Think AVB 'cracked' on Sunday? Read these tales of punching fans, 52 swear words, 15 uses of the c-word, 'The S**t Hits The Fan' and "youse are all f**king idiots"...
Being old isn't enough. Like red wine, cheese and Felicity Kendal, here are ten players who got better with age. The message is clear - being Italian helps...
10. Shaun Wright-Phillips to QPR
It says an awful lot about QPR's recruitment policy following their promotion in 2011 that Wright-Phillips is now one of, if not the, highest-paid players in the Championship. The former England international contributed just one goal and four assists in his two Premier League seasons with Rangers as they eventually succumbed to relegation. Wright-Phillips does deserve some praise for his spell at Loftus Road, however, after Neil Warnock accused the winger of treating him with contempt in his book, The Gaffer. 'Wright-Phillips was informed of his fine (after being booked for dissent) by letter, which is the procedure,' wrote Warnock. 'Instead of seeing me, knocking on the door and complaining, he Sellotaped the letter on to his back at training in front of all the players, treating it like a joke. That was one of the most disappointing mornings for me at QPR. Inside I was disgusted with Shaun yet to him it was a joke.'
9. Borja Valero to West Brom
Valero has carved an impressive career at Villarreal and Fiorentina since leaving England, but West Brom's £4million move for the midfielder in 2008 always seemed an unnecessary gamble, especially when the Baggies had such a meagre transfer budget on their return to the top flight. The Spaniard's debut came in a 3-1 League Cup defeat to Hartlepool and his fortunes failed to improve as West Brom spent the majority of the season rooted to the foot of the table. His signing appeared to be over-indulgence from Tony Mowbray, who insisted that his team would try to play the 'right' way, and, after the Baggies dropped back to the Championship, Valero quickly jumped ship to Mallorca.
8. Jeremie Aliadiere and David Bellion to West Ham
It's a typical trick for promoted sides to ask for a bit of help from the Premier League big boys in their summer recruitment drive, but West Ham found little joy from their calls to Manchester United and Arsenal in 2005. David Bellion and Jeremie Aliadiere immediately arrived on season-long loans, but the pair failed to score a single top-flight goal between them for the Hammers. Aliadiere was soon sent back to Arsenal, who then farmed him out to Wolves in the Championship, while Bellion said he was so unwanted at Upton Park that he "felt like a ghost". All he needed to do was score a ghoul (I'm so, so sorry).
7. Michael Chopra to Sunderland
After winning promotion in 2004/05, Sunderland turned to Blackburn striker Jon Stead in their search for the goals that would secure Premiership survival. It proved to be a terrible decision, with Stead taking eight months and 30 appearances to find the back of the net on route to the Black Cats breaking the record for the lowest points total. Not to worry, though, as Roy Keane led Sunderland back to the promised land in the following campaign and this time they would surely get it right in the transfer market. Michael Chopra arrived from Cardiff for £5million and appeared to be a shrewd investment after bagging the winner against Spurs on his debut. However, the striker found the net on only two more occasions before mid-March as the Black Cats avoided a second relegation in three years by three points. Chopra was loaned to Cardiff at the start of the 2008/09 campaign and never played for Sunderland again.
6. Gjorgji Hristov to Barnsley
Barnsley broke their transfer record to sign Hristov in 1997, but the striker scored only five goals in the Premiership as the Tykes immediately returned whence they came. To make things worse, Hristov said the women of Barnsley were ugly and drank too much as he complained of homesickness halfway through the campaign. "The local girls are far uglier than the ones back in Belgrade or Skopje," said the second-highest goalscorer in Macedonia's history. "Our women are much prettier. Besides, they don't drink as much beer as the Barnsley girls which is something I don't like at all. To be honest I expected more of Barnsley as a town and a club." In response to Hristov's comments, Barnsley student Michelle Dodson told the BBC: "My reaction to his remarks is unprintable. He wants to look in the mirror before talking about us. He's no oil painting. Barnsley women are the best looking in the country."
