Premier League 2014-15: The Undesirables

Date published: Wednesday 22nd April 2015 1:42

It’s that time of year when individual accolades are handed out to the outstanding players of the season, with the PFA Awards taking place this weekend. Eden Hazard and Harry Kane are the favourites to scoop the top gongs on Sunday but here at we’ve compiled a shortlist of our own.

Instead of chronicling those who have excelled this season, we are looking at those whose figures for certain statistics have been a little more embarrassing.

Worst Shot Accuracy

When it comes to shot accuracy there have been some profligate individual displays, but none more so than by Graziano Pelle, at home against Stoke and Romelu Lukaku against Leicester. Both strikers had nine attempts at goal in those games without hitting the target with a single one.

Of the 39 players to attempt at least 50 shots at goal, however, Pelle and Lukaku are nowhere near the guiltiest culprits in terms of accuracy. That accolade falls at the feet of Jonjo Shelvey, renowned for his tendency to fire at will from distance, and not always with the desired results. His shot accuracy is just 26%.

Worst Pass Accuracy

Assessing those who are most wasteful in possession will generally bring up goalkeepers at the top of the list, so we’ve excluded those here. In terms of the most passes attempted in a single game without finding a teammate it’s Burnley striker Lukas Jutkiewicz who leads the way. Having come on as a second half substitute at Stoke the forward gave away possession with all nine of his pass attempts, not exactly helping the Clarets to see out a 2-1 victory at the Britannia.

We stay with Burnley to find the outfielder with the worst pass accuracy over the course of the season, of all players to have attempted at least 500. The player in question is Kieran Trippier, who does tend to go direct to Ings, Barnes and co. up front. That doesn’t fully excuse a pass success rate of just 60.8%. The right-back has indeed played more inaccurate passes than any other player in the division, including goalkeepers (566). It’s little surprise then that Trippier’s only statistical weakness according to is ‘holding on to the ball’.

Worst Dribble Success Rate

Some players can glide past an opponent with the ball seemingly glued to their feet. It’s an ability restricted to very few. Kevin Mirallas, Yannick Bolasie and Junior Hoilett perhaps don’t qualify in that bracket, each embarking on six dribble attempts in a single game this season without rounding an opponent with any of said efforts. All three can tend to bamboozle themselves as much as their opponent.

Again, the trio aren’t close to the worst figures in this regard over the course of the season though, with Leicester forward David Nugent holding the worst success rate of all players to attempt at least 50 dribbles. He has attempted 51 – the exact same number as the player at the opposite end of the scale Yaya Toure – but has beaten his man just 35.3% of the time, compared to Toure’s 84.3%.

Worst Cross Accuracy

There are few more irritating sights on a football pitch than a truly awful delivery from a crossing position. Those balls that hit the first man or sail harmlessly into touch often lead to the loudest groans of disdain from the fans, so spare a though for Antonio Valencia and Remy Cabella, who each attempted 13 crosses in a single game this season without finding a teammate with any, against Burnley and Palace respectively.

While we’re feeling empathetic, consider the fans of Aston Villa, who have had to put up with a lot this season, including the woeful crossing of Aly Cissokho. The left-back has done his best to support Villa’s attacking forays but his end product has been pretty dismal, finding his target with just 9 of 95 cross attempts (9.5%), with the worst accuracy of any player to attempt at least 50 this season.

Worst Tackle to Dribbled Past Ratio

They say the art of tackling is a dying one, and for some that very much seems to be the case. In terms of the player that has been dribbled past the most times in a single game without making a single tackle this season Scott Arfield holds the unwanted record. The Burnley midfielder was beaten six times against West Brom in September, failing to dispossess an opponent at all during his time on the pitch.

It’s primarily attacking players that prove easier to get by, perhaps due to a lack of determination in the defensive phase of play, and that’s a criticism that could be aimed at Gylfi Sigurdsson this season. The Icelandic playmaker’s goals and assists have been crucial to Swansea but it’s fair to say he’s not offered much going the other way. Indeed, the former Spurs man has been dribbled past 48 times this season, completing just 31 tackles in comparison.

Worst Save Success

The importance of a good goalkeeper has been given more credence this season than most, with David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois both recognised in the PFA’s end of season awards. De Gea hasn’t been faultless, however, and is actually the holder of a pretty dreadful record as far as a single game is concerned. The Spaniard conceded five goals at Leicester without making a single save.

In the main though, De Gea has been excellent, while the same perhaps can’t be said of Hull’s Allan McGregor, dropped last time out in favour of 40-year old Steve Harper. With the Tigers toying with relegation the Scot’s struggles could prove costly, with no keeper to have faced more than 50 shots on target this season saving a lower proportion than the Hull number one (59.8%). Of all keepers with 20 or more appearances this season Sunderland’s Costel Pantillimon has the best success rate (76.1%), so the Black Cats may have their keeper to thank for the second season running if they do avoid the drop.

Martin Laurence

All statistics courtesy of, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.

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