John Barnes’ Top Five Premier League Disappointments

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John Barnes has been one of England’s and the Premier League’s finest ever players, since its creation in 1992. With over seven years of Premier League playing experience and many more years of watching English football, Barnes has selected a team of his top five most disappointing Premier League signings.


GK: Massimo Taibi (Manchester United)

“He had a terrible start with that ball going through his legs against Southampton. It’s not that he’s a bad goalkeeper – when things don’t go for you as a ‘keeper because of a horrific start, it was never going to work for him. The fans didn’t take to him, and it’s never going to work like that. Goalkeepers make mistakes, and if you start badly you’re never going to be forgiven. It was on himself as much as anybody else that this didn’t work.”

DF: Andre Santos (Arsenal)

“It’s particularly difficult with Brazilian defenders that come to England. Much like South American or Spanish Goalkeepers, they aren’t used to the physicality of the Premier League. Although he was decent on the ball, it is important for a left back to defend as much as anything else. He had problems with that big time.”

MF: Eric Djemba-Djemba (Manchester United)

“He came to England with a big reputation and a lot was expected of him, but it never happened for him at United.”

MF: Ali Dia (Southampton)

“No one was sure if he was a real footballer to begin with, to be fair to Graeme (Souness) he brought him on and brought him off. To actually sign him, look at him in training and have him on the pitch was a bit of a disaster all round!”

ST: Adrian Mutu (Chelsea)

“It just didn’t work out for him at Chelsea, he showed in Italy what a good player he was. But once he was in England, things just didn’t happen for him, and then he was involved in the drugs scandal. He’s not a bad player, but things just didn’t work out for him at Stamford Bridge.”

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