‘Premier League’s worst’ defender had better stats than Van Dijk and Vidic

A defender dubbed the worst in the history of the Premier League actually holds better stats than legendary duo Virgil van Dijk and Nemanja Vidic.

Titus Bramble, who turns 41 on Sunday, turned out for Ipswich Town, Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland during an unremarkable 13-year stint in the top-flight but, thanks to a one-off stellar 2008/09 campaign at the DW Stadium, he actually holds a claim as one of the Premier League's most underrated stars.

Voted the Worst Premier League Player of the Year in 2004 by readers of the Guardian, Bramble's switch from Tyneside to Lancashire enabled him to outshine Vidic and van Dijk during their greatest seasons – so the stats would suggest.

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Liverpool man mountain van Dijk claimed the PFA Players' Player of the Year for his domineering displays during the 2018/19 season as the Reds romped to Champions League glory.

But the Netherlands international still comes off worse when compared with Bramble's 2008/09 campaign.

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Bramble bettered the Kopite defender in blocks, interceptions, tackles and clearances whilst playing for a Latics side that finished the season 11th in the top-flight and didn't make it past the fourth round in either the League Cup or the FA Cup.

When compared with Manchester United stalwart Nemanja Vidic it's the same outcome.

Whilst the Serbian grabbed Premier League and League Cup crowns for his bludgeoning displays alongside Rio Ferdinand, Bramble again recorded more blocks, interceptions, tackles and clearances.

Vidic also outrageously bagged Premier League Player of the Season during the 2008/09 campaign which, on reflection, should immediately be reassigned to a certain Titus Malachi Bramble – and he should also be given Lionel Messi's first Ballon d'Or.


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