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 By John Culea
Jul 24, 2014

Ranking Prem players at World Cup

ESPN FC's Craig Burley gives his worst starting XI for the World Cup.

The World Cup showcased many Premier League players as well as players who will be joining Premier League teams this season. They make for talking points as we gear up for another Premier League fantasy game. Here's a look at whose stock rose and fell in Brazil this summer.

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Forwards

Good show

Andre Schurrle, Chelsea: The German (listed as a forward in the World Cup but considered a midfielder in ESPN FC fantasy football) deserves more playing time for his domestic club. Three goals and a game winning assist in the final.
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal: The new transfer from Barcelona played well for Chile and offers fantasy managers big goal and assist potential.
Robin van Persie, Manchester United: Four goals. The Dutchman is back.
Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea property: Finally came to life against the U.S. and scored a goal after three indifferent showings. No impact in game five.
Bryan Ruiz, Fulham: Bolstered his Costa Rica team with a great World Cup. Still with Fulham in the Championship but never did much with the Cottagers while in the PL.
Joel Campbell, Arsenal property: Sensational for Costa Rica and looks ready to step into the Gunner's spotlight, but will he get a chance for Arsene Wenger?
Wilfried Bony, Swansea: Two goals for the Ivory Coast.

So-so

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal: In and out of the starting lineup, he scored against Switzerland but never played a full 90 minutes.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United:  A goal and an assist, but England's Cup ended in a blink.

Diego Costa needs to show more for Chelsea than he did for Spain or his Blues career will be a bust.

Poor show

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: Injuries and fitness made him a liability for Argentina.
Diego Costa, Chelsea: The new transfer was part of the Spanish debacle. Looked older than his years and played even worse. Not encouraging for Stamford Bridge.
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City: Scored one goal but largely a non-factor for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Little or no show

Jozy Altidore, Sunderland: The U.S. forward was hurt in the first game and never appeared again. The colossal failure with the Black Cats shows no indication his game away from country has improved.
Lucas Podolski, Arsenal: Two walk-on appearances for Germany.

Midfielders

England had a miserable World Cup, but Raheem Sterling showed promise.

Good show

Raheem Sterling, Liverpool: Was one of the few lively players for England.
Oscar, Chelsea: Still gets knocked around a lot, but had two goals and two assists for Brazil.

Poor show

Steven Gerrard, Liverpool: A slip to give the PL title to Manchester City and a a misplaced header that doomed England against Uruguay have the Reds' captain in the dump.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea: He had two assists, but a generally mediocre performance for Belgium.
Yaya Toure, Manchester City: Fairly anonymous in Ivory Coast's early departure and continues to complain about his club.
Mesut Ozil, Arsenal: Scored one goal and largely ineffective most of the tournament.
Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United: Two appearances, two disappointing games.
Marouane Fellaini, Manchester United: Even with one goal scored for Belgium he showed no reason for MUFC to keep him.
Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea: The new transfer had one assist in two games for ousted Spain and a blow-up with his manager.
Adam Lallana, Liverpool: The transfer started one game and was a substitute in two for the dismal England team and offered little to cheer about.
Willian, Chelsea: He was a last resort for Brazil and made no impact.
Paulinho, Tottenham: Another non-factor for Brazil.
Ramires, Chelsea: Anonymous for the disappointing Brazilians
Antonio Valencia, Manchester United: One red card and one yellow card in Ecuador's three-and-out.
Kevin Mirallas, Everton: Zero goals, assists, and impact for Belgium.

Little show

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal: Started one game and was a sub in another for England and showed nothing to justify the love affair the British media have with him.

Defenders

Ron Vlaar shone in defence, but don't expect him to be taking any penalties for Villa this season.

Good show

Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City: He was a rock in defence for Argentina.
Ron Vlaar, Aston Villa: Except for missing a PK in the shootout, he was outstanding for the Netherlands.
Martin DeMichelis, Manchester City: Strong showing for Argentina.

So-so

Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling, Manchester United: Only appeared in a meaningless game against Costa Rica, but both held firm.

Poor show

Leighton Baines, Everton: Struggled in all three games.
Per Mertesacker, Arsenal: Was it possible the plodding German got even slower in Brazil?
Fernandinho, Manchester City: On the receiving end of five first half German goals.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea: Part of the Spanish ouster.

Goalkeepers

Tim Howard stood on his head against Belgium and showed he will be in fine form for Everton this season.

Good show

Tim Howard, Everton: Howard had a tremendous four games highlighted with 15 saves against Belgium.
Hugo Lloris, Tottenham: The French goalkeeper had three clean sheets.
Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea property: The Belgium keeper was outstanding and could replace Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge.
Tim Krul, Newcastle: He only played one minute of extra time for Holland but made two crucial saves in a penalty shootout.

No show

Simon Mignolet, Liverpool: The Belgium backup keeper was in a feud with Courtois and never played a minute.

John Culea

John Culea is an American living in San Diego who became hooked on football while serving in the Navy for two years in London. A former TV news, Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter, he goes by the fantasy honorary title of "Sir John." He is a devoted Chelsea supporter and offers previews of upcoming Premier League action and a review of the games played from an American perspective.

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