The Premier League teams pride themselves on strength in depth, but a problem of plenty often leads to some players sulking on the bench while the regular starters hog the headlines. Be it the fact that certain players don’t fit into the manager’s preferred system or find it difficult to forge their way into the team thanks to an injury layoff or consistent performances from their teammates, the influence of a bench-warmer, productive or disruptive, can often have an influence on the fortunes of the team.
Let’s take a look at our Premier League Benchwarmers XI for the 2013-14 season.
Goalkeeper And Defense
GK: Lukasz Fabianski
Lukasz Fabianski played right throughout Arsenal’s successful FA Cup campaign but a solitary appearance in the Premier League is a little harsh on a keeper who would walk into a few teams in the Premier League.
RB : Micah Richards
CB : Kolo Toure
CB : Thomas Vermaelen
LB : Ashley Cole
Micah Richards barely featured in Manchester City’s title winning campaign, with three of his five appearances coming in the Champions League. With Pablo Zabaleta the undisputed choice for the right back spot and rumors of Bacary Sagna to City hotting up, Richards may have to look elsewhere for regular action.
A wealth options in central defence for Manuel Pellegrini has seen Joleon Lescott marginalised into a bit-part player. Could he have done better than the erratic Demichelis?
Thomas Vermaelen has rapidly fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger may well be looking to offload the Belgian in the summer transfer window after the defender made just 7 starts in the league last season.
Spending a substantial part of the season on the bench has cost Ashley Cole his ticket to Brazil. Is this the beginning of the end for Ashley Cole at Chelsea?