Who is the most over rated player in the Premier League?

by Matt Quinn

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Carloz Tevez

What is the difference between Carlos Tevez and Dirk Kuyt? The only answer I can see is public ridicule. It certainly isn’t talent or ability. While Liverpool’s Dutchman is widely ridiculed for being nothing more than a willing worker who lacks any sort of co-ordination or natural ability, Tevez is lauded as a world class talent who should be starting every game for United. Yet the statistics do not make such distinctions. This season, Tevez has played 42 games and scored 13 times. Kuyt has played 48 games and scored 14 times, and from a more withdrawn position. Their career stats show that Tevez scores a goal every 2.5 games. Kuyt hits the back of the net every 2.3 games. While I don’t particularly rate Kuyt, I fail to see why Tevez is held in such high acclaim by football fans. It is impossible to deny that he works hard and has moments of instinctive brilliance, but as an overall footballer I find the Argentine lacking. His first touch is often poor, his vision wayward and having been sent off for Argentina on a number of occasions, he can be something of a liability. Indeed, both his club and national managers no longer see him as first choice and this is where the disparity of Tevez the player lies. Fans love him; Managers are less keen. I think he is a good player but nothing more. He is a cracking squad player for United but is not worthy of a regular starting berth that many proclaim him to be.

Tim Cahill

The fact that I hold a dim view of Tim Cahill as a professional may cloud my judgment in this one but I am constantly shocked by the attention and hype that surrounds Everton’s Australian midfielder. I think most will agree he is a sly, dirty and whining footballer but then, equally, most will conclude that Cahill is the best player outside the Top 4. I simply do not share this view in the slightest. From watching many Everton games I am always shocked at how often the game can pass Cahill aside. I never see him make a pass, make a tackle or anything you would associate with a decent midfield player. He looks cumbersome on the ball and I have never seen Cahill take the game by the scruff of the neck either. All I ever see him do is get on the end of a cross, nod the ball into the net and then run over and punch the corner flag. Fans are often blinded by midfielders or defenders who regularly score goals, but as seen with the likes of Ian Harte and Kevin Nolan, these goals can mask vast inefficiencies in their overall game. If I was offered a pick of Everton players, I could name 7 or 8 who I would take over Cahill. As he lacks the usual make-up of an overall midfielder, Cahill attempts to offer goals as his salvation. However, I don’t believe he even scores enough overall to be granted the attention he receives from pundits.

Samir Nasri

This one may be a little harsh as he is a young player in his debut season in the premiership. Incidentally, I don’t think Nasri is a bad player, I just feel that he has been vastly overrated this season in comparison to his predecessor, Alexandr Hleb. Hleb was often criticised for not providing goals or assists to his overall game, but I used to love watching the Belarussian play his natural game. He could hold onto the ball for long periods, relieve pressure on Arsenal and draw 3 defenders towards him before releasing the ball, thus creating space for other players. Nasri, however, seems to lack this confidence to remain on the ball and appears happy to let the game drift past him, while he waits on the wing. When he is in possession, he has good technique and vision. I just wish he would demand to be involved more often and too often ive noticed that he has disappeared in games. Until he starts dominating games and dictating the tempo of Arsenal attacks, I will view him as a poor replacement for Hleb and as Arsenal’s invisible man.

Jermain Defoe

Englands most natural marksman? Rubbish, I say. Robbie Fowler was a natural finisher and he used to pass the ball into the net. Defoe, when presented with any goalscoring opportunity, is happy to put his foot through the ball and give it a good whack. This technique can certainly work, but he is definitely not a natural finisher. The other reason I feel he is overrated is because he lacks a footballing brain. Great strikers are selfish predators but they also appreciate when others are in a better position to score. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Defoe pass to an open team-mate when within 30 yards of goal. He is intent on one thing only- scoring goals. While on the surface this is admirable, I feel it is often to the detriment of his team as a whole. Like Michael Owen, whoever plays alongside Defoe inevitably finds that their own goal returns diminish. This inherent selfishness and lack of vision means Defoe will never progress further than a decent premier league striker. As for being Englands most natural marksman, I repeat… Rubbish.

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  • Daveyboy

    Overated players eh????? Nicoal Anelka, Ive never understood why so many clubs have paid so much money for him

  • stevie

    Tevez, Cahill, Nasri? Are you mad?

    Where’s Berbatov?

    It’s Nasri’s first season, Robert Pires took a season to find his feet. As for Cahill well, his goals speak for themself.

