The 50 Worst Footballers Ever to Play in England’s Top DivisionBy: Daryl | July 8th, 2007
A couple of weeks ago Times Online brought us the world’s top 50 footballers. The usual suspects – Kaka, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo – were in there, but journalist Garbrielle Marcotti also threw in a few surprises, like Gary Neville creeping in at number 50 for example.
The list proved so popular that Times Online are back with another, less complimentary, top 50. The 50 worst footballers ever to have played in England’s top division.
As entertaining as the list itself are the justifications for certain players inclusion. Such as Carlton Palmer, who comes in at number 40. “He covers every blade of grass out there,” said his Southampton manager Dave Jones. “But that’s only because his first touch is so crap.” Or number 9 Ian Ormondroyd, who Times Online describe as “nature’s prototype for Peter Crouch.”
The list is more than a little harsh and several players on there can feel very hard done by. I remember Ormondroyd being a decent enough winger for example, certainly not the 9th worst player ever to play in the top flight. But the top two (or is that bottom two?) are indisputable.
Number 2 Tomas Brolin arrived at leads for a hefty £4.5million in 1995, but the Swede was drastically, disastrously out of shape and overweight and never got round to working it off. Good as he was in his day (Euro ‘92) his time in the Premiership was horrific. And heavy. We’re not talking Ronaldo at Madrid carrying maybe a few extra pounds. We’re talking big fat cheeks.
Number 1 is the stuff of legend, and a testament to just how far lying can get you in life. In 1996 Ali Dia told Southampton boss Graeme Souness that he was George Weah’s cousin, that he had 12 caps for Senegal and that he’d played for Paris St. Germain. None of these things were true, but Souness gave the cheeky fella 52 minutes of Premiership action before realising he’d been duped. So Dia may be the worst footballer ever to play in England’s top flight, but he’s also the best liar.