Surprise as no Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal in Premier League weekend’s worst XI…

Ian Watson
Newcastle defender Sven Botman, Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson, and Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans.

It was a miserable weekend for Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal but Leicester, Forest, and Brentford dominate the Premier League weekend’s flops.

Here, according to WhoScored ratings, is the worst XI from a miserable weekend for the leaders, Champions League chasers, and the bottom three…


GK: Daniel Iversen – 5.35
The Leicester keeper seems to have been punished for his inactivity, which seems odd since he spent Saturday evening facing up to Manchester City. Iversen wasn’t directly at fault for any of City’s three goals and his one save was a flying stop to deny Riyad Mahrez. Giving the ball back to City with half of his attempted passes won’t have helped his cause.


RB: Aaron Hickey – 5.94
Not a great weekend for Premier League right-backs. Brighton’s Joel Veltman recorded 5.84 but his hamstring twanged inside the first half-hour and we’re not monsters. Everton’s Ben Godfrey earned a sub-six score but Hickey gets the nod after an iffy display at Wolves. The Brentford defender contributed no blocks, interceptions or tackles to the defensive effort while giving Wolves the ball 10 times.


CB: Sven Botman – 5.96
The Newcastle defence were run ragged by Ollie Watkins but very few centre-backs would have been able to stop the Villa striker in the form he showed on Saturday. Still, Botman didn’t have to give Villa back the ball 11 times, including seven attempted long balls that all went astray.


CB: Moussa Niakhate – 5.82
The Forest centre-back would reasonably question an abject lack of protection from his midfield and Niakhate was generally quite solid, aside from going walkabout for both United goals. Again, you could hardly pin the blame squarely on him, but he was way out of position when Danilo lost the ball ahead of the opener and he was dissected by Antony’s cute pass into Diogo Dalot.

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LB: Victor Kristiansen – 5.89
The furthest left of Leicester’s back five at City, Kristiansen was too sloppy in possession for the 45 minutes he was given before being hooked at half-time by Dean Smith. Seemingly too busy retreating towards his own goal to make a tackle.


CM: Wilfried Ndidi – 5.68
Ndidi was culpable for City’s third goal after losing a tackle near the halfway line to renowned enforcer Kevin De Bruyne. That was one of three ground duels the midfielder competed in and lost. He also conceded a penalty for handball. Still, at least he wasn’t quite as bad as…


LM: Youri Tielemans – 5.59
Smith brought Tielemans back for his first appearance since February and rustiness was all too evident in the midfielder’s performance. The Belgian lasted just over an hour which was long enough to lose all but one of his seven ground duels. Managed only one tackle, with the only other two occasions he got close enough to City players resulting in fouls. Still, if a trip to the Etihad was viewed as a free-hit by Leicester, maybe it was worth it to get Tielemans ready for more important battles to come.


RM: Josh Dasilva –  5.75
The Brentford midfielder missed a big chance in the defeat at Molineux but his overall play was equally as sloppy in the hour he was allowed by Thomas Frank. More than a third (12) of his 35 touches resulted in a turnover in his third sub-six score in his last seven outings.

Demarai Gray of Everton is tackled by Fulham defender Antonee Robinson.

LF: Demarai Gray – 5.98
Gray started out Everton’s defeat to Fulham by playing off Neal Maupay before switching to the flank – he toiled in both positions. Wasted one big chance and lost the ball as many times as he passed it accurately – 16. Competed in 17 duels and lost 13 of them.


CF: Jamie Vardy – 5.83
The Leicester striker managed only nine touches in 45 starved minutes which featured two clearances and a couple of turnovers. Vardy was back in his tracksuit by the time City took their foot off the gas and Leicester created opportunities.


RF: Brennan Johnson – 5.72
Restricted to 19 touches by Manchester United – 11 of which resulted in a loss of possession – in a game that Forest failed to muster a shot on target. Johnson won none of his five ground duels and lost the ball with both attempted dribbles.