Seven players who are both brilliant and sh*t at the same time

Quick Reads

As a football fan there are times when it is impossible not to look at certain players and think, ‘I could do better than that.’

But like it or loathe it, if a player is on the books at a top-flight club, they’re almost certainly more talented than you can ever dream of being.

And we’ve taken a closer look at seven players, all still active, who manage to be both brilliant and sh*t at the same time. Tweet us your suggestions at @planetfutebol.

Sol Bamba

There is no more wonderfully fun football than Sol Bamba playing in England right now.

A footballer who tried to fight his own manager, Neil Warnock. A footballer who got absolutely leathered at a Leeds United player of the year awards do and was filmed bellowing Marching on Together in the toilets with supporters.

A footballer who, against Tottenham, produced an exquisite Cruyff turn to get himself out of trouble, only to immediately give the ball away in a dangerous area, and then produce a goal-saving block to deny Son Heung-min.

Keep on keeping on, Sol. We love you.

Charlie Adam

It’s undeniable Charlie Adam has an excellent left foot, so much so there was a period when it felt he was producing at least a few goal of the season contenders a year.

It’s also undeniable Charlie Adam is Scottish, so much so that the fake Craig Bellamy story which did the rounds was entirely believable.

Moussa Sissoko

It’s often hard to work out which is the real Moussa Sissoko. The one who Tottenham paid £30million to sign after starring for France at Euro 2016, or the one who was relegated with Newcastle after scoring one goal all season?

As Jonathan Liew wrote for The independent: ‘He always looks so utterly startled to have the ball at his feet. Every time he gets it, he stares at it for a moment, as if this were a turn of events he had scarcely bargained for.

‘Why did none of you warn me?’ you can see him beseeching his team-mates, while he gamely grapples with this mysterious white orb bobbling off one of his many legs.’

And yet while many Spurs fans would have been happy for the midfielder to leave the club in the summer, he has suddenly found himself becoming something of a cult hero.

Plus, we’re not going to criticise a player who can make a clearing header without even looking at the ball.

Heurelho Gomes

There are plenty of goalkeepers who could have been picked in this list, but, like Bamba, Gomes is just an awful lot of fun.

The gum-shielded lunatic has played for Brazil, won four titles in Holland, helped PSV reach the Champions League semi-finals and has just shy of 200 Premier League appearances to his name.

But then he’s always been partial to a spectacular gaffe, notably in Tottenham’s Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid, when he Loris Kariused before it was mainstream.

There’s also the time he started crying in a game against Stoke because of Rory Delap’s long throws, or his heroics against Blackpool, when he saved a Charlie Adam penalty only to immediately concede another spot-kick in the aftermath.

Mamadou Sakho

When Crystal Palace hosted then-reigning champions Chelsea at Selhurst Park last season, the Eagles were still looking for their first Premier League victory of the campaign and already appeared doomed to relegation.

But thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s magic in attack and a brilliant rearguard effort led by Sakho, Roy Hodgson’s men produced a shock 2-1 win.

Palace had to withstand a second-half onslaught from the Blues, but the pressure clearly didn’t get to Sakho, who decided to pull out a backheel inside his own six-yard box which Cesc Fabregas almost pounced upon to score an equaliser.

It was quite a nice way of summing up a player who captained PSG at the age of 17 but was bombed out at Liverpool for continually tuning up late.

READ: Mamadou Sakho’s ridiculous backheel & the subtle art of maverick defending

Fernando Torres

Torres’ career actually makes us feel a little bit sad: from one of the best strikers in the world at Liverpool to a punchline at Chelsea.

But even the Spaniard’s spell at Chelsea had ups as well as downs, namely the squeal of Gary Neville as he sealed the Blues’ place in the Champions League final with that goal in the Nou Camp.

Sadly, he will also be remembered for the way he similarly rounded Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea at Old Trafford, only to calmly put the ball wide with an empty net at his mercy.

READ: Fernando Torres: The Chelsea ‘flop’ who still stole fans’ hearts

Andy Carroll

We’re not really sure what to make of Carroll, who seems destined to spend the rest of his career occasionally scoring brilliant overhead kicks and bullying Arsenal once a year while simultaneously looking like someone has let a wild antelope roam football pitches in east London.

It’s still not going to stop your dad calling for him to be in the England team, though.


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Whisper it quietly, but Moussa Sissoko is becoming Spurs’ unlikely cult hero