Football review 2012: The flops of the year

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A look back at the year in football

With the year drawing to a close, our series looks back at the highs, lows, absurd and brilliant from the world of football in 2012.

The Independent's football writers have been asked to come up with their moments of the year - and here they look back on those who failed to come up to expectations...

 

Holland team at Euro 2012, selected by Sam Wallace

I tipped them as potential finalists. They lost all three games. All that attacking talent, I just wish I had known how bad their defence was.

 

Chief Constable Norman Bettison, selected by Ian Herbert

Chief Constable Norman Bettison's attempts to fend off questions about his role at Hillsborough and hold onto his job. He was fighting against a weight of evidence that he had been aware of attempts to manipulate junior police officers' statements after the tragedy. 

 

Michael Owen, selected by Martin Hardy

Michael Owen has played five Premier League games in 2012. He used to be the future of English football. Now his career looks resigned to the past. He has not scored a Premier League goal this year. The three goals he has scored came against Aldershot and Leeds at his former club Manchester United. Stoke are sponsored by Bet365. Signing Owen looks like a punt gone wrong.

 

Fernando Torres, selected by Steve Tongue

Why look further than Fernando Torres? No, the size of the fee was not his fault, but to see him as a serious replacement for Didier Drogba, carrying the Chelsea attack. That is a flop.

 

Samir Nasri, selected by Jack Pitt-Brooke

There are very many worse players in the Premier League than Samir Nasri but maybe none quite as disappointing. This was Nasri's first full calendar year at Manchester City, following his transfer last summer. Despite winning the Premier League, there was not much to be proud about.

Not that Nasri played badly - he barely mis-controlled the ball or misplaced a pass. But he did so little, hiding in the margins, not showing for the ball, not taking the fight to the opposition, so different from the feisty, competitive David Silva. When Nasri hid behind Edin Dzeko before lazily deflecting Robin van Persie's free-kick past Joe Hart this month, it felt deeply appropriate.

http://youtu.be/wSouJvKcR5U

 

Mark Hughes, selected by Glenn Moore

Successful to varying degrees at Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham - Hughes was expected to turn QPR into a solid mid-table outfit when appointed in January with Rangers 17th. Despite spending heavily in two transfer windows and sending the wage bill into the stratosphere QPR left it to the final day to escape the drop last season and began this with four points from 12 games before he was fired in November. Hughes has talent, but may need to re-think his apparent reliance on Kia Joorabchian in the transfer market.

 

Football review 2012...

Tweets of the year

Chants of the year

Quotes of the year

Haircuts of the year

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all