Clowns. Donkeys. Buffoons. Twits or gits. Whatever you want to call them, here’s my pick for the 5 absolute worst individual performances of the weekend to celebrate the calamitous, upset-filled 3rd round of the FA cup. A makeshift 5-a-side team that you wouldn’t mind turning to Goals on a Tuesday evening to find yourself against. Even on one of those nights in which Tommy hasn’t turned up to, so you’ve drafted Big Kev from the office; and Luke’s working late so your brother-in-law (who doesn’t own boots so has to play in vans) fills in, you’d still fancy your chances against this lot!
It does feel slightly wrong selecting League Two Tranmere’s keeper in this team; particularly because his opponents were an in-form Spurs which included a number of high-profile stars such as Alli, Lucas and Son in their starting line-up. But I believe any keeper that concedes 7 goals in front of their own fans will be going home that night slightly humiliated and wanting to forget all about their performance. What probably started out that with dreams of a giant-killing, were quickly dashed and brought back down to earth for Tranmere and no one felt the full force of this more than the man in between the sticks. Of course, Man City also subjected their lower league opponents, Rotherham, to the same thrashing, but in a toss-up between the two keepers poor old Davies simply was at fault for more the goals.
With by far the shortest performance on this list, Andrew fox really made a mess of his chance to impress at a premier league ground. Thanks to VAR, Fox’s 2nd minute yellow card was rightfully mexchanged for a red for his outrageous, studs-up tackle on Andros Townsend. He, no doubt, would’ve wanted to keep his nut firmly down in the dressing room once his teammates re-joined him after the game: particularly because they put in an absolute shift with a significant amount of heroic, last ditch defending. League 2’s Grimsby would’ve gone away disappointed in the knowledge that they may well have nicked a result had they been equipped with a full team for at least some of the game! Fox certainly isn’t able to hide behind his lower league status as an excuse, as it was just an awful decision to make a tackle like that at ANY point in this tie: never mind 120 seconds in.
With actually not a terrible all round performance, Albrighton has made it into this team-of-shame based on 2 pivotal moments in the game. In the first half he blazed over a certified sitter from inside the box; and he was also responsible for conceding the late winning penalty. A man of Albrighton’s experience should know better than to attempt to block a cross with his elbow raised and so, effectively, handed a ticket to the 4th round to league 2 Newport County (Literally). Of course, Albrighton, wasn’t the sole reason for this loss. The home side showed incredible spirit and the entire Leicester side were poor: particularly Okazaki and Iheanacho. The latter was totally anonymous and flat. He showed little movement and struggled to hold the ball up. A very close second to Albrighton, but his mistakes just happened to be more understated and less consequential.
What’s the one thing more in football that’s worse than a player flopping to the floor without being touched in order to gain an advantage? How about flopping to the floor without being touched in order to gain an advantage against a team a full 109 LEAGUE PLACES below your own team?! Well this is exactly what young Isaac Success did against National League South side Woking. Twice! This kind of behaviour is, not acceptable, but a bit more understandable in the high pressure atmosphere of the premier league. But such a display against such lowly opposition is truly shameful. In the words of Borat: Great Success! … NAAAT!
Some might be surprised to see Morata’s name in this list after scoring the 2 winning goals in Chelsea’s home win versus Notts Forest; others, however, may not. In true Alvaro style, his performance was punctuated with a number of genuinely embarrassing missed chances, along with his usual lack of hold up play. Also, even more so than usual, he just looked like he didn’t want to be there. After both goals were served up to him on a plate by Hudson-Odoi he looked like he was embarrassed to have scored and didn’t even crack a smile on either occasion. He capped off his day with perhaps the most sombre departure from a pitch I have ever seen: barely even lifting his head to acknowledge the applauding fans. His attitude was generally awful and his confidence was visibly shot to pieces. This should have been a chance for Morata to relax and play freely in a less pressurised and important game, but in truth he looked stiffer than ever; once again showing weak character and poor strength of mind.