1. Joleon Lescott
Manchester City’s title-winning centre-back fairing have found themselves out-of-form and, in Lescott’s case, out-of-favour this campaign. Quite what the England international has done to outrank Mario Balotelli in Roberto Mancini’s naughty stakes isn’t clear. The development during Sunday’s Manchester derby that he’s now below Kolo Toure in the pecking order just makes the situation even more peculiar.
2. Darren Bent
What does Christian Benteke have that Darren Bent doesn’t have? An ‘eke’, the hunger of youth and the favour of Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, that’s what. You can understand Lambert giving Benteke his chance – it’s the extent to which Bent has been frozen out that has come as more of a surprise.
3. Shay Given
It’s safe to safe that the little we’ve seen of Given in recent times has suggested his form is not what it might be, to put it politely. But this isn’t exactly Hugo Lloris who’s pinched his first-team spot: it’s Brad Guzan.
4. Alejandro Faurlin
A hero of QPR’s Championship-winning side and a solid performer last season, Faurlin has been surprisingly underused this season. The Argentine midfielder might feel entitled to a fairer crack of the whip, especially given the lack of too many consistent performers at Loftus Road so far this season.
5. James Milner
Milner’s quality at the very highest level is sometimes called into question, but there’s no doubting that he always puts a shift in for the team. You would have thought that Roberto Mancini had more use for a player he could rely on to work hard for the team than he seems to be able to find at the moment.
Who are you surprised to see regularly sidelined at the minute?