The Premier League's Most Hated XI

The Premier League's Most Hated XI
By Cian Tracey
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Jens Lehmann:

'Crazy Jens' was as much known for his rash decisions and his theatrics as he was for pulling off great saves, during his time in England. In the 2006/07 season he set an unprecedented record for a goalkeeper, having collected the most (8) yellow cards in an entire season. His red card in the 2006 Champions League final after only 18 minutes arguably cost his team a chance of European glory. His many clashes with Didier Drogba also stood out during his 6 years in England, particularly this incident.

Gary Neville:

Adored by Man United fans, hated by everyone else, Neville has gone some way to improving his reputation since becoming one of the most respected pundits on TV. Neville became one of the greatest moaners in English football and his undying love for United became the source of hate for all other supporters, especially Liverpool. His infamous kissing of the badge celebration in front of the Liverpool fans at Old Trafford, still cuts deep with the Scousers.

John Terry:

Captain. Leader. Legend. Clown. John Terry has made some poor choices both on and off the pitch during his Chelsea career. A quick run through of his misdemeanors makes him an obvious candidate for this team. In 2001, the day after September 11th, Terry along with three of his team mates were fined two weeks wages for apparently, drunkenly mocking American tourists at Heathrow airport. Four months later after a confrontation with a nightclub bouncer, he was suspended from England duty and consequently missed the 2002 World Cup.


In 2009, he was accused of showing a 'News of the World' journalist around the Chelsea training ground, without permission and charging him £10,000. A year later came the whole Wayne Bridge saga, which doesn't need to be discussed any further. And finally, the icing on the cake came in 2011 when he was fined £220,000 and banned for four games for racially abusing his compatriot Anton Ferdinand.

Enough reasons to merit his place in the team? I think so.

Rio Ferdinand:


Another one of the moaning brigade, Ferdinand is probably more disliked for his antics off the pitch than on it. Back in 1997 he was denied the opportunity to become the then youngest player to play for England as a result of his conviction for drink driving. In 2003, the United centre half was banned from football for eight months for missing a drugs test. Ferdinand claimed that he simply "forgot" that the test had been scheduled, conspiracy theorists have made their own judgement since. His 2006 World Cup TV show Rio's World Cup Windups was a catastrophic failure.

The former English skipper regularly draws the ire of fans on Twitter as he gives off the aura of being an all-conquering, music and fashion guru. His attempts to flog his dodgy hats doesn't sit easy with most football fans.

Ashley Cole:


'Cashley' Cole has failed to endear himself to the majority of the footballing world throughout his career. His infamous move across London, from Arsenal to Chelsea saw him become one of the most disliked players in the league. In his autobiography, Cole says that he nearly crashed his car when he heard that Arsenal were only offering him £55,000 a week. His move to their London rivals saw his salary doubled and ever since, the nickname has stuck.

In 2011 he shot a 21 year-old student who was on work experience at Chelsea with an air rifle, from all of five feet away. Cole claimed that he didn't realise the gun was loaded which only served to fuel the dislike of the man. His staunch support of John Terry in the racism row also proved fickle when Terry was found guilty.

El Hadji Diouf:


Where to start with a career that has been riddled with controversy? A man who his earned a name for the controversies he has caused rather than for his footballing ability, Diouf really stands out in this team of hate figures. When he joined Liverpool in 2002, Diouf quickly made a name for himself in the Premier League. In the space of two years, he was embroiled in four separate incidents, having been accused of spitting at opponents and fans. The worst incident in question arose in 2004 when Diouf despicably spat in the face of Portsmouth's Arjan de Zeeuw.


He was accused of racially abusing a ball boy in 2009 while claimed that Everton fans threw bananas at him. The police found no evidence of this. In a FA Cup game in 2011, after Jamie Mackie had suffered a broken leg, Diouf stood over the stricken player whilst hurling abuse at him. A truly classless character.


