Every new Premier League season gives rise to its own heroes and villains as the media is constantly watching every move in minute detail. As such, players and managers alike can either enhance or completely destroy their hard-earned reputations in a matter of months.
Here are six unfortunate souls who may never recover from their disastrous 2013/14 season.
6. Roberto Soldado
There could easily have been more than one of Spurs' ineffective summer purchases in this list and it was a toss up between Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado. The Spaniard gets the nod because he has played more, is supposed to be in his prime and came to North London with such a distinguished record.
A Real Madrid youth product, Soldado had scored just over a goal every other league game at former clubs Valencia, Getafe and Osasuna - a very impressive record indeed for somebody with years of La Liga top flight experience. He has, however, repaid Tottenham's £26m splurge with only six league goals so far. At just over £4m per strike, this is not exactly what you would call good value for money.
5. Arsene Wenger
2013/14 was supposed to be Arsene Wenger's year to prove to all the doubters that he still has it in him to create a league winning side. Both Manchester clubs and Chelsea were in transition, while Spurs and Liverpool could not even break into the Champions League.
Unfortunately for Arsene, it has not quite happened as Arsenal fans had hoped. In fact, after a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of Everton, the Gunners could even miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time in over fifteen years. Not many would have envisaged this at the beginning of the season when Arsenal were briefly an unstoppable force, but the Gunners have once again capitulated in the face of pressure, conceding six goals to title rivals Manchester City and five to Liverpool.
4. Ricky van Wolfskwinkel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel did not arrive to England with the esteemed reputation boasted by the likes of Erik Lamela or Roberto Soldado, but he was a proven and reliable goalscorer. So much so that relative minnows Norwich City were willing to splash out as much as £8.5m on him - no small sum for a club of Norwich's size.
Like Soldado, van Wolfswinkel had scored more than one goal every other game at former clubs FC Utrecht and Sporting Lisbon. He even started his maiden Premier League season well, scoring on his debut against Everton. 23 appearances later in all competitions and van Wolfswinkel still only has one goal in England. One hopes that the Dutchman can rediscover some of his previous form for next season or move back to a league where he feels more comfortable, otherwise his career at the highest level may be all but over.
3. David Moyes
Manchester United's fall from the top is being thrown almost exclusively at the feet of the beleaguered Scotsman David Moyes. United's new manager seems capable of reviving his faltering side for a few games, only to sink back into oblivion the next week with another awful performance.
Moyes came to United under the guise of a pragmatic but effective manager. He was never branded as a tactical genius, but he was a man who could grind out results in the way that United had done so often under Moyes's legendary predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson. Unfortunately, things have not worked out that way and Moyes seems completely out of his depth and without a fashionable philosophy to turn things around. Unless he pulls off a miracle and beats Bayern Munich along the way to winning the Champions League, the season will likely have been nothing but an abject failure.
2. Marouane Fellaini
The big-haired Belgian arrived at Old Trafford from Merseyside along with David Moyes and plenty of potential after having had one of his best ever seasons under the Scot at Everton.
Nonetheless, there were concerns upon joining United that Fellaini simply wasn't the sort of player to fit the Red Devils' philosophy. Fast-forward to the present day and the doubters have been proved correct. Poor Fellaini is a microcosm of United's struggles as a whole this season and games seem to simply breeze by the Belgian who struggles to make the physical impression that he did whilst at Everton.
1. Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew was affectionately named 'Pardiola' by some fans when Newcastle finished fifth in the league just two seasons ago. Compared to the Toon's performance in the league last season, this term makes the old nickname seem very humorous indeed.
After an injury to Loic Remy and the departure of star player Yohan Cabaye to PSG, the Magpies capitulated completely, despite still holding a relatively respectable league position due to a patch of good early season form. Although Pardew cannot be blamed for Cabaye's head being turned, the fact that no replacement was signed is criminal.
Pardew has now completely lost his grip on the side and they are in free fall, bereft of any sort of tactical coherence. The fact that their season has been saved by a striker on loan from a Championship club (one who is unlikely to return to Tyneside next season) does not bode well for next year either. Barring something spectacular, one feels that Pardew's time at Newcastle is up.
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