By Chris Wright
See-eth, laid out before thine eyes, Pies’ decuplet of players that have underachieved, fallen from grace, failed to deliver, bought shame upon their families and generally stunk up the Premier League like a pilchard in the air conditioning over the past ten or so months.
Here we go, from the top…
10. John-Arne Riise, Fulham: 35 appearances this season, with zilch 40-yard ‘RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!’ blunderbuss goals to show for them. None. What a ruddy let down.
9. Roger Johnson, Wolves: A £5 million signing which was almost universally lauded by those in the know as being a bit of a bargain, Johnson was supposed to be the no-nonsense centre-half to coagulate Wolves’ shonky defence – indeed he was even installed as club captain upon arrival at Molineux such was Mick McCarthy’s optimism.
Instead, Rog mostly went missing as Wolves dissolved into mush over the course of the season, eventually being ousted from the starting line up and occasionally surfacing at training while still reeking of Kestrel Super.
8. Royston Drenthe, Everton: Our real problem with Ricky Royston is
the terrible rapping that he’s very nearly a superb little player; one of those rare bunch who are capable of winning a game with a scintilla of inspiration, instinct, luck or combination of the three.
He could’ve been a real boon for Everton, whose diligent midfielders often tend to lack that veneer of spontaneity. Shame, really, that he apparently doesn’t want to know most of the time.
7. Owen Hargreaves, Man City: Given his previous, we don’t really know what we were expecting here, but after all the spandex-clad Youtube videos and defiant talk of ‘human guinea pigs’ we, for some reason (blame the Ribena), had envisioned a heroic resurgence at City for Señor Warm Camembert Knees.
A lovely goal on his debut against Birmingham in the Carling Cup had us all temporarily renewing our faith, but it proved to be little more than a mirage. Hargreaves is still the punchline.
We’re not overly sure how many appearances he’s made since, but Pies are fairly sure we could count them on the fingers of our right hand, and we lost two of ’em in ‘Nam.
Since January, he’s mainly been deployed as a human camera tripod (we’re not even joking ) on the touchline at The Etihad and is almost certain to be released into the wild come the summer.
6. Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal: It’s been a year of ever-so-slight regression for the young Welsh midfielder, who has struggled to impress despite his main competition in the ‘future of Arsenal’s midfield’ stakes being crocked for the entire campaign.
We’re not saying Ramsey’s been awful by any stretch (the boos he began attracting from his own fans around April time were utterly pathetic), it’s just that he seems to have found it hard going this term for someone reason; looking ponderous and unsure of his role at times and putting in a few too many duff performances while not really progressing in any capacity.
5. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool: There have been brief pools of