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New Year, New You: Five Premier League players who need to up their game

2014 is just around the corner and here are our top five players who need to turn their seasons around in the New Year

by Josh Powell | December 30, 2013

January is just around the corner and after a fortnight of heavy drinking, chain-smoking and living off selection boxes for breakfast, a lot of people like to spend this month reevaluating their lives.

That means, for a couple of days at least, gyms are full, pubs are quiet and every other advert is encouraging you to improve your lifestyle.

Here at the Paddy Power Blog, rather than try to improve our own fitness (that sounds too much like hard work), we’ve taken five Premier League superstars who need to turn their seasons around in the New Year.

Christian Benteke

The Villa striker was hotly tipped to be in and around the leading goalscorers come the end of the season but it has been a series of lacklustre performances from the Belgium so far. He bagged 19 goals in 34 appearances last season but this season’s statistics are as impressive as the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special.

  • The striker has averaged just one goal every four-and-a-half hours of league football this year and has a conversion rate of just 11 per cent
  • He has a pass success rate of just 57.4 per cent. Just 29 players in the league are worse than that, with 439 players posting a better average. That also probably explains why he hasn’t registered an assist this year
  • Benteke has been dispossessed 29 times this season – just 17 players have lost the ball more often than the Belgian

Marouane Fellaini

Marouane_Fellaini_blog

He cost £27.5 million and was meant to help strengthen a flimsy Manchester United midfield. Unfortunately for the former Everton player his strong, dominating performances which worried defenders are now a distant memory and you’re more likely to see a mistimed tackle, a loose 10-yard pass or a clumsy touch from the man with the silliest hair in football.

  • Fellaini scored 11 goals in 31 games for Everton last season but this year has managed to go more than 11 hours without finding the net for United
  • In 446 minutes of Premier League football, Marouane Fellaini has managed just one key pass – the same amount as David De Gea
  • The midfielder has fouled someone, on average, every 17 minutes in the Champions League

Jozy Altidore

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Sunderland prop up the bottom of the table and only Crystal Palace have scored fewer goals than the Black Cats this season. The men in charge at the Stadium of Light presumably failed to notice that Altidore had one goal in 28 Premier League games for Hull back in 2010 when they offered him a four-year deal. If Sunderland are to survive Altidore needs to buck his ideas up and start finding the net.

  • Altidore has just one goal in 1,057 minutes of Premier League football this season
  • The striker has committed more fouls this season (30) than he has had shots (21)
  • On average he has lost the ball through miscontrol or a poor touch once every 53 minutes in the league this season

Dimitar Berbatov

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The motivationally-challenged striker doesn’t appear to be enjoying life at Fulham, and when you’re getting tonked 6-0 by Hull, who would? The Bulgarian Man of the Year 2009 is on course for one of his worst scoring returns in a Premier League season but to be fair, looks like he couldn’t care less.

  • Berbatov has lost possession 61 times this season – an average of four times a game. More worryingly for Fulham fans 52 per cent of the time it is down to a mistake by Berbatov rather than a tackle
  • At Craven Cottage Berba has had 19 attempts on goal but scored just once, giving him a measly conversion rate of just five per cent
  • This year the striker has scored, on average, just once every six hours and 45 minutes

Andros Townsend

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Screw the England call up and the Townsend love in that happened sometime in October, if you look at the stats the winger has been hopeless at Tottenham this season. If he has any serious ambitions of starting for England against Italy in Brazil then he needs to put in some serious performances in 2014.

  • Andros Townsend has had 46 shots this season and scored just once giving him a conversion rate of just two per cent. To make it worse his only goal was the opener against Aston Villa which he admitted after the game was intended to be a cross
  • Talking of crosses, Townsend has attempted 57 this season, with less than a quarter of them finding a team mate
  • The winger has had almost 15 and a half hours of game time for Spurs in the league this season and is yet to register an assist

Agree? Or are we missing someone? Vent your anger to us here @paddypower

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