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Top 15 Worst Defenders in Premier League History

Over the last couple of decades, the English Premier League has seen the rise and dominance of many great stars. Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard – the list could go on and on. These are the players who could light up a pitch, make a fantastic game-changing play or single-handedly lead their team to glory. Behind these attacking legends were the less glamorous but equally important star defenders. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, John Terry and Jamie Carragher all demonstrated that defenders could be stars who were equally as important as their flashier attacking teammates.

Of course, for every star there always seems to be a massive flop. In terms of defenders, this view holds very true. Over its history, the EPL has seen its share of awful defenders. Why were they signed by their respective teams in the first place if they were so bad? In many instances, the player in question flourished in another league, international tournament or even put on a good display when scouts just happened to be watching. Yet, once in England the wheels fell off and the defender was shown to be totally out of their depth. Such defenders are lucky to last a season under such circumstances and often disappear into the reserves, quietly vacating the club when the transfer window comes around.

As the following article demonstrates, not all EPL defenders become stars. In fact, as you’ll see, some were so bad they will forever be remembered as the worst defenders to ever grace a Premier League pitch. What made them so bad that this label is forever applied? There can be a number of factors that lead us to remember a defender as a flop. Price-tag, expectations, injuries and just plain terrible on-pitch performances are all factors which influence how we remember sub-par EPL defenders. The following players weren’t necessarily bad all the time, but their level of play was so below that of their peers that they will forever be remembered as the worst defenders to ever play in the EPL.

15 Jan Kromkamp 

via longballfootball.wordpress.com

14 Gary Doherty 

via thefightingcock.co.uk

13 Rigobert Song 

via premierleague.com

12 Khalid Boulahrouz 

via express.co.uk

11 Claude Davis 

via telegraph.co.uk

10 Wayne Quinn 

via westernmorningnews.co.uk

9 Jean-Alain Boumsong

via playbuzz.com

8 Titus Bramble 

via backpagefootball.com

7 Igors Stepanovs 

via dailymail.co.uk

6 Winston Bogarde 

via thefalsenine.co.uk

5 Per Kroldrup 

via telegraph.co.uk

4 Pascal Cygan 

via fr.thesportdealer.com

3 Marco Materazzi

via telegraph.co.uk

2 Roque Junior 

via chelseablues.ru

1 Frank Sinclair 

via skysports.com

Who can top the defender who had no clue about defending? How about one not only below average defensively but who scores big own-goals. Step forward Frank Sinclair of Leicester City. Yes, he played for several other clubs in his career but at Leicester he had a time to forget. In 1999, Sinclair netted two big own goals on consecutive weekends. First, while drawing against Arsenal, Sinclair powered home a header – into his own net - to give Arsenal the 2-1 win. The following weekend he out-muscled the Chelsea forwards to nod past his own keeper and tie the game up. Both goals came in the final moments of the match and both goals cost Leicester valuable points. Not done there, in 2002 while playing against Middlesbrough, he scored a 40 yard own goal after firing the ball back to his keeper. Leicester lost 1-0 and Sinclair solidified his reputation as one of the Premier League’s worst defenders.

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Top 15 Worst Defenders in Premier League History