Premier League Outcast XI: Best Footballers On The Bench
What would be the best team you could name out of all the Premier League players who can’t get a regular game for their club side? Lining up with a vintage 4-4-2 formation, here is my selection. I’d be interested to hear yours.
Goalkeeper – Shay Given (Manchester City)
When he arrived from Newcastle, Given was meant to be the long term solution to City’s goalkeeping problems. What he didn’t count on was the emergence of Joe Hart as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers when out on loan at Birmingham City. Since Hart returned to Eastlands, Given has made just two appearances.
Right Back – Verdan Corluka (Tottenham Hotspur)
In my opinion, Corluka is one of the best full-backs in the league. He has been virtually ever present for Spurs since arriving from Manchester City in 2008, but has recently lost his place to Alan Hutton and hasn’t featured in the Premier League since September.
Centre Back – Jonny Evans (Manchester United)
A player that probably plays more than most in this side, but if other are fit will not feature. Evans has been a regular deputy for England captain Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the United defence, but with Ferdinand enjoying a good run of late, Evans has not started a game since September. On his day though, Evans would make it in to most Premier League sides.
Centre Back – Joleon Lescott- (Manchester City)
Lescott arrived at Eastlands with a massive price tag, but has never really been able to live up to expectations. This season he has struggled to hold down a regular place in the City side, and hasn’t featured in the Premier League since mid October.
Left Back – Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)
One of Arsenal’s next generation of young stars. At just 21 Gibbs already back-up for Ashley Cole for England, but has found it difficult to displace Gael Clichy in the Arsenal defence.
Right Wing – Shaun Wright Phillips (Manchester City)
One of the most likeable players in the Premier League, SWP found himself out of favour at Chelsea and moved back home to City in a bid to find regular first team football. But as City splashed the cash on big name signings, Wright Phillips once again found himself warming a bench.
Holding Midfielder – Patrick Vieira (Manchester City)
The towering Frenchman might be ageing now but he could still do a job for most Premier League sides. He has made just one start in the Premier League this season for City.
Attacking Midfielder – Tomáš Rosický (Arsenal)
Rosický’s Arsenal career has been plagued by injury but he has often shown us that when fit he is a player of immense talent. This season has season Rosický make just three Premier League starts for the Gunners.
Left Wing – Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
Another one of England’s up-and-coming starlets Johnson has fallen out of favour with City manager Roberto Mancini, who despite Johnson’s obvious contributions to the side opts against picking the former Middlesbrough man.
Striker – Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City)
During his time at Arsenal, Adebayor was one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League. He signed for City in the summer of 2009, but is another that has fell out of favour under Mancini. Adebayor has made just a handful of appearances in the league this term.
Striker – Robbie Keane (Tottenham Hotspur)
It’s all gone wrong for Keane since his big money move to Liverpool. Since returning to Tottenham he has found it difficult to get a regular start and moved on loan to Celtic for the second half of last season. It seems as if Keane will be on his way out of White Hart Lane sooner rather than later.
Do you agree or disagree with any of the picks above? If you disagree, which players would you swap out and why?