    Totally agree with Defoe though, he’s offside on an average 724 per game

    Underrate, Matt Taylor!

  • Martin Tibbetts

    What about John Terry, a decent centre back yes, but worthy of the England captaincy? I think not. Too slow, all brawn not enough brain, and dependent on quality alongside him….

  • Tef1on

    Tevez is quality!

    Nasri… assists and goals constantly…

    Cahill? You are mad? What premier league are you watching?

    You missed Bendtner, Elmander, Terry, Pavlyachenko, Darren Bent, Craig Gordon, Michael Owen, Santa Cruz, Zamora, Heskey, Robinho!

    All these players have had shocking seasons compared to 3 of the 4 above!

  • Ash

    To call Michael Owen overrated is just ridiculous. Ok he’s had a disapointing season and he may not be the force he once was but that doesnt mean he’s overrated. Form is temporary, class is permenent. Same goes for Heskey, no he doesnt score enough goals but was he does for a team is undeniable. Just ask Rooney and Owen who they playing up front with the most.
    The one glaring omission from this is David Bentley.
    I have never seen what the big fuss is about this lad. No disrespect to Blackburn, but it wasn’t hard to stand-out in what was more or less a workman like team then a side full of creative individuals. Bentley was merely a half decent midfielder in a side that didn’t offer much alternative. He has zero pace, which is ok when you have the feet of David Beckham but if you don’t as winger then surely that’s not ideal. Yes he can ping in a good cross but how often? Is it any surprise that Aaron Lennon has now displaced him at Spurs who’s a terrible crosser of the ball. For me he’s a second-rate Becks who is nowhere near good enough for a top six Premier League team and be nowhere near the international set-up!

    Ballack is another too.

  • Matt Quinn

    Im not saying Tevez is a bad player. Im saying he is overrated and not good enough for a top tier team.

    The same with Cahill…. he thrives on the work that Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini does. Please just watch an Everton game and see how many times he touches the ball.
    As for “his goals speak for themselves”… please read what i said… that these goals hide the flaws in his game, and he doesnt score enough for that to be enough.

    Teflon… i dont think anyone rates Bendtner, Elmander, Darren Bent, Owen, Zamora, Heskey… so how can they be overrated.

    As for Robinho… i would take him over Tevez every day. Yes he can be lazy but he has cracking vision.

  • Daveyboy

    Robinho is a lazy arrogant t*at. City should have never bought him, he’s a “bums on seats” player.

    The owners bought him cos they know people would come to see him reagrdless of how crap he plays.

    Used to watch Spanish football and he was crap then.

    John Terry is not overrated, he is a quality Centreback, he may not be fast etc… but he organise thins so well for Chelsea and thats the sign of a good player

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Robinho defo, 1 goal away from home, goes missing in every game away from Eastlands, probably potting ladyboys!

    Good call on Santa Cruz too, one good season, which could have something to do with David Bentley playing in the same side?

    Zamora has never been rated unless you are a Brighton fan!

    Sorry football is a team game and Heskey & Tevez are excellent team players who bring other players in the game.

    Over rated and finished full stop

    Michael Owen
    Michael Ballack

  • Matt Quinn

    So let me get this straight…. You say….

    Nasri- not overrated. Cracking player but give him time… its his first season and he’s young.

    Robinho- overrated. 5th top scorer in premier league in his FIRST SEASON (just 3 goals from being top scorer) and only 2 years older than Nasri.

    Stop contradicting yourselves.

  • Ash

    When will people learn to stop writing Michael Owen off. I’ve lost count how many times he’s come back and proven everyone wrong!

  • dexylongshot

    I don’t think Tevez is over-rated at all and think that Kuyt is an en excellent player. Kuyt maybe unglamourous but he definately puts his shift in closing players down and does much the same job as Tevez, leaving the goals to any of the Ronaldos, Rooneys, Torres etc. They was going on a bout him leaving on Talksport this week and nearly every caller preferred him over Berba. Berbatov…. you should all know my thoughts on him. The sooner he leaves the Premiership the better.

    I don’t know how you can say Robhinho is over-rated, he may go missing in some games but it’s his first season and and he is still the 3rd highest goal-scorer behind Torres and Anelka who both get better service.

    Ballack has been disappointing, he was heralded as being almost on par with Lampard but has not the mustard in The Premiership.

    Disagree on Defoe, if he was at Arsenal or Liverpool, he would be a 20 goals a season marksman easily if he wasn’t injured. I’m not sure of the stats but I think his goals to minutes ratio for the last few years would be interesting gawping material.

