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THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 English flops of the season - Nos 40-31

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22 Apr 2010 08:58:48

THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 English flops of the season - Nos 40-31

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. Some teams and characters will not have reason to look back over this campaign with any great fondness, and the time seems right for us to examine 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're counting down 10 each day till our No 1 is revealed on Friday and, as ever, let us know who you think who or what is the biggest flop of this season.  40 Lucas Neill Hardly made an impression: Lucas Neill There are still many West Ham fans who are irked at his £75k-a-weekwages while with the east London club. And Everton fans were leftscratching their heads after his four month sabbatical came on an endafter he moved to Turkish club Galatasaray. Lucas was out of contract before moving to Goodison Park where hemanaged just 12 appearances for the Toffees. You can't help but wonder,what with all the injuries at the club, why they would be willing tolet a player leave so quickly and easily? 39 Carlos Vela Where's my passport? Carlos Vela With hindsight, the Mexican was probably happy he didn't make it on tothe plane for his club's trip to Barcelona. Lionel Messi saw to it thatthe trip ended badly for the Gunners. However, the fun part of the episode was that Arsene Wenger insistedthat Vela was fully fit and was only left out of the 18 man squadbecause of 'competition for places.' But the real reason is far more embarrassing for Vela - he'd lost his passport and so couldn't fly with the team to Spain. 38 Maxi RodriguezOn the face of it, Liverpool had apparently picked up a real bargainwhen Maxi Rodriguez arrived from Atletico Madrid on a free transferback in January. An exciting, attacking talent, Benitez hoped he would inspire the clubto a strong second half of the season after a disappointing spell up toChristmas. But it just hasn't got going for the Argentine - he has made only 14 appearances and has failed to find the back of the net. He can't find the goal: Maxi Rodriguez in action for Liverpool against Sunderland in March 37 Manchester United club shopOne of the arguments that fans level at those who support United isthat the Old Trafford club is more of a PLC than a football club. Aclub where money is valued more than success. Well, that myth was debunked this season as the club failed to take upthe opportunity to capitalise on the one of the biggest money spinnersin the club's history - selling green and gold scarves. The colours of founding club Newton Heath, which went on to becomeUnited have become the calling card of those opposed to the Glazerfamily's continued ownership of the club. Surely selling 50,000 scarves would pay for, let's say, Wayne Rooney's wages for a day? Where's the green and gold? Manchester United may have missed a trick 36 AndersonDisappointing season: Manchester United midfielder Anderson The £18million Brazil midfielder's career has hit the rails thisseason. A public falling out with boss Sir Alex Ferguson in January wasfollowed by serious injury in February. Anderson was fined £80,000 by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after heskipped training, was later dumped in the reserves and ignored forseveral first-team squads. But that wasn't the worst of it. At the end of February, Anderson wasmaking his first appearance in a month, when he crumpled in agonyduring the clash with West Ham after rupturing his cruciate ligament,ruling him out until September. 35 Chris KamaraA summariser's life is an easy one. Watch football - tell people whathappened. Simple? Well, it sounds easy, but is evidently too much forex Stoke, Brentford and Swindon midfielder Kamara. During the recent game between Blackburn and Portsmouth Anthony VandenBorre was sent off for two yellow cards, the second coming after hedeliberately handled the ball, but the Sky pundit missed it. Here's how he 'reported' the action 34 Phil BrownNo, he doesn't make it into this List for his singing on the pitch atthe end of last season and we'd like to give an honourable mention tohis on-pitch player lecture at Eastlands, too. Things started to go wrong this season for Brown not just on the pitch butoff it too. The Tigers were battered 5-1 by Everton and, a day later,Jimmy Bullard and Nicky Barmby were spotted trying to knock lumps outof each other. The pair was seen exchanging fisticuffs by the local Women's Instituteand Brown was forced to issue a public apology. He was later sackedwith nine games of the season remaining. From one problem to the next: Former Hull boss Phil Brown 33 Tottenham Hotspur Ticket OfficeTalk about arrogance. Tottenham's ticket office thought they wouldseize upon the excitement generated by the club reaching the FA Cupfinal and sent out the season ticket renewal form to land on thedoormats the day after the clash at Wembley. Spurs failed to beat Pompey and as their fans woke up with asemi-final hangover, they were greeted by a demand for the clubrunning into hundreds and even thousands of pounds. Not surprisingly, many threw their forms in disgust - only to gorummaging through the bin a few days later after wins over Arsenal andChelsea. Bad timing: Tottenham lost to Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-finals 32 Benni McCarthy Short of form: Benni McCarthy There's no denying he has a great CV - Champions League winner, 24 goals in his first season in England. So what's not to like? Well, his departure from Blackburn was hastened by an abandonment ofform but West Ham's new co-owners the Davids Gold and Sullivan sawtheir way to handing the less-than-fit McCarthy a £50,000-a-week,two-and-half year contract that will see him through to his 35thbirthday. He has started just two games since joining the Hammers in February and is yet to score. 31 Albert Riera There will be much to regret when Liverpool look back on a season which has fallen short on every front. And the Spanish winger hasn't been pleased with how things have developed this term under manager Rafa Benitez who he claims is in charge of a 'sinking ship.' Sour grapes? Maybe. Riera has only made 12 starts in the league this season and was transfer listed after his outburst but has stated he intends to remain at Liverpool and fight for his place.   Season to forget: Albert Riera The best of the rest of The ListSportsmail's top 50 signings of the seasonSportsmail's top 50 most entertaining teams in historySportsmail's top 50 of golf's major miraclesSportsmail's top 50 National Hunt HorsesSportsmail'stop 50 Premier League players of the decadeSportsmail'stop 50 last-gasp goals in British footballSportsmail'stop 50 footballers never to play at the World CupSportsmail's top 50 sporting feuds of all timeSportsmail's 50 great sports photographsSportsmail'stop 50 commentators of all timeSportsmail'stop 50 sporting venuesSportsmail'stop 50 performers of the season so farSportsmail'stop 50 all-time managers in BritainSportsmail'stop 50 goal poachersSportsmail'stop 50 footballing traitorsSportsmail'stop 50 FA Cup heroesSportsmail'sgreatest Wembley finals in historySportsmail'stop 50 biggest hitters in cricketSportsmail'stop 50 British & Irish LionsSportsmail'stop 50 Ashes heroes  Explore more:People:Alex Ferguson, Benni McCarthy, Nicky Barmby, Rafa Benitez, Lionel Messi, Carlos Vela, Lucas Neill, Wayne Rooney, Jimmy Bullard, Phil BrownPlaces:Barcelona, Liverpool, Spain, United Kingdom, Old Trafford club


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