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The Spoiler’s Average XI

Because not everyone can be the star of the show

Jeremie Aliadiere

For every Premiership star, there is a gaggle of decidedly average teammates skulking about in his shadows. These players are neither outstanding nor terrible, they are simply hard workers with a tendency to go about their job with little fuss – probably because they don’t want to draw attention to their lack of class.

The Spoiler has lovingly compiled a starting  in tribute to these headline-dodging work horses, and no, it’s not just the Middlesbrough team…

GK: Kasper Schmeichel
City’s number two shot stopper isn’t a bad keeper, but he’s no class act – it probably doesn’t help that his dad was one of the best shot stoppers the Premier League has ever seen. It’s almost tragic at how much worse he is than Schmeichel senior but at ;east he is a better use of genetic material than George Best’s profesional moron son Calum.

RB: Phil Neville
The crappier Neville brother has represented England 59 times, and is Everton’s current captain. Yet he’s never been that good at anything other than tackling.

CB: Steven Taylor
The Newcastle defender has the odd impressive performance, but if he could sustain it, maybe Shay ‘I-have-to-face-way-too-many-shots-a-match’ Given would want to stay.

CB: Anton Ferdinand
They share the same parents, play at centre back, think dodgy braids are equally cool and started their careers at West Ham. But on the pitch, Anton is inferior to brother Rio in every way.

LB: John O’Shea
Manchester United’s jack of all trades, master of none has played up front, all across the back line, in goal, and in midfield for the Champions, but has never been able to make any position his own.

RM: Jermaine Jenas
JJ gets quite a lot of stick from Spurs fans, but he’s far from the worst player they’ve have seen over the years. Or even this year. He grabs a few goals and his tally of 18 for Spurs is quite a decent haul, but not that decent for a ‘goal-scoring midfielder’.

CM: Lucas Leiva
Lucas might have age on his side, but when we heard Liverpool had signed Brazil’s under-20 captain we were expecting a lot more.

CM: Alan Smith
When fit, Newcastle’s striker-turned-midfielder gives his all every week and that is the only thing that keeps the Magpies fans off his back. He is yet to score a goal for his side and as a forward with no substantial height, pace or natural goal scoring instinct, it’s probably a saving grace that he can turn in a competent performance in midfield.

LM: Kevin Kilbane
He might grab the odd assist here and there but as the third highest appearance maker for Ireland, one might be fooled into thinking he was actually a quality player. He is, in fact, as average as they come.

CF: Jeremie Aliadiere
Seven goals in over 50 starts is a pretty poor record for Boro’s number 10. One may assume he was is plain useless without witnessing one of his performances against old side Arsenal.

CF: Salomon Kalou
Before moving to England Kalou was highly praised by sources in Holland. He grabs the odd goal and assist but is not a Big Four player and probably can’t believe his luck that Scolari hasn’t realised this yet. More surprising than his 78 games for the Blues was news that Arsene Wenger was interested in bringing him to the Emirates in the summer.

[Research: Danny Harris]

Have we been too harsh? Missed anyone out? Let us know below…

3 responses so far
  • jen // January 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Taylor’s a class act who scored a penalty for England U21s with a broken leg. It’s laughable to put him next to Anton Ferdinand. Kilbane’s also a bit harsh.

  • Upminster Iron // January 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Taylor looked really promising at first but I think he’s been infected with the disease that eventually destroys every Newcastle defender. He saved us on Saturday with that ridiculous shove on Collins – he really didn’t need to and if he hadn’t they might have won.

  • Ali // January 14, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Taylor is beyond average. He is a poor player. He makes so many errors, but as a hard working, tough tackling, heart on his sleeve, young english defender, he receives very little criticism.

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