WITH criticism coming from countless angles directed toward the more recent additions to Liverpool’s squad, it seems wise to take a glimpse into the past and reminisce on some truly awful players who have graced Anfield’s hallowed turf.
The disappointment in performances from the likes of Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll will fade into obscurity when taking an agonising look at these players who somehow made their way into their respective Liverpool squads.
GK- Mike Hooper (1985-93)
Used as an understudy to Bruce Grobbelaar for the majority of his time on Merseyside, Hooper still managed to make over 50 league appearances for Liverpool before he moved to Newcastle. His limited chances were heightened thanks to his poor performances when called upon. His nervous disposition in between the sticks lead him to being shipped off to Tyneside, where he faced similar problems. Technically a decent goalkeeper but will be remembered for his dodgy performances. Now a bouncer in Chester-le-Street, Hooper probably keeps out more punters than he did goals in his time at Anfield.
RB- Philipp Degen (2008-11)
The Swiss International probably wouldn’t have made this team if it wasn’t for his injury filled career at Anfield. On his first competitive appearance for Liverpool, Degen broke two ribs and punctured his lung after colliding with Sami Hyypia. After spending nearly two months recovering, disaster struck again for the defender when he suffered a broken metatarsal on his return to first team action. Degen never fully re-announced himself into the first team and just 7 league appearances later, he was released.
CB- Torben Piechnick (1992-94)
Possibly the worst player to ever put on a Liverpool shirt, Piechnick may also be the worst player to win a European Championship medal, when his native Denmark claimed the trophy in ’92. Bought to the club by then manager Graeme Souness, the defender never adapted to the English game and made some horrific mistakes. Thankfully, after 16 horrific appearances in his first year with the club, Souness gave Piechnick a single solitary performance in the 1993-94 season before he was told to leave when Roy Evans took over as manager.
CB- Bjorne Tore Kvarme (1997-99)
Along with Piechnick, Norwegian Kvarme makes up this shocking Scandinavian duo in the heart of defence. Signed from Rosenborg, Kvarme made a healthy amount of appearances for the club. Despite his tall stature, Kvarme was shocking in the air, had no pace and was so slow to react to defence splitting runs. Fortunately, his tenure at Liverpool was cut short in 1999, when he left for France.
LB- Paul Konchesky (2010-11)
What on earth possessed Roy Hodgson to bring Paul Konchesky to the club in an attempt to solve Liverpool’s left back problems. From his first appearance to his 15th and final league game for the club, the defender was an obvious weak link in Hodgson’s team. His tenure at Liverpool finished after just one season and Konchesky is now a regular in the Championship; a league that suits his mediocre abilities.
RM- Jimmy Carter (1991)
Sharing his name with a former American President may be the only thing that flop Jimmy Carter will be remembered for. Having made an impact on a successful Millwall team that gained promotion to the First Division, Kenny was impressed enough to bring the young winger to Anfield. After just 5 league appearances, Carter left for Arsenal. His impact at Liverpool was so ineffectual, the President that shares his name may have impressed more down the right hand side.
CM- Salif Diao (2002-07)
It seems ridiculous to think that Salif Diao was on the books at Anfield for 5 years. In that time the Senegalese midfielder who cost £5 million made 37 league appearances and scored just 1 goal. Loans to Birmingham, Portsmouth and Stoke did little to improve Diao’s form and he quite rightly deserves his place at the heart of Liverpool’s worst XI.
LM- Bernard Diomede (2000-03)
As if it couldn’t get any worse. Believe it or not, this Liverpool failure was part of the 1998 French World Cup winning side. Signing for Liverpool in 2000, Diomede failed to make any impact on the Premier League and made just 5 appearances in the red shirt in 3 years. His inability to perform at a high level was indicated when he moved to Creteil after his tenure on Merseyside, a club that were languishing in the French Second Division. Diomede could be considered as the biggest flop in the clubs history.
ST- Sean Dundee (1998-99)
Anyone who remembers this striker that isn’t a Liverpool fan deserves a medal. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if some of the Anfield faithful have forgotten the man who made just 3 appearances for the club. Bought in by Evans and Houllier as cover for the injured Fowler, the South African failed to break into the first team and was swiftly shipped to Germany after just 1 season with Liverpool. He is the perfect man to lead the line in this team of flops.
ST- Antonio Nuñez (2004-05)
Real Madrid got Michael Owen. We got £8 million and Antonio Nuñez. Arriving with relative promise from Spain, his dire career at Liverpool began with an injury in his very first training session with the club. When Nuñez recovered, he scored just one goal, albeit in the League Cup Final. He even managed to obtain a Champions League medal, as he was an unused substitute in Istanbul. However, poor performances meant that he promptly left Merseyside after one of the worst debut seasons by any Liverpool striker in recent memory.
Sub- Istvan Kozma (1992-93)
Made just 6 appearances for Liverpool, scoring no goals. The midfielder was named as the fourth worst Premier League player ever by The Times in 2007.
Sub- Frode Kippe (1998-02)
Didn’t make a single league appearance for the club in 4 seasons. The defender was sent on loan to Stoke before moving back to his native Norway.
Sub- Charles Itandje (2007-10)
Was punished by the club after laughing during the Hillsborough memorial service in 2009. Made no league appearances for Liverpool. Doesn’t make the first team because his abilities were relatively unknown due to his lack of first team opportunities.
Sub- El-Hadji Diouf (2002-04)
Cost £10 million. Scored just 6 league goals in 80 appearances. Spat more frequently than a Llama. Enough said.
Manager- Roy Hodgson (2010-11)
It was a tough decision to give the current England boss the task of trying to manage this gang of misfits. Despite his efforts at Anfield, Hodgson could not deliver what fans wanted and will go down as one of the worst managers in the club’s history. He would struggle to apply his defensive tactics to this team, considering the utter mediocrity of the back line, but his Scandinavian links may help the centre-backs find their feet and a spell with Switzerland would have made him aware of Philipp Degen. However, it is doubtful that the man who can transform the fortunes of smaller teams, could do anything to improve the fortunes of this squad.
Degen Piechnick Kvarme Konchesky
Carter Diao Cheyrou Diomede
Bench – Itandje, Kippe, Kozma, Diouf Manager – Roy Hodgson
Who would make it into YOUR starting XI of the biggest Liverpool flops?
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