The ‘worst Premier League XI of the season’ has been named
The 2021/22 Premier League season will go down as one of the best in history.
Fans were back in stadiums and there was entertainment on pitches across the country from start to finish.
Manchester City were finally crowned champions on the final day with a sensational 3-2 win over AstonVilla.
LiverpooI had to settle for the second despite the blows wolves 3-1, with Tottenham Hotspur join chelsea in the Champions League places at the expense of Arsenal.
So, now that the dust has settled on the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, it’s time for people to give their thoughts on the best and worst individual performers.
When it comes to the best, the same names come back – Mohammad SalahKevin De Bruyne, Heung-min Son, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, you get the picture.
But when it comes to the worst, opinions diverge widely and are often much more controversial.
And the clearest proof of that is Ian Darke’s ‘Premier League worst XI of the 2021/22 season’.
write for ESPNthe commentator named up to six Manchester United players from the team, as well as three from Chelsea – despite the club finishing third.
Take a look at the XI in full…
The ‘worst Premier League XI of the season’
Ian Darke names his worst Premier League XI of the season 🤐 pic.twitter.com/vtc9Zv9YQT
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 25, 2022
The XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd), Raphael Varane (Man Utd), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Junior Firpo (Leeds Utd), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Bruno Fernandes ( Man Utd), Paul Pogba (Man Utd), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd).
Um, yeah, that’s a pretty bold XI.
Here’s what Darke had to say about each player selected…
The reasons behind Darke’s controversial XI
On Kepa: “The most expensive goalkeeper in the world was far behind Edouard Mendy at Stamford Bridge. Then, when he was named as a ‘penalty shootout specialist’ substitute in the Carabao Cup final, he failed to make a single save and then missed his own spot-kick as Liverpool won 11-10 with pens.
On Wan-Bissaka: “The £50million right-back lost his way and his place to Diogo Dalot during United’s disastrous season.“
On Maguire: “Often excellent for England, he looked like a shadow of himself for United. Cruelly and wrongly booed at Wembley, expect him to bounce back. The disappointment of losing the Euro 2020 final and United’s struggles have undoubtedly shaken his confidence.“
On Varane: “The arrival of one of the most decorated players in the game today was universally hailed as a coup, but his first season at Old Trafford ended with him spending a lot of time injured and the club conceded more goals than relegated Burnley.“
On Firpo: “Signed from Barcelona, he failed to win many friends among the Elland Road faithful. Part of the second most elusive defense in the Premier League, having conceded 79 goals.“
On Pogba: ‘Almost the ‘invisible man’ at Old Trafford and seemingly on his way out. The obvious talent he frequently displays for France has rarely been seen in a United shirt. Majority injured.“
On Kante: “A vital cog at Stamford Bridge and still a top player, but a series of injuries have only seen him start games in a frustrating season. His frequent absences were one of the main reasons Chelsea lost momentum, as Thomas Tuchel admitted last week.“
On Fernandes: “Seemed to be inhibited by the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and never looked like the same player who played with goals and assists last season. Cutting a frustrated figure. Getting an air out of him is a key task for new boss Erik ten Hag.“
On Rashford: ‘No excuses for so many United players in this ‘disappointment’ squad. Frequently left out, he seemed devoid of confidence and conviction. The body language said a lot. Needs a manager who believes in him again.”
On Lukaku: “After a stellar season at Inter Milan, he was seen as the final £97.5m piece of the Chelsea puzzle. But he looked a misfit and a game at Crystal Palace as he only had seven keys summing up a rather mysteriously poor campaign.“
On Lacazette: “A sad final chapter in his Gunners career. Scored just one Premier League goal from open play and lost his place to Edward Nketiah.“
Premier League quiz: 20 questions about the division’s historic records
Fair play, Ian. Don’t expect everyone to agree with your selections…