Leicester were the most unwatchable team in the Premier League last season, with 10 of their games featuring in the bottom 10 per cent of matches ranked on entertainment value.
Nigel Pearson's side performed one of the great escapes with an incredible run of form at the end of the season to ensure survival, and few would argue that the Foxes deserved to keep their place in the top flight (certainly not with Pearson). However, based on pure entertainment value, Leicester were involved in more of the worst matches of the 2014/15 season than any other club.
The Press Association, which had reporters at all 380 Premier League games, ranked each match out of 100 based on entertainment value.
Analysis shows that in a season in which Chelsea were labelled 'boring' for the way they marched to the title, those that refute that suggestion will be pleased to see the Blues featured in just two of the worst 10 per cent of games.
Burnley, who were ultimately relegated back to the Championship, were involved in eight ties, making them the second worst team to watch last season.
Perhaps more surprisingly was that Everton were involved in seven poor matches. Roberto Martinez arrived at Goodison Park famed for implementing passing, beautiful football. However, it seems on too many occasions that simply wasn't the case, a view reflected in their disappointing league finish of 11th.
Stoke and West Brom were each involved in six games considered among the bottom 10 per cent for entertainment.
No side escaped from featuring among the worst 10 per cent of games, although four sides did manage to be involved in just one. Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Manchester United was among them, whilst games played against Burnley by Tottenham and Swansea failed to get pulses racing. Perhaps most surprisingly of all was that Newcastle, a club engulfed by protests and concern over a failure to invest in the squad, were also only involved in one of the worst games of the season. Their 2-1 loss to QPR at Loftus Road was the match that failed to impress.
Premier League 2014/15 memorable moments
Premier League 2014/15 memorable moments
1/12 Comical tackle of the season
Phil Jones’ commitment has never been in question – but he really went the extra mile in May’s Premier League clash against Arsenal. Having slipped with Olivier Giroud on his shoulder, the defender managed to nod a header away – despite lying flat on the ground. Former Gunners defender Martin Keown labelled him as a “comical stuntman” – and it’s hard to disagree on this showing.
2/12 Unluckiest player of the season
In the opening match of the season, Ashley Young may have seen Ki Sung-Yeung’s goal and thought it was going to be a bad day – but little did he know, it was about to get a whole lot worse for him. Whilst berating team-mates for their defending, videos appear to show bird excrement falling from the sky and straight into the midfielder’s mouth – something he still denies, of course.
3/12 Best free-kick
“It was a boring game and I livened it up. My mates think I’m a legend” – the words of Jordan Dunn, the pitch invader who ran on to take a free-kick in August’s match between West Ham and Spurs. His effort was arguably better than many seen on the pitch that day, but Dunn was subsequently fined £305 for his moment of madness.
4/12 Best worst celebration
Charlie Adam’s reaction to scoring one of the goals of the season? A not-so-great robot celebration – which led team-mate Peter Crouch to judge it as “horribly wrong”. Adam had just scored from his own half against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but many will remember the goal for other reasons.
5/12 Worst attempt at a head-butt
An addition to the historic list of on-field battles between Manchester United and Arsenal, Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere took umbrage with opponent Marouane Fellaini – and appeared to head-butt the Belgian. Wilshere’s nine inch height disadvantage meant that his strike failed to meet its target, however, probably helping him to avoid an FA ban.
6/12 Strangest complaint
Match officials will carry out a number of checks before every match – ensuring twenty-two are on the field of play, checking there are no holes in the nets and so on – but in October, before Leicester’s match at Swansea, the away team’s goalkeepers became convinced that the crossbar was too high and complained to the officials. Checks were made – and the goals were found to be the correct height.
7/12 Biggest loser at mind games
After West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in February, Hammers chief Sam Allardyce accused his opponents of purely playing long-ball football – much to the Dutchman’s anger. Instead of brushing the comments off, Van Gaal produced a document to suggest it was actually Allardyce’s men who lumped the ball forward more often. Big Sam’s efforts to get under the skin of his counterpart had worked.
8/12 The Alan Pardew award for bonkers behaviour from a manager
In February, the pressure was starting to mount on Leicester boss Nigel Pearson – and things threatened to come to a head during his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace. Eagles midfielder James McArthur had collided with the hot-headed manager on the touchline, and instead of helping him to his feet, Pearson appeared to strangle the 27-year-old. He subsequently escaped punishment by the FA.
