Premier League: The Very Worst Moments of the EPL Season So Far
The Premier League season may be barely seven weeks old, but fans have already been treated to some sumptuous football and cracking goals.
But this article does not concern the best, rather the moments that those involved in wish they could wash away from fans' memories.
From Mario Balotelli's super strops, to some rather poor spelling from a Manchester United kit man, here are the awards for the very worst of the EPL season so far.
The Worst: Reaction to a Meaningless Refereeing Decision
...and the award goes to: Cheick Tiote
Reacting like he'd just found out Emmerdale had been cancelled, Newcastle's emotionally fraught midfielder Cheick Tiote's hilarious reaction to a completely meaningless decision not going his way in a recent match against Manchester United is a more than worthy award winner.
If he reacts like that for a simple foul, I'd love to see what happens when he's shown a straight red.
The Worst: Treatment of a Club Mascot
...and the award goes to: Anton Ferdinand
Hasty to avoid eye contact with mortal foe John Terry, QPR's Anton Ferdinand's curt shove of an innocent youngster is far from being an appealing advert for the mascot program.
That's what you get for dawdling, son.
The Worst: Tackle
Image via Daily Mail
...and the award goes to: Jonjo Shelvey and Jonny Evans
The joint recipients of the highly coveted "Worst Tackle" award are Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey and Manchester United Jonny Evans, for their bone-crunching collision in their sides' recent meeting.
Though it was the Blofeld-lookalike Shelvey who saw red, in truth, Evans was hardly any less of a guilty party for his studs-up lunge.
The Worst: Reaction to Being Subbed
Image via Huffington Post
...and the award goes to: Mario Balotelli
Italian enigma Mario Balotelli rarely takes the news that he's been subbed kindly.
His latest sulky strop down the tunnel, and no doubt straight onto a plane back to Milan, will hardly endear him to Manchester City fans.
But I'm sure that Roberto Mancini's decision saved some valuable baggage-packing time before his flight, back at his apartment.
The Worst: Chant
...and the award goes to: Manchester United fans
If there was ever an uninspired version of The White Stripes' song Seven Nation Army, it has to be Manchester United fans' teeth-grindingly annoying chant for Dutch striker Robin van Persie.
"Woa-ah, Robin van Per-sie. Woa-ah, Robin van Per-sie." Any chance we could add a verse to that one?
The Worst: Spelling Error
Image via The Telegraph
and the award goes to: Manchester United's kit man
Even the top clubs are made to look like lower-league amateurs at times.
Manchester United's kit man deserves special mention for his horrible misspelling of Brazilian Anderson's name on the back of the player's shirt.
"Andesron" didn't have much impact in the Everton game, though I'm sure he blamed an identity crisis for his disappointing performance.
The Worst: Time to Miss a Game
Image via The Guardian
...and the award goes to: Roman Abramovich
Chelsea gave arguably their best performance of the season in a 4-1 home win over Norwich recently. But when the camera panned to the club box in search of a jubilant Roman Abramovich, the owner was nowhere to be found.
Perhaps he had billionaire duties to attend to, but that's still no excuse for missing a thrashing to remind him of the best Blues teams of old.
The Worst: Football-Related Pun
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
...and the award goes to: Pretty much every tabloid
The instant impact Spanish recruit Michu had for Welsh side Swansea City in the season's early goings was as refreshing as it was unpredictable.
The only downside of his scoring four goals in his side's first few games was the birth of the horrible pun, "Pleased to Michu." You can guarantee as soon as the transfer had been completed, the British tabloids had that headline braced for opening day.
The Worst: Way to Advertise Your Club
...and the award goes to: Being: Liverpool
The insightful documentary that cuts to the very heart of the most pertinent footballing issues, "Being: Liverpool" takes a behind-the-scenes look at one of Britain's most famous, successful clubs.
Just a shame they couldn't have made it when 'Pool were actually winning games.
Still, it's nice to know that Luis Suarez and Lucas Leiva are BFFs off the pitch, and that Jay Spearing has a dog that proves the age-old adage that pets often resemble their owners.
The Worst: Cameo Appearance
Image via Football365
...and the award goes to: Tom Huddlestone
Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone wins the award for worst cameo, due to his horrendous substitute appearance in a September clash with Norwich City.
Brought on in the 82nd minute, Huddlestone was promptly given his marching orders less than six minutes later after an ill-advised lunge on a poor, unsuspecting Canary.
The Worst: Way to Prove You're Clinical in Front of Goal
...and the award goes to: The Southampton defence
The most clinical finishing in Arsenal's 6-1 win over Southampton last month was that of the Saints back line, who contributed two well-taken goals to the Gunners tally.
With such fantastic finishers in all areas of the pitch, Southampton can have no fear of being relegated.
The Worst: Club Mascot
Image via The Second Ball
...and the award goes to: Wigan Athletic
Arsenal have a dinosaur, Manchester United have a devil, but what is the club mascot for Wigan Athletic? A naughty, little schoolgirl sporting a blue beret, named JJ.
Hardly the type of representative to strike fear into opponents' hearts. But then, nor is Gunnersaurus Rex, to be honest.
The Worst: Excuse for Losing a Game
Stu Forster/Getty Images
...and the award goes to: Sir Alex Ferguson
After his team's 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in a recent game, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to point out the real reason for the loss.
Was it poor defending? Poor finishing? Nope, it was the fact that referee Chris Foy only added four extra minutes of stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes (via Daily Mail).
The Worst: Way to Justify Your Manager's Faith
...and the award goes to: Luis Suarez
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez's ill-timed impression of a flopping salmon in a recent clash with Stoke City earned him condemnation and criticism in abundance.
But the most cringing aspect of the incident was the fact that it came only days after his manager, Brendan Rodgers, had voiced his support of the player, expressing his opinion that he is someone who isn't a diver.
The Worst: Pre-Trial Declaration
Neil Mockford/Getty Images
...and the award goes to: John Terry
If there was ever an ill-timed announcement, it was John Terry revealing his decision to retire from international football only days before the commencement of his trial for comments made that were allegedly racist in nature.
Quite why he chose that particular moment to do so, months after it was known that the FA would pursue the charges, and before a guilty verdict was even given, is baffling.
What do you think have been the worst moments of the EPL season so far?