With Liverpool and Manchester United meeting once again, loaded decided to look at some of the very worst footballers to play for the two sides in red.
Both the Merseysiders and their Old Trafford rivals have purchased plenty in the way of duff players in the past, but our starting 11 is all about those stars who were fundamentally terrible.
All of which means that the likes of El-Hadji Diouf – named among Pele’s 125 greatest living footballers – Paul Konchesky and even Ligue 1 title winner David Bellion fail to make the grade.
In fact, you may not have even heard of some of these one-time Liverpool and Manchester United players – that is how bad they were.
Edging ahead of Chinese takeaway addict Mark Bosnich, Taibi may have only played four games for Manchester United but managed to get nutmegged, twice, which is always bad news for a goalkeeper.
This Matthew Le Tissier daisy-cutter moment probably still haunts Taibi in his dreams.
Signed during the inaugural season of the Premier League, Piechnik landed a move to Liverpool after being drafted into Denmark’s team for the final of Euro ’92.
He went on to play a role in Graeme Sounness’ gradual destruction of a Liverpool side that had dominated the previous decade, making 17 appearances including this abject showing in the FA Cup before new manager Roy Evans replaced him with Phil Babb. Phil. Babb.
A youth teammate of Eric Cantona, Prunier arrived on loan in 1995 and soon set about ensuring that it is he, rather than Laurent Blanc, who is regarded as Manchester United’s worst ever defender.
Brought in initially on trial, a raft of injuries forced Sir Alex Ferguson to gamble on the Frenchman in the Premier League. An assist in a win over a relegation-bound QPR on his debut suggested positive things. The following 4-1 loss to Spurs did not. He was soon heading back to France.
Bjorn Tore Kvarme
Having sold the reliable but injury prone John Scales to Tottenham, Roy Evans looked to Norway for Liverpool’s next defensive recruit with Kvarme arriving on what looked like a bargain free transfer.
Things eventually turned sour though with the Norwegian guilty of a series of glaring and costly errors against bitter rivals Everton and Manchester United. It was one thing to let Andy Cole score against you but Danny Cadamarteri is another matter. After 45 appearances, he was off.
Part of the deal that saw Michael Owen go to Real Madrid, Nunez arrived at Anfield and immediately got himself injured with a knee problem that saw him miss the first three months of the season. Not that things improved once he did make it on to the pitch.
An unused substitute in Liverpool’s famous Champions League win, Nunez is also the only Liverpool player to score his one and only goal for the club in a major final, having bagged one in their 3-2 loss to Chelsea in the League Cup that season. One to tell the grandkids about, at least.
Brought in as a youngster from Celtic, the midfielder dubbed the “new Roy Keane” was the latest in a line of dodgy midfield signings earmarked to replace the Irishman.
What made Miller all the more remarkable was just how bad he was on the pitch, with a rare FA Cup appearance against then non-League Exeter City the lowest of low points. Unbelievably, Keane would go on to sign him as manager of Sunderland, where he often struggled to even turn up to training.
Another with an unfortunate tag, by Gerard Houllier, the “new Zidane” was anything but. Cheyrou may have had the brightly coloured boots and on the pitch swagger but he rarely delivered during a dark time for Liverpool in which Diouf and Salif Diao regularly featured.
Proving to be less Zidane and more Kevin Kilbane, he was soon on his way back to France with one of Rafa Benitez’s first actions as Liverpool boss being to offload the Frenchman. That is one way to win over the fans.
Possibly the saddest looking man to ever move to Manchester United, Bebe sealed a £7.4 million Old Trafford switch having been a free agent just five weeks prior to the agreement of the deal.
Recruited on the recommendation of Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese winger made just seven appearances over the course of his four years on United’s books, scoring two particularly scrappy goals along the way.
Currently on the books at Benfica but out on loan at Rayo Vallecano, there is hope that Bebe may cheer up and start impressing yet.
Though something of a cult figure among the Liverpool fans having famously celebrated among Reds supporters in the build-up to their 2001 UEFA Cup win, Meijer was no great shakes on the pitch.
Competing with the likes of Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler was always going to be an uphill task for the German striker brought in from Bayer Leverkusen.
But after failing to score during a loan stint with Championship side Preston, in a move that was supposed to improve his sharpness in front of goal, he was soon heading the same way as Titi Camara and many more before him. The fans loved him for being a trier though.
A suspicious signing from Chinese club Dalian, some have claimed that Dong’s arrival was more about garnering new fans in the Far East than improving Manchester United’s attacking options while others merely smirked childishly at the mere sound of his name.
In any case, the deal that saw United pay an initial £500,000 that would have risen to £3.5 million based on appearances was something of a bargain. After all, he only made one Premier League appearance and that was in a dead rubber league game against Chelsea with United already crowned champions.
Then, like and Asian, football-playing version of Verbal Kint at the end of The Usual Suspect, he was gone.
Hailing from South Africa and in no way a relation to Mick, Dundee arrived from Karlsruhe as cover for the injured Fowler and was soon being touted as the fastest man in the Premier League.
Such claims were made to look silly the minute a youngster by the name of Michael Owen started featuring regularly for the Reds though. Dundee made just three goalless appearances before heading back to Germany where his career was never quite the same again.
Special mentions should also go to the Liverpool duo of Charles Itandje and Damien Plessis and Manchester United threesome Pat McGibbon, Jean-Michel Ferri and the man who was so good they named him twice: Eric Djemba-Djemba. Now that’s one hell of a subs bench.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.