Over the last few days, we’ve seen some pretty poor Premier League performances from those who are seasoned internationals. Two players were blamed almost entirely for their team’s defeats while one top-flight club is trying to find excuses here, there and everywhere. No excuse for you not to read on and find out who made the Wally of the Week shortlist.
3. Kasper Schmeichel
Usually shipping five goals is bad enough for any goalkeeper but when you’re directly at fault for a couple of those goals, it’s even tougher to take. Kasper Schmeichel was probably expecting to be busy when his Leicester side travelled to the Etihad to meet the runaway leaders, Manchester City, but being busy usually means you’re making saves. Schmeichel could do nothing about City’s first two goals but the same couldn’t be said about the third or fourth ones. Schmeichel’s poor clearance was intercepted by City in midfield and Sergio Aguero fired through the Danish keeper to score before Schmeichel decided he’d rather play for Manchester City and passed it straight to Aguero in front of goal. The Argentine clipped the ball over the stranded Schmeichel for his hat-trick and the day didn’t get any better for the Dane when Aguero beat him again to score City’s fifth.
2. West Brom
The Baggies have won just three games all season and were beaten handsomely by an out-of-form Chelsea side on Monday night. Their decline over the last few months has been frightening. They finished last season in 10th having had one of their best seasons in the top-flight for some time and followed that up with two wins from their first two games of the new season in August. By November they were 17th having not won since and Tony Pulis was sacked after a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea. He probably would’ve kept the Albion up with an unattractive style of play but kept them up nonetheless.
The one man you don’t want to appoint when you’re in a relegation battle is Alan Pardew and that’s exactly what West Brom did. Pardew has won just one game in the league since his appointment – a 2-0 win over Brighton at his 11th attempt and his team sit rock bottom of the table and seven points from safety. After the loss at Stamford Bridge, the chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman were sacked by West Brom’s Chinese owners in an attempt to pin the blame on someone. Not exactly a calm and measured approach for a club in turmoil.
1. Chris Smalling
To think that this man has captained Manchester United and England before is scary. He is a shadow of the player that played so well under Louis Van Gaal a couple of years ago and his performance against Newcastle came under scrutiny as the Red Devils succumbed to a 1-0 loss. Smalling, as a centre back, failed to make a single tackle during the game and was woeful throughout. He was lucky to see his challenge on Dwight Gayle go unpunished when Newcastle really should’ve had a penalty before being booked for diving. He went over theatrically on the halfway line of all places and was penalised by the referee – it really was an embarrassing moment. To make things worse, Newcastle went in front from the free kick when Matt Ritchie scored and United were in trouble. The visitors couldn’t get back into the game and Smalling was made the scapegoat for his dreadful display.