The 5 Biggest Wastes of Money in the Premier League
5. Stewart Downing - Liverpool
The mind boggles when you think that Liverpool spent £20 million on Stewart Downing. £20 million!! Randy Lerner may not be much loved by Villa fans, but even they must think he's a genius for managing to negotiate that fee (Newcastle's Mike Ashley may beg to differ, but we'll come to that later).
Apparently this video is what convinced John Henry and Tom Werner to investigate such a ludicrous amount in such an average player. According to the Liverpool Echo, Werner recently recalled: "There was some footage of Stewart where he is, from 30 yards away, kicking a football into five different trash cans and it’s brilliant. John and I said: ‘Oh my god, this player is brilliant, we’ve got to figure out a way to make a deal with him'....They later discovered that the footage had been doctored, something which anyone who has ever seen Downing play could tell you before even seeing the video.
Downing's stats in trhe Premier League since joining Liverpool: 24 games, 0 goals, 0 assists. Hardly a "Moneyball" signing. In fact Downing has had more column inches for his arrest on suspicion of assaulting his ex-girlfriend (he was subsequently cleared) than for his performances on the pitch.
Apparently Downing is a DJ in his spare time. ''I play funky house. My mates help out and DJs I know send me stuff which is helpful. I would love to do it more". Liverpool (and England fans) like me hope that he soon does.
4. David Luiz - Chelsea
If £20 million buys you a winger who can't cross, it's only logical I guess that £21 million buys you a defender who can't defend.
Massively hyped before his arrival, Luiz's first few performances for Chelsea were actually quite good. His volleyed goal against Manchester United in March 2011, was the catalyst for a Blues revival which saw them come from behind to win 2-1. However in the return fixture at Old Trafford, Carlo Ancelotti substituted him at half-time for "tactical reasons" - aka letting Chicarito run through unmarked to score the Red Devils' first in the second minute.
His form this season has failed to improve, even under new boss Andre Villas Boas. He has frequently been caught out of position (most recently on Javier Hernandez's equalising goal druing the thrilling 3-3 draw between United and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge), and come in for heavy criticism from fans and pundits alike. To quote Gary Neville Luiz plays as if "controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd on a Playstation."
3. Carlos Tevez - Manchester City
Now here is the thing. When Carlos Tevez plays, he's actually pretty good. He was City's outstanding player last season and his goal were the major reason why Manchester City finished third and qualified for the Champions League.
This season however, things have changed. Tevez wanted to leave City during the summer, but a combination of his astronomical wage demands, City's valuation and a reputation for being "temperamental" meant that he stayed. In the meantime Roberto Mancini had signed Sergio Aguero as his replacement, resulting in Tevez becoming a peripheral figure for the Sky Blues. It all culminated in the infamous Munichgate incident, since when Tevez has been holidaying in Buenos Aires, spending more time on the golf course that on a pitch. His "holiday" has cost him around £10million in fines. The January transfer window came and went and Tevez remained a City player. He flew back into Manchester yesterday hoping to rebuild his City career. He got off to a great start with his comment that Mancini had treated him, "like a dog"...
2. Andy Carroll - Liverpool
Another "moneyball" masterpiece. How can it be that Andy Carroll is worth £35 million?? And bear in mind that I am a Liverpool fan! To put things into context - Sergio Aguero was bought for £38 million, Luis Suarez (say what you want about the man but he is still a great player) cost £21 million. "Moneyball" is meant to be about buying players who are undervalued by the competition after having conducted rigorous statistical analysis to unearth those "hidden gems".
Carroll has been so underwhelming that Kenny Dalglish even was forced to deny rumours that Liverpool had tried to offload him in the January transfer window to both Manchester City and Newcastle United. Carrolls stats for the Reds so far: 37 games, 7 goals...not exactly prolific.
1. Fernando Torres - Chelsea
Has there ever been a bigger fall from grace? As a Red Torres was untouchable, often hailed as the best forward in the world. His demise can probably be traced back to when Rafa Benitez left Liverpool. Torres was a peripheral figure as Spain won the World Cup in 2010. At the time it was put down to the fact that he was recovering from injury. Under Roy Hodgson, Torres seemed unmotivated and uninterested, or so it seemed at the time. Perhaps he was already just rubbish.
The only reason Liverpool fans can forgive John Henry for spending a combined £55 million on Carroll and Downing is that they managed to get £50 million for Torres.
This video sums up Torres' Chlsea career.