Premier League 2018/19: The underperforming team of the season
While the 2018/19 Premier League season has been a hugely exciting one thanks to a tight title race and a wild scramble for the remaining Champions League spots, for some players it hasn’t been a memorable term at all.
Whether they’re players who have suddenly slipped in form, or players who made a big-money move that just hasn’t paid off, the following eleven men have had a season to forget, and have underperformed hugely throughout 2018/19.
Here are the Premier League’s underperforming XI of the season for 2018/19.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea – Manchester United
Once considered arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, many fans felt that David De Gea kept Manchester United in plenty of games during the 2017/18 season and that they likely wouldn’t have finished as runners-up in the Premier League without the Spanish #1.
That hasn’t been the case this term, though, as De Gea’s form has slipped tremendously and he’s made a plethora of errors that have cost the Red Devils hugely.
Perhaps people should’ve seen this drop in form coming given De Gea made a handful of errors during the summer’s World Cup, but it would simply have been difficult to imagine the De Gea of last season making mistakes like the ones he made against Chelsea – where he fumbled the ball into the path of Marcos Alonso – or Arsenal – in which he palmed Shkodran Mustafi’s header into the air and over the line.
Whether De Gea has simply hit a blip, or whether his head hasn’t been in the game – perhaps looking forward to a move away from Old Trafford – is a question mark, but for a man considered one of the best keepers in the world, 4 errors leading to goals in league action alone simply isn’t good enough.
Left-Back: Marcos Alonso – Chelsea
Most of Chelsea’s squad have come under some criticism at times this season – except Eden Hazard, of course – but left-back Marcos Alonso has been a serial under-performer throughout 2018/19, with a lot of Blues fans calling for him to be dropped after poor showings against the likes of Everton, Manchester City and Tottenham.
This is a strange one because at times, Alonso has looked pretty formidable – he’s managed to score 2 league goals and make 4 assists, after all – but for the most part he’s looked out of his depth as a full-back playing for a club challenging for a Champions League spot.
What’s the explanation for this? The most likely one is that Alonso – who was used by former boss Antonio Conte primarily as a wing-back – just isn’t suited to the more traditional full-back role that current manager Maurizio Sarri has deployed him in.
Even if this is the case, though, it’s hard to dispute the fact that the Spaniard has underperformed hugely this season.