The Premier League might boast some of the best players in world football, but it also plays host to its fair share of terrible mistakes each season.No matter how much money is invested in coaching, nutrition, training, tactical analysis and more, you can never account for players making individual errors under pressure.
Unforced errors Iike goalkeeper fumbling ball into it’s own net, a defenders bizzare defending or strikers missing out likely goals from close yards still happens.And although no player is completely immune to mistakes, there can be no denying that some are more guilty than others of dropping clangers from time to time.
So, in celebration of the lighter side of the game, HITC Sport decided to look at all 20 Premier League clubs’ most mistake-prone player on their YouTube channel this week.Brought to you courtesy of The Irish Guy,here is our breakdown of 20 selections.
Arsenal – Shkodran Mustafi
There’s a lot of competition for this slot, but Mustafi gets the nod after countless defensive errors that really make you wonder why Arsenal paid £30 million for his services.Mustafi’s marking in particular has been absolutely woeful, failing to adhere to some of the basics.
In my opinion, David Luiz is marginally more worthy with his penchant for conceding penalties and racking up red cards, while Granit Xhaka is also in with a shout for his erratic playing style.
Aston Villa – Pepe Reina
This seems a little harsh, but there can be no doubting that on The Irish Guy’s logic of ‘if in doubt, blame the goalkeeper’ that Reina’s worst mistakes come back to bite him.When things go wrong for Reina, they go monumentally wrong. The example of the beachball goal at Sunderland and his clanger against Everton in 2006 are enough to proove the point
Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke
Sorry, Dominic, but you seem allergic to goals. It wasn’t until his 31st game that the £19 million striker broke his duck for the Cherries and it was merely against lower-league Luton Town.Save a handful of strikes out in the Netherlands, the mistake-prone striker only has one more professional goal to his name and that came from nearly 30 appearances for Liverpool.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Shane Duffy
I’m unconvinced. I feel there’s some bitterness from The Irish Guy going on here when you consider he immediately referenced Duffy’s red card during the Euro 2016 defeat to France.And while, yes, Duffy was poor during Brighton’s 5-0 home defeat to Bournemouth last season, I defy anybody to tell me he isn’t one of the Seagulls’ best players while keeping a straight face
Burnley – Joe Hart
Spot on. Hart was always guilty of the odd mistake at Manchester City, but he also happened to be one of the world’s best goalkeepers at the time.The then England number one was absolutely woeful at Euro 2016; made a series of mistakes on loan at Torino; was a walking liability at West Ham and it hasn’t changed at Turf Moor also.
Chelsea – Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa actually enjoyed a solid first season at Stamford Bridge, but his record of 16% of shots faced conceded in the Premier League during 2019-20 is the worst since statistics were first tracked.Combine that with the fact he’s one of the least reliable ‘keepers in Europe as well as being capable of losing his head – his 2019 League Cup Final antics solidify his case.
Crystal Palace – Christian Benteke
Benteke burst on to the scene in south London with 17 goals, but you’d be mistaken for thinking he’s forgotten how to play football since and his scoring record is now the stuff of nightmares.The Belgian followed up his debut season with just three goals in 30 games; dipped even further to just one strike from his last 35 fixtures. Woeful.
Everton – Michael Keane
There’s no denying that Keane is prone to dropping the odd clanger on Merseyside – who isn’t – but it seems a little harsh to select the England international as Everton’s most mistake-prone player.I would instead plump for Moise Kean who, despite recently breaking his duck, has looked a shadow of his former self since leaving Juventus.
Leicester City – Jonny Evans
To be fair to The Irish Guy, he admitted that Leicester was the hardest pick of the 20 and that Evans has reinvented himself as a top-class defender at the King Power Stadium.Nevertheless, referencing his red card in Manchester United’s 6-1 loss to Manchester City in 2011 – as well as a disasterclass in a 4-0 thrashing at West Ham – is still something of a reach.
Liverpool – Dejan Lovren
Duh. Just last week, Lovren was showing his frailties during the 2-2 draw with League One Shrewsbury Town, even if his trophy cabinet proves he can be world-class on the odd occasion.However, we can’t look past his meltdown in the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham in 2017, which arguably triggered Virgil van Dijk’s arrival.
