Did you keep the receipt? Who are the Premier League's biggest disappointments?

21 November 2013 2:35 AM

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Did you keep the receipt? Who are the Premier League's biggest disappointments?

IT'S the most hyped league in the world so it's not surprising that sometimes people don't match up to expectations.

The Premier League is a harsh and unforgiving stage. Deliver and the rewards are huge; fail to perform and you'll quickly be found out and dropped, no matter the reputation or price tag.

With a quarter of the season gone and the EPL set to return this weekend, let's look at some of those individuals who haven't cut the mustard.

It might be unfair to label Fellaini a disappointment, when it was David Moyes and Manchester United's woeful transfer strategy that brought the midfielder in from Everton for a vastly inflated $60m.

But the big-haired Belgian looks a shadow of the battering ram he was at Goodison Park. Without wanting to dismiss his technical abilities, questions hang over his ability to fit into a United squad built in an entirely different way to Moyes's at Everton.

But more than that, it has been Fellaini's inability to influence games that has been the biggest disappointment. Moyes knows his player and might be attempting to restructure his midfield to bring the best out of his talents - but it seems more likely that Maroune Fellaini is just not a Manchester United player.

What happened to Maroaune Chamakh? He was one of the hottest properties in Europe before his move to Arsenal in 2010 - then he got found out. The issue, according to Arsene Wenger, was that training with Robin van Persie made Chamakh realise he was never going to be good enough.

Everyone pretty much agrees that Jose has a big job ahead of him to turn Chelsea's rather ramshackle squad into genuine challengers - but no one thought it would take this much work.

Perhaps it's more to do with the level of performance we've come to expect from Mourinho's teams. Chelsea have been seriously underwhelming this season, as the Portuguese struggles to make some sense of his hugely talented but cluttered squad. They've got so many creative midfielders - with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar and Andre Schurrle - the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Willian (seemingly bought just to wind up Tottenham) can't get a look in.

Off the field, Mourinho continues to entertain, however, labellingWest Brom's Jonas Olsson a "Mickey Mouse player and raging at referees - but even with Chelsea comfortable in the top four, losses to Everton and Newcastle already this season indicate the Special One might be running low on Special Juice at the moment.

No club quite does disappointment quite like Manchester City - but to have so many when we're not even halfway through the season is impressive even by their standards. So much money spent, so many big-name players going missing. Martin Demichelis, Jesus Navas, Steven Jovetic (although, to be fair, the highly rated Montenegrin has been hampered by injuries) have all failed to deliver and the less said about Joe Hart the better.

Andre Villas-Boas proved himself the anti-Wenger in pre-season, blowing all his Gareth Bale money as soon as Real Madrid handed over the big envelope. But Spurs fans are probably hoping he at least kept the receipts.

Despite some promising signs from Christian Eriksen, the expensive imports are taking too long to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, with Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado the chief culprits. Bought for a combined $120m, neither have justified their price tag.

Lamela, 21, has scored just once since joining from Roma, while Spaniard Soldado has netted six times - three of which have come from the penalty spot.

It's obviously early days for Spurs but the question remains: is it just a matter of time or has AVB got it wrong?

Martin Jol looks depressed. He's just one of those people. But given how his tenure at Fulham is going, the Dutchman has every reason to be hiding under the pillow every morning.

With seven losses already this season, Jol said he doesn't fear the sack at Craven Cottage after watching his side lose 3-1 to Manchester United. Next week they got spanked 4-0 by Liverpool.

Just 11 games in, it increasingly looks like there is only one way forward for Jol - the exit door.

A winger of great promise signed by Alex Ferguson for a reported $15m, another season on loan with Crystal Palace doesn't look to have helped Zaha's development as a footballer. With only two appearances under David Moyes, the 21-year-old has been invisible since his move to Old Trafford.

Well, not quite - the night before United beat Arsenal 1-0, Zaha was pictured at a London nightclub, smoking and dancing on a stage. With another loan move in the offing, it might be a long time before this highly rated youngster gets his chance to prove himself.

The Merseyside Derby is the biggest game in world football according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

Give Brendan Rodgers some credit, he is willing to experiment. But $15m on Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto is looking increasingly like a botch job. The Liverpool manager was given the money to enhance his squad's top-four hopes but in these two he looks to have picked up a couple of genuine flops to join Anfield's long list of not-good-enoughs over recent years.

Aspas, to be fair, has struggled with injury and does have Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ahead of him in the pecking order but with only one substitute appearance Alberto has struggled to make any impact, already admitting he wasn't ready for the pace and physicality of English football. Seriously, who doesn't know that by now?

It wasn't a disappointment for Black Cats fans - or their players for that matter - to see the fiery Italian get the boot but it broke the heart of football journos around the world.

Di Canio was a headline machine. From the highly questionable political beliefs to his self-destructive man-management techniques, the Italian might be a great coach hidden inside a raging lunatic. But without his laugh-out-loud antics, the Premier League is a much more boring place to be.

Source: couriermail.com.au

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