Arsenal's David Luiz

Donkeys: Seven Premier League players who gave away four penalties in a single season

David Luiz has struggled to escape the jokes and jibes since his error-prone evening at Manchester City last week, the Arsenal defender’s catastrophic cameo being labelled by some as the worst individual performance in Premier League history.

No player in the Premier League has made more mistakes leading to goals or has been sent off on more occasions so far this season, the Brazilian’s dismissal coming after he hauled down Riyad Mahrez for a penalty – incredibly the fourth he has conceded in the current campaign.

That ‘feat’ saw Luiz join an exclusive group of dismal defenders to have conceded a record four penalties in a single season, and we’ve decided to look back at the Premier League’s Hall of Shame:

Ken Monkou – Southampton (1993/94)

Ken Monkou was a hugely popular figure during a seven-year spell at a Southampton side who regularly struggled to survive during the early nineties, though his popularity probably dipped during a 1993/94 season that him concede a Premier League record four penalties.

The Dutch defender’s clumsy contribution left Southampton in the relegation places with just six games of the season remaining, but his headed stoppage-time winner against Norwich memorably sparked a revival that included late season wins over Blackburn and Aston Villa – in which he also scored – to survive.

All forgiven then, we would assume.

Luc Nijholt – Swindon (1993/94)

Another Dutchman who wrote his name into the record books for all the wrong reasons, Luc Nijholt formed part of a Swindon Town side found hopelessly out of their depth in the second edition of the newly formed Premier League.

A marquee arrival from Motherwell following the side’s promotion to the big time, Nijholt must have wished he’s stayed north of the border following a catastrophic campaign that saw Swindon relegated after conceding a staggering 100 goals.

Nijholt’s notable contribution included the conceding of a joint-record four penalties, the versatile star’s Premier League career unsurprisingly lasting just a single season.

Claus Lundekvam – Southampton (1999/00)

The loyal Lundekvam spent more than a decade with Southampton and made more than 400 appearances for the club in all competitions, and whilst the centre-back enjoys cult status at St Mary’s he also holds an unwanted place in this list of dopey defenders.

The Norwegian made four fouls inside the penalty area during a 1999/2000 season which saw the Saints flirt with relegation, their precarious position not helped by clumsy Claus’ quartet of footballing faux pas’.

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Ibrahima Sonko – Reading (2007/08)

Sonko’s struggles during Reading’s relegation in 2007/08 saw the Senegalese centre-back enter this section of the Premier League’s Hall of Shame, the powerful defender making a catalogue of clumsy challenges as the Royals slipped back into the second tier.

His brash approach soon attracted the attention of recently promoted Stoke City, however, Tony Pulis feeling Sonko’s style was perfectly suited to his sides direct approach and packed penalty box of less than gentle giants.

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Gary Caldwell – Wigan Athletic (2011/12)

Wigan’s venture into the Premier League came to an end during Roberto Martinez’s reign at the club, a period which saw the North West side’s defence leak like the proverbial knackered fridge.

Their faulty form was worsened by the sub-standard showings of former Scotland international Caldwell, who haplessly handed opposition sides four opportunities from the penalty spot.

A late season surge that included five wins in their final six fixtures saw Wigan survive, though their top-flight status lasted just a season longer after conceding a league high of 73 goals in 2012/13.

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Jose Fonte – Southampton/West Ham (2016/17)

What is it with Southampton defenders and conceding penalties?

The Portuguese international was a dependable servant for much of his career, but he had a tendency to combust within the confines of his own penalty area and conceded a joint-record four penalties during the 2016/17 season – including one on his debut after an ill-fated mid-season switch to West Ham.

Only former Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross – a player whose defensive style often resembled WWE more than Total Football – has conceded more penalties in the history of the division, whilst no player conceded more in Europe’s top five leagues throughout the last decade.

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David Luiz – Arsenal (2019/20)

Ah, and to the most recent inclusion on this list.

The bumbling big-haired Brazilian who somehow managed to secure a new contract following arguably the worst performance of his Premier League career.

David Luiz has, on occasion, shown he can be a fine player but a dependable defender he most certainly isn’t.

Arsenal fans must shudder at the sight of the centre-back lining up alongside the equally maligned Shkodran Mustafi, a defensive pairing capable of the most calamitous of collective brain-farts.

Luiz’s sh*t-show against Manchester City saw him become the first player in five years to score a hopeless hat-trick in being sent off, conceding a penalty and making an error leading to an opposition goal.

Read – Five of the worst individual performances in Premier League history

Read Also – Ranking the five largest title winning margins in Premier League history

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