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Are these the worst players in England’s Football Hall Of Fame?

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Ben Isaacs
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If Sun Jihai's recent induction to English football's Hall of Fame - timed to coincide with David Cameron and Chinese president Xi Jingping visit to Manchester's National Football Museum - taught us anything, it's that the accolade is nothing short of farcical.

According to its official website, the Hall Of Fame is meant to "celebrate and highlight the achievements of the all time top talents to grace the game in England", so what's the point of having that laudable aim if it now appears it's there to be abused for political favour?

With that in mind, have a look at the gallery and let us know which is most least deserving of English football’s greatest honour.

[Images: Rex]

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame?

    Sun Jihai

    Year inducted: 2015

    Why he's crap: When you’re older you’ll sit down with the grandkids and tell them about the times you watched a middling, shirt-pulling defender with friends in high places who played a couple of years at Manchester City before they were good. You do remember him don’t you? He final game at City was an 8-1 defeat against Middlesbrough. Would’ve been 18-1 if it wasn’t for him, probably. Cynics may say he was only put in the Hall Of Fame (with the museum bypassing its own selection committee) because the UK government was trying to suck up to China.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 1

    Tony Adams

    Year inducted: 2004

    Why he's crap: The workmanlike defender, who was nicknamed 'Donkey' for his frequent mistakes, presumably got voted in simply due to the number of appearances he made for a big club. By no means a bad player (although he did break a teammate’s arm celebrating a win and spent 87 percent of his time on the pitch calling for offside), it’s telling that Arsenal peaked once Wenger no longer had Adams and the rest of the George Graham-era players in the squad. Made 66 appearances for England, rarely impressing and became a terrible manager.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 2

    Clem Stephenson

    Year inducted: 2010

    Why he's crap: We’re guessing you don’t have strong feelings about him because you’ve never heard of him. But he played up front for Huddersfield in the days when you could practically punch a keeper in the face at a corner yet still only scored 42 in 248 for the Terriers as they won three league titles in a row. He managed a solitary England cap even though there were probably only around 30 players worth picking. If he was around today he’d be scoring 5 a season for Sunderland.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 3

    Ray Wilson

    Year inducted: 2008

    Why he's crap: It seems that if you played in the England team of 1966 you are instantly awarded the status of one of the greatest players of any sport on any planet on any of the multiverse’s infinite timelines. What was Wilson's main contribution to 1966? His gaffe gifted Germany the lead in the final before proper legends (and a ref) won the game for England. Decent player. That’s it.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 4

    Graham Taylor

    Year inducted: 2010

    Why he's crap: Do we not like this? We admit that Taylor wasn’t voted in as part of the ‘greatest managers’ (and obviously not for his playing ability – stints at Grimsby and Lincoln), but actually for his work with grassroots football. Which may be why when you watch parks football it’s just a load of players hoofing it as far as they can. It was this approach that somehow got him the England job in 1990 and fired from it in 1993. If there’s an allotment hall of fame maybe Turnip Taylor should be in that too.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 5

    Dario Gradi

    Year inducted: 2004

    Why he's crap: If the goal of a football manager is to win matches and trophies at the highest level then Gradi is a massive failure. He became one of the most respected and well-liked gaffers in the sport but that’s more because no top manager ever saw him as a threat. If you just stick around at a small club such as Crewe and sell any player who shows any promise while failing to get promoted you won't make enemies like Sir Alex and José . His one go at the top flight saw Palace swiftly relegated. We may as well knight Alan Pardew at this stage.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 6

    Michel Platini

    Year inducted: 2008

    Why he's crap: "I know who would be great for the English football Hall Of Fame! Someone who never played in this country and has spent his recent career trying to shaft the Premier League!" Is this the conversation that happened in the museum's offices? Can anyone even name any positive contributions he has made to English football? He helped Russia beat England to the 2018 World Cup and Qatar win the rights to the 2022 event. He then moved that one to winter without consulting the Premier League, brushing away their concerns. Get out of our Hall Of Fame, Michel.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 7

    Robbie Earle

    Year inducted: 2009 


    Why he's crap: A nice guy, an OK player, alright pundit on US telly, but a Hall Of Famer? He’s another who got in because of good deeds rather than good play but it’s hard to make a claim that Earle is one of the most important figures in English football history and thus devalues the whole venture. Despite what fans of Port Vale or the notoriously dour Nineties Wimbledon side (RIP) may say.
     

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 8

    Jack Taylor

    Year inducted: 2013

    Why he's crap: He’s a ref for God’s sake.

  • Are these the worst players in England's Football Hall Of Fame? 9

    Sepp Blatter

    Year inducted: 2004

    Why he's crap: Where to start? Was at the wheel when Fifa was revealed by the FBI to be a hotbed of corruption and that money was exchanged for various votes in the World Cup bidding sessions. Regardless of whether he ends up in prison or not, it’s very difficult to make a case that he has had a notable positive effect on English football. And if the Hall Of Fame isn’t focusing on that why on Earth does it exist? And you can’t blame the good men of the selection panel for Blatter’s place – it was given by the museum itself.

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Ben Isaacs

Ben Isaacs is Sport Editor for ShortList. His specialist Mastermind subject would be 'East Coast hip-hop 1993-1998'. He can be found providing the hottest of takes on Twitter: @TweetsFromBen

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