After the enormous success of my previous blog, (an actual player from Gent in Belgium liked it) I decided to flip the coin and consider the players who never hit the high notes on the international stage.
Trawling through the history books (wiki) I saw many one cap wonders. Even a gentleman by the name of Serger Bastard once played for England.
Silly names aside, your Nugent’s, Jeffers’ and Ricketts’ can rest easy. Even SWP misses out (again)
When at Ipswich, the world and the ball seemed to be in safe hands. A move to Arsenal seemed to make great sense too. Back-up to the long haired but legendary David Seaman meant he would learn and become similar.
Injuries and Seaman lasting longer than his hair meant Richard was limited to few appearances under Wenger. This is where the problem lies for me. He should have moved to a lower club and built up again but he chose Everton and again found himself on the bench behind Howard. He seemed to be ok with this from the outside. What really got my goat, if I had one that is, was his move to Man City. Picking up a decent cheque every week to do… well not much at all. Joe Hart came through and Wright barely even warmed the bench.
When he broke through at Man City, before they had money and Augeroooooooo, Micah was the Maine man (the puns will stop now.) He and Joey Barton seemed destined to break into the England team along with Shaun Wright Phillips. Alas his career just drifted again. He lost his place to Lescott and never seemed to have a fight about him to reclaim his spot. Another who made odd career choices, firstly by going to Fiorentina on loan which was confusing. Then on to a more or less already doomed Villa side, playing only 26 times in three seasons. A knee injury has kept him quiet but the curse of City’s billions strikes again.
John Terry handshakes aside, I decided to take the emotion out of this choice. At Southampton, he broke through and another should have chosen wisely on his next move. Sadly, in my opinion, he went for the money teams. Chelsea had just been brought by Roman Abramovich and was spending like my wife with a fresh credit card in her hands. Joe Cole, Veron, SWP, Mutu, Gallas and others came in as did a young Wayne. I always question a player’s desire when he moves to a newly rich club. Also, it seemed Chelsea just wanted to keep their England quota up. After one season of doing very little wrong, the special one turned up and tapped up Ashley Cole. This must have sent a message to poor Wayne that he wasn’t going to be first pick. But he just seemed to carry on warming benches. That is until Man City had a slight injection of cash. Robhino, Bellamy, Kompany joined, as did Wayne. Not learning from his Chelsea years, he seemed to be in it for the money. Yes, he was unlucky with Cole being so good but I think some better choices should have been made.
Ipswich and Man City seem to be getting a kicking on this. Anyway, another young player at Ipswich but this time the right move was made. Joining Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle seemed a place to learn for young Keiron. He played in variety of positions but never seemed to settle, even playing up front at some points. This after earning his first England cap at right wing back. This could be a factor in him not fulfilling his potential, also injuries didn’t help. But I got the feeling with Dyer he stopped caring very early on. Fighting with Lee Bowyer was funny and sad at the same time.
Breaking his leg just after joining West Ham summed up the lad’s luck. But again, he seemed not to care, and earning over £60k a week would have helped.
I promise I have nothing against Man City. But there does seem to be a pattern. Young Delph was a wonder at Leeds and had a pick of a few EPL teams. He plumped for Villa. But injuries pegged him back. Oddly he was barely
played then one season he blossomed. Even England came asking for him. For some reason, this made everything turn sour. City came in and he said yes, then no, then yes. Hindsight will tell him that the ‘no’ should have stayed. Barely in the City and I doubt a name Pep would have thought about when coming into the club. Money talks yes, but it doesn’t guarantee first team football.
Another injury prone one. But deciding to go to Bournemouth smacked of ‘I can’t handle Italy, they all talk Italian’. Saying that Howe did get him over 20 games last season. Now back at Arsenal I’m not sure he knows what his best position is. He isn’t strong enough for a holding midfielder, nor quick enough to get behind defences to be a Dele Alli type attacking midfielder. Not realising earlier that Arsenal and Arsene may not fancy him could cost him a good career. His next move will be his most important.
Funky hair and comparisons to another David meant Mr Bentley should have enjoyed a decent career. A wonder goal for Arsenal against Norwich and a Hat-trick vs Man United for Blackburn showed his skills. But a move to Spurs seemed to suck the fun out of football for him. Even pouring water over Harry Redknapp seemed to get him more trouble than glory. Bentley is another with a strange move, this time to Russian club Rostov.
He retired at 29 saying football had become ‘robotic’ and ‘predictable and a bit too calculated’.
I swear he has spent the last 10 years complaining he isn’t being played as a striker. Never showed much for England but I swear he could tell you about his 3 against Croatia in great detail.
Always thought he wasn’t that good, pace yes but sometimes couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo. Starting to become a figure of fun. Even my wife, an Arsenal fan, says ‘I don’t think he is as good as he thinks he is, and wouldn’t be upset if he went’
Where to start with this lad. Allegedly punching his missus Ulrika Johnson, dogging in a car park and being sacked from club after club. All the talent in the world. His partnership with Bryan Roy at Forest was devastating. A move to Liverpool and a dream partnership with Robbie Fowler seemed a sure success. Yet, bar a winner vs Newcastle in the last minute to kill off Newcastle’s title chances (sorry Dave), he barely did much else. Should have been a 25 goal a season striker. Yet he never hit that target.
Many others could have been put up, please let me know who you would have had.
by Ross Jacobs - @riddley82