9/12 Most topical celebration
On the day of Manchester United’s victory over Spurs in March, a video emerged showing the United Wayne Rooney skipper being knocked to the ground in a boxing match in his own home by ex-team-mate Phil Bardsley. He went on to celebrate his goal in the 3-0 win with a celebration imitating his own knock-out.
10/12 Weirdest press conference/best name calling
Nigel Pearson has always been a manager who will back his players – even if it means ostracising himself from the media. A journalist had asked Pearson to explain his comments that his side had faced a high level of criticism and negativity, and instead of giving a reasoned answer, Pearson labelled the reporter as an “ostrich” and said his “head must be in the sand”.
11/12 The delusional boaster award
Step aside Jose Mourinho – you’re not the best coach in the Premier League, according to Newcastle boss John Carver. His suggestion for the mantle? Himself. Speaking recently, on the back of eight straight defeats, Toon boss Carver made the bold statement – perhaps to deflect attention onto himself and away from his struggling squad.
12/12 Playground moment
Cesc Fabregas has always been able to pick a pass – and showed this more than ever in May’s away trip to West Brom. During a break in play, the Spaniard’s 20-yard punt hit opponent Chris Brunt on the head whilst referee Mike Jones was dealing with another incident. Jones saw Fabregas’ strike and showed him a straight red card – but his three-match ban has since been reduced to just one, after Chelsea successfully argued the initial punishment was excessive.
Number of games involved in that featured in lowest 10 per cent of matches ranked on entertainment value...
Leicester = 10
Burnley = 8
Everton = 7
Stoke = 6
West Brom = 6
Crystal Palace = 5
Manchester United = 5
QPR = 5
Aston Villa = 4
Southampton = 4
Sunderland = 4
Hull = 3
Liverpool = 3
Chelsea = 2
West Ham = 2
Manchester City = 2
Arsenal = 1
Newcastle = 1
Swansea = 1
Tottenham = 1
Worst matches... (match with lowest ranking at top)
QPR 0 Crystal Palace 0 (28/12/14)
Everton 1 Southampton 0 (4/4/15)
Leicester 0 Hull 0 (14/3/15)
Everton 0 West Brom 0 (19/1/15)
Hull 0 West Brom 0 (6/12/14)
Burnley 0 Tottenham 0 (5/4/15)
Southampton 0 West Brom 0 (23/8/14)
QPR 0 Chelsea 1 (12/4/15)
Crystal Palace 1 Stoke 1 (13/12/14
Leicester 2 Southampton 0 (9/5/15)
Burnley 0 Leicester 1 (25/4/15)
Aston Villa 0 Crystal Palace 0 (1/1/15)
Stoke 1 Hull 0 (28/2/15)
Everton 1 Burnley 0 (18/4/15)
Manchester United 0 Southampton 1 (11/1/15)
Burnley 0 Sunderland 0 (20/9/14)
Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 0 (28/12/14)
West Brom 0 Liverpool 0 (25/4/15)
Everton 2 Leicester 2 (22/2/15)
Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1 (24/5/15)
Aston Villa 2 Leicester 1 (7/12/14)
Manchester United 1 Crystal Palace 0 (8/11/14)
QPR 2 Newcastle 1 (16/5/15)
Manchester United 3 Burnley 1 (11/2/15)
QPR 0 West Ham 0 (25/4/15)
Leicester 0 Stoke 1 (17/1/15)
Leicester 0 Manchester City 1 (13/12/14)
Crystal Palace 2 Leicester 0 (27/9/14)
Liverpool 1 Stoke 0 (29/11/14)
Burnley 0 Swansea 1 (28/2/15)
Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1 (17/5/15)
West Brom 1 Stoke 0 (14/3/15)
Everton 0 Sunderland 2 (9/5/15)
Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1 (24/5/15)
Burnley 0 Manchester United 0
West Ham 1 Everton 2 (16/5/15)
Everton 0 Liverpool 0 (7/2/15)
Leicester 0 West Brom 1 (1/11/14)
Stoke 0 Leicester 1 (13/9/14)
Manchester City 6 QPR 0 (10/5/15)
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