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Ball of Shame Decathlon event #3: The 10 Premier League players who last the least amount of time on the pitch

Today’s fast-paced Premier League leaves little room for the genuinely fat footballers of old, but when our Ball of Shame team took a look at official Premier League stats for the first half of the season, it was clear that fatness of mind persists in the English top flight...

by Sean Goff | January 6, 2014

We’ve crafted a Ball of Shame Decathlon in which the Paddy Power Blog will give daily gold, silver and bronze medals to the three worst offenders in a quest to name and shame the division’s laziest players and clubs. We’ll give three points for gold, two for silver and one for bronze.

Players who love to sit on the bench kicked off the series, but today we’ll be identifying those who seem to be pining for the bench from the moment they step across the touchline. To make it fair, we’ll only look at players who’ve started at least 10 Premier League matches in the first half of the season.

Below are the 10 players who’ve averaged the least time on the pitch in matches where they were in the starting 11.

You’ll see that being taken off with a quarter of an hour to go is actually pretty common in the Premier League, but there are three players who’ve been trudging off much earlier than the rest. Click the players on the podium to reveal the three biggest culprits.

In third place we have Stoke’s Charlie Adam: when he’s not removing Spurs players from the pitch he seems to be focused on trying to leave it himself. He’s only managed to complete two of the 11 Premier League matches he’s started this season.

Cardiff’s Bo-Kyung Kim narrowly edges second place, having made the same number of starts as Adam and likewise only completing two of them. However he’s been on the pitch for 90 seconds less so far and, for what it’s worth, has spent 40 seconds longer on the bench.

The gold medal however goes to Kim’s team-mate Peter Odemwingie, who hasn’t been able to complete a full match in any of his 10 starts this season. The nearest he came was ironically against West Brom – the club he really didn’t want to play for – when he was substituted bang on 90 minutes. The player who replaced him for those final few moments? Bo-Kyung Kim, who almost lost our silver medal as a result.

Cardiff leap to the top of our medal table with two golds and a silver – the only club with more than one medal so far.

  • Tomorrow we’ll be looking at ‘Economy of Effort’ – that’s players with the fewest shots per goal scored, which is kind of a backhanded compliment.

Stats up to and including December 29.


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