Five of the Premier League’s all-time great pantomime villains

Seeing as Diego Costa has just popped in another season-disturbing goal, we thought it was a fitting time to take a look at some of the greatest pantomime villains in Premier League history.

Costa has made plenty of enemies and, as far as we are aware, no friends since he arrived in the Premier League. Chelsea’s mean, lean scoring machine could be about to send Sunderland down (or as good as) and his antics against Spurs last Monday show what a troublesome bloke he is.

Disliked, hated, but truly adored by Blues’ fans. Costa is a personification of Jose Mourinho’s style of play and the former Atleti man will continue to make enemies as long as he is around. However, Costa isn’t the first player to thrive off of being rather despised in the history of Premier League.

Who can come close to Costa levels of hatred? Well, these five for a start…

Luis Suarez


Biting, racially insensitive comments and a rather sensitive reaction to being tackled – Luis Suarez was a vastly unpopular player whilst at Liverpool.

His brilliance was accepted, even admired, but the despicable antics involving Branislav Ivanovic and Patrice Evra made him one of the most passionately hated players in the league. Luis Suarez simply thrived on the boos.

Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona - Leeds United & Manchester United

As arrogant as you could imagine, Eric Cantona is retrospectively admired.

The Frenchman was an astonishingly gifted footballer, but his karate kicking and posey celebrations made him the target of great mockery from opposing fans throughout his career.

Sam Allardyce

West Ham United v Everton - FA Cup Third Round Replay

Only as a manager, admittedly, but Allardyce has a large group of people who just love to see him fail.

The neutral seems to largely want Sunderland to go down this year, is that solely down to Allardyce? Probably not, but he’s certainly part of it.

His aggressive nature and clumsy interviews, when coupled with his direct football, make him a hard character to like.

Alan Pardew


Even before the headbutt on David Meyler, Alan Pardew is a villain for many a football fan.

Considered to be rather smarmy and occasionally inept, Pardew doesn’t always come across so well. The former Newcastle boss has had several incidents of touchline rage and it looks as unprofessional as it is uncontrolled.

Ashley Cole


Nicknamed ‘Cashley’ for his controversial move from Arsenal to Chelsea, Cole is one of the under-appreciated amongst English football fans.

Over 100 England caps and a huge amount of success, but the move across London and his questionable off-field news-making stories made him a true villain – particularly with Gunners.