly looks away from White Hart Lane.
Central midfield: Yossi Benayoun | Chelsea
The midfield man is one of Israel’s best-known players having played for Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. He made over 30 league appearances for Liverpool every year he was there. Known for his agility, passing ability and work rate, Yossi Benayoun is an integral part of any midfield. He is the current captain of the Israeli team and is the only player ever to score a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup hat-trick. At 32, his best days may be over but his experience and ability will make him a useful acquisition for any side.
Left-wing: Florent Malouda | Chelsea
The last few seasons have been reasonably successful for the Frenchman. He finished the 2009/10 season with 12 league goals and eight assists. With thirteen goals, he was the club’s leading goal-scorer in the 2010/11 season as he helped Chelsea to a second place finish. However, in the summer of 2012 he handed in a transfer request, but didn’t leave the club because he wasn’t prepared to lower his wage demands. He was consequently ordered to train with Chelsea’s Under-21s and hasn’t made a first team appearance all year.
Striker: Peter Odemwingie | West Brom
At the end of last season it would have been absurd to think that Peter Odemwingie was going to be forced out of West Brom. However, after the whole QPR fiasco, a summer transfer looks increasingly likely every day. Odemwingie found himself struggling for a starting place, with manager Steve Clarke opting for the partnership of Shane Long and summer-signing Romelu Lukaku. Odemwingie tried to force a transfer to QPR in January, even turning up outside Loftus Road on deadline day. But a move failed to materialise and he has since struggled to work his way back into Steve Clarke’s plans.
Striker: Marouane Chamakh | Arsenal
Sorry Arsenal fans, I swear I’m not purposely abusing your side, but it's another Arsene Wenger horror show. Football fans can at least appreciate a player’s work rate if they lack the required ability, but Marouane Chamakh lacks both. He has scored just 14 goals in 67 games and has been loaned to West Ham this season. A move abroad looks inevitable this summer.
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