Manchester City – John Stones
Stones’ ball-playing style of football owes itself to clangers and seldom have they come more often than in England’s 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands at this summer’s UEFA Nations League.That being said, the Englishman’s reputation often precedes him and zero ‘errors leading to goals’ in the Premier League over the last three seasons makes this selection look a tad ham-fisted.
And personally, I think Nicolas Otamendi actually owes himself to more mistakes for the Citizens and seems to have dropped his levels of performance just as Stones has been slowly raising his.
Manchester United – Phil Jones
It’s almost sad that whenever Jones steps on to the pitch, an error seems to unfold immediately and his gangly playing style comes hand-in-hand with calamity.Jones has racked up as many mistakes for United as he has hilarious faces, flailing all over the place away to Sheffield United and scoring dire own goals against Tottenham and Valencia.
Newcastle United – Jonjo Shelvey
Claiming that Shelvey ‘misses his fair share of penalties’ seems a little bizarre when he’s converted 4/4 efforts in regulation time but, yes, failing to score in the Leicester shootout was certainly poor.And he’s definitely worth of his place as the Newcastle choice considering his tendency to lose his temper, racking up four Premier League red cards and publicly admitting he should be dropped.
Norwich City – Grant Hanley
This doesn’t seem wrong, but it doesn’t seem bang on the money either. Besides, you could argue that the whole Norwich squad – minus Teemu Pukki – should reside here. In the words of The Irish Guy: “I’m convinced if you were to play back a career compilation of this man’s finest moments, it would simply be six minutes of own goals, dreadful back-passes and just overall terrible defending.”
Sheffield United – Jack Rodwell
Less mistake-prone and more unlucky. Rodwell’s career has come hurtling off the rails after moving to the Etihad Stadium and no less than when he went 40 games at Sunderland without a victory.Now, it seems unlikely that he will turn things around at Bramall Lane in a squad which has epitomised the word ‘solid’ this season, hence why nobody else came close to this slot.
Southampton – Angus Gunn
The narrative of Gunn’s season has been painful to watch, because there’s a talented goalkeeper in there, but Ralph Hasenhuttl hasn’t looked back since dropping him after the 9-0 Leicester defeat.Since then, the leaky shot-stopper has been replaced by Alex McCarthy and the fact Southampton have turned their entire season around makes it unlikely that Gunn will return to the spot.
Tottenham Hotspur – Juan Foyth
Conceding two penalties during your first game for Tottenham is not exactly impressive, although definitely cause to make this list, and reason enough for the Irish Guy to brand him ‘cow fudge’.It’s no wonder that his game-time has halved this season and the fact Jose Mourinho hasn’t called upon him at all during 2020 should tell his worth.
Watford – Ben Foster
Get out of town. Ok sure, Foster dropped an absolute clanger for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winner at Vicarage Road last season, but he’s been Watford’s best player ever since he returned.His masterclass against Aston Villa was just one example of his brilliance in 2019/20 and I’m not buying him conceding a goal to Paul Robinson 13 years ago as a valid reason for selection.
West Ham United – Roberto Jimenez
From an incorrect ‘keeper selection to a completely justified one. Our only complaint is that Roberto has actually been moved on to Alaves this month, albeit on loan until the end of the season.However, there seems little chance of Roberto ever playing for the Hammers again when you consider his disaster class against Tottenham and absolute howler away to Burnley.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Jonny
If you’re a little nonplussed by this decision, then you aren’t alone, but The Irish Guy was the first person to admit he doesn’t really know who to choose in this impressive Wolves side.Nevertheless, it’s Jonny who joins the catwalk of clanger connoisseurs.
On the whole, The Irish Guy has got his selections spot on and it’s tough to argue with the likes of Kepa, Jones, Lovren and Roberto being named and shamed.However, I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive him for dishing the dirt on Foster after all he’s done for Watford and that’s not to mention failing to pick the most mistake-prone ‘Kean/e’ at Everton.But if there’s one lesson we can take from this, let it be the fact Arsenal are so clumsy defensively that David Luiz looks like a proper defender.