Playing the World's Tiniest Violin for Football's Sorest Losers of 2011-12

Tony MabertContributor IMay 21, 2012

Playing the World's Tiniest Violin for Football's Sorest Losers of 2011-12

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    The end of a sporting season is a time for winners, for those who conquer to revel in the adulation their achievements deserve.

    But for every winner, there has to be at least one loser, and it is them who we focus on here.

    Whether they be acts of petulance, childish tantrums or outright outbursts of violence, bad losers and their behaviour are all too often overlooked in the clamour to congratulate the victors. 

    Here's to the losers and the vital role they played in what has been such a sensational Premier League season. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger

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    There is no place better to kick off than the present, and with Saturday's exhausting Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

    Chelsea won the trophy on penalties, and Bayern midfield stalwart Schweinsteiger was one of those who missed a crucial spot-kick for his team. 

    The humiliation of a German missing a penalty after a flamboyant stutter in his run-up—and in his own back yard, no less—was too much for Schweinsteiger, and when he went up to collect his runner-up medal, he stomped straight past the outstretched hand of German president Joachim Gauck.

    Schweinsteiger has since apologised, saying he was paralysed with disappointment.

    He is quoted by Eurosport as saying:

    "It's a misunderstanding.

    "Anyone who puts themselves in my position and looks at the photo can see that, after such a great disappointment, I was not aware of what was going on around me.

    "I was desperate, disappointed, as if I was paralysed. I didn't see the president's hand.

    "I'm sorry that in that moment I left the wrong impression. I would like to apologise to the president."

Andre Villas-Boas

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    After the amount of stick the man dubbed AVB took during his ill-fated spell in charge of Chelsea, he is certainly one of this season's losers.

    Among the 10 defeats he suffered in his 40 games in charge was a 1-0 defeat to local rivals Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in which they played the majority of the match with nine men.

    After that defeat, AVB laid into referee Chris Foy and his team of officials, and also played the old trick of mentioning the word "conspiracy" without directly saying there was one against his team.

    The Guardian quoted him as saying:

    "The ref was poor, very, very poor. And it reflected in the result. I spoke to him at the end and I was very aggressive to him. I don't care if he's OK or not. 

    "Everyone can have a bad day, but this was not a bad day for us. It was a good day for us and a bad day for the referee.

    "A couple of decisions are right, yellow cards for sure, but I think he [Foy] lost it before and was card happy towards the team. I'm not happy with the difference of treatment. I don't think the same treatment was applied.

    "Apart from the fourth official, the other three were led by the emotions of the crowd and couldn't deal with a game like this. Three of the games played by Chelsea were influenced by the referee, and this is not Premier League level.

    "You have to trust human error, but it's a big pattern for us. Things are not going our way. Conspiracy theories can lead to bans and lead to you calling us crybabies, and we're not. But it keeps happening."

    Villas-Boas was fined £12,000 and warned about his future conduct by the FA.

Joey Barton

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    Barton has spent most of this season rehabilitating his image in the hope of losing his reputation for being a violent thug and instead cultivating one as an enigmatic thinker who sticks it to the man and tells it like it is.

    For so long, it appeared to be working, as his retweets of Nietzsche quotes on Twitter and fondness for The Smiths got many journalists believing he was a reformed character who deserved a second chance.

    And then, on the final day of the Premier League season, it all came crashing down.

    Barton was admittedly provoked by Carlos Tevez in QPR's match against Manchester City which they needed a point to be sure of avoiding relegation, but after his retaliation was spotted by the officials and earned him a red card, Barton went on the rampage. 

    The midfielder kneed Sergio Aguero in the back of the leg in a cowardly act of bullying, before he tried to land a head butt on Vincent Kompany, who showed remarkable restraint when he arrived on the scene.

    Typically, Barton took to Twitter later that evening to claim he was trying to get a City player sent off with him, and then launched a tirade against Match of the Day presenters Alan shearer and Gary Lineker. The exchanges are rounded up here very nicely by the Mail.

    Barton was charged with violent conduct for both of those acts after the red card was shown, accepting the first and denying the second, meaning he could start next season with a suspension that runs into double figures.

Alex Ferguson

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    In all fairness to the Manchester United manager, he was magnanimous in ultimate defeat when local rivals Manchester City pipped his team to the Premier League title in stoppage time on the final day.

    However, the veteran manager did not quite carry himself in the same statesmanlike manner just two weeks previously, when his team visited City for a match which would go a huge way to determining the destination of the title.

    City won that match 1-0 courtesy of Vincent Kompany's goal as United's plan to stifle their hosts failed. With 13 minutes remaining, Nigel de Jong was booked for a harsh foul on Danny Welbeck, and Ferguson clashed with opposite number Roberto Mancini on the touchline. 

    The pair had to be pulled apart by officials and backroom staff, and afterwards, Fergie revealed he had been wound up by Mancini's actions during the game.

    The Guardian quoted him saying:

    "[Mancini] refereed the game.

    "He was out on that touchline the whole game haranguing the referee, the fourth official and the linesmen. The minute I come off the bench for a bad tackle by De Jong on Welbeck, he was out again. 

    "He can't have it both ways. He's been complaining about referees this season but he won't be complaining tonight that's for sure."

    Mancini responded in an amusingly sarcastic manner, saying:

    "He doesn't talk with the referee or the fourth official? No, never. 

    "I don't know because I was talking with the fourth official after the foul and he [Ferguson] told me some kind words and I don't know why. I answered him but afterwards it was finished. I can understand because at this moment the tension is high."

Kenny Dalglish

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    By the time spring rolled around, the cracks in Kenny Dalglish's time in charge at Liverpool were really beginning to show. 

    The Scottish manager was on a run of three straight league defeats in the run-up to a derby against Everton, and not even winning the Carling Cup in the middle of that run could stop questions being asked about how well he thought the club had performed through the course of the problem. 

    Dalglish's response was a bizarre rant about how the club's new £300 million kit deal with Warrior Sports was as important as how many points they had on the board.

    The Telegraph quoted him as saying:

    "There are many ways you can judge a season and the best way is progress at the football club as a whole. I don't think it necessarily relates to trophies or points.

    "You can measure it by how the club has progressed and where it is, from the first team to the kids. Off the pitch, especially, the club is a lot stronger than what it was.

    "You go off the pitch and see how much money we are getting through sponsorship and kit deals."

    "You look at the academy and see how much better it is. You look around here [at Melwood] and most of the people have got a smile on their faces now. The squad is stronger than it was last year. What other areas are there to improve on - apart from points?"