Seven players who ran out of steam in this season’s Premier League

Defoe

Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and West Bromwich Albion players are among those on the list, which looks at the men who could not maintain their fast start to life in the Premier League this season.

So often players begin the season with a flourish, but not all can sustain it. Here are seven who had better 2012's than they did 2013's.

Jermain Defoe

Ten Premier League goals from Jermain Defoe fired Tottenham Hotspur into contention for the Champions League places, and even earned the striker a comparison with Radamel Falcao from his manager. However since the turn of the year Defoe has scored just once in 13 league appearances, losing his place to Emmanuel Adebayor, who has hardly been on fire himself.

Marouane Fellaini

In the first few months of the season Fellaini looked set to be a contender for Player of the Season, possibly driving Everton into the Champions League in the process. However since scoring against Manchester CIty on December first, Fellaini has found the net just three times, and off the pitch speculation has also soured his relationship with the Toffees support too.

Sebastien Bassong

This might be a little harsh on Bassong, who makes the list as a representative of the Norwich defence that was so impressive before Christmas. After losing 4-1 to Chelsea, Norwich went on a nine match unbeaten run, including wins over Manchester United and Arsenal. However they could not keep it up, and their flirt with relegation demonstrated the fall off in their performances at the back.

Raheem Sterling

It might be unfair to have expected a teenager to play at the highest level for a whole season, but given the excitement surrounding Sterling before Christmas, when he even managed to earn a place in an England squad, it has been disappointing to see hime barely feature over the last few months.

Shane Long

After a flying start to the season, there was plenty of speculation around Shane Long’s future, with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both linked with a swoop for the striker. However three goals in 20 games since December have cooled interest in long considerably.

Mladen Petric

Mladen Petric looked to be a potential Fulham star, instrumental in their opening day win over Norwich, scoring twice. Sadly that fast start was about as good as it got, as he was sidelined after Dimitar Berbatov's arrival, only scoring three more Premier League goals all season.

Ryan Shawcross

Much like Bassong, Shawcross is here as a symbol of the Stoke defence that at one stage had the best defensive record in Europe, but has tailed off badly to leave Tony Pulis’ team closer to the relegation zone than anyone would have expected. Shawcross led his team to nine clean sheets before January, but they’ve only managed three since then, losing eleven out of seventeen games as a result.

image: © OliverN5

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