Every August we get giddy about our club’s new signing, that exciting new manager, that impending ‘title decider’… But over 38 games, things don’t always go to plan. Players tire, managers forget being polite in the post match interview, and every so often we get that 90-minute dud. Here are the top (or should we say bottom?) 5 flops of the 14/15 season.
5. Thierry Henry
Theres one thing I know for sure: if I was getting paid as much as Thierry to sit around twice a week over-analysing a replay of someones leg lightly brushing another in the penalty box, I would make sure what I said was original, interesting, and massively entertaining. I would probably wear a giant banana costume just to make sure Sky were getting their money’s worth.
What does Thierry do? He slouches around, he fiddles with his pen, he mumbles through a smirk something that sounds oddly similar to what Jamie Redknapp just said. The only entertainment we have got out of Thierry’s presence is watching everyone fumble all over him like starstruck teenagers.
4. Harry Redknapp
Old ‘Arry rocketed back up into the top flight with his patchwork QPR outfit full of beans. He couldn’t wait to unleash his unstable, attacking mania on those dastardly Premier League giants. He couldn’t wait to once again astound us all with his negotiating talents and lure Lionel Messi to Loftus Road on a deadline day swap with Bobby Zamora.
But it never came. ‘Arry’s team got off to a feeble start. They had no activity in the January transfer window. Eventually, on February 3rd, Redknapp limped (literally – as he retired for knee surgery) out of office with barely a fight. Will we see him again?
3. Roberto Martinez
Admit it – we all enjoyed the flourishing Everton under Martinez in the 13/14 season. Qualifying for the Europa League, hanging on to Lukaku and Barry and bringing a stable squad into 14/15 we were all quietly curious as to how far they could go.
At the time of writing they sit 11th in the league, sandwiched between Crystal Palace and Stoke City – the definition of mid-table teams. But how is that possible, with the likes of Barkley, Coleman and Stones coming through the ranks?
Yes – the curse of the Europa League has struck many down in the past. But it’s time for that to stop being an excuse. The fact is Martinez didn’t rotate his squad sufficiently, motivate his players fully through the arduous mid-week excursions, or draw the quality often enough from his top players to match Everton’s on-paper potential.
2. The Merseyside Derby
Two games, both mercilessly plugged on the sport networks until you couldn’t flick the telly on for one minute without knowing how ‘BIG’ it was going to be, how ‘FIERY’ the players would get. The fireworks never game. One 1-1 draw, the other 0-0. 180 minutes of our lives wasted.
1. Angel Di Maria
The piece-de-resistance of flops. After being the real star of the show in Argentina’s World Cup, Di Maria’s arrival in Manchester was a coup for the Premier League bettering that of Ozil or Aguero. After a generally promising start where he became the beacon of hope amongst a stuttering pre-Christmas phase for United, he suddenly began to decline exponentially, and oppositely to an upturn in his team’s performances.
As the season comes to a close, it’s clear that Di Maria hasn’t made even 1% of the mark we expected from such a lauded player on the international stage. Maybe, if United manage to keep him, he will come alive during next season’s Champion’s League.
So there you have it. Think anything has been missed off the list? Leave a comment below to let me know.