The 2013-14 Premier League season has been unique in its own way, throwing up quite a few not-so-expected surprises as well as a few unpredicted ones. The possibility of having three different domestic champions with only five gameweeks to go, basically sums up the unpredictable nature of the league and closeness of the contest it has showcased over the last eight and a half months. With four points separating Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, you are unlikely to wager for one of them having seen four different teams lead the tables at some point in the season.
Liverpool have been, arguably, producing the finest football in England with a fully committed Suarez leading the line alongside Sturridge with the two scoring 49 goals in between them, equalling the all-time high of former Blackburn duo of Shearer and Sutton back in 1994/95 Premier League season. Chelsea have become a resilient side, which they often are when Jose is in charge, with Eden Hazard continuing to conjure up wins regularly for the Blues. However, such is the nature of the game, the flops are equally focussed upon as much as the heroes. Be it a terrible run in front of goal or a goal drought that can make Afonso Alves proud, 2013-14 season has thrown up quite a few disappointments.
I have tried to put together a Premier League worst starting 11 based on their performances this season and the value their owners associate with them. Players who have featured in only a few games have not been considered for the list.
David Stockdale: The 28 year old has been an absolute nightmare in front of the goal this season having conceded 33 goals from 15 starts, including a 6 goal marauding at the hands of Hull last year.
Mathew Lowton: The 24 year old defender failed to replicate his form from previous season as he continuously struggled at the right back for the Villans culminating in their shoddy defensive record. Lowton was finally dropped by an exasperated Paul Lambert and has been on the fringes ever since. Lowton was also fined by the club for having arrived late to training and is believed to be on his way out this summer to the Championship.
Wesley Brown: The former Manchester United defender returned to fitness and first team action earlier last summer and seemed to have started well. However, Brown gradually started to become inconsistent and his lack of enough match time began to show. With the Black Cats’ relegation all but certain and Brown admitting that age has started to catch up, it remains to be seen if the former England center half hangs up his boots at the end of the season.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: Alan Pardew and his scouts have had made some smart acquisitions from little known clubs in France, but with Yanga-Mbiwa they seemed to have made a wrong move. The 24 year old center half has had an abysmal season so far for the Toons attracting strong criticism from the fans and manager alike. In his 17 starts in the Premier League, he has collected 5 yellow cards and one sending-off.
Nacho Monreal: The young Arsenal defender has been made to look slow and timid by quite a few players this season, raising questions over the very basis of his signing by Arsene Wenger. The Spaniard has looked completely off pace and the way he was taken apart by the Bayern midfielders, Robben and Lahm taking turns, has made a serious dent to his confidence. Whether he can recover from the same, remains to be seen.
Marouane Fellaini: The curly-haired Belgian who joined Manchester United last summer has struggled to adjust to the demands of being in a United shirt. Having managed only 11 starts in the Premier League so far, he is yet to score his first goal for his new club.
Gaston Ramirez: The 23 year old Uruguayan joined the Saints for a club record transfer fee in the region of £12 million from Serie A side Bologna in the summer of 2012. The arrival of Ramirez was hailed as a terrific signing by most, however, the Uruguayan has struggled ever since. If the first season wasn’t impressive by his standards, the second one has been even worse. Ramirez finds himself warming the benches more often than not and has been contemplating a move away this summer to resurrect his flailing football career with AC Milan thought to be interested.
Ashley Young: The former Villa winger, whose form has been on downward spiral ever since his arrival, has had another poor season for the red devils failing to exert a claim for a permanent place in the side. Moyes has more often turned to youngster Januzaj to provide quality from the wider positions with Young continuing to inspire any promising performance.
Nacer Chadli: The Belgian has been one of the first signings made by Andre Villas-Boas last summer as he joined Spurs for a price around £8 million. Chadli, a regular for his national side, failed to produce the kind of form that was expected of him ever since his arrival. He has been in and out of the side, partly through injuries and also poor form, and sums up the kind of lacklustre season his club has had.
Papiss Cisse: The second Newcastle United player to feature in this list, Papiss Cisse has been suffering from his worst goal drought this season. The Senegalese international has so often been the saviour for the Magpies but has been a shadow of his old self, the one which scored 13 goals in just 14 appearances in the Premier League in his debut season. He has just 2 goals in the season so far from 14 starts.
Roberto Soldado: The Spaniard was hailed as one of the best pieces of business made in the last summer after he pushed through his move from Valencia to White Hart Lane. However, the 28 year old has struggled to find his goal scoring boots in the Spurs colors and has only managed a meager 6 goals this season so far, his worst return for any club since the 2005-06 season at Real Madrid.
Please feel free to share your views about this Worst starting 11 of Premier League from the 2013-14 season. Do you have an even worse option in your mind?