With a number of Premier League managers rotating their squads for the FA Cup 3rd Round, there were some players in the starting XI’s that perhaps deserve more starts in the regular season League games.
Clearly, being a Premier League manager is a hard task and a highly pressurised, highly volatile job.
But one of the key skills and most important parts of their job is selecting the right starting XI for a particular game, juggling the use of their full squads, through injuries and suspension, to cope with the demands of both league and cup, and for some European competition too.
So they might not always ‘get it right’ in the eyes of the fans and supporters.
Here, I look at five Premier League players who arguably warrant more playing time for their respective clubs and who could be considered a touch unlucky not to feature in more games.
With the wealth of attacking talent available to Arsene Wenger, it’s perhaps no surprise that ‘ The Ox’ has found himself with limited playing time this season.
But with bundles of pace, energy and a good eye for goal, you could argue that the young England winger warrants more than just the six Premier League starts he’s had so far this season.
But if Wenger continues to under-utilise his young England starlet, don’t be surprised if there are plenty of offers for him come the end of this transfer window.
Another attacking talent currently out of favour, Lens opened the scoring in Sunderland’s recent FA Cup to Arsenal.
He actually made a good start to his Black Cats career with Advocaat in charge, but has since fallen out of favour under Allardyce.
Pacey and with good technical ability, ‘Big Sam’ could do a lot worse than patch things up with the Dutchman as he could prove vital in what looks like a hard relegation scrap for the North-East side.
With just 1 goal in 17 appearances for Newcastle in a season and a half, you could argue that the Dutch International hasn’t done enough to warrant more first-team action. But a first season on Tyneside blighted by injury put pay to that, and with just 3 starts this campaign it appears he’s still not in favour.
With am excellent record at former club Ajax, if Steve McClaren can find a way to integrate him into his plans more, it could pay dividends for club and fans alike.
Now in his fourth season on Merseyside, the mercurial Belgian has struggled to hold down a starting place this season.
In fact just ten appearances, only two of which were starts, have seen the talents of the tricky winger largely wasted this campaign.
With over 20 goals over the three previous seasons, he’s clearly got an good eye for goal, possessing a mean shot too. But whether it’s a temperament issue or something else, his talents are arguably well under-utilised.
Yet another tricky winger, Jefferson Montero has actually featured in 17 of Swansea’s league games this season, starting in half of their 20 games so far.
A superb goal against Oxford Utd in the recent FA Cup game is proof of his ability, but an otherwise poor return of goals may be one reason as to his ‘in-and-out’ of the team nature.
However there’s no doubt that when on form, the Ecuadorian can prove a handful for any right-back in the league, with his direct-running, pace and trickery.