Premier League: Top of the flops

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Football News

There have been a number of high-profile flops in the Premier League. Here's a look at the best of the worst, as we create the Premier League XI made up of players who have failed to live up to their burgeoning reputations, hefty price-tags and even their own expectations.

Massimo Taibi | Manchester United

After an impressive season at Venezia and two stints at AC Milan in Serie A, Taibi's form prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to fork out £4.5 million for the Italian shot-stopper.

Taibi’s start between the sticks for United was a mixed one. Flapping an early free-kick which gifted Liverpool’s Sami Hyppia an opener, he went on to receive the Man of the Match award, having denied the Anfield giants on several occasions, including a one-on-one point-blank save from Vladimir Smicer’s effort.

Unfortunately, Taibi will always be remembered for ‘that’ goalkeeping howler against Southampton, allowing Matt Le Tissier’s tame effort to creep through his legs.

Though fighting valiantly with Raymond Van der Gouw and Mark Bosnich for United's number 1 spot, he only made four appearances for the Red Devils after that, one being a 5-0 drubbing to Chelsea, before fading into obscurity with Reggina in the Italian League.

Titus Bramble | Sunderland

It won’t come as a surprise to many to see Bramble's name in this XI. His fine form for Ipswich earned him a £6 million move to Newcastle United, where at the time he vowed to become ‘indispensable’ to the Toon Army.

At the end of the 2003/04 season, readers of the email newsletter ‘The Fiver’ voted bramble the 'Worst Player in the Premier League’, after a series of horrifying positional errors and fouls.

Titus has worn the colours of Wigan and Sunderland, the latter being his current club, with varying degrees of success. He picked up the ‘Player of the Year’ trophy for Wigan Athletic during the 2008/09 season, also scoring a 20-yard rocket earning the Latics a point against Liverpool.

But these accolades do not stop most football fans from cringing whenever he touches the ball.  

Carlton Palmer | Nottingham Forest & Southampton

I have spoken to many a football fan and most have said that Palmer is probably the worst player to have ever worn the Three Lions.

Whilst possessing a great tackling technique and an aerial prowess most would be envious of, a series of disastrous positional and technical errors made all of Palmer's good work meaningless.

Winston Bogarde | Chelsea

After successful spells at Ajax, AC Milan and FC Barcelona, Bogarde arrived at Stamford Bridge after a recommendation from Mario Melchiot.

Bogarde’s form was disastrous, and his refusal to take a cut on his £40,000 per-week wages and or look for a move away from Chelsea saw him make nine appearances over four years for the club.

When this contract expired, he retired. A colossal waste of talent and huge amounts of money, in my opinion.

Frank Sinclair | Leicester City

If you were to search for ‘funny own goals’ on YouTube, you could put your mortgage on Sinclair being in one of the compilation videos.

Ian Walker had the grim task of picking the ball out of his own net in consecutive matches thanks to Sinclair's own goals, with another 40-yard stunning gaff costing Leicester dear in a relegation 'six-pointer' with Middlesbrough in 2002.

These horror shows are a large tarnish on a player with a reputation as a solid defender.

Juan Sebastien Veron | Manchester United & Chelsea

Juan’s incredible form for Lazio allowed Manchester United to break the British transfer record to land him, paying £28 million for his services. Unfortunately, Veron never lived up to his hefty price tag.

Juan struggled for form in his first season, often looking unfit and not up to the pace of the faster English game. He also looked unhappy at the lack of time he had on the ball, having been allowed more of a free role at Lazio.

In his second season he seemed to find a bit of form, scoring four goals in the Champions League, before injury put a stop to this run. He was eventually sold to Chelsea for £15 million, where he only made 11 appearances for the blues.  

Eric Djemba-Djemba | Manchester United & Aston Villa

After some dazzling displays for Nantes, Djemba Djemba’s no-nonsense style of football had Sir Alex believing he had found a long-term replacement for 31-year-old Roy Keane.

The only thing Eric is ever remembered for at Old Trafford was his X-rated tackle on Arsenal defender Sol Campbell.

After brief spells at Aston Villa and Burnley, Eric now plies his trade in the Qatar league.

Steve Marlet | Fulham

Marlet's scintillating form for Lyon prompted Jean Tigana and Mohammed Al Fayed to part with £11.5 million to bring him to England, but his atrocious form and goal return of 11 goals in 54 games destroyed his and his manager's reputation.

He was eventually shipped off to Marseille on loan and wound up his playing days in the lower tiers of French football with Red Star.  

Bruno Cheyrou | Liverpool

Being branded the ‘new Zidane’ was always going to be a tough burden to bear, but Bruno never even got close to the heights of the French legend.

The occasional flashes of brilliance, even a spell of four goals in five games over the Christmas period of 2003/04 couldn’t turn it around for the French youngster, and after making only making 17 starts in two years, he was shipped off to Marseille on loan.

Afonso Alves | Middlesborough

Gareth Southgate needed goals to save his struggling Middlesbrough side, and Alves seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

A phenomenal record of 45 goals in 39 appearances for Heerenveen prompted Southgate to pay in excess of £10 million for the hitman, but the Brazilian could only muster a measly four goals, not doing anywhere near enough to save the Riverside club from the drop.

He now plays for lowly Qatar side Al Gharafa

Sergei Rebrov | Tottenham Hotspur & West Ham United

Sergei was one half of one of the most feared strike forces in international football, pairing ferociously with then AC Milan striker Andrey Shevchenko for Ukraine.

His goal tally for Dynamo Kiev was also tremendously impressive, averaging a goal every other game. But Rebrov’s midis touch seemed to desert him after joining Tottenham for £11 million, scoring only 10 goals in 60 appearances.

His short lived career at Upton Park was also extremely disappointing, scoring just once in 27 appearances for the Hammers. He wound down his career with Rubin Kazan.

What players do you think should have made the list? Get in touch and let us know.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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