  • Matt Quinn

    On Michael Owen, i never rated him even when he was banging the goals in before his injuries. He disrupts a teams pattern too much for my liking…. just not my type of footballer really…

    Mind you i really rate Jason Roberts, Clint Dempsey, Scott Parker etc.. so after this article and the abuse im getting, maybe im not the best judge!!!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Ash mate, Owen hasn’t been the same player for years. Like Robbie Fowler he peaked way to early.

    There’s no denying he has been an excellent servant for England and his record speaks for itself. However, he just doesn’t do it at club level. Time and time again he is completely anonymous in games. You hardly know he’s on the pitch. He has lost his pace, which was his biggest asset. I would like to know what his goal scoring record is since he left Liverpool…

  • Matt Quinn

    I also picked Pepe as one of my ten to watch in Euro 2008 (see earlier article)….

    Which, given his actions this week, is another example of my superb punditry and predictions!!! (*cough*)

  • Daveyboy

    Who did Robinho score against though????

    Berbatov should eff off, useless over priced piece of shite. Rooney and Tevez are better up front for United!!!!

    Florent Malouda should have been on that list, came to England with a massive reputation and what has he done?

    i agree about Ballack, Im not a Chelsea fan but Lampard is a far better player and really is the heartbeat of that team, alot of Chelsea’s success is down to Lampard

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    you mean this Matt?


    Pepe is a total loon!

    Robinho scored at Portsmouth, his only away goal this season

  • Tef1on
  • Deano

    I think Berbatov is one of the most overrated players, lazy attitude, doesn’t score enough and doesn’t looked bothered. Bit like his Penalty against Everton! I also think Rio Ferdinand is overatted Vidic is the quality in the pairing there.

    Have to say the PFA player of the year Shortlist is well out with most people’s thinking!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    good on him, at the end of the day Frank Lampard is a human being too!

  • http://reassessthepress.wordpress.com Sam

    Woah there! Deano – saying Ferdinand is overrated…you’ve just opened up a whole new can of worms! Maybe once upon a time when he was merking his national team mates and diving out of windows to avoid the doping detectives, but now he has been the rock that United have built their success upon for the last three years. Vidic has learnt everything about the premiership from him and Rio’s growing maturity has brought the best out of young Jonny Evans and made him a shoe in to be the next club captain.

    ps. If anything, Tevez is underrated (see Sir Alex’s team selection this season) but his capabilities to add urgency and tenacity to United’s performances make him vital at the crunch time in the season (see Old Trafford on Saturday).

  • stevie

    Ferdinand is world class simple, he never makes mistakes and United are half the team without him. See dodgy spell for example

  • Iain

    Obafemi Martins is one for me. It seems like pundits really rate him, but I can’t remember him doing much more than scoring 10 goals a season, at least 3 of which would be against Bolton. Maybe I’m missing something.

    He is quick, but can’t pass, and has no football brain.

    Also, Scott Carson is a pundits favourite who I don’t ever remember seeing save a shot on target. He almost gets to the ones that are going in, and palms away the daisy cutters that are heading out for the throw. Bizarre tactic, and one that backfired when a Villa player (Agbonlahor maybe?) plonked it into the 6 yard box only for Carson to plonk it into the goal.

    On Nasri, he is probably overrated at the moment, but in the same way that Modric is overrated at Spurs. Everyone expected him to come out of the blocks and skin full backs, fire in great crosses and be the next Zidane overnight. I reckon he will be, but it takes time to settle. Some bloke called Dennis Bergkamp didn’t have his feet under the table for at least a season and a half. He turned out to be fairly handy. Just ask Leicester City and Nikos Dabizas.

  • Hayes

    Oh dear. I think Tevez has just proved how completely clueless you really are… (I’m refering to the stunning strike against City). To compare Dirk Kuyt to Carlos is just one of the funniest things I’ve read all year so thank you for that. Kuyt only scores from 4yards an then he has to have two goes at it…

    Nasri is a quality player, I’m not going to elaborate because anyone who has eyes can see he has great feet, vision and has done well in his first season.

  • Darren

    can I add Diaby to this list? Although I’m not even sure if he is rated. He has 1 good game a season. He spends most of the time trying to beat a man then losing it. He rarely scores of gets an assist.

    The guy is a complete enigma.

  • Tef1on

    Diaby isnt rated. He only has a right foot and doesnt use his head.

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