Hailed as a “God” by Jamie Carragher prior to the start of the 2010/2011 Premier League season, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for feeling somewhat deflated after watching summer signing Joe Cole fail to live up to his billing.
Although justifying such a label would have been a big ask for any player, let alone one who hadn’t enjoyed too much playing time for his previous club in the months leading up to his move, Cole’s failure to deliver on Merseyside has been fairly spectacular.
Cole has stolen the limelight and dominated the column inches in terms of Premier League flops to date this season, but there are others who have failed to shine after joining a new club over the summer.
Many people may point to Manchester United’s Bebe, but after his recent performance in the Carling Cup, that argument doesn’t quite seem as pertinent. Stephen Ireland, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. A player whose talent was wasted at Manchester City when an influx of big names arrived at the cash-rich club, Ireland was snapped up by Aston Villa when James Milner headed in the opposite direction.
Villa fans on the whole regarded his arrival as a step in the right direction for the club as they sought to move on from the departure of Martin O’Neill. However, Ireland has so far struggled to fit in at the club. It has been suggested his confidence was shot to pieces when he was left warming the bench at City, but that’s a little hard to believe for a man who owns a pool table bearing a logo of his own name. The Aston Villa betting still suggests they’re in with a chance of making fourth, but they will need Ireland to chip in if they are to realise their ambition.
It would be unfair to leave established players at Premier League clubs off this naming and shaming list, so Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres also have to be mentioned. There would have been a fair few football bets placed on the pair finishing top scorer, a task that now looks well beyond them.
However, let’s try to end on a positive note and celebrate the achievements of newcomers to the Premier League, with Rafael van der Vaart and Marouane Chamakh impressing at Spurs and Arsenal respectively after just a short time in England.