TTU Awards 2011-12: Flop of the Season
The nominations for this year’s biggest disappointment were peppered with under performing strikers although our Cumbrian correspondent John McGee decided not to continue his anti-Jordan Rhodes tirade by opting for Matt Tubbs instead. Having starred previously for Salisbury, the Crawley man returned to Wessex in January but managed only one goal for Bournemouth, despite a hefty fee.
A groin injury hampered Tubbs but the suspicion is that he was always doomed to fail, becoming a symbol of the desperate sitcom pilot that the Cherries campaign became – likewise Craig Mackail-Smith – very lively when our Championship watcher saw him personally, but 9 goals in 45 appearances and a severe tailing off in influence makes the £3 million disbursed by Gus Poyet look a little silly.
Then there was Leon Clarke – to be labelled ‘not very professional’ by Paolo Di Canio is akin to being accused of bias by Jeremy Hunt while Matt Mills’ first year in Leicester Blue was a moody and smouldering one.
Indeed, our award is tinged with all things Three Lions. Andy King was another severe underwhelmer as the wheels came off Sven-Göran Eriksson’s project. Labelled as pre-season favourites by all and sundry, King was supposed to be at the heart of the Foxes’ promotion push so can hardly be blamed for being omitted from the team by Svennis, but following on from his terrific 2010-11, he’ll need to buckle down this summer.
But it’s up the road at Nottingham where this season’s winner resides. In possession of possibly the most expensive and yet misfiring collection of forwards yet assembled as this level, Steve McClaren nonetheless comes across as a decent man whom we are loathe to pick on given the xenophobic tinge to much of the abuse directed towards him – but Forest’s campaign was an horrendous one chronicled for us in our conversations with Steve Wright and by the blog Seat Pitch. Steve Cotterill just about managed to keep the Tricky Trees in the Championship after McClaren’s flight, but only the financial travails at Portsmouth prevented a very nervous final Saturday.