Liverpool and Manchester United have been home to some of the finest players to ever grace English football, sadly they've also provided a platform for some absolute stinkers as well...
Manchester United Worst Xl
There are quite a few names that spring to mind when trying to name a Manchester United worst 11; Lee Martin, Jordi Cruyff, Liam Miller, Gary Birtles, and even the ever absent Owen Hargreaves, the list goes on. I know people will argue over my selection because there are some omitted players that were quite terrible, but this selection is based on players that I can really remember ruining my day. Weirdly, we’ve always had decent full-backs so it’s into 3-5-2 they go.
GK: Massimo Taibi
Signed for 4.5 million from Venezia in ’99, his debut saw him flap to let in Sami Hyypia but then go on to get man of the match. He only played another three games, before his handiwork, redolent of Homer Simpson in the opening credits of The Simpsons, saw him shipped back to Italy.
CB: William Prunier
Was Cantona’s ami, nes pas? He came to Manchester United on a trial and played two games at centre half. I saw him crumble under heat of Spurs (and they were useless) with United losing 4-1. Necromancer? Romancer? Chancer.
CB: Pat McGibbon
Signed as the new Paul McGrath, he made his debut against York in the League Cup circa ’95. United lost 3-0, McGibbon got sent off and he never played for the club again. Gibbon by name.
CB: Laurent Blanc
Not the worst defender United have had, but he’s one of the worst I’ve actually seen play. We bought him five years too late: he was meant to replace Jaap Stam but at the age of 35 had little mileage left. With Blanc – or his alter ego Larry White from Burnley – at the defensive helm United infamously lost consecutively to Bolton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea. Don’t need to spell it out.
I know the poor lad has hardly had chance to prove himself yet but his performances to date have shown that the gaffer must’ve had a night on the Claret. Will he prove me wrong? I hope so. Will he be loaned out with the option to buy? Probably. Will he return to streets that honed his skills? Possibly.
Purchased after his performances fro Brazil in the 2002 World Cup, United snapped him up with the promise that he could fill Veron’s boots (incidentally, it was either Veron or Kleberson here). He got injured and played 20 games over a two-year period scoring twice. The worst Brazilian I’ve ever seen play, he makes Darren Fletcher look like Socrates.
CM: Eric Djemba Djemba
So s***e they named him twice, he had Roy Keane’s shadow hanging over him and showed an aggressive edge in the beginning. He won the FA Cup in a red shirt but had all of the on-field presence off a packet of Revels. Now underwhelming at Danish side Odense BK.
CM: Darren Ferguson
Clearly dragged through the youth system by his old man before filling in for Robbo at the dawn of the premiership. Never really at the right level and a perfect example of misplaced nepotism.
LM: Luke Chadwick
With a face that his even his Mum wouldn’t kiss, Chadwick had a fair crack at playing for United but never opened the Coleman’s. He played like a marionette: controlled, lightweight and with his strings visible for everyone to see. He’s now appearing for MK Dons and has to wear a mask, allegedly.
CF: David Bellion
Signed from Sunderland under a storm cloud that he never managed to shake off, the new Thierry Henry never settled and treated us to his full repertoire of how not to shoot, pass, tackle and even walk. However he did score against Leeds in the League Cup before leaving soaked to the bone in disappointment.
CF: Diego Forlan
The Sally Gunnell lookalike famously took 20 odd games to score but did have a habit of scoring against the bindippers. Ran around a lot, fell over even more and the fact that he is now feted as one of the top strikers in Europe just adds to the pain of all of those Saturdays spent watching him rifle clear-cut opportunities high into the stands.
Liverpool Worst XI
At some clubs the shockers are debatable, but at Liverpool they have been clear for all to see*. Here’s the worst I can remember from 30 years as a fan. *Dons tin-hat in preparation for United fans suggesting Andy Carroll
GK: Mike Hooper
There have been worse keepers that Mike Hooper but, emblazoned on my cerebral cortex is a cup game when he conceded four against West Ham in the mid to late 80s. Ruined my night.
Looked, and played, like a startled vole with a crack addiction. Always rushed, couldn’t pass, not especially quick and positionally awful. Just gets in ahead of Degen and Ostemobor.
CB: Phil Babb
This has nothing to do with the fact I worked for him and everything to do with the fact that he was crap. Within five games it was clear that he’d only been any good at USA 94 because Paul McGrath told him what to do. Pound-for-pound, one of the worst passers of the ball I’ve ever seen. Rubbish boss to boot.
CB: Torben Piechnik
A hideous decision by a bad manager, it still amazes me that the Picnic who signed was the same player who looked assured in the 1992 European Championships final. Souness was clearly mental when he took over, and his transfer activity remains baffling to this day.
LB: Paul Konchesky
He had some serious contenders for this role, but for being Woy’s agent, thick as 20000 short planks, playing like a headless chicken and having a Mother who could teach a Navvy how to swear, he beats Dicks and Stig.
RM: Bruno Cheyrou
New Zidane anyone?
CM: Salif Diao
I struggle to believe that anyone would dare put Biscan in a worst Liverpool Xl. Diao, however, was awful. With the touch of a Sutcliffe and the turning circle of a Panzer, it is laughable that he was part of Houllier’s Summer 2002 spending spree.
CM: Istvan Kozma
Ask most Liverpool fans to name the worst Liverpool player they have seen and Kozma will feature heavily. Nice chap, played well elsewhere but essentially shite.
LM: Antonio Nunez
Rafa’s second signing was also his worst. Couldn’t cross, run or dribble, which makes life tricky if you’re a winger.
CF: El-Hadji Diouf
Horrible, non-scoring, spitting tool. Arrived with the nickname ‘serial killer’, departed as one of the most disliked men in football.
CF: Sean Dundee
I mean, come on, who else could it be? If any proof were needed that two managers doesn’t work then this was it.
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