This gong can cover managers, players, clubs and all multitude of sins so there is always plenty of scope for an award that, let’s face it, no one wants to be associated with.
So, without further ado, let’s get cracking on your top five Failures of the Season.
5. John Carver
Nobody would have begrudged Carver success in his dream job at St James’, but two wins in 18 games under the Newcastle-mad 50-year-old saw the Magpies go into the final game of the season with relegation a very real possibility. They were 10th when he took the job.
A 2-0 win over West Ham on the last day was enough to save them, but Carver will go down in history as one of the Premier League’s least successful managers.
Promoted to the Premier League in 2011, QPR were relegated within two seasons despite spending obscene amounts of money on a coach load of new players.
Back after a year away for 2014-15, Rangers are back in the second tier yet again after another summer of heavy spending failed to pay off. The west Londoners spent a reported £34million on Steven Caulker, Leroy Fer, Jordon Mutch, Sandro and Alex McCarthy, also signing Rio Ferdinand on big wages from Manchester United, yet they finished rock bottom, some eight points off safety.
Laughably, Harry Redknapp said they were relegated because they didn’t sign enough players. Some people never learn.
3. Steve Bruce
Hull started the season in Europe, having made the FA Cup final, and with predictions of a top-half finish after spending over £40million on the likes of Abel Hernandez, Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass.
They signed good players – Mohamed Diame was widely seen as one of the best signings made by a club outside of the top eight, while Andrew Robertson has impressed since joining from Dundee United – yet they were relegated back to the Championship.
It’s hard to blame anyone but Bruce.
2. Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao
Both of these players were popular picks in the voting for this category; both were unmitigated failures.
Only two players set up more goals than Angel Di Maria in the Premier League last season but in this case the statistics are certainly misleading – that he started only 20 of Manchester United’s 38 games says a lot about. Despite costing a British record transfer fee of £59.7million, Di Maria deservedly finished the season behind Ashley Young in the pecking order.
Falcao, meanwhile, cost United a £6million loan fee yet contributed only four goals.
“It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United,” Jose Mourinho said recently. Even he thinks the Colombian was rubbish!
1. Liverpool’s transfer committee
Mario Balotelli, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool as a whole all received votes, but ultimately responsibility must be shared between the Reds’ famed transfer committee charged with spending the £75million the club received from Barcelona for Luis Suarez.
“Look at Tottenham. If you spend more than £100million, you expect to be challenging for the league,” Rodgers said last April.
A few months later Liverpool had spent £113million, yet they finished down in sixth this last season – below Tottenham.
Balotelli for £16million, Dejan Lovren for £20million, Lazar Markovic for £20million – Liverpool did exactly what Spurs had done 12 months previously, replacing Elvis with the (Bootleg) Beatles.
Yes, Rodgers deserves criticism, but ultimately he simply didn’t have a squad good enough to challenge for the title. And for that he can only share the blame with Ian Ayre, Michael Edwards and Dave Fallows.
So there you have it, Liverpool’s transfer committee has taken the TT Soccer for Failure of the Season.