While everyone including myself came up with their best team of the World Cup, I decided to do something different. This is a team made up of players who let their nations down by their poor play on the field. All these players had one or more of the following: a forgetful moment, a terrible game, or a bad tournament.
GK: Robert Green, England- A forgetful moment
England has never had a great goalkeeper. The trend continued this year with England having three quality goalkeepers, but no one was world class. Because of David James’ age and Joe Hart’s inexperience, Coach Fabio Capello turned to West Ham’s Robert Green for the Three Lions’ World Cup opener against the United States. England got off to a dream start, but that was erased in the 40th minute when Clint Dempsey took a shot from range and Green made one of the worst goalkeeper mistakes in World Cup history. Green continued the rest of the match and played well enough to preserve a draw. But that was Green’s last minutes of the World Cup.
RB: Nicolas Otamendi, Argentina- A terrible game
The Argentina fullback had a nightmare of a match against Germany. He conceded a free kick that lead to a German goal in the third minute. On that set piece goal Otamendi lost his mark, which was goal scorer Thomas Muller. A couple minutes later he got a yellow card and had to play conservatively the rest of the match. Argentina lost this game 4-0 because of the poor defense from Otamendi and the rest of the Argentine back line.
Rest of the Defense: The two center backs and left back for North Korea who played against Portugal- A terrible game
These players, Ri Kwang-Chon, Park Chol-Jin, and Cha Jong-Hyok, played in North Korea’s 7-0 loss to Portugal. The North Korean’s were especially poor in the second half by giving up six goals. To add more embarrassment, people in North Korea got the rare opportunity to watch the the match.
M: Ricardo Clark, United States- All three
The United States doesn’t have great depth. But if their is one position that the United States had solid options, it was central midfield. Michael Bradley was a lock to start, and many American fans wanted to see either the in form Maurice Edu or Jose Torres. But instead Coach Bob Bradley decided to start more defensively minded Ricardo Clark against England. Clark has had success with the National team, but was coming off an injury and wasn’t impressive in the friendlies. The decision to start Clark back fired when Steven Gerrard easily made a run past Clark to give England an early lead. Clark didn’t feature in the United States’ next two matches, and it appeared Edu secured a starting spot for the knock out stage. But in the Round of 16 match against Ghana, Coach Bradley decided to start Clark again exactly two weeks after the England match. In the first five minutes, Clark made a dreadful turnover at midfield and Ghana quickly scored. When Clark got a yellow card soon after, Bradley was forced to correct his mistake and introduce Edu. Not all the blame should be put on Clark, but if the United States started Edu who knows how far America could’ve made it.
M: Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Serbia- A forgettable moment
The midfielder came in as a sub in Serbia’s first match against Ghana. Late into the match and the game scoreless, Ghana sent in a hopeful cross. As the cross came in towards the far post, Kuzmanovic stuck his hand out and the ball hit his hand. Ghana was given a penalty, converted it and won the match. This was one of the low moments of Serbia’s disappointing World Cup campaign.
M: Felipe Melo, Brazil- A terrible game
After a superb assist in the first half quarterfinal match against the Netherlands, it went all down hill for the defensive midfielder. He and goalkeeper Julio Cesar had a miscommunication as a Wesley Sneijder shot grazed off Melo’s head and into the net. With Brazil down 2-1, Melo didn’t help Brazil’s cause of equalizing by loosing his cool and stepping on Arjen Robben. Many Brazilians will blame Felipe Melo for their early South African exit.
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Fernando Torres (Spain)- A bad tournament
These players are three of the best goal scorers in the world. But in this tournament, the three combined for one goal in 15 matches. The one Ronaldo goal was not special by the way. Because of early exits from the tournament,Ronaldo and Rooney are being blamed by their countries fans. Meanwhile because Spain won the World Cup, not many people outside of Liverpool are disappointed at Torres. Come August, when these players are back with their club teams, the scoring drought should stop and everything will be back to normal.
So that is the worst eleven players in my opinion. It will be interesting to see if these players can turn it around starting in the club season. Comment with your thoughts. Any other players that could be on this team?