The ‘worst’ Premier League XI of the season so far

Date published: Thursday 7th February 2019 9:00

And we’re talking regulars here, so all these players have played in at least 15 of their club’s Premier League games. We have used WhoScored’s ratings as a guide…

 

GOALKEEPER: Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth)
The worst save percentage among Premier League goalkeepers by quite some distance, having saved just 55.6% of the shots he has faced (the ‘next worst’ is Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, but even he stops three of five on-target shots). After conceding 14 goals in four games, Begovic was finally dropped in favour of the 38-year-old Artur Boruc last month. And the 38-year-old Artur Boruc is currently a better option than Asmir Begovic.

 

RIGHT-BACK: DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
It may seem a little harsh but he commits more fouls than any other regular right-back and he has not claimed an assist since August. He still has the trust of Rafa Benitez, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear when the only real alternative is Javier Manquillo.

 

CENTRE-HALF: Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town)
Huddersfield Town are bottom of the table so it would be bizarre not to have at least one Terrier in this line-up. Kongolo gets the nod simply because Town have kept just one clean sheet in their last 13 Premier League games…and that happened with Kongolo on the bench. He is presumably counting the days until he exits this summer.

 

CENTRE-HALF: Conor Coady (Wolves)
Wow. The WhoScored algorithm has thrown up an odd one here – but centre-halves earn points with their ‘actions’ and Coady does less of the tackling, intercepting, clearing and blocking than either Willy Boly or Ryan Bennett. He also does absolutely none of the scoring or assisting. And this is why we put the word ‘worst’ in single quotes.

 

LEFT-BACK: Gaetan Bong (Brighton)
He’s not great at tackling, he doesn’t create many chances and he loses the ball an awful lot. In late November, Chris Hughton belatedly remembered he had spent £9m on a left-back and brought Bernardo into the team; but now he has returned to his beloved Bong. They have not won a game he has started since October.

 

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Mark Noble (West Ham United)
The emergence of Declan Rice at West Ham means that Noble no longer does much in the way of tackling or intercepting for West Ham. And as he doesn’t create many chances – and is yet to score a Premier League goal this season – he does not score well on such ratings. He was excellent against Liverpool’s stodgy midfield on Monday though.

 

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City)
Basically he has taken one shot all season – against Cardiff in November – and he has created just four chances all season. And he leaves most of the defending to the truly excellent Wilfred Ndidi. In short, he is the reason Leicester bought Youri Tielemans.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Helder Costa (Wolves)
After starting the first 15 Premier League games of the season and producing neither goal nor assist, Costa has been in and out of this otherwise pretty excellent Wolves side. The one-time Portuguese international has simply found himself out of his depth in the Premier League, though he did at least finally score a goal against Tottenham last month.

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Junior Hoilett (Cardiff)
For an attacking midfielder not to be credited with a single assist in 21 games is something quite extraordinary. This time next year we will have forgotten he was ever in the Premier League at all. How can he still be only 28, by the way?

 

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town)
For an attacking midfielder not to be credited with a single assist in 21 games is something quite extraordinary. Pritchard is one of eight pretty terrible Town wingers/attacking midfielders who – between them – have been credited with just one assist all season. Pritchard gets the nod simply because he is the only one of the eight who has played enough football to meet our criteria.

 

STRIKER: Chris Wood (Burnley)
This looks awful harsh because non-scoring strikers simply do not start most of their club’s games, but Wood has taken 36 shots to score his four goals and has not claimed a single assist for Burnley this season. Oh and he loses more aerial battles than he wins. Which is presumably why they have bought a certain giant…

 


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