Here are my ten most in and out of form players from the game and a few throwbacks from memory lane to get you reminiscing, enjoy.
At one time the Egyptian cost 12million Euro’s when he left Ajax after allegedly throwing scissors at a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic and played for Marseille, Roma, Tottenham and Celta Vigo amongst many others. He was a player that was brilliant in the 2001/02 edition of Championship Manager but those days didn’t last.
His career will be remembered for a tame penalty at West Ham when he was being paid £1,000 a week and joining boyhood club Zamalek only to find out they forgot to register him and he sat out the remainder of the season. He signed for Yorkshire club Barnsley in the summer but is yet to make his debut.
- Stewart Downing:
The 2011 Aston Villa player of the year winner and 2008, 2005 Middlesbrough player of the year winner Stewart Downing is still yet to register a single league goal or assist for his current club Liverpool after 39 appearances. You have to feel for the lad who was one of many left footed players tipped to be the ‘English Ryan Giggs’ and come to his countries rescue along with Adam Johnson, Joe Cole and many others whose names I don’t want to remember.
Many see Downing as a failure but he has had some good times on a football pitch just never for Liverpool or England. With Brendan Rodgers now playing him at left back I doubt things will be getting better any time soon.
The Nani debate has been going on for some time now and lets hope that this season is the season it ends. Even with his moments of sporadic genius he can still go games without even being noticed. Since joining Manchester United for £17.3million, that’s more than Barcelona paid for Henry, there have been moments when the United fans didn’t think the over the top goal celebrations would stop but since Ronaldo’s departure everyone in the red half of Manchester has been waiting for Nani to step up.
His tame penalty in the Champions League on Wednesday sums up Nani for me and with Fergie losing his patience we may be waving goodbye to Portugal’s definition of inconsistency.
- Adel Taarabt:
The Moroccan was spoken of in high regard by Harry Redknapp during his Tottenham days but lost patience and sold him to QPR for a million quid. It seemed to a wonderful bit of business by Neil Warnock as the midfield maestro scored 19 goals and made 23 assists becoming generally regarded as the catalyst of the squads attacking force. Everything was set for him to light up the Premiership but he has managed only 2 goals and 5 assists since the start of last season.
With this in mind you may think that Sparky might be looking to move him on but now they have recently offered him a 5 year contract. Let’s hope he can find some of the form that helped him light up the Championship.
- Edin Dzeko:
The man that cost Roberto Mancini £27million started his career slowly. It wasn’t till the start of last season that he won the City faithful over scoring 10 goals in his opening 11 games but then scored only 4 times between then and the end of the season.
His touch has been described as like a drunk donkey by some Manchester City fans and he nearly ruined the one on one against Real Madrid on Tuesday evening. With a goal every other game for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga it seems that Dzeko does have it in his locker but with the big ego’ surrounding City he is unable to get a rhythm going.
- Mario Balotelli:
Some love him. Some hate him. After Euro 2012 most Italians, that aren’t pathetic racists, love him thanks to a wonderful display against Germany and that celebration. For Manchester City though he has a tendency of letting his emotions get the better of him and can allow a team to get the better of him by playing dirty. To be fair to the Ghana born Italian he has managed to curb his emotional ways since he originally joined Manchester City but the fact that Roberto Mancini has recently had to tell Mario that smoking and partying all the time isn’t good for fitness shows that work still needs to be done.
He showed the world what he is capable of in Euro 2012 so for the sake of football let’s hope it wasn’t a one off.
Currently on loan at Marseille the footballer/twitter addict/ex-convict has had a memorable career so far. A career that has been marred by controversy, that I doubt I need to repeat, is sometimes forgotten as being a good footballer. In his Manchester City days under Stuart Pearce he was the best player on the pitch most games and during his time at Newcastle began to find some of that missing form.
In Newcastle’s first season back in the Premiership Barton chipped in with 5 goals and 9 assists but Joey couldn’t keep his mouth shut. After slagging off the owners to the public he was let go to QPR were following a below par season and some appalling conduct on the last day of the season, he eventually moved to France on loan.
Some would call the Togolese forward a bit of an enigma. Some others would say that he only plays when he wants prove his worth to someone, whether it’s Arsenal fans or the manager. Without proper motivation he can become invisible at times.
It was the 07/08 season that he really kicked into form for Arsenal scoring 30 goals in all competitions but once a new contract had been signed his performances dipped and the goals started drying up. After a move to City that lead to that celebration in front of the Arsenal fans, prior to which he had been in outstanding form for City, his form again disappeared.
After a great season on loan at Spurs a permanent deal has been confirmed under new boss AVB. Whether his form will dry up again is up to Adebayor.
He was the darling of Liverpool during his early days and looked to be taking the baton from moustache supremo Ian Rush but after Liverpool Fowler never really replicated the form that kept him close to Anfield hearts.
During his time at Liverpool he managed 134 goals in a glittering career but after an acrimonious departure to Leeds in which he managed 14 goals in 30 games he then left for Manchester City where his form dried up. With a short but sweet return to Liverpool aside Fowler flirted with the A-League down under but drifted from club to club never becoming the world beating striker that everyone in Mersey thought was inevitable.
During Euro 2008 Russia and there now captain Arshavin stole our hearts. His pace, shooting accuracy and passing range made him a target for Barcelona at one point so when Arsenal bagged him it seemed like they had pulled off a massive coup. Indeed the 4 goals he scored against Liverpool at Anfield in a dramatic 4-4 draw still remains one of the best individual performances of the Premier League. That was all a distant memory for Arsenal fans, last season Arshavin managed a solitary goal in the league and that was thanks to Michelle Vorm clattering the ball of the Russians body and watching it bobble into an empty net.
It is a mystery the former world beater has now become second string to Gervinho, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski but during a loan spell at his home team Zenit St Petersburg there were glimpses of the old Arshavin. Perhaps we will see him again perhaps we won’t.