Who didn’t last the course?
It all started as planned: Deco scored a screamer on his Chelsea debut, at home to Pompey in the August sunshine, but it was quickly downhill after that. The Ronnie Corbett-faced Brazilian has been unlucky with a string of niggling injuries, but in no way can he be viewed as anything other than a failure. There is talk that Jose Mourinho wants to bring him to Internazionale (I doubt this), and no Chelsea fans would mind that, as long as their club made back some of the Â£8m spent on bringing Deco to the Bridge from Barcelona.
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)
The league is a marathon, but it seems Agbonlahor/Morph treated it like a sprint. He was great in the first half of the season, but went missing thereafter, causing some sections of the Villa faithful to boo him (he didn’t deserve it). Still, Villa’s thin squad didn’t exactly help the 22-year-old. Were he at Manchester Utd or Chelsea, for example, he’d surely have been rested many more times than Martin O’Neill could afford to.
Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
See Agbonlahor, but less so. Based on the first half of the season, the PFA Young Player of the Year deserved his award -Â he was excellent until the new year, and the main reason behind Villa’s top-four challenge. But like his fleet-footed team-mate, Young ran