A football fan will defend his team and its players till the cows come home against rival fans, because after all no-one likes to hear anything they love being slated; this doesn’t however stop the fans berating, criticising or judging his team’s own players. I believe the fans do have a divine right to highlight the flaws of players that aren’t justifying their starting eleven position, given the time, effort and money invested into the supporting of their club. There are players however who do appear to experience the anger of their own fans on a greater scale, where constructive criticism becomes a rant, but who are the top ten Premier League scapegoats?

Carlo Ancelotti

The Italian gave Stamford Bridge the Double last season, but less than a year later and his achievements seem to have become a distant memory in the minds of fans questioning whether the former AC Milan manager is right for them, after a rather disappointing season, by Chelsea’s standards.

Carlton Cole

The fact of the matter is a team such as West Ham should not be struggling with relegation, so the Hammers faithful need answers more than most. Cole appears to have become the answer to the question ‘Whose fault is it?’ but surely a player cant single handedly cause a club’s decline down the league table?

Dimitar Berbatov

22 goals and the Bulgarian is still criticised for being his ‘lazy’ style of play. The whole world of football knew the forward that the Red Devils were signing, but this doesn’t stop continual moans when Berbatov makes an appearance in place of new fan favourite Javier Hernandez.

Robert Green

Dressing room unrest, tactical errors and miscommunication abound in the England camp, yet somehow Robert Green’s faux pas in South Africa meant that the goalkeeper ended up taking the Lion’s share of the blame for the abysmal showing by England on the world’s biggest stage. True to the form of the media bandwagon, after another mishap in the league for West Ham in September Green was being labelled as the main culprit for the Hammers’ poor performances.

Kieron Dyer

Receiving castigation from the West Ham faithful when not even at the club is impressive, but many fans believe the Englishman is taking a salary off another potential decent player that could be the one to save West Ham Premier League’s status. Although judging by the reports that were leaked a year ago, I make it two or three players’ wages.

Arsene Wenger

Year after year Arsenal fans have raved about Le Professeur, but after six seasons without a major honour the Gunners faithful are beginning to turn on the club’s most successful ever manager, rightly or wrongly; Wenger deserves a more respectful exit if he were to leave.

Darron Gibson

Over the last few seasons Manchester United have been trying to replace the irreplaceable figures of Roy Keane and the soon-to-be-departing Paul Scholes in the centre of the park, with the likes of Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves attempting the role, however it is Darron Gibson who was dubbed the next Scholes. With such a huge billing upon his shoulders, the Irishman has failed to give the Old Trafford faithful what they wanted, but does this really warrant continual slating from the fans who believe Gibson isn’t United standard? I mean, after all, Ferguson is the one who plays him and the Scot hasn’t got much wrong yet.

Emmanuel Eboue

Yet again Arsenal will finish the season empty handed, but is that really down to Eboue conceding that injury time penalty against Liverpool or is it more to do with the inability to win away at Newcastle when 4-0 up?

Jermaine Jenas

Spurs have been spoilt in the midfield department this season; Modric, Van Der Vaart and Bale have all been catching the headlines, but after the recent poor results against the lower teams in the Premier League and the collapse against Real Madrid, the Lilywhites faithful have began slating Jenas’ lack of talent and drive. Whilst possibly being fair accusations to be labelled at the Englishman, they surely detract from potentially construction critiques of Van Der Vaart’s inability to finish 90 minutes, something a modern day footballer shouldn’t struggle with.

Fernando Torres

For £50 million is it too much to ask for a greater reply than one goal? Probably not, but is it too much to ask for a £50 million signing to save your season? Absolutely, especially when, after a blistering start to the campaign, Chelsea’s season began flagging long before Torres’ arrival. But since the Spaniard’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Torres has rather unfairly taken most of the stick.


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