There’s one in every workplace.
We all know them. The infuriating shits that are barely fit to scratch themselves throughout the year, but still walk away at Christmas with their share of the office bonus.
There’s one in my office too. Tall and dark, good-looking, a hit with ladies young and old, not to mention exceptionally well endowed. The bastard even has enough time to sit in his office and write his sports blog during working hours – the prick…
Anyway, what follows is an eleven of jammy buggers on their way to the World Cup after spending much of the year playing Golf Clash on their phone.
Sergio Romero (Argentina & Manchester United) – Goalkeeper
Despite not conceding a single goal whilst custodian during United’s first four FA Cup ties on their way to the final this season, Romero managed only a solitary league appearance. Last game of the season. Dead Rubber. Watford. Although, can boast seven clean sheets from ten appearances in all comps this season, it has to be said.
Gary Cahill (England & Chelsea) – Centre Half
Have come to the conclusion that either A) has compromising photos of Gareth Southgate or B) has embarked on a fully fledged relationship with the English manager. How he makes the squad after a season of sitting on the bench at Stamford Bridge is anyone’s guess.
José Fonte (Portugal & Dalian Yifang) – Centre Half
José Fonte – the darling of the BBC studio for awhile there, before moving to China. You could nearly have been fooled into thinking he was out-of-contract, doing a bit of easy media, you know, waiting for the right opportunity to come along, right? Wrong! After spending November through to February on the physio table whilst still a West Ham player, Fonte took the hump that he didn’t see any minutes on his return. Jumped at the opportunity to move to China “to keep World Cup dreams alive” said David Moyes – wink wink, nudge nudge. Nothing like killing two birds with the one stone, José.
Marcos Rojo (Argentina & Manchester United) – Centre Half
There’s not much to be said about industrious Argentinian footballers at Old Trafford at the minute. Having spent the early part of the season recuperating from the nasty cruciate ligament injury that put pay to the previous campaign, Rojo failed to find form or regular game time, having returned to action in November. What he did manage to find were plenty of yellow cards. Six in the nine Premier League games he featured. There’s a word for people like Marcos Rojo and that word is shite.
Danilo (Brazil & Manchester City) – Wing Back
Signed by Guardiola last Summer as part of his Wing Back Revolution, Danilo must have thought himself a shoe-in for the rest of the season when Benjamin Mendy crumpled in a heap against Palace in late September. A direct hit to the babymaker then, when Pep put more faith in reserve midfielders Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko to fill the left berth for the remainder of the campaign, the Brazilian only seeing a bit-part therein.
Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica & Sunderland) – Wing Back
So yes, not strictly Premier League, but let’s take a moment to toast the remarkable shit-show that Bryan Oviedo has had since breaking his leg at the start of 2014. Arguably, at the peak of his Everton career then, the four years since have been nothing but misery. Nowhere near the player of old, two consecutive relegations with Sunderland, and all this whilst having to be mates with Darron Gibson. Let’s hope the World Cup perks his spirits a bit.
Adrien Silva (Portugal & Leicester City) – Midfield
Too often I’ve had people say to me, “Aaron, that was the longest 14 seconds of my life”. Henceforth, I’ll direct them to read up on the unfortunate case of Adrien Silva. One of the shining lights from Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, he was courted by reigning champions Leicester for much of the 16/17 campaign – who finally bagged him on Transfer Deadline Day back in August – or so they thought. Yes, a tardy fax machine and six months later Silva was able to make his Leicester debut. Having taken until April to command a starting berth in what was an underperforming Leicester side, the last six weeks of Silva’s season werw hardly what one would call inspiring – seven games, five defeats , a scoreless draw at home to struggling Southampton and a solitary victory. It’s fair to say not the most fantastic start to life in the Premier League for the man.
Lee Chung-yong (South Korea & Crystal Palace) – Midfield
Make no bones about it. Lee Chung-yong steals a living. Since New Years Eve, the midfielder has spent a grand total of 21 minutes on a Premier League pitch – spread over five different games. Other interesting facts include that the literal translation of his name to English is “Blue Dragon”, and his dislikes include drinking coffee and smoking. So there you have it – Lee Chung-yong He-No-Smoke-Bong.
Nacer Chadli (Belgium & WBA) – Forward
Roberto Martinez – full time banter merchant. Only he could get away with leaving Roma colossus Radja Nainngolan out of Belgium’s squad, yet pick renowned glass-man Nacer Chadli and hail it as a “tactical decision”. Probably the most fortunate of this dud eleven to make the plane to Russia, Chadli started only two league games this season for a team that finished bottom of the league. Ha Ha Ha!! Bobby, stop, you’re killing me. Like a mini-Dracula there in your wee coat.
Ramadan Sobhi (Egypt & Stoke City) – Forward
One could call Sobhi’s latest campaign a bit flaccid. Promised so much, delivered so little. At 21, he undoubtedly still has time, but a player who looked decent much of last season came alive far too fleetingly this year. En route to Russia (winning!), but also The Championship with Paul Lambert (losing!).
Kalechi Ihenacho (Nigeria & Leicester City) – Forward
Finally, Kalechi. Aw, Kalechi. How you frustrate us. The man who averaged one goal for Manchester City every 107 minutes, completed a game start to finish for Leicester only once this season, despite making twenty nine appearances for the Foxes in all competitions. Like Sobhi, youth on his side, and one of the brightest sparks for his relatively minnow nation at this years tournament. Goes without saying, a big flaccid season, but most likely a bigger one.