It’s still early days into the 2018/2019 EPL season but we’ve already been able to highlight the players who seem to be struggling the most this season.
Some have made the cut due to being the worst statistically, while others just haven’t justified their huge reputations and price tags.
Goalkeeper – Ben Hamer (Huddersfield Town)
Our first pick falls into the statistically poor category – Hamer has made the most errors leading to a goal.
Unfortunately for him, the sample size is tiny with only 2 games but conceding 9 goals in that time doesn’t make for good reading.
Left-back – Gaetan Bong (Brighton)
With Alberto Moreno no longer a starter for Liverpool, there are a hosts of new candidates for the left-back position. Gaetan Bong has cracked the nod this time based on his lack of defensive solidity and mediocre attacking exploits.
Centre-back - Wes Morgan (Leicester City)
The imposing Morgan was a key cog in Leicester City’s historic title triumph. However, age seems to be catching up with the 34-year-old skipper. A lack of pace and discipline has seen him struggle this season. Thankfully for Leicester, Morgan is partnered with one of the best centre-halves in the EPL in Harry Mcguire.
Centre-back – Denis Odoi (Fulham)
Newly-promoted Fulham have won over numerous admirers for their entertaining attacking approach. However, Odoi is largely responsible for their struggles at the back. Solid enough in 1 on 1 situations but his positioning has been poor.
An indication of Odoi’s struggles is that he was chosen on our list ahead of any of the Manchester United centre-backs.
Right-back – Deandre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
The exciting Yedlin first rose to fame for his blistering runs down the flank for the US national team at the 2014 World Cup.
Sadly, his pace and ability to attack is somewhat wasted due to Rafa Benitez’s defensive requirements. So essentially, he makes the cut due to him not being allowed to show off his attacking instincts and being defensively suspect.
Defensive-midfield – Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)
Matic hasn’t lived up to the reputation built up in his previous seasons in the EPL. A dominant, forceful shield at his best, Matic has struggled to get going this campaign.
The stats back up the theory as well in this case with the Serb making less interceptions and tackles than ever before in the EPL.
Centre-midfield – Jack Wilshere (West Ham)
Another inclusion based on not living up to expectations. Wilshere left the Emirates in search of more playing time but the decision has backfired thus far.
While his former team, Arsenal, are in the midst of a fine run of form, Wilshere experienced a major slump at the Hammers.
They picked up zero points from their first 4, with coach Manuel Pellegini under serious pressure. Since Wilshere’s injury, they’ve steadied the ship by collecting 7 points from their last 4 games. Coincidence? i think not.
Cente-midfield/ number 10 – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Ozil went into the season on a low following Germany’s humiliating early exit at the World Cup.
Constantly on the receiving end of criticism, Ozil also had to contend with a backlash from senior figures in German football. Perhaps the World Cup hangover is to blame for some lack-lustre displays but a reported fall-out with coach Unai emery will not be helping matters.
Wing – Ayoze Perez (Newcastle)
When Perez first emerged for Newcastle, many predicted he would go on to achieve big things. While manager at the Magpies, Alan Pardew, seemed to bring out the best in the youngster.
Sadly, at 25 years of age, it seems he has regressed when he should be entering his prime.
Zero goals in 7 games tells the story.
Wing – Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)
It was a tough call between Sanchez and his team-mate Anthony Martial but in fairness, Martial hasn’t had much of an opportunity to shine this season.
Jose Mourinho has showed immense faith in his January signing but Sanchez is yet to re-pay his mentor.
There are many theories for the rapid decline but the most popular seems to be that he just isn’t the right fit for the club.
Centre-forward – Chris Wood (Burnley)
It was another close call for the striking berth with Chelsea’s, Alvaro Morata, another contender.
However, the Clarets’ target man has his place justified with a dismal showing of zero goals in 8 games.
Worryingly for coach Sean Dyche, is the fact that Wood only averages 1 shot per 77 minutes. Not being far off from 1 shot per game, it’s hard to see where the goals will be coming from.
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