Close sidebar

The XI Of English Footballers Over-Hyped By The Media At A Young Age

English LONDON - NOVEMBER 21: Micah Richards of England in action during the Euro 2008 Group E qualifying match between England and Croatia at Wembley Stadium on November 21, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In the past, the English media have been guilty of over-hyping a number of their country’s players. Nearly every young Englishman touted with an international call-up is either the next Gascoigne or Rooney but not many live up to the expectation.

This XI gives just a few of the many Englishmen over-hyped by their media. Although some of these players are still forging out good careers for themselves and achieving well at a high level, their abilities are far more limited that what they have been built up to by the English press.

Goalkeeper: Scott Carson

Currently at Derby, Carson rose to prominence during his youth at Leeds where he eventually earned a move to Liverpool. His main breakthrough came at West Brom as he failed to dislodge Pepe Reina. Touted as a future England number one, Carson famously conceded a hit and hope from Niko Kranjcar at Wembley as the Three Lions failed in their qualification attempt for Euro 2008.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND - MARCH 5: Scott Carson of Liverpool makes his debut during the Barclays Premiership match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James Park on March 5, 2005 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Right Back: Phil Jones

Jones is still a regular with United but the early comparisons with the legendary Duncan Edwards still seem baffling. Since joining United in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers, the 24-year-old has played across the backline and as a holding midfielder. However, the strange assumption from the English media that he could become an explosive dynamic midfielder is something we will never see.

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Phil Jones of Manchester United celebrates after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at London Stadium on January 2, 2017 in Stratford, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Centre Back: John Stones

Still only 22, Stones could eventually become one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in Europe. However his hype has been talked about for a long time now and has been poor since his move to Manchester City. He is a player whose potential is constantly highlighted by the English press but with some unforgivable mistakes, a line has to be drawn for when the hype has been overextended.

John Stones

Centre Back: Micah Richards

A former Manchester City youth, the explosive Richards burst onto the scene as an exciting full-back. After just under 200 appearances for City, he returned to hometown club Aston Villa after failing to gain a consistent spot at the Etihad. With thirteen England caps and an Olympic performance for GB, Richards is a long way off an international spot after being dubbed as the next big thing over a decade ago.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23:  Micah Richards of Aston Villa applauds the fans after the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa at The Hawthorns on January 23, 2016 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Left Back: Kyle Naughton

The attacking left back caught the eye while at Sheffield United and earned a move to Spurs along with Kyle Walker. Naughton was the one expected to make the grade and was tipped for an England call-up as a teen. In six seasons, he only managed 46 appearances as Walker comfortably overtook him in the pecking order. Strangely he remains eligible for the Republic of Ireland.

SWANSEA, WALES - FEBRUARY 07:  Kyle Naughton of Swansea  during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium on February 7, 2015 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Right Wing: Jermaine Pennant

A wonder kid signed by Arsenal for £2million as a 15-year-old, Pennant was destined for stardom. A mainstay of the England underage teams, he failed to make an international appearance with mixed performances at Birmingham, Liverpool, Real Zaragoza and Stoke among others. Like Naughton, is also Irish eligible and now playing his trade with Bury after joining last week.

ATHENS, GREECE - MAY 23:  A  dejected Jermaine Pennant of Liverpool looks on, after his team concede a goal during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Liverpool and AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium on May 23, 2007 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Central Midfield: Michael Johnson

Another former City youth, powerful midfielder Johnson drew comparisons with Steven Gerrard. However, at the age of 24 he announced his retirement from football after only 37 league appearances in a career blighted by injury. Unfortunately for Johnson, personal problems also contributed to the demise of his once-promising career that was played up by the media.

LONDON - APRIL 21:  LONDON - APRIL 21;  Michael Johnson of Manchester City goes past Hameur Bouazza of Watford during the Barclays Premiership match between Watford and Manchester City at Vicarage Road on April 21, 2007 in Watford, England  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Central Midfield: Jack Wilshere

After breaking into the Arsenal first team as a teen, Wilshere was hailed as the messiah of English football. He made his debut in 2010 and the English media felt that they found their new David Beckham. Although technically gifted and a tidy footballer, the man who is now on loan at Bournemouth lacks consistency in his game that isn’t helped by injury.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Left Wing: Andros Townsend

While at Tottenham, Townsend was tipped for an illustrious England career. However, after nine loan spells, the winger knew his future as a Spurs regular looked unlikely and was sold to relegation-bound Newcastle. After a strong finish to the season and some England caps in the past few years, Townsend moved to Crystal Palace where he has struggled.

Andros Townsend of Tottenham Hotspur U21 beats William Keane of Manchester United

Striker: Francis Jeffers

After bursting onto the scene as a teenager, Francis Jeffers become an instant Everton hero and earned a big money move to Arsenal. By coincidence, he made his England debut with another Everton wonderkid Wayne Rooney in 2003 against Australia. He has a 100% goalscoring record in an England shirt with one goal from one, but never quite lived up to the expectations that the media had placed on him at such a young age.

MANCHESTER - FEBRUARY 22:  Francis Jeffers of Arsenal is tackled by David Sommeil of Manchester City during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match held on February 22, 2003 at Maine Road, in Manchester, England. Arsenal won the match 5-1. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Striker: Danny Welbeck

Although prolific at international level, Welbeck is certainly not the complete striker he is made out to be by the press. An exciting prospect at Manchester United, Welbeck become a fountain of frustration with his poor finishing and inconsistent displays. Although a good player and another man unlucky with injuries, Welbeck is far from world class, a level which he once promised to reach.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal and N'golo Kante in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.