"Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them", or so claimed Shakespeare at least. Some men however, look destined for greatness but then fail to live up to the expectations and drift out of the public eye.
We examine the men who’ve fallen from grace further than a man falling from the top of the Empire State building, only to be carried by the wind to plummet down the Grand Canyon, fall through a gap and join Willy Fogg on his journey to the centre of the Earth. Here, I present to you, the Premier League's forgotten XI.
The Danish international, 36, has featured just four times for Stoke this season with every outing coming in cup competition. Asmir Begovic has made the number one jersey his own and even though the Serbian’s future may be in doubt, Jack Butland will be at the Britannia Stadium next season leaving Sorensen to take his place on the bench yet again.
Squillaci joined Arsenal in 2010 and made 30 appearances over the course of the 2010/11 season. Last season, he made just four and thus far he has amassed one solitary outing for the Gunners. Surplus to requirements, the 32-year-old doesn’t even get near the bench most weeks and looks set to make Arsenal the only club he’s turned out for without ever winning a trophy, ouch.
Poor Richard Dunne. He’s spent the entire season injured with a groin injury that has required three separate bouts of surgery. The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer and will be hoping to play some part in Villa’s fight against the drop. The one piece of good news is that Jamie Carragher is set to retire, so his record of most Premier League own goals is at least safe.
Paulo Ferreira joined Chelsea in 2004 for a reported £13.2m. No, that’s not a typing error and you don’t need to go to Specsavers, that actually says £13.2m. Ferreira has made just over 250 appearances for Chelsea over nine seasons, but those opportunities have dried up in the last few years as Ferreira has been restricted to just eight appearances, with only one Premier League outing as a substitute - for a total of eight minutes.
This Arsenal academy graduate spent last season on loan at Rangers, making 24 league appearances for the ‘Gers and looked set for big things when he joined Swansea in the summer. Bartley looked set to step into the void left by Stephen Caulker, who had returned to Tottenham following a loan spell, but has found life at the Liberty Stadium tough going, managing only five appearances all season, thanks largely to the impressive form of Ashley Williams and Chico Flores. Bartley is only 21 and will be looking for more opportunities next season with the added games of being in the Europa League.
Palacios was linked to great things at the time he joined Tottenham for £12m, but his carer stalled and the Honduran joined Stoke in 2011 for £6m. The move to the Potteries has failed to ignite his career however, and Palacios has managed just four appearances for Tony Pulis’ side this season - all substitute appearances in the Premier League, amassing in just 50 minutes playing time in total.
Manchester City’s defeat at Everton last time out involved some shocking decisions that sent shockwaves through the world of football, none more so than the appearance of Scott Sinclair in the second half. Sinclair moved to the Etihad Stadium in the summer and has found game time hard to come by, managing just three starts in his time under Roberto Mancini. Having spent his early career racking up loan clubs like they were going out of fashion, you’d have thought Sinclair would be well aware of the pitfalls of joining one of the elite clubs, especially after seeing Adam Johnson’s plight at City.
Gosling burst on to the scene at Everton, writing himself into the clubs folklore with a stoppage-time winner against arch rivals Liverpool, only to refuse a new contract and leave Goodison for the bright lights of Newcastle. Since moving to the north east, Gosling has failed to push on with his career, managing just five appearances for the Toon Army this season, none of which were in the Premier League.
The man with one of the best fan chants in the league (Google it), has been well and truly frozen out at Stamford Bridge. Having fallen out of favour with Roberto Di Matteo, the Frenchman has failed to impress new boss Rafa Benitez to the extent that Malouda hasn’t actually played at all for Chelsea this season.
Johnson joined QPR in the summer to link-up with ex-Fulham colleague Bobby Zamora. Johnson has struggled with injury throughout his career and his time at Loftus Road has been no exception, turning out four times for Rangers, and is well down the pecking order under Harry Redknapp.
It’s not long ago that Fortune was something of a cult hero at West Brom, scoring five goals in a loan spell that ultimately couldn’t help the Baggies avoid relegation. Fortune joined Celtic the following summer where he enjoyed limited success before returning to The Hawthorns on a permanent basis. Since then he has been a bit-part player and has been limited to mainly substitute outings, returning only one goal.
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