By Tony Attwood
It was the Guardian who came up with the Biggest Flop contest. They did carefully ignore their own magnificent failure to see how a change in Swiss law would cause Fifa a trifle of embarrassment, or indeed how the media would universally refuse to acknowledge its own compliance in Fifa’s dominance of football.
But now what of failures elsewhere?
The first thing to notice is that there is not a single mention of Arsenal anywhere on the list. No Arsenal failures. A bit of remorse would be nice, and we ain’t got that, but the Guardian leaves us out of the list.
Now this is remarkable given the way the media and their aaa allies has spent so much time knocking the club, always finding someone, something, somewhere. But I’ve given them a few reminders at the end.
Harry Redknapp who led QPR such a merry dance gets only mention, which perhaps reflects the way that most journalists have memory spans shorter than the average goldfish more than his ability to create havoc across the universe.
But even more strangely Mike Ashley and Newcastle only got three mentions, despite Mr A’s comings and goings at Rangers, his loan of five players to Rangers, and all of that. I mean to say, this is wholesale manipulation and destruction of football, and yet only three of the 17 journalists who commented mentioned him.
As I looked down the list I was also looking for our old amusement park: Balo. Andy Hunter came up with this curious comment, “Mario Balotelli does not qualify in this category as no one expected him to succeed at Liverpool. Not even Brendan Rodgers, a few weeks before spending £16m on him.” Really? Then surely that makes Brendan Rodgers the flop of the season, for buying a player he doesn’t believe in.
James Riach however did pick Mario Balotelli. “A dreadful signing for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers took a £16m punt and it backfired,” and two of his colleagues agreed.
Sachin Nakrani however went for the lot of them, “The committee, which includes the manager, Brendan Rodgers, have questions to answer, as does the entire hierarchy at the club.” In fact Liverpool get mentioned seven times, which makes one wonder what the rest of the writers think of the word “flop”.
Radamel Falcao is described at one point as “The galáctico’s galáctico” and got several mentions (including Barney Ronay saying “Radamel Falcao. Oh dear. Come here. Come on. Let’s have a hug,”) as did Ángel Di María while Amy Lawrence did a nice bit of individualism with “Ahmed Elmohamady’s comedy dive against Arsenal was a flop and a half.”
So, domination for Liverpool, but no mention of these, which I would nominate as my ten flops of the season.
1. The attempt at placing press releases as news in newspapers that are struggling. A failure because the results were so laughable. The PGMO’s desperate attempt to exhonerate themselves by claiming that they are forward looking, and that 98% of all ref decisions are correct, got full coverage in the Telegraph, while the Independent covered themselves in something utterly disgusting with their word for word run of Barcelona’s president saying they have done nothing wrong, and beside they pay more tax than any other club in the world.
2. The FA’s continuing foul up over cup final tickets. I am one of the lucky few, but I would like to be with my season-ticket owning friends, who despite their absolute support simply can’t get in.
3. The continuing existence of ticket touts outside the Emirates.
4. The Independent’s recent hilarious attempt to suggest that “Arsenal fans hijack” whatever is going on at the moment. They did it with Jack Wilshere winning Match of the Day’s goal of the season award for the second year running, “thanks to a collective surge of support from Arsenal” fans.”
Which is a bit like saying that the Conservative Party hijacked the general election by getting their supporters to vote Conservative. Which I suppose they did in a way.