To win a Premier League medal you have to be a great player right? Wrong! You just have to be at a club that has some great players. It is easier and more common than you would imagine to con your way to the title of Premier League champion. Here’s my starting XI of the worst players that have been carried to victory by their team-mates.
Goalkeeper: Mark Bosnich
After their treble winning season of 1999, Man Utd had to search for a replacement for their departed goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel. Fergie signed Mark Bosnich from Aston Villa but the Aussie never really took to the hard work ethic at Old Trafford.
His laid back attitude and playboy lifestyle saw him last only three seasons at United but he did manage to get his hands on a Premier League winner’s medal in 2000. The following season he lost his place in the side and was shipped out to Chelsea. He was subsequently fired by the Blues for using cocaine.
Full backs: Paulo Ferreira and Asier Del Horno
When Jose Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004 he set about rebuilding the side, signing Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele as well as bringing Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira with him from Porto. The Portuguese right-back has always been a popular figure with the Chelsea fans despite rarely getting onto the pitch.
Mourinho soon decided that Ferreira wasn’t good enough and looked to try and replace him. However, many right-backs have come and gone and Ferreira remains sat on his big contract and making a handful of appearances each season. He now has three Premier League winner’s medals.
Asier Del Horno was only at Chelsea for one season but it was enough to get hold of his Premier League winner’s medal. After being forced to play William Gallas out of position at left back for most of the title winning year of 2005, Jose Mourinho decided he needed a natural left back to be the first choice for the position.
Obviously he had his eye on Arsenal’s Ashley Cole but Del Horno was the quick fix for the 2006 season while Mourinho tapped up Cole before signing him in the summer. Del Horno then became surplus to requirements and was moved on.
Centre backs: Oleh Luzhny and Robert Huth
The great Arsenal side of the early 2000’s was built on great passing and pace and boasted players capable of playing sublime football. With David ‘safe hands’ Seaman in goal, Tony Adams marshalling the backline and Patrik Vieira dominating the midfield, flair players Bergkamp, Pires and Henry had the perfect platform to go and express themselves.
One easily forgotten cog in this well oiled machine was Ukrainian defender Oleh Luzhny. Known as the horse for his power and energy, Luzhny picked up his Premier League winner’s medal in 2002 before joining Wolves in 2003 and helping them to bottom place and relegation.
Still plying his trade in the English Premier League is German defender Robert Huth. Some people may have forgotten that this monster of a centre half began his playing career with Chelsea and was part of the team that won back to back titles in 2005 and 2006. Although he was generally used a back up for first choices John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, Huth did play enough games to secure his Premier League winner’s medal in both 2005 and 2006.