Coral’s Premier League awards 2014/15: Biggest Flop of the Season
It’s awards season, and we at Coral are holding our own as the Premier League campaign approaches the run-in.
We’ve seen superb signings shine and homegrown heroes hailed this term, and there will be several categories, though players can only be nominated in a maximum of two to ensure everyone a fair crack.
Next up is our Biggest Flop of the Season Award. Coral’s football experts have put their heads together and nominated the following flops.
Prior to the current season, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers in his own words said: “I can categorically tell you that [Balotelli] will not be coming to Liverpool.” How he must now wish that were true, as the controversial forward has massively flopped since his £16m move to Anfield.
The Italian began the Premier League season as a starter, playing the first nine, but failed to score in what was the Reds’ worst run of the campaign. A hamstring injury coincided with 9/4 FA Cup shouts Liverpool’s sudden rise to form, and Balotelli has not started in the top flight since.
In 25 appearances in all competitions, the former Manchester City and AC Milan player has scored just four, against Ludogorets Razgrad, Besiktas, Spurs and Swansea City, and made no assists.
Cleverley is one of three Manchester United-owned players to make this list, but it seems he won’t be on their books for long as he is out of contract and has had a shocking spell on loan at Aston Villa.
Thankfully for the Villans (3/1 to go down), they didn’t have to pay a big fee to take the England international in, but they still refuse to drop him even though he’s made little-to-no contribution to his side’s battle against relegation.
Villa are standing precariously above the drop zone, being just one place and two points away from it, and Cleverley has helped out with a total of zero goals and as many assists in 28 matches in the league and cup.
Watch Cleverley in one of his better performances of the season for Aston Villa…
Another flop loanee to make the list; however, at least Colombian hitman Falcao has found the net (four times) and made five assists from his 20 Premier League games.
Outside title chances Man Utd (50/1) were expecting big things when the usual prolific poacher temporarily signed from Monaco last summer, but his high loan fee and contract have perhaps hindered his performances.
It is fair to say that Louis van Gaal probably won’t be purchasing £40m-rated Falcao at the end of the season, and instead spend his massive warchest elsewhere.
Here is Falcao attempting the spectacular against Aston Villa…
Shaw is still just a teenager so it may be slightly harsh adding him to this list, but his ridiculous £30m transfer fee qualifies him.
The left back had a fantastic season for Southampton but it seems the step up to Old Trafford has overwhelmed him and his weaknesses have been exposed.
While it is clear Shaw has talent and terrific pace, his inventiveness and tactical knowledge on the field has been almost non-existent, and various injuries this season have halted his progress. Daley Blind has hugely impressed in his absence.
Let’s remember Shaw at his peak aged 18…
You might say that a midfielder scoring eight Premier League goals in a season can’t be classed as a flop, but not one of those strikes came against a club currently in the top six in the table.
Toure is certainly a victim of his own success, as he was simply astonishing last term, as he netted 20 times in the top flight to help Man City win the title.
The Ivorian may be jaded after his success with his country in the Africa Cup of Nations this winter, but his lack of form for his club has resulted in the Citizens dropping to fourth in the league.
Watch Toure’s funny reaction when being asked about a certain infamous dress (from 2:34)…