With every man of the match performance, there must be someone to shoulder the blame. That is the stark reality of soccer. And life in general.
So, judged by our player ratings from the first 17 rounds of games, we present the Worst XI of the Premier League season so far.
Starting in goal, and it is no surprise to see Joe Hart reluctantly take the No. 1 shirt. His fall from grace both domestically and internationally has been public.
A last-minute mistake by the shot-stopper to hand Chelsea victory in October was the last straw for Manuel Pellegrini, who decided not to feature Hart in the Premier League again until this past weekend.
Fernando Amorebieta has struggled in his first season at Craven Cottage, with the most common complaint from his match ratings highlighting his lack of pace and awareness. The center back has 11 Premier League appearances to his name, but has tasted victory just once when starting - a 1-0 win over Stoke City in October.
It is a similar story for Valentin Roberge - another summer signing - who has made four Premier League starts for Sunderland with a points return of zero and 10 goals conceded.
Michael Dawson is certainly not the worst center back in the league, but he has really struggled with Andre Villas-Boas' high line - being taken apart by Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero as Tottenham suffered two of its biggest defeats in nearly 20 years.
Alexander Tonev is another who has struggled to adapt to English soccer. The winger has failed to make a single attacking contribution of note in his 12 top-fight outings thus far, and boasts an average pass completion rate of 78.4 percent.
It is a similar story with Glenn Whelan, who has also racked up an average rating of just 2.25 with his continued failings for Stoke City.
Usually a significant threat for West Ham in the final third, Kevin Nolan has failed to boost a failing strike force this season. With just one goal to his name, a frustrating first half of the season was summed up by a petulant red card against Liverpool earlier in December.
Nani is the lowest-rated midfielder to have played more than five Premier League games this season with an average rating of just 2.17. Where Adnan Januzaj has impressed under David Moyes, the Portuguese has failed - with not a single goal or assist in eight outings. He was even booed by Manchester United fans in an October win over Stoke.
Our front three can boast just one goal in 38 combined appearances this season. In fact, Modibo Maiga's winner for West Ham in the Capital One Cup was only his second of 2013 after notching against Chelsea in January.
The Mali international is, according to our player ratings, the worst player in England's top flight with an staggeringly poor average rating of 1.83, with Johan Elmander similarly impotent in attack and yet to open his Norwich account.
Danny Graham is the sole striker to have a league goal to his name but looks less than half the player he was under Michael Laudrup at Swansea - with said goal ironically coming against the Swans. Just like Maiga, he has a solitary strike in 2013.
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Joe Hart