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Comment: Premier League’s top 5 big-time Charlies

by Rob Dore | August 20, 2012

By Rob Dore

If you’re reading this Charlie Adam you’re going to be disappointed. You’re simply not big-time enough to be even considered for this list. Sorry.

Below are five of the biggest big-time Charlie’s we have seen during the Premier League years. There are plenty of candidates so feel free to add your own below in the comments section. We considered talent, production on the pitch, wages and tabloid appearances. We also went with players who are still playing, if not necessarily in the Premier League.

Can any of these big-time Charlies get their acts together and become big-time players this season?

1. Mario Balotelli

Undoubtedly a very talented young man he’s also undoubtedly a little touched in the head. Mario still has plenty of time to prove his worth but right now he is the epitome of a big-time Charlie. There simply isn’t enough space to list the young Italian’s antics but he has made more headlines for what he’s done off the pitch than on it.

A constant source of frustration for his manager and a constant source of income for strip clubs, toy stores and luxury car dealerships within a 50-mile radius.

Too much publicity, too much money, too much leeway and not enough production on the pitch. Yet.

Here he is being a big-time Charlie with that infamous back-heel from City’s 2011 pre-season.

2. Stephen Ireland

The man of a thousand grannies. The dead-granny incident doesn’t mark him out as a big-time Charlie but it does add to the overall impression of a player who is a little out of touch with reality. Ireland made his name at Manchester City and looked destined for great things. Then his form started to dip and he compensated by having everything he owns covered in diamonds, pink paint and his own initials.

Similar to Balotelli he has the talent to be the player he thinks he is but rarely justifies the large sums of money he gets paid or the tabloid attention he receives.

3. Nicklas Bendtner

He’s simply nowhere near as good as he believes he is. In fact Lionel Messi and Ronaldo combined wouldn’t be as good as Nicklas Bentdner believes himself to be. He talks the talk but only on very rare occasions, such as against Portugal at Euro 2012, of course, does he manage to walk the walk. In the big games he consistently failed for Arsenal.

Big name, big ego, big money, big disappointment. Here Bendtner is not just failing to score from two feet out against Liverpool in the Champions League but he ends up clearing the ball off the line.

4. David Bentley

After failing to make the grade with Arsenal as a youngster, Bentley became a big fish in the small Blackburn pond by crossing the ball rather well. Being a good crosser of the ball and being called David led the media to compare him to David Beckham. Bentley bought in to the hype and after three seasons at Ewood Park and a few England caps he forced through a £15m move to Spurs. Job done.

He enjoyed the money, extra-fame and London lifestyle of being at Spurs but four years on and he’s probably still behind Becks in the England pecking order.

Here is Bentley scoring on his Spurs debut. The downward trend started about 30 seconds later.

5. Ryan Babel

The Dutch winger arrived at Anfield for £11m in 2007 and was seen as a serious prospect. Six games in he scored a goal at home to Derby which indicated that he would become a Liverpool star. He didn’t. Woeful inconsistency, poor finishing and an inability to play out wide marked his four years with the Reds.

Off the pitch he moaned about not getting enough game time and hung out with rapper types. Babel even had a studio installed in his Merseyside home, presumably to give him something to do during the games.

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