THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 English flops of the season - The top ten

22 April 2010 03:52
        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Who has been your biggest flop of the English season? It's that time of year again. when we start handing out the annual prizes as the football seasons comes to a climax. There have been plenty of success stories throughout the campaign - but, inevitably, these are counter-balanced by a far few flops. So, tell us who has been your disappointment of the season. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK The end of another dramatic league season is nye and for what seems like the umpteenth season in succession, Chelsea and Manchester United will do battle for the Premier League crown after Arsenal's bid was ended by Wigan in dramatic fashion on Sunday.

Someteams and characters will not have reason to look back over thiscampaign with any great fondness, and the time seems right for us toexamine those that have had disappointing terms at the office.

From Rafa Benitez's turbulent campaign at Liverpool, to Richard Keys' on-air howler, we'll remind you of the gaffes that have shaped the season.

We've been counting down throughout the week, and today we reveal our top ten. As ever, we'd love to hear your opinions.  

Read Nos 50-41 Read Nos 40-31 

Read Nos 30-21   10 MidoThis was meant to be the deal of the decade, heralding a new attitudefrom players and clubs alike - Mido joined West Ham on a£1,000-per-week contract. Many noted - plumbers earn more.

But money has never been the Egyptians's motivation, he comes from oneof the richest families in the country.  So why has the formerTottenham and Middlesbrough striker tried his luck again in the PremierLeague?

It is certainly not goals, or staying fit. He's made a paltry nineappearances and his goal tally is zero. A number similar to the amountof fans he has made at Upton Park.

9 Wigan at White Hart LaneYou're 1-0 down at half-time, the manager has some simple words: 'hangin there, lads. Nick a goal back and you never know - we could winthis.'

Now I'm not privy to what Roberto Martinez said to his Wigan players atWhite Hart Lane but nothing could have prepared his charges for theeight-goal onslaught they faced.

Jermain Defoe bagged five, there was even an own goal when David Bentley's free-kick bounced in off Kirkland's head.

8 Liverpool fan throwing beach ballIn a season of calamities for the club, the least you want is the fanson your side. Nope, they haven't been able to manage that either.

Granted, there was no malicious intent when a young Liverpool faninflated a beach ball, with the club's insignia on it, and punched iton to the playing surface. But then

Darren Bent's shot was heading towards Pepe Reina but struck theinflatable, altered course and bounced past the stranded keeper. Salesof beach balls in the Manchester area have been very healthy ever since.

7 Rob ShoebridgeIt doesn't take much to get Neil Warnock's heart racing. Or his mouthmotoring, come to mention it. But can you blame him for becoming alittle hot under the collar after the 'phantom goal' at Bristol City?

Crystal Palace dominated the match and Freddie Sears, on loan from WestHam, scored a perfectly decent goal in the 30th minute which hit theback of the net and bounced back out . But as the Eagles celebrated,referee Shoebridge awarded a goal-kick.

Warnock exploded: 'I don't know how the referee did not see it. Theplayers knew it was a goal, their manager knew it was a goal and theycould have done something about it - let us go up the other end andscore or something.'

To make matters a whole lot worse, City scored a 90th minute winner. Ouch.

6 Alberto AquilaniIn what has been a season to forget for Liverpool, it is no surprisethat the club have three entries in the top 10 - here's the first.

Aquilani's £20million move was confirmed on August 7 - with the Italyinternational being ear-marked as the natural replacement for XabiAlonso.

But the Anfield masses had to wait 12 weeks to witness him make hisleague debut and his progress since then has been anything butimpressive. To date he has made just 15 top flight appearances and hasa solitary goal to his name.

5 Garry CookThe Manchester City chief executive has earned a fearsome reputationduring his time at Eastlands. Not for the right reasons though. Hesuffers from what is known as Foot in Mouth Syndrome.

Foolishly, he guaranteed Mark Hughes' job - he even announced to acrowd of 600 City fans that former player Uwe Rosler was to be inductedinto the Manchester United Hall of Fame.

But our favourite was this quote to City supporters in New York that itwas a case of: 'Not if but when we are at Wembley having beatenManchester United yet again.'

4 Rafa BenitezThis was meant to be the year for Liverpool, the end of their twodecade long wait for the league title. But the back-pedalling the clubhave done this term has been embarrassing.

Out of the Champions League before Christmas, dumped out of the FA Cupby Championship side Reading and at no stage have they looked liketroubling the upper echelons of the Premier League.

With Rafa on the rack, he was even forced into 'guaranteeing' the clubwould finish in the top four. A promise which looks certain to comeback and haunt him.

3 Portsmouth's owners this seasonWhen the season is over and Portsmouth fans put their finger on whereit all went wrong, not many of them will look further than the club'sFOUR owners.

Pompey are now in administration and have suffered the accompanyingnine-point deduction. Administrator Andrew Andronikou has also revealedthe Fratton Park club have staggering debts of £119m.

Sacha Gaydamak was there at the start of the season, followed bySulaiman al-Fahim, Ali al-Faraj and, most recently, Balram Chainrai.None of whom will ever be very popular down on the south coast.

2 Wembley pitchIt used to be the playing surface every young aspiring footballerwanted to play on. The hallowed turf at Wembley was just that, a sacredlawn on which heroes played the national game.

However, since the Twin Towers of the Empire Stadium came down and the£800m new Wembley took its place in 2007 things just haven't been thesame.

In place of the once pristine surface is a slippery carpet of greenice, rendering football nye on impossible and has led to a number ofmanagers to brand it a disgrace.

Work has already begun on relaying the pitch for the 11th time since2007, a process would could be repeated up to seven times a year,resulting in a bill of £8m over the next 13 years.

However, there may be a cheaper solution. The great chunks of Wembleyturf which were dug up by the Tartan Army in 1977 are still growing inback gardens across Scotland. Maybe some could be returned - for aprice, of course.

1 Tom Hicks jnrThat's right, three Liverpool entries in the top ten and there's no doubt this was the most embarrassing moment of the season for the Anfield club.

It has been a fraught time for the owners - a club on the slide, the promised new stadium nowhere near being started and serious finance issues.

So what you don't need  is a director of the club, and son of co-owner Tom Hicks snr, sending out crass emails to fans.

He responded to correspondence from Stephen Horner with abusive replies. In the first, he called him an 'idiot', the second said: 'Blow me, f***face. Go to hell, I'm sick of you.' Unsurprisingly, he soon resigned his post.

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Source: Daily_Mail