Prem Players we Love to Hate: Past and Present


Over the years the Premier League has been home to many dislikeable players. Here however is just a short list made up of the most hated players the league has had to offer. Players may have made the list on behalf of their gamesmanship, arrogance or psychopathic tendencies. While many of the players may be liked or loved by their own fans, most have angered the neutral and inspired rage in the fans of their opponents.

Robbie Savage – The long-haired midfielder best known for his days at Leicester, Birmingham and Blackburn was notorious for his gamesmanship. Shockingly, he received his first red card in the premiership as late as 2006. He was able to infuriate opposition fans with his enthusiasm for feigning injury, winding up opponents and generally looking smug.

Ben Thatcher and Michael Brown – These two players have probably made a greater impact in the world of football with their elbows than their ability to play. Ben Thatcher’s appalling ‘challenge’ on Pedro Mendes lives long in the memory but it was by no means his only vicious misdemeanour. Similarly Brown has racked up a long list of victims being blessed with the mentality of a cage-fighter and lacking empathy in a way which is comparable with only that of a serial killer.

Alan Shearer and Kevin Davies – In fairness these two target-men seem reasonable people off the pitch and Shearer is still a God in the eyes of Newcastle fans. However Davies persists year after year in ‘backing-in’ against centre-backs trying to take the ball on that enormous chest of his. He has a phenomenal consistency when it comes to leading the ‘worst discipline’ stats board. Shearer also became maddening for opposition fans to watch in his later years. As his war-weary legs started to falter, he relied more and more on his ability to influence referees who were reluctant to penalise the great man even when his aerial challenges were far from legitimate.

John Terry (aka Mr Chelsea) – He may be loved by their fans but the centre back’s constant haranguing of the referee and his arrogance on the pitch have made him a hated figure in football. That’s without considering his well-documented behaviour off the field.

Alpay Ozalan – The Turkish warrior was perhaps more suited to a sport which allows greater physicality, maintaining a poor disciplinary record throughout his career. During major international tournaments he was able to conceal his capacity to make horrific errors and while at Villa drew the attention of Barcelona and Real Madrid. Comments were made when he was told to stay and amazingly after he scored at home for the midlands club, the Villa fans booed the controversial defender.

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