As its awards season Tom Mallows thought he would name his top 5 losers of 2008/09 season so far.

1)  Rafa Benitez

Ahh, our loveable Rafa. Everything seemed to be going so well for Liverpool when they thumped Newcastle 5-1 to go into the New Year front runners in the Premier League title race. But then somewhere deep in Benitez’s brain something snapped and all we could hear were outbursts of raging paranoia…..

First was the rant at Alex Ferguson, then the sly dig at Everton, with the madness finally culminating in his already infamous “crazy” speech against Wigan. All this against a backdrop of poor results as United stormed past Liverpool back to the top of the table.

Some respite yesterday, but the month of January was a complete nightmare for the Spaniard, but it leaves me in anticipation for more classic sound bytes from the beleaguered Liverpool boss should their title bid continue to falter.

2)  Everyone and everything at Newcastle

Talking of classic speeches, Joe Kinnear deserves a medal for the best opening to a press conference ever. For those if you who can’t remember here is a brief reminder:

Kinnear: Which one is Simon Bird?
Bird: Me.
JK: You’re a ****.
Bird: Thank you.


I should really give Kinnear an award for such a hilarious speech, but given everything else at Newcastle this season has been such a disaster, there is no way big Joe can escape some of the blame.

From KK’s walkout, to replica shirt wearing, beer swilling, sports wear mogul Mike Ashley trying and failing to sell the club, Newcastle are plummeting like a stone. No wonder Charles “insomnia” N’Zogbia wants out.

The only way I believe they can beat the football odds and escape Premier League relegation is through the sheer ineptness of the other teams around them.

3)  Mark Hughes

Sparky must have loved it when the Arabs showed up with their gold plated chequebook last August. He must have thought the days of Vassell and Dunne were over, who could turn City down with all that money??

Well Kaka obviously could, before star signing Robinho went AWOL and then got arrested for an alleged sexual assault in a Leeds nightclub. Meanwhile on the pitch City were conceding left right and centre, they were dumped out of the cup by Forest and then…..they signed Craig Bellamy.

Can things get any worse??

4)  Tony Adams

Tony Adams has achieved a lot in his career, from League titles with Arsenal, a clutch of England caps and a successful battle with alcohol addiction. But to take Portsmouth from FA Cup winners to relegation battlers in six months must rank up there. Pompey Chief Executive Peter Storie must have failed to look at Adams managerial record when he appointed him: 53 games 12 wins 21 defeats.

5)  Harry Redknapp

Partly to blame for Portsmouth’s nosedive \’Arry got out just in time but found himself at another crisis club Spurs.

Some things don’t change though, with \’Arry keen to hoover up as many signings as possible during the transfer window, including apparently his wife. Speaking after a Darren Bent horror miss against Portsmouth (of all teams) he said:

“You will never get a better chance to win a match than that. My missus could have scored that one.”
That will make Darren feel better about himself.

But rather than just destroy one players confidence Redknapp seemed determined to slag everyone off:

“This is a football club that has been put together by I don’t know who and I don’t know how.
“It’s a mish-mash of players with people playing where they want to play. It’s scary.”

So there you have it, if \’Arry can’t weave his magic and keep Spurs up this season it’s everyone else’s fault not his.

Chin up \’Arry, the Portsmouth job might be vacant again at the end of the season.