Friday 20 October 2017

Shane Long features on list of worst Premier League players of the season after tough campaign

Shane Long.
Shane Long.

The end of the season is a time for celebration. A time to hand out the glittering Premier League trophy, to dish out the respective player of the year gongs, and for John Terry to impertinently hold up a professional match so that he can receive a few pats on the back. Go on, John!

But it is also a time for reflection. And as the players who have excelled should be celebrated, those who have underperformed and underwhelmed must be castigated in equal measure.

Naturally, many players turning out for clubs struggling at the foot of the table have played poorly. And with Premier League spending topping £1bn in the summer transfer window along in 2016, it was inevitable that a number of big-money signings were going to flop, too.

And yet, which Premier League players were the very worst this season? Who made Ricky van Wolfswinkel look like Ruud van Nistlerooy, and Bosko Balaban like David Beckham? Here we reveal the five worst top-flight players in each position.

But wait! Rather than compile a subjective list, we have analysed data from the football database WhoScored, who use a complex algorithm that feeds in multiple data points to spit out an individual player rating for every performance. From this we filtered out the lowest scorers in the league. Every player that had featured in more than 500 minutes of the Premier League this season was eligible for a spot on the list of shame.

And mother statistics does not care for petty allegiances or personal preferences. Only cool, hard data. So no complaining with the outcomes, please.

Goalkeepers

5. Fraser Forster (Southampton)

Forster has the lowest rating of any goalkeeper to have played the brunt of his team's matches. Made an average of 1.0 saves from shots taken within the penalty area per match, winding up with a middling season rating of 6.38.

 4. Claudio Bravo (Manchester City)

He may be good with his feet, but he also happens to be pretty abject with his hands. Made an average of just 1.5 saves per match, including just 0.6 saves from shots taken within the penalty area. Which is pants.

3. Loris Karius (Liverpool)

Desperately poor performances against Watford and West Brom drag the young German's overall season rating down to a middling 6.34.

2. Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace)

So bad that he lost his place in the team to Wayne Hennessey. Started the season in nets for Palace, but conceded 17 goals in 9 matches and averaged a lowly 2.7 saves per match.

1. Ron-Robert Zieler (Leicester City)

The German featured in nine games in the absence of Kasper Schmeichel and struggled. He conceded 16 goals and averaged a total of just 2.3 saves a match.

Defenders

5. Javier Manquillo (Sunderland)

It's no shock that a Sunderland defender features on this list, although perhaps a little surprising that it's Manquillo, who arrived at the Stadium of Light amid much excitement. But the stats don't lie. He ends up with a rating of 6.51.

4. Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace)

Palace's dismal defence in the closing weeks of the season sees Kelly dragged onto this list of shame. He finishes the season with a rating of 6.49.

3. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham)

How the mighty have fallen. Made his England debut in November. But has struggled desperately since then. Averages just 0.8 successful tackles per match.

2. James Tarkowski (Burnley)

A little harsh considering it's his first season in the Premier League, but cold, hard statistics have little time for sentiment. Made a large number of fouls; winds up with a rating of 6.39.

1. Juan Zuniga (Watford)

The worst defender in the league this season. Averaged less than a tackle per game and even less dribbles (0.4) from his full-back role for a measly overall rating of 6.38.

Midfielders

5. Wayne Routledge (Swansea City)

Not the 32-year-old's best season. He has chipped in with two goals, but his profligacy when in possession (his pass success percentage stands at just 64.8% for the season) contributes to his low overall rating of 6.40.

4. Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City)

Swansea's 2014/15 player of the year has had another disappointing season. Key to his poor overall rating of 6.36 is his lack of positive influence on games. Failed to score and averages just 0.5 key passes per game and 0.3 successful dribbles.

3. Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth)

Has largely flopped since leaving Liverpool for Bournemouth. Takes an average of 1.6 'bad touches' (which lead to lost possession) per game. Has not registered a single goal or assist.

2. Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland)

Responsible for the odd fleeting moment of brilliance, but desperately inconsistent. Has scored just once and is dispossessed more than once per game. Has a season rating of 6.29.

1. Edimilson Fernandes (West Ham)

Only 21 and he has been played out of position for much of the season. But statistics do not care for such trivialities. Averages just 0.4 dribbles and 0.2 key passes per game from his 28 appearances. 6.26.

Forwards

5. Shane Long (Southampton)

Had a poor season in front of goal, scoring just three times in 29 appearances, and also suffered from a low pass success rate (69.9%). Finished the season with a rating of 6.40.

4. Isaac Success (Watford)

Success by name, sub-par by nature. Has scored just once in the league this season, while he averages less than 7 passes per match from his 17 appearances.

3. Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Improved a little towards the end of the season, but a goal return of 2 in 24 for a £17m signing just isn't good enough. Averaged a frankly pathetic 0.2 dribbles per game. 6.34.

2. Ahmed Musa (Leicester City)

Another expensive summer signing who flopped. Made a high number of unskilled touches (1.1) and a low number of successful dribbles (0.7) and key passes (0.3). Only scored twice. Finished the season with a rating of 6.32.

1. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom)

Statistically speaking, the West Brom hitman has the dubious distinction of being the Premier League's worst player this season. Scored three times in 29 appearances. And offered little with his back to goal; getting dispossessed almost once per match and making 0.2 key passes per match. His overakk rating of 6.24 is the lowest in the Premier League this year.

(© Independent News Service)

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