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Friday, 03 January 2014

Squarefootball's Flops of the Week - Week 20

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There's nothing worse than starting a new year on a downer, but the likes of Manchester United, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland did just that on New Year's Day with defeat in the Barclays Premier League.

Sunderland and West Ham occupy the bottom two places following poor results against Aston Villa and Fulham, while Manchester United fell to another home defeat against Tottenham to all but kill off their faint title hopes.

There were three red cards in the Premier League on Wednesday and a number of shocking tackles, decisions and moments in front of goal gave us plenty to talk about. But who has made it into Squarefootball's first Flops of the Week for 2014?

Goalkeeper - Tim Krul (Newcastle United)

Down to 10 men and with the full-time approaching the last thing you need is for your goalkeeper to give away a penalty. But that is exactly what Tim Krul managed against West Brom. It was a pure rush of blood to the head moment for the Dutch shot-stopper, one that cost the Mags at least a point.

Defender - Davide Santon (Newcastle United)

The Italian was turned upside down and inside out by Morgan Amalfitano at the Hawthorns. Amalfitano had the beating of the Newcastle defender all game, as Santon just couldn't cope with the Frenchman's creativity and guile.

Defender - Alex Bruce (Hull City)

The son of the former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce had a poor game as the Tigers rolled up at Anfield. He was booked early on and then was lucky to avoid an early bath after fouling Suarez. The Uruguayan international taught Bruce a lesson.

Defender - Patrice Evra (Man United)

Evra was caught out of position for Tottenham's opener and was generally chasing Lennon's shadow for the majority of the game. 

Defender - Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United)

The Frenchman's X-rated tackle - if you can even call it that - was as clear a red card as you will ever see. His reckless, two footed lunge was utterly shocking and gave the referee no option but to send him off. 

Midfield - Kevin Nolan (West Ham)

The West Ham captain saw red for the second time in a month following a petulant kick out at Fulham's Amorebieta, leaving his fellow team-mates firmly in the mire. It was an act of pure stupidness by the former Bolton and Newcastle man, one that may have dire consequences for the Hammers come the end of the season. He should be setting an example on the pitch, not sitting in the stands.

Midfield - Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)

Talking of captains setting an example, it was Cattermole's lapse of concentration - pounced on by Agbonlahor - that cost the Black Cats some much-needed points on New Year's Day. It was a horrible moment for the controversial midfielder and he must have wanted the ground to open up and swallow him up.

Midfield - Leroy Fer (Norwich City)

The Dutch midfielder had a day to forget at the Palace. Fer was punished for a push in the back on Palace skipper Jedinak  in the box - a decision which brought Palace level from the spot - and received his marching orders for a trip on the same player with seven minutes to go. His stupidity could have cost the Canaries a vital point.

Midfield - Juan Mata (Chelsea)

Once the darling of Chelsea fans, it now looks as though Mourinho is willing to listen to offers for the mercurial Spaniard. Mata was totally ineffectual against Southampton and was replaced just after the break, much to his disgust, but it appears clear that Mata just doesn't fit into Mourinho's style or plans.

Striker - Lukas Podolski (Arsenal)

Asked to play in the lone striker's role in Giroud's absence, the big German failed to make any sort of impression in the 2-0 victory over Cardiff. Podolski was largely anonymous as the Gunners failed to break down a resolute Cardiff defence until Nicklas Bendtner came to the rescue. One to forget for Podolski.

Striker - Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace)

The former Stoke City striker should have given Palace the lead after half an hour, but skewed his shot wide, and then he had the chance to redeem himself in the second half but ended up being replaced on the hour mark after another glaring miss. The weather conditions were awful, but his performance in front of goal was worse.

Well there you have it. That's our Flops of the Week, but do you agree with our selection? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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Antony Melvin



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