Joey Barton:

A player who has caused trouble wherever he has gone, Joey Barton's list of misdemeanours are seemingly never ending. He began his Manchester City career in controversial fashion when he stubbed a cigar out in the eye of a younger team mate at a Christmas party. In 2005 he was sent home from Manchester City's preseason tour of Thailand after he assaulted a 15 year-old. Two years later a training ground a bust up with his team mate Ousmane Dabo left the French player unconscious having suffered serious head injuries. Barton was arrested by police and he his time at City came to an abrupt end. In 2007 he was again in trouble with the law and was arrested for assault after knocking a man unconscious and also knocking a teenager's teeth out.

After 5 red cards (an average of one every 45 games) Monsieur Barton left the Premier League before one final parting shot before his move to France. On the final day of last season, Barton was sent off for QPR. The initial red card was given for an elbow on Carlos Tevez but the melee that ensued was typical of the controversy that Barton caused during his time in England.


He has since had several failed attempts to reform his character by starting his own blog and quoting the likes of Nietzsche and Wilde on Twitter. He has a long, long way to go yet.

Michael Brown:

Michael 'journeyman' Brown has never endeared himself to followers of the Premier League, his own fans included. Brown is just one of the those players that you love to hate. His tough tackling approach has seen plenty of opposition players on the end of horrific challenges. His constant niggling at players and the referee sees him pip the likes of Lee Cattermole in the most hated XI. Now playing with Leeds alongside the likes of Diouf and under Neil Warnock, Brown has seemingly found a fitting home.

Lee Bowyer:

Bowyer's career didn't exactly get off to the best of starts when as a an 18 year-old he failed a drugs test for cannabis use. After several misdemeanors off the pitch, including assault and affray, Bowyer was embroiled in his biggest controversy of all when in 2005 whilst playing for Newcastle, he became involved in an altercation with his team mate, Kieron Dyer. As well as being heavily fined by the FA and his club, Bowyer was also charged by police. Since 2010, he has held the record for the most yellow cards accumulated since the Premier League began. His total of 98 yellow cards and 5 reds, sums up what kind of player Lee Bowyer was.

Craig Bellamy:

Another player who has never really settled at a club in England, Craig Bellamy has played for 10 different clubs. In 2004 during his time at Newcastle he threw a chair at a coach and refused to travel for their Uefa Cup game in Spain. Despite his good deeds to plenty of charities, the Welshman will long be remembered as the 'nutter with the putter' after he allegedly attacked his team mate John Arne Riise with a golf club at a training ground in Portugal. After several brushes with the law and plenty of less than savoury incidents on the pitch, Bellamy is one of the most disliked players to have played in England.

Luis Suarez:

In his early days with Ajax Suarez was suspended by the club for a half time altercation with a team mate over a free kick. In November of 2010, he viciously bit the shoulder of PSV's Otman Bakkal. During extra time of the quarter final of the 2010 World Cup, he blatantly stopped a goal bound header with his hands which only further damaged his reputation. The fact that most players probably would have done the same thing in his situation is completely irrelevant as fans do not take this into account.

Since moving to England, his theatrics and his constant whingeing haven't gone down well with anyone outside of the red half of Merseyside. He was convicted of racially abusing Patrice Evra and handed an eight game ban. His refusal to shake Evra's hand in their first meeting since the alleged incident, sparked further mass controversy.

Manager: Neil Warnock

Behind every good team is a manager, the brains thrust of the operation. And who better to lead this army of hate figures than Neil Warnock. Warnock has managed a whole host of teams in England, thirteen in total and is partial to the odd outburst or two. He has fallen out with just about everyone, including his own supporters. He is currently the manager of Leeds but his days at Elland Road appear to be numbered. He branded the aforementioned El Hadji Diouf a "sewer rat" after the incident involving Mackie. Just over a year later, Warnock signed Diouf for Leeds. This transfer alone summed up the annoyance that is, Neil Warnock.

Get in touch and let us know if there is anyone we've forgotten to include in the Premier League's most hated XI.

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