It may be considered the best league in the world for its fast paced football, world class players and passionate fans, but the English Premier League also has the creme de la creme when it comes to footballing nob heads.
Try restrain your anger and hatred as we remind you of the top 10 most hated players currently in the Premiership.
10. Stewart Downing – Liverpool
Undoubtedly a hugely talented player but the hatred for this Liverpool winger is born out of his constant disappointment on the pitch. Labelled as Stewart (no goals, no assists) Downing after last seasons string of poor performances yet he still managed to squeeze into the England squad for the Euro’s. It’s the combination of hefty price tags, manager support and ultimately no results that sees Downing also squeeze into this list.
9. Mario Balotelli – Manchester City
This Italian maverick is the greatest headline maker the Premier League has ever seen. Whether it’s the goals, red cards or unique celebrations, this kid has got it all when it comes to attracting attention and abuse. Often receiving hatred for his petulance on the field and his selfish nature, he’s the embodiment of a player that deserves to come in at No.1 on this list. However its the other side of Mario Balotelli that also makes him a crowd favourite. The magic tricks, fireworks and bib wrestling is why Balotelli is still loved as well as hated.
8. Emmanuel Adebayor – Tottenham Hotspur
In early 2009 Emmanuel Adebayor was a crowd favourite at Arsenal, regularly scoring goals and lighting up the Emirates with his beaming smile. Who would have then thought that just a few years down the line he would become the ‘gooners’ public enemy No.1. Transferring to Man City ahead of the 09/10 season didn’t go down to well at Arsenal but when the two clubs met later that season Adebayor went down in Premier League hatred history. After scoring in the 4-2 victory, he raced from one end of the pitch to the other to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans and was pelted with missiles and abuse. Also in the same game he was alleged to have stamped on the face of Robin Van Persie which added insult to injury to Arsenal fans and confirmed his place on the list of the Premier Leagues most hated players.
7. Lee Cattermole – Sunderland
A traditional no nonsense midfielder that often plays with no common sense as well, Lee Cattermole is a player that revels in the ugly side of the game and is hated for it. The frequent appearance of over-zealous challenges from the Sunderland captain has seen him pick up several red cards and the tag of the dirtiest player in the Premier League. No-one likes a player that seems to deliberately foul others and that is what Cattermole is best at, he easily slips into the top 10.
6. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
A.K.A Fatman, Shrek and Granny-lover, this Man Utd and England star is a player people love to hate. After he burst on the scene as a 16 year old it has been a non stop barrage of negative press for Wayne Rooney as he’s received abuse for his weight, looks, intelligence and his frequent affairs.
It seemed a bit unfair in his early years as Rooney hadn’t really warranted the abuse he encountered, however after his comments during the 2010 World Cup and the contract scuffle with United in October 2010 he has lived up to his hated status and is well placed on this list.
5. Carlos Tevez – Manchester City
Trouble seems to follow this Argentinian around like a bad smell ever since he arrived on these shores. In 2006 he signed for West Ham in a complicated partnership deal with Media Sports Investments which was surrounded in controversy as he helped keep the club in the Premier League despite being illegally registered. Then moving on to Manchester United, his former club were still feeling the effects of Tevez’s impact as they were ordered to pay Sheffield United £26.5million. He spent two years at United before making the controversial move across town to money-bags Man City.
The significance of the transfer and the famous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard raised temperatures in the City and confirmed Tevez as a hated man on one side of the City. However it wasn’t until 2011 that Tevez managed to invite the whole of the footballing family to hate him after he allegedly refused to play for City in a Champions League match and then went AWOL from the club for several months. It’s these past antics and that cheeky innocent grin that makes Carlos Tevez one of the most hated Premier League players.
4. John Terry – Chelsea
Just where do you start with John Terry. Once viewed as the true embodiment of the English bulldog spirit, leading Chelsea to their first Premier League title and becoming England captain soon after. Although it was in early 2010 that John Terry’s world came crashing down as he became the ultimate love cheat after an alleged affair with team-mate Wayne Bridges girlfriend.
This incident saw Terry stripped of the England captaincy and become the villain of English football, surely things couldn’t get any worse. However just a year and a half later, aswell as being labelled a ‘love rat’, Terry was also being accused of racism by QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. The incident happened in a match between Chelsea and QPR and was scheduled for court after Ferdinand pressed charges. For the second time Terry lost the England captaincy as the FA stripped him of it as the trial was pending. He was later found not guilty by the courts but still fined by the FA.
The name John Terry now throws up nothing but negative connotations and undoubted hatred from football fans across the country.
3. Joey Barton – QPR (Marseille)
The original bad boy of the Premier League, that has had 1001 chances to prove his innocence but is yet to do so. A string of incidents in his early years at Manchester City immediately put him in the bad books of football fans and the Police.
The first of Barton’s more serious incidents was in 2004 as he stubbed out a cigar in a Youth Players eye and was fined £60,000. There were more off the field problems for Barton to follow as in 2008 Barton was jailed for four months for assaulting team-mate Ousmane Dabo in training a year earlier. Along with his off the field incidents Barton has also angered fans with some of his actions on the pitch. Several red cards over his career and incidents such as punching Morten Gamst Pedersen and last seasons final game meltdown for QPR have confirmed he is as hated for his actions off and also on the pitch.
2. Ashley Cole – Chelsea
One of, if not, the greatest left back in the world with 98 England caps to his name and a host of major honours, however Ashley Cole is a prime example of how to be a hated footballer. His playboy lifestyle hasn’t endeared himself to the fans and neither has his attitude on the football field. The constant foul-mouthed barking at officials during games is disrespectful and it really angers the fans. Not only is Cole a poor role model on the pitch, he has had his own share of scandals off the pitch as well. In 2011, Cole fired an air rifle at a 21 year old student on work experience at the Chelsea training ground.
He also earned a new barrage of hatred after his much publicised split with wife and sweetheart of the nation Cheryl Cole after alleged affairs. It’s the relentless disrespect from Ashley Cole that sees him attract a lot of hatred and finish second in this list.
1. Luis Suarez
He’s the epitome of everything that is wrong in modern football and after spending less than two years in England he has already made it to the top of the list of the Premier Leagues most hated players. Not much was known of Luis Suarez before the 2010 World Cup, but after the impressive performances of Uruguay in South Africa, Suarez soon hit the headlines. In the Quarter final match with Africa’s last hope and the neutrals favourite Ghana, Luis Suarez denied a late winner for Ghana with a deliberate handball on the line. Suarez was sent off and Ghana were awarded a penalty to win the game, however Asamoah Gyan missed the spot kick and they were eventually knocked out. The whole world now had daggers for Luis Suarez after his unsportsmanlike actions and his ecstatic reaction to the penalty being missed. He became the villain of the World Cup and would soon become the villain of English football aswell. After signing for Liverpool in January 2011, the following season Suarez was involved in a very ugly race row with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
The saga dragged on and Suarez’s reputation was at an all time low as he took the punishment badly, he was handed an eight match ban and then when reunited with Evra he refused to shake his hand before a match. This whole incident showed Suarez’s petty nature and confirmed him as a target for fans to attack. Luis Suarez is a very talented footballer but he is also rightly named as the Premier Leagues most hated player.
His unsportsman-like actions and incidents involving racism adds up to a player that only loyal supporters can tolerate.