With the season drawing to a close now awards have been handed out for player of the season etc. It is worth considering the players who have been all but disappointing this year.
5. Deco (Barcelona – Chelsea, £8m).
The ageing flair midfielder heralded by many as the man to ‘complete’ the Chelsea midfield got off to a flyer under Scolari, providing some quality in the opening day demolition of a Portsmouth side depleted over the summer. However since the departure of Big Phil he has found it difficult to get a place in the starting XI. This may possibly be a case of taking a season to adjust to the English style but it remains to be seen where he will figure in the plans of the next Chelsea manager.
4. Jo (CSKA Moscow – Manchester City, £19m).
An almost extortionate price tag for a player who played very few games in sky blue despite a decent showing at the Olympics. Has had far more success since going on loan to Everton however David Moyes has made it clear that the Toffees cannot afford to meet the valuation of the player. The Brazilian is likely to have an uncertain few months ahead of him, though the same might be said of the whole Manchester establishment.
3. David Bentley (Blackburn – Tottenham, £15m).
Seen as an unnecessary addition by many Spurs fans and has not lived up to the hype that followed his arrival to White Hart Lane, nor his price tag (Blackburn I’m sure are very pleased though). Other than a few decent crosses and a flailing but well weighted shot against Arsenal he has been very quiet in any games he has played in. Another player who faces a somewhat uncertain future under a manager who did not buy him.
2. Robbie Keane (Tottenham – Liverpool – Tottenham, £TILT).
Almost certainly the worst piece of footballing business since anybody set eyes on either Jordan Stewart or Stephen Bywater. Coveted for so long by Rafa Benitez to do nothing but play out of position in a system to which he did not fit. Perhaps the Liverpool boss is missing a few pages from his FA Formations coaching manual. His insistence to play 4-2-3-1 has meant Keane spent much of his time at Liverpool being utterly frustrated and frustrating the Kop faithful. Seems to be happier back at Spurs and probably won’t find himself stranded on the left wing too often.
1. Jimmy Bullard (Fulham – Hull, £5m).
After an injury-free first half to the season, Jimmy ‘My knee is a complete and utter liability and Bupa are having none of it’ Bullard decided that he wasn’t happy with having “only” 18 months on his contract and wanted more more more from a Fulham side who are living within their means. It is very likely that Roy Hodgson is breathing an enormous sigh of relief after flogging the whinging midfielder to Hull for their club record in the £5m region and Jimmy injured himself after just 30 minutes playing time. Without a doubt the worst value for money this season.