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Manchester United, Liverpool and the biggest Premier League losers of 2011-12

Despite a fantastically entertaining season with a raft of Premier League winners this term, it has been a campaign to forget for some teams and individuals. Euro 2012, the Olympics and the summer transfer window are approaching, and for some 2011-12 could not come to an end quick enough. Here are Ninety Minutes Online’s biggest losers of 2011/12.

Liverpool

Despite lifting the Carling Cup with victory over Cardiff, 2011/12 has been the worst campaign for Liverpool for quite some time. The Anfield outfit’s fans expected their side to be challenging for a top four berth, but a eighth place finish, 17 points adrift of Tottenham in fourth, has been a massive disappointment.

From Fenway Sports Group’s ill-fated home-grown transfer policy, to Luis Suarez’s racism ban, defeat in the FA Cup final to embarrassing home defeats to some of the division’s lesser lights, Liverpool fans will want to forget 2011/12.

Andre Villas Boas

After leading Porto to an unbeaten league title and lifting the Europa League in 2010/11, Andre Villas Boas was heralded as the next Jose Mourinho and the man to lead Chelsea back to the summit of the Premier League. However, an at times bullish squad rotation system saw the senior players at the club alienated, the Blues floundering outside of the top four and Villas Boas given Roman Abramovich’s axe.

The £13 million Chelsea paid Porto for AVB’s services was not rewarded, and the young trainer is still out of work after seeing his stock drop in west London.

Wolves

Wolves have been in a fight to stay in the Premier League over the last number of seasons, but Mick McCarthy has led them to survival and commanded the respect of the squad. Steve Morgan’s decision to sack McCarthy, despite a poor run of form, was an ill-sighted one, and the appointment of assistant Terry Connor a disaster.

The Molineux club reportedly interviewed the likes of Alan Curbishley and Steve Bruce for the role, but were reluctant to offer the experienced pair long-term contracts. The appointment of Connor has backfired, with the club finishing bottom with a woeful five wins all season.

Sir Alex Ferguson

2011/12 will be a season to forget for Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. The Old Trafford outfit are known for their will to win and mental toughness at the business end of the season, but the relinquishing of an eight-point lead is sure to give the legendary Scottish manager nightmares for years to come.

A lame Champions League exit in the group stages, a 6-1 hammering from City at Old Trafford and FA Cup elimination to Liverpool have been hard to take for the defending champions’ fans.

Alex McLeish and Aston Villa

Alex McLeish was a shock appointment at Villa Park last summer given his links to rivals Birmingham City, and the club’s supporters have not warmed to the Scot since. A toothless tally of seven wins, weak defending, a lack of creativity and the division’s second-lowest goal tally have had the Villa fans with their heads in their hands.

McLeish’s position as Villa manager must come under scrutiny this summer, but Randy Lerner must also invest in new players if the team are to have a better 2012/13 – Stewart Downing and Ashley Young have simply not been replaced.

Honourable mentions

  • Venkys – With Blackburn relegated this term, Steve Kean has received most of the flack from the media and the club’s fans. However, the Lancashire outfit’s Indian owners Venkys have not given the Scottish coach any funds to spend, and the side are now reportedly in financial trouble.
  • John Terry – Due to stand a court case in July for reportedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, the Chelsea skipper has lost the captaincy of his country and there is a train of thought that Terry may be excluded completely from Euro 2012. Add to this a sending off against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals for petulantly kneeing Alexis Sanchez, and Terry has had better years.
  • Jermain Defoe – The diminutive striker has proved time and again that he can score goals at the top level, but has simply not been given enough time on the pitch this season. Harry Redknapp’s preference for Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart could cost Defoe a place at Euro 2012.
  • Jack Wilshere – The talented Arsenal midfielder has not seen one minute of action this season, with consecutive knee cruciate injuries keeping him on the sidelines throughout. Wilshere will also miss Euro 2012 due to injury.
  • Joey Barton – Barton is no doubt talented and able when in the correct mindframe, but stupidity, ill-discipline and a terrible attitude have continued to blight his career. A red card against Manchester City on Sunday cost his team the game and his constant abusive and opinionated Twitter comments should see Mark Hughes ditch his troubled ‘captain’ this summer.

Published – Soccerlens

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The John Terry controversies – a complete list

John Terry on his day is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, and certainly an important player for Chelsea and England.

However, the 31-year-old is in danger of missing out on Euro 2012, after being stripped of his nation’s captaincy due to the ongoing allegations of racism against the Barking-born man. This, for sure, is not the first controversy to blight Terry’s career, as the following rap sheet shows.

  • Fined two weeks wages for drunkenly mocking American tourists in Heathrow Airport in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
  • Charged with assault and affray after a confrontation with a nightclub bouncer in January 2002, Terry was suspended from England duty and subsequently missed out on the 2002 World Cup. He was later cleared of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, unlawful wounding, possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon and affray.
  • In February 2002 Terry was caught on CCTV urinating into a beer glass and dropping it on the floor of an Essex nightclub.
  • Fined £60 for parking his Bentley in a disabled bay.
  • In 2004, Terry was reported to have gambled up to £40,000 a week on horse and dog racing with Wayne Bridge and Scott Parker.
  • Sent off against Tottenham in November 2006 at White Hart Lane, and accused of racially abusing Ledley King. Questioned the integrity of referee Graham Poll, and was later fined £10,000 for inappropriate conduct.
  • Before marrying Toni Poole in 2007, admitted to cheating on his partner up to eight times. Jenny Barker, 17, claims that Terry cheated on Poole with her in a public car park.
  • Investigated by Chelsea and the FA for reportedly accepting a £10,000 bribe to show a reporter around the London club’s training ground without permission in 2009.
  • In 2009 the centre back’s father Ted Terry was filmed allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover reporter, months after his mother, Sue, and mother-in-law had been cautioned for shoplifting.
  • In January 2010 Terry was alleged to have had a four-month affair with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel. Bridge was deemed as one of Terry’s best friends, and Perroncel was the mother of the left back’s child. Fabio Capello stripped Terry of the England captaincy due to the scandal, handing it to Rio Ferdinand.
  • Accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a 1-0 defeat for Chelsea at Loftus Road in October 2011. Investigated by the FA and police, Terry will stand trial in July 2012. Stripped of his country’s captaincy for the second time.

Terry may well look back at the above list with shame and regret once his playing days are over, as the constant controversies in his life have taken away from his ability on the pitch.

With England producing some exciting young defenders in recent times, Euro 2012 could be Terry’s last swansong at a major international tournament, but his involvement is now not assured due to his July court date.

Published – Soccerlens

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