Kieron Dyer’s imminent transfer to Queens Park Rangers suggests a question: has there ever been a player who has taken so much out of football but given so little back? Dyer, reportedly earning £83,000 per week at West Ham United, has played just 30 games in four years at Upton Park. He cost the Londoners an extra £500,000 per year in ‘image rights’ on top of a £6 million transfer fee.
In this spirit Rant has put together Wasters FC. An outfit not of the worst players in the history of football but those who took so much, with so little in return.
Wasters FC – Owner: Malcom Glazer. Chair: Sepp Blatter. Manager: Brian Little
Stuart Taylor, Goalkeeper: Taylor, the standard-bearer for reserve goalkeeping – has played just 69 league games since turning pro in 1997.
Marco Boogers, right-back: so depressed after being sent off for West Ham against Manchester United that Boogers disappeared for two days leading to the now infamous Sun headline: “Barmy Boogers Living In A Caravan”.
Jonathan Woodgate, centre-back: perennially injured, cumulative transfer fees of £30 million, wages in excess of £80,000, and just 120 games in the past eight years.
Winston Bogaarde, centre-back: sat out a four-year, £40,000 per week, contract at Chelsea, playing just nine games in the process.
Asier del Horno, left-back: £7 million transfer fee brought him to Chelsea, 25 failed games later and the Spaniard was sent home. Last seen at lowly Levante.
Andy van der Meyde, right-wing: sent off on début and that was about as good as it got for the Dutchman, who played just 20 games in four years for Everton.
Tomas Brolin, centre midfield: retired aged just 29 having last played for Hudiksvalls but it is the three horrendous years at Leeds United that the podgy Swede is best ‘remembered’ for in England.
Kieron Dyer, centre midfield (c): see above!
Paolo Future, left-wing: played 60 games for seven clubs after leaving Atletico Madrid in 1993, including a disastrous spell at West Ham in 1997. Nine games, no goals and few fans.
Freddy Adu, striker: better than George Best, quicker than Pélé, more skillfull than Diego Maradona… older than Nelson Mandela … and last seen playing for Çaykur Rizespor in the Turkish second division. Still made millions from Nike sponsorship.
Denílson de Oliveira Araújo, striker: once the world’s most expensive player. Last three clubs: AO Kavala, Xi Măng Hải Phòng, Itumbiara. No Rant hadn’t heard of them either.
Bench: Chris Kirkland, Alfonso Alves, Harry Kewell, Steve Marlet, Jody Morris, Franny Jeffers, Hugo Viana, Sergei Rebrov, Bosko Balaban …. and so many more!