As a general rule in football, if you find yourself keeping company with Simon Mignolet, Alan Hutton and Cameron Jerome, you've gone wrong somewhere down the track. That is the fate that has befallen both James McClean and Jack Grealish in the eyes of The Telegraph, as both have been included in the paper's Worst XI of the season. Rather than merely select the entire Aston Villa team - as would seem entirely fair and accurate - the paper have used statistics to draw up the selection, and include McClean based entirely on his dodgy crossing:
Far from the most popular man in English football, McClean has rather had a season to forget.
In a Tony Pulis team where crosses are so important, McClean has attempted a whopping 182 crosses, but 141 have failed to find a team-mate. He only has two assists to his name all season.
While McClean is far from the best winger in the league, surely he is not one of the worst? The mere fact he is consistently selected by Pulis, and the fact he gets in positions to attempt crosses is surely testament to him doing something right. While the success rate of these crosses is quite poor, it does not factor in his effort for the team and his defensive effort, meaning it is quite harsh to chuck him into the worst team of the year as other wingers like Pedro, Aaron Lennon and Scott Sinclair toil in mediocrity, without contributing anything at international level. Furthermore, they've included McClean totally out of position at left-back, which seems incredibly harsh.
Elsewhere, Grealish has been included in midfield, along with this justification:
Thought he had the world at his feet before this season and did not realise the hard work he needs to put in to become the player he can be.
Scored in September and then failed to add another goal or assist for the whole season. Villa have lost every single game he has appeared in.
While Grealish has been underwhelming this season, to include him in this team of the season is harsh also, given that he has only played nine times in the league. Less a poor showing by Grealish than an utterly irrelevant one. Here is the team in full:
You can read the full post here.
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