The ‘worst’ Premier League XI of the season

Date published: Thursday 19th March 2020 8:10 - Sarah Winterburn

We have brought you the ‘perfect’ Premier League XI of the season. Now we turn to the ‘worst’ – constructed from WhoScored’s player ratings for those who have started 15 Premier League games or more…


GOALKEEPER: Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Woah. Our goalkeeping nerd Ian Watson still believes that Pickford is the right man for England (because he has generally been pretty good for England) but Pickford’s Premier League form has been woeful. He may not have the lowest save percentage (that belongs to Kepa) but he has been credited with three errors leading to goals. And he makes us nervous.


RIGHT-BACK: Max Aarons (Norwich)
This is no slur on an excellent young player and there is no suggestion that he would be unworthy of an expected £30m summer move to Tottenham, but he has undoubtedly suffered in the Premier League’s worst team this season. It has been a thankless slog. And he makes fewer tackles than any of his contemporaries in this position bar Kyle Walker, who has the excuse that the opposition rarely have the ball.


CENTRE-HALF: Conor Coady (Wolves)
Well this is awkward. The problem with Conor Coady is that the statistics don’t show him actually doing a great deal. He leaves most of the heading, the clearing and the tackling to Willy Boly and Roman Saiss; he can afford to take the role of the cultured, passing centre-half – aptly for a converted central midfielder – because there are generally three of them. But all those passes (47 per game) have actually created only five chances all season, which is less than any other Wolves regular.


CENTRE-HALF: Ben Godfrey (Norwich)
Another harsh Norwich inclusion but the bare facts are that the Canaries have conceded an awful lot of goals and Godfrey has played more games than any of their centre-halves. And he has claimed the club’s only red card of the season. It has not helped that he has had four different partners and it’s that kind of perspective that might still make him a summer target for Premier League clubs after Norwich’s likely relegation.


LEFT-BACK: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)
Being sent off 12 minutes into a 9-0 defeat was probably the low point of a season which might well be his last on the south coast. He is being dribbled past more than at any point throughout his career, and losing the ball more often than ever before, too. But when Kevin Danso is your competition, you keep your place.


CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)
The algorithms are a little unkind to Luiz because he has come off the bench in eight of his 26 appearances, but there is definitely a touch of the ‘master of none’ about the Brazilian, who tackles a lot less than Marvelous Nakamba and John McGinn but creates fewer chances than both too. Villa have lost the last five Premier League games he has started, which is pretty bloody damning.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Harry Winks (Tottenham)
Well, well. The algorithms reward ‘actions’ and ‘looking comfortable on the half-turn’ is not measured by Opta. What are measured are such things as goals (0), assists (0), key passes (only marginally better than Eric Dier) and tackles (as often as Lucas Moura). It all adds to to ‘meh’ and we’re still not actually sure if he is any good or not.



There is still some football taking place, with the Belarussian Premier League kicking off this week. Stick on a bet with Bet365 and you can actually watch it and get your fix. We fancy BATE Barisov.



ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Jeff Hendrick (Burnley)
Burnley are not a free-scoring side but two Premier League assist in 24 Premier League games really is an abysmal record. The Irishman’s saving grace is that Sean Dyche really, really doesn’t like making changes. So on he goes…looking more than a little leaden in contrast with the sprightly Dwight McNeil on the left.


ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Harry Wilson (Bournemouth)
A haul of seven goals makes Wilson’s Bournemouth loan look like a success but he has not logged a single assist all season – an unbelievable statistic for an attacking midfielder. He doesn’t really take on the opposition, he is not particularly impressive defensively and he gives possession away a lot. And he almost never plays 90 minutes. But my word, he can hit a ball. Is that enough? Probably not for Liverpool, no. However many times he wears the coat…


ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United)
While Joelinton wins enough headers to keep himself off such lists, little Miguel Almiron is running around a lot, not scoring goals, not creating chances and losing the ball an awful lot with a poor first touch. He cost over £20m. Had the season continued, they would have gone down.


STRIKER: Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
This always looks awful harsh because non-scoring strikers simply do not start half their club’s games but Wilson’s eight goals have not been supplemented with a single assist this season. He has also claimed more bookings than goals and only Joelinton and Wilfried Zaha have lost the ball with a poor touch more often this season. The ‘worst’? No. Worse than that, he is mediocre.

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