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

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform