The 2021-22 European season is approaching its halfway stage so now is as good a time as ever to review the best and worst performers of the campaign so far.
We have already chosen our Best XI of the season up until now, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema and Thomas Muller all starring.
Now is the time for us to shame the high-profile players around the continent who have fallen well below the standards expected of them.
GK: Pepe Reina (Lazio)
Lazio are searching for a new goalkeeper in the January transfer window and it’s all because of the horrendous form of Pepe Reina.
The 39-year-old has very much looked his age as Lazio have conceded a massive 34 goals in 19 Serie A games. You have to go down to 15th in the table to find a worst defence.
Reina has been guilty of a series of gaffes, including one of the most bizarre moments of the season in the 2-0 defeat at home to Juventus when he inexplicably just hauled down Federico Chiesa in the box for no apparent reason.
CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
There were already more than a few doubts over Sergio Ramos when he moved to PSG from Real Madrid on a free transfer this past summer.
Ramos had seen the second half of the 2020-21 season decimated by injuries and this had also resulted in him missing Euro 2020.
The first half of the current campaign has been even worse than even the biggest Ramos sceptics feared.
Due to injury he didn’t even make his PSG debut until November 28 and going into 2022 he has made just three appearances for his current club.
His time at PSG so far was perfectly summed up in the final game of the year as just 41 minutes after coming on as a substitute versus Lorient he was sent off. Given his €6 million-a-year wages, he has proven a colossal waste of money.
CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
The biggest flops in the Champions League group stage were undoubtedly Borussia Dortmund, who failed to qualify from a modest pool containing Ajax, Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas.
One of the reasons for this failure was Mats Hummels, who was guilty of making numerous errors for the Bundesliga side.
Dortmund conceded a whopping 11 goals in six games but Hummels has been just as poor during the Bundesliga campaign.
Now 33, the former Bayern Munich centre back is really showing his age.
CB: Harry Maguire (Man Utd)
Harry Maguire had perhaps been unfairly treated by the press and fans since his world record move for a defender to Man Utd in 2019.
And during Euro 2020, he was certainly one of the best defenders in the competition as England came runners-up.
However, the 28-year-old has endured a disastrous season so far from an individual point of view, being guilty for a catalogue of errors at home and abroad.
Indeed, at the beginning of November, we revealed that he had already been directly responsible for NINE goals that Man Utd had conceded in 2021-22.
Things have improved ever so slightly since Ralf Rangnick’s appointment but Maguire will be hoping that 2022 brings better fortunes.
RWB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd)
It has been obvious since the day he signed over two years ago that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not at the level required for a giant club like Man Utd.
But while in his first two seasons at Old Trafford, supporters of AWB could at least argue that he has been defensively sound, this term they can’t even cling to that.
For not only has Wan-Bissaka attacking qualities been non-existent as usual, his defending has been equally suspect. He has been out of position, failed to hold the defensive line, caught ball-watching and marked his opponents poorly.
This has all contributed to Man Utd’s atrocious defensive record this season and it came as no surprise when new manager Ralf Rangnick dropped him for Diogo Dalot.
CM: Gini Wijnaldum (PSG)
Barcelona were absolutely furious this past summer when, having