The ‘I’m not good enough to play for my club’ XI


24th, July 2007


There’s obviously no way you’ll agree with every selection, but I’d still be interested to hear your thoughts on this XI, comprised of Premier League players who I think are playing at a level above them…
paredes-robinson.jpgPaul Robinson (Spurs) If Spurs aspire to be a top-four, title-challenging club, they simply must find a better keeper than Robinson. His positioning is frequently awful and he often seems lead-footed. He makes the odd good save, but so does every keeper in his division.
Should be playing for… Any lower-table Prem team.

Glen Johnson (Chelsea) He’s almost 23 now but he hasn’t really developed as well as the experts predicted a few seasons ago. If anything, his career has regressed.
Should be playing for… Portsmouth is about his level. He should have made his loan move permanent.
Paul Stalteri (Spurs) The Canadian hardly featured in Spurs’ first team last season and with good reason: he’s a bit shit. Stalteri is simply too ponderous and one-dimensional to play for a team as strong as Tottenham.
Should be playing for… A move to MLS would suit him just fine.
Stephen Carr (Newcastle) Is it me or is Carr rubbish? If it is just me, then I’d love someone to explain how he’s still considered good enough to play in the Premiership. To my eyes, he defends like a headless, if enthusiastic chicken and makes way too many costly mistakes.
Should be playing for… A mid-table Championship team.
Nicky Hunt (Bolton) Oh, let’s not f**k about, he’s crap, isn’t he? A classic example of an English full-back with minimal talent who has been coached to makes as few mistakes as possible by taking as few risks as possible. And he’s about as graceful as Crazy Legs Crane.
Should be playing for… Again, the Championship would suit him down the ground.
Alexandre Song (Arsenal) This choice is partly informed by the legion of Arsenal bloggers who slate him at every opportunity. But every time I’ve seen him in action, he’s looked strictly average and frankly out of his depth as a footballer in any team managed by Arsene Wenger.
Should be playing for… Would make a decent squad player in a club like Birmingham, who seem to like Arsenal youth players anyway.
Eric Djemba-Djemba (Aston Villa) One of Fergie’s worst ever Man Utd signings… and then one of David O’Leary’s worst ever Villa signings… And then… you get the picture. The man so poor they named him twice is just not Premiership class.
Should be playing for… If he didn’t have such a paltry squad, I’m sure Martin O’Neill would love to sell him to Burnley, where he played on loan last season.
Nigel Quashie (West Ham) He was born to play in a team hovering on the precipice of relegation from the top flight. Except that he’s not even that good. Look in the dictionary under ‘Useless journeyman’ and you’d see ‘The Relegator’ looking back at you. He’s 100% perspiration and 0% inspiration.
Should be playing for… Oh, somewhere in the depths of the Championship.
080SmithDM_468x390.jpgAlan Smith (Man Utd) Eric Cantona made a successful jump from Yorkshire across the Pennines, but Alan Smith is no King Eric. Alex Ferguson has reportedly tried to get rid of Smith this summer and I can see why. Smith is a decent utility player who always gives his best, but his best is not quite good enough for the red of United. Even the much maligned Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea have specific back-up roles to play at United, but Smith doesn’t fit in, as a striker or midfielder.
Should be playing for… Somewhere like Newcastle would probably suit him.
Lee Dong Gook (Middlesbrough) I would never suggest that Boro signed Lee simply to sell more shirts in Korea, oh no (cough).
Should be playing for… Having seen him in action, I’d suggest the Conference is his level.
Collins John (Fulham) He’s fast and athletic but with less football skills than your average park player.
Should be playing for… Your average park XI.
So who did I miss? Leave a comment… but be gentle!

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  1. Phantom Pain says:

    Mido before he even plays for Birmingham. And whoever he plays for after that. Should find himself at home….well…at home! Judging by his physique, a role as an armchair footballer seems perfect.
    Mikael Sylvestre, not a Manchester United class player anymore. Likes his blunders quite a lot. Ideal Newcastle material.
    I’d have mentioned Darren Fletcher instead of Smith, Smith can still play somewhere but Fletcher is now screwed if he wants to play anything else than pseudo-right-back. Lucky for him, Scholes’ injury gives him a chance of making the bench.