5. Corrado Grabbi to Blackburn
Despite spending over £20million on Ashley Ward, Nathan Blake, Kevin Davies and Matt Jansen during the 1998/99 season, Blackburn became the first former Premiership champions to be relegated, with their four new strikers contributing just 12 goals between them. Rovers failed to learn their lesson, however, and Graeme Souness was allowed to splurge £6.75m on Corrado Grabbi after leading to club to promotion in 2001. The Italian had scored 20 goals for Serie B side Ternana in the previous campaign, but lost his finishing touch the moment he arrived at Ewood Park. Blackburn battled to tenth and won the League Cup in their first season back in the top flight, but it was no thanks to Grabbi, who scored only two goals in 19 appearances.
4. Valerien Ismael to Crystal Palace
Before Crystal Palace shelled out somewhere in the region of £5million on Dwight Gayle this summer, Ismael had remained their record signing for 15 years following his move to Selhurst Park in January 1998. Palace had given themselves a fighting chance of survival in the first half of the season after picking up 23 points from 22 matches, but Ismael's arrival coincided with a drastic collapse that saw the Eagles gain only ten more points on their way to relegation. Palace won just two of the centre-back's 13 games - conceding 37 goals - with Ismael also receiving a red card in a 5-2 defeat to Bolton. The former France Under-21 international was packed off to Lens only ten months after his arrival with Reuters citing 'injury problems and a tense relationship with coach Terry Venables' as the reason for his exit. The biggest surprise in this story was yet to come, however, as Ismael then went on to win two Bundesliga titles with Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich.
3. Dave Kitson to Stoke
It's fair to say Tony Pulis didn't get the best out of his first Premier League transfer kitty in 2008. Despite building a bigger squad in preparation for Stoke's first season in the top flight for 23 years, most of the manager's signings turned out to be dross, with Tom Soares, Michael Tonge and Andrew Davies all lacking Premier League quality. But even those failures were no match for Dave Kitson. At £5.5million, the former Reading striker became Stoke's record signing and the Potters had high expectations for their investment. However, Kitson didn't score a single goal in his first season at the club and finished the campaign back at Reading on loan. He later admitted that he had made the "wrong decision" in joining Stoke, while Pulis called the forward 'petulant and precious' before shipping him out for good.
2. Claude Davis to Sheffield United and Derby
For two surreal years, Davis was the darling of newly promoted sides before it was finally realised that he was woefully out of his depth in the Premier League. Sheffield United broke their transfer record to sign the defender from Preston in 2006, but he missed the start of the season after sustaining a knee injury. He made 21 league appearances as United immediately returned to the Championship and allegedly threatened Ade Akinbiyi with a blade during a training ground bust-up, although this was later denied by the club. After Davis' unfortunate spell at Bramall Lane, you would think that the next season's newbies would have given the centre-back a wide berth. Step forward Derby, who repaid the Blades £3million outlay and promptly plonked Davis in the middle of a defence that conceded 89 goals as the Rams recorded a new lowest points total. It's no surprise that Davis was described as the worst player in the club's history by local journalist Gerald Mortimer when he finally left in 2009.
1. Steve Marlet to Fulham
Oh, boy. This didn't go well. Steve Marlet remains Fulham's all-time record signing after Mohamed Al Fayed celebrated the Cottagers' promotion in 2001 with an £11.5million move for the striker. The former France international was seen as a big coup for Fulham at the time after enjoying an impressive season at Lyon. Things soon turned sour as the then 26-year-old managed just one goal before the New Year. After another disappointing season in 2002/03, Marlet was loaned to Marseille for 18 months with Fulham paying the majority of his wages and he ended his Cottagers career with just 19 goals in 78 appearances. Al Fayed was so incensed by the striker's failure that he sacked Jean Tigana and took the manager to court after alleging that he overpaid for transfers in a dereliction of duty. The owner lost his case and was then forced to pay Tigana £2.5million for unfair dismissal.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.
Great (and by extension awful) list. As a Bolton fan I'd have to make a case for Dean Holdsworth. Cost £3.5 million (a quite enormous sum for a newly promoted club in 1997) and contributed 3 goals as Bolton returned from whence they came. Granted he was better in the First Division, but still. Plus he remained the record signing for almost a decade, which ensured constant reminders and embarrassment.- MeMcMe