The Spoiler Awards – Disappointment of the Season
This guy didn’t even earn a place on the shortlist…
One football fan’s disappointment is another’s comedy relief – as demonstrated by the spectacularly swift collapse of Arsenal’s quadruple bid – so for this award The Spoiler has a tough task trying to stick to events that would have left the majority of onlookers underwhelmed.
There were as ever a few nominees from Newcastle, the main one being Mike Ashley’s sudden return to form after a period of alarming anonymity to sack neutral’s favourite Chris Hughton.
The unassuming messiah had after all only taken the club up to 11th on their Premier League return, so thankfully Alan Pardew was available to swoop in and guide them to 12th.
The other big letdown on Tyneside was Shefki Kuqi’s failure to earn a long-term contract at St James’ Park after arriving for nothing to replace Andy Carroll (well kind of!) in February. Six sub appearances without scoring – who saw that coming? Oh…
With the exception of Lille, a more continent-wide subject of sadness was that Europe’s surprise title challengers ended up enjoying only a brief flirtation with top spot. Mainz, Napoli and Brest (insert standard “it all went tits up for them” gag here) all promised plenty but eventually delivered little.
And then there were the four Clasicos in 17 days. The November edition wowed us enough to land our Match of the Season gong, rendering the final four the ultimate anti-climax, memorable more for Jose Mourinho’s absurd press conference, accusations of racism and plenty of rolling around on the floor than the few moments of magic that occurred.
The endless shenanigans at FIFA are also worthy of a shoutout but can’t be considered a serious candidate for the prize because surely nobody can be surprised enough by the wacky goings-on to genuinely feel upset.
So with those honourable mentions out of the way, our award for Disappointment of the Season goes to…
JENS LEHMANN’S ARSENAL COMEBACK
Yes, we knew that he was never likely to get too much time on the pitch but who could have predicted that the return of one of the most controversial and colourful figures in Premier League history – a genuine Spoiler icon – could have been so dull?
The world’s most entertaining 41-year-old German goalkeeper has teased us though with talk of one more campaign at the Emirates, in which he will surely strive to get involved in as much mischief as possible to eradicate the memory of his dull first few months back.
Disappointed by an omission from this list? Put us right below…