TTU Awards 2013-14: Flop of the Season
Credit to last year’s winners Wolverhampton Wanderers who have bounced back under the shrewd stewardship of Kenny Jackett and might fancy their chances of making it a complete recovery were not their fans keenly aware of the dangers of hubris.
Given this, the category turned out to be fairly split with Tranmere Rovers (top of League 1 in January 2013, relegated by May the following year), Northampton Town (from play-off finalists to very nearly relegated in the space of 12 months), Steve Lomas’ reign at Millwall, QPR (they should have walked the league with that squad and their loan players), Graham Westley failing massively back at Stevenage and, perhaps a little unfairly, Portsmouth all garnering mentions. In fairness, only the unthinking really thought Pompey would be there or thereabouts in the promotion frame, but flirting with relegation from the Football League was not on the agenda for the Trust in their first year in situ.
But particular vitriol is reserved by our voters for first, Billy Davies, a more bullying and paranoid manager in English football it is hard to conceive of: Davies’ attempts to prevent a touchline photographer from doing his job and taking pictures of the manager during the Tricky Trees’ visit to The Den just about summed the bloke up. Ditto, Owen Coyle. Still ludicrously regarded by some as a managerial colossus in the making, he repeated the previous season’s failure at Bolton and turned a pacey, wonderfully composed Wigan side into a lumpen, unfit mess. Lastly, Blackpool’s farcical transfer policy can be neatly epitomised by the decision to bring Michael Chopra on board, despite his ongoing problems. Ipswich couldn’t get him out of the door quickly enough, but the Seasiders gave him a hefty contract (by their standards at least) and the most they got out of him was a string of Twitter outbursts.
But if some of the above shower were predictable in their abject failure, Paddy Madden’s Transfer-listing in November having failed to score a single goal, having been tipped by many to successfully make the step up to the Championship with first timers Yeovil Town is perhaps the saddest. His season may have ended in promotion with Scunthorpe, but for a player who concluded 2012-13 with the League One golden boot, it was success tainted with unequivocal failure.