This is the one where I get to take control all by myself. However, if you haven't checked out Oh You Beauty, or Paisley Gates, or The Liverpool Offside, make sure you do. Anyway, this one's for flop of the year.
Once again, my cheerful nature leads me to tackle this wonderful subject about just which player wasted the most time we’ll never get back. The fact that there are so many contenders for this award lets you know just how bad it was at times. There’s something just so enraging about a bad footballer. In every other sport he would at least return to the bench at some point. Baseball players only get a four at-bats a game and maybe a couple hit to them in the field. Football players are only out there half the game at most and how often do they get the ball? Basketball players rotate in and out. Hockey players take shifts that last less than a minute. But soccer? They’re out there the whole time. You get to watch them break down moves or make defensive mistakes the entire game. You go queasy whenever the ball even moves to their side of the field. You know they’re going to get involved. And you’re sure you could reach through the screen and murder them. Who would convict you?
I actually had hopes for Joe. He didn’t cost a transfer fee (but exorbitant wages). He seemingly had something to prove after being a spot-starter for Chelsea. He was going to be deployed more centrally, which he’s seemingly been crying out for for over a decade. Here was a genuine in-the-hole player. And then he got sent off in the first game against Arsenal, and that’s the last time I remember him doing anything. As Roy panicked and got more conservative, Cole was restricted more and more to the bench. That is when something wasn’t falling off of him and landing him on the treatment table. By the time Kenny took over, Cole was a ghost. A rarely used sub, Cole has only been around to provide goals late in games already decided that we’re all kind of embarrassed by. Another sad chapter in perhaps the greatest un-kept promise English football has every produced, because there was a time when Cole looked like he was going to be truly special.
Another genius Rafa buy. Jova-Cop had it tough as the guy who brought him to Anfield wasn’t the manager when he finally arrived. Some ropey performances in South Africa didn’t exactly fill us with hope. When he did get on the pitch, he kind of ran around a lot, unable to pass or shoot, and usually getting dispossessed at the first challenge. Though he did add to our bald white guy count, which is bubbling over at this point. Hasn’t been seen in dog years, and that’s probably a good thing.
I’d laugh if he didn’t make me cry so much. A curious buy at the time, because the most Konshesky could be counted on was to be average. A squad player on a club like Liverpool, or what a club like Liverpool should be, he was thrust into a more prominent role when it was discovered that Fabio Aurelio was only made of fairy dust and dreams. And good god was he awful. The only Liverpool player I’ve seen booed by the Anfield faithful and cheered when he was substituted, and I lived through the Titi Camara and Erik Meijer era. Single-handedly responsible for points lost at White Hart Lane and St. James Park, those points could have had Liverpool chasing a Champions League spot. He was slow, stupid, and unskilled. The day he was packaged off to Forest will rank right up there with first kiss in happiest days of my life. Wait, I think some winger just went past him again.
Need a midfield stopper? Why not an aging Dane who was deemed to slow for the Serie A? I don’t know if Poulsen can tackle, because he could never get there in time to show us. I know he can’t pass a ball, as any attempt he made to do so looked like a painting by Peter North. This signing should have been a fireable offense at the spot, but at the time I didn’t know Konchesky was coming behind it.