Walters' nightmare display bad, but there's been worse

Posted by Martin Laurence (WhoScored.com)

After a relatively unspectacular Super Sunday there was one individual performance that did stand out this weekend. However, it didn't come in either of the big clashes featuring the top two and, unfortunately for Jonathan Walters, it amazed for all the wrong reasons.

In what should have been a moment to savour for the Republic of Ireland international, as he made his 100th Premier League appearance, things started badly and ended quite catastrophically.

Making his 73rd consecutive start for the Potters in the league, the longest streak of all outfielders in the top flight, the first sign that this Saturday wasn't going to be his day came when he attempted to hook the ball over his head in Chelsea's area, only to succeed in aiming it right into his own face.

WhoScored.com's analysis of Walters' performanceGettyImagesWhoScored.com's analysis of Walters' performance

Things got much worse on the stroke of half-time when he dispatched a diving header past Asmir Begovic with a finish any striker would have been proud of, had it been at the other end. The winger, to his credit, was working back to ensure Juan Mata couldn't get on the end of Cesar Azpilicueta's cross but ended up doing all the Spaniard's work for him.

If his first of two own goals on the day was somewhat spectacular, the second was perhaps even more bizarre. This time it was a Mata delivery from a corner that Walters turned his back on and somehow managed to convert despite not looking at the ball as he jumped somewhat tamely towards his own goal.

The 29-year-old's misery was complete when he stepped up to take a penalty at the death for what would have been no more than a consolation goal for the hosts having fallen 4-0 behind. Attempting to match Frank Lampard's earlier successful spot-kick, he opted for power and perhaps put a bit too much understandable frustration into the shot, which shook the bar before sailing into the crowd.

The undesirable feat of scoring two own goals and failing to convert a penalty in the same game is something that has never been done before in the Premier League, but statistically, was it the worst individual display of the season?

In an attempt to boost Walters' spirits just slightly, here we take a look at a couple of performances that have been even worse according to WhoScored.com's unique statistical ratings.

We start with the keepers, and despite the likes of Guzan and Krul conceding eight and seven goals in a single game respectively, the lowest match rating for a man between the posts this season so far belongs to Reading's Adam Federici.

The match in question was somewhat of a classic as United rallied from behind twice to secure a 4-3 win at the Madejski Stadium in December. While it will live-long in the memory for many of the home fans who attended, the Australian was little more than a spectator for most of it and will hope to forget the match sooner rather than later.

Federici, despite facing six shots on target, was only able to make a single save from a close range Chris Smalling header, and was elsewhere aided by a clearance off the line from defender Adrian Mariappa. United's opener, the equaliser to an early strike from Hal Robson-Kanu, will have disappointed the keeper most having failed to stand tall to Anderson's admittedly ferocious near post strike, and the error set the tone for a miserable evening for the 27-year old. His WhoScored of 4.17 is the worst this season.

In terms of outfielders, if you look at the match centre for Saturday's game on WhoScored.com, Walters' rating of 5.29 from this weekend is not the worst of the season either, with that accolade belonging to Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark. His darkest day perhaps unsurprisingly came in the 8-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The young centre-back was partly to blame for his side getting off to the worst possible start, failing to track Fernando Torres' run across the box to leave the striker unopposed to convert an undoubtedly superb header after just two minutes. The defender didn't win a single aerial duel all game, nor did he complete a single tackle in what was a dire display from the entire Villa team.

The 23-year old did, however, give away a penalty late on in the match, which he was eventually let off the hook for having brought down Oscar in the box only to see young Blues sub Lucas Piazon have his penalty saved. Minutes before he was completely outfoxed by Eden Hazard before the Belgian thumped home a seventh for the hosts and the defeat is something that Paul Lambert's young side have failed to bounce back from since. The game saw Clark awarded a WhoScored rating of just 4.32.

All-in-all Jonathan Walters' performance was not abysmal and, while his luck on the day was, the Irishman can take solace from the fact that people have played far worse this season, although his nightmare match will take some beating in the record books.

*All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

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