  2. joe says:

    Paulo Ferreira. Ship him back to Portugal he’s rubbish and can’t defend without falling over, bringing down his own center-half with him and all in the same motion knocking past his own goalkeeper with a well-placed knee.

  3. Joe says:

    I think everybody’s a bit harsh on Mido. He did great in his first season, and it’s tough to get goals if you’re not going to get any games. I predict he’ll do quite well for the Brummies.
    As for the XI, I’ll have to go with Emile Heskey. I know that he’s at a fairly rubbish team at the moment (who paid 5,5m for him!), but there’s a reason for that, and it’s middle name’s Ivanhoe…

  4. j says:

    Considering Middlesbrough don’t sell shirts in Korea, I would suggest that they didn’t buy him to sell shirts.

  5. Łupek says:

    I’d kick Hossam Ghaly out of the Prem straight away, about whom I can’t decide if he’s more sulky or more crappy.
    Next up is Craig Bellamy, he was way below Liverpool’s levels, not that fast anymore, not good enough ball control skills, I could ramble on. AND he’s a wanker. West Ham’s still too good for him.
    Hilario – his name says it all, really.
    I’m glad I won’t be seeing Ben Thatcher for a while, for he’s more log than a lumberjack’s hut. AND an idiot.

  6. P says:

    Agree with J… unless Air Korea are offering cheap returns to Durham Tees Valley I can’t imagine many Dong Gook fans picking a #18 shirt up from Captain Cook Square
    He actually looked quite good on the last day of the season, despite the usual easy misses

  7. Kipp says:

    Titus, oh the hilarity-ive-just-relegated-wigan Bramble
    possibly playing in america where defending is something only ‘football’ teams do

  8. alvaro says:

    Robert Green AND Caroll, Luque??? Fabio aurelio? end most likely Shevchenko

  9. Orangina says:

    O’Shea, Fletcher, Titus Bramble, Harry Kewell is a waste of space also….Smudger has his critics but until Rooney came and gatecrashed his party at Man U he was looking promising. He would’ve suited somewhere like Newcastle if Owen wasn’t staying but then again Owen’s forever injured (unlike Smudger who got unlucky with two serious injuries in one go – he’s NOT injury prone like people think!) so he may still move there or perhaps Everton…they need a striker…..

  10. Perkin says:

    As an life long Toffee I would love to nominate James “Moobs” Beattie. How many more chances is Moyes going to give him? On a good day I’d say he’s Championship standard, on a bad day which let’s face it is most, Div 2.

  11. Rich says:

    Glen Johnson is an interesting choice. his last year with Chelsea was an abomination…every time the ball was played to him, the opposing team quickly pressured him like you would if you were playing against a 10 year old girl. you could tell that the book on Glen was that he was skittish and nervous on the ball, and that a bit of pressure on him would rattle him. however, in his time at Pompey, he actually looked a bit more calm and steady, and in a few matches, looked the best player on the team. so is it maturation and development? or that he played better when not under pressure for his job? we’ll find out by Christmas, I suppose.

  12. Pete says:

    Beats has got to be in there- im a lifelong toffee and have got to admit that his performances last season resembled an overweight donkey- 2 goals all season, both of which were penalties?!

  13. Joe says:

    Green? You must be joking. He’s one of the best keepers in England, West Ham fans adore him… It’s Roy Caroll you’re after

  14. russwalker says:

    this is fuckin ridiculous to say alexandre song is in there, and should be playing as a squad player for birmingham, he hasnt had the chance at arsenal, only having played out of position at centre back on a few occasions. Durning his loan spell at former premiership team charlton last season, he played exceptionally every game, and loojked a class above the rest of the charlton team, and often the entire pitch, which should be enough to prove he is better than birmingham certainly, an dvery possibly good enough to make it at arsenal