Crazy. Barmy. Downright loopy. Preposterous. Illogical and ridiculous. These words could probably just about sum up the first month of the season, let alone the entire campaign. So without any further ado, allow Goal.com to introduce you to a gaggle of words that made up the very best quotes of the season.
There was a new pundit in town as Gary Neville moved away from badge-kissing to anchor Sky Sports' live coverage in place of a bald man. It became the TV production equivalent of paying off Andy Carroll and replacing him with Papiss Cisse. Neville found his true calling.
However, even with many moments of erudite analysis and knowledgeable insight, even the best can be caught off guard.
"The trouble with the transfer window is it creates a window where transfers have to be done."
As I said – insightful.
Neville also turned his attention to spoonerisms, describing a rash Emmanuel Adebayor lunge: "He goes in, his shuds are showing. It'll catch on that."
Highly critical of the Andre Villas-Boas reign in west London, he said of David Luiz: "It was as if he was controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd on a Playstation."
|"It was as if he was controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd on a Playstation."
- Gary Neville's perculiar assessment of David Luiz's performance
But Neville left his best for last. Comparable with Andy Gray's "Ohhhhhhh you beauty", as Fernando Torres scampered past Victor Valdes to put Chelsea into the Champions League final, Neville let out a noise more suited to [removed].
He is, of course, competing with such Sky Sports luminaries as Jamie Redknapp who offered this nugget of stupidity: "David Silva literally floats around the pitch"
Does he though Jamie? Do you even understand the words coming out of your mouth?
|"David Silva literally floats around the pitch"
- Jamie Redknapp on Manchester City's Spanish maestro
There are certain people in life who just cannot engage their brain before speaking. Jamie is one of those men and they do say 'like father, like son'. For Harry's friendly demeanour and affable style when in the company of the press, it does tend to lead to the odd foot-in-mouth moment.
"I'll be rooting for Chelsea," he said. "I haven't even thought about [missing out if Chelsea win the competition]."
Woah, woah. Harry it's your job to think about these things! Now, come on, what do you really think?
"I want to see an English team win it anyway and I think they can do it. However, if it means us making Champions League football next year I've got to cheer on Bayern Munich obviously."
Obviously, Harry. Obviously.
The remarkable return to form of Chelsea has been one of the great stories of this season. Roberto Di Matteo picked up where Villas-Boas left off - trailing 3-1 to Napoli - and Petr Cech offered one of the all-time best Premier League quotes.
"We've left ourselves a two-goal cushion to climb".
|"We've left ourselves a two-goal cushion to climb."
- Petr Cech on the uphill task that faced Chelsea against Napoli
Not a mountain. A cushion. It sounds much easier, and in truth, it was, as Chelsea overcame the Neapolitans in the return leg.
Fast-forward to Camp Nou in April and we find John Terry all alone, trying to prove his innocence for the umpteenth time this season: "The player checked his run and piled into the back of me. He put his weight on the back foot, that’s why my knee went up."
Anyone good at anatomy? I've not got a clue here.
"I’ve not had a booking in the Champions League this year. I would not deliberately strike another player. That would be madness.”
But like the kid caught stealing sweets, his denial only went on until he saw the CCTV evidence...
"Looking at it on the replay, I’ve no complaints. I’ve let the lads down. I deserved to be sent off."
|"Looking at it on the replay, I’ve no complaints. I’ve let the lads down. I deserved to be sent off."
- John Terry owns up... eventually
Sendings off, red-cards, Wolves were good at that too weren't they? At least until Terry Connor set his puffy, blubbering eyes on the shambles at Molineux.
Still, under Mick McCarthy, they lived for kicking the opposition about the pitch didn't they?
Not according to Mick: "No, and I asked all the lads to go out there and knock seven bells out of everybody like I normally do. [But] they went out there and played free-flowing football and were rampant for 45 minutes. What were they playing at?"
Pity it was the only 45 minutes of free-flowing football Wolves played all year, eh?
McCarthy may have got the boot, but one man who most definitely didn't was Lancashire's public enemy number one, Steve Kean. I'm still not sure what Blackburn fans expected from this season though. Regardless, over to the leader of #teamkean:
"It is very simple. The owners are here for the long term, I am here for the long term. We are now taking one step backwards to push forward."
"There is no way Chris Samba is leaving this football club. I've spoken to the owners and that's the end of the matter."
|"There is no way Chris Samba is leaving this football club. I've spoken to the owners and that's the end of the matter."
- Steve Kean before Samba, well, left
Well that's wrong isn't it? He's in Russia Steve...
"I didn't see the plane [with the banner on it that flew over Ewood Park] and I don't know what it [the banner] said."
It was positive Steve. Yup.
Ah, Scouse humour. It wouldn't be an acceptable piece without dropping some Merseyside wit would it? The third stooge, Andy Burton, of Sky Sports fame – or if you prefer, the one that wasn't relieved of his duties post 'would-you-smash-it' gate, badgered Jamie Carragher about his future immediately after Liverpool's League Cup win.
Carragher sensed an opportunity: "You were lucky to keep your job weren't you after that Wolves stuff?"
Carlos Tevez, everybody's favourite Argentine, caused a stir by reportedly not warming up in Munich. His response?
"He's [Mancini] in the middle of an argument, so then he tells me to keep on warming up and he treats me like a dog."
|"He's [Mancini] in the middle of an argument, so then he tells me to keep on warming up and he treats me like a dog."
- It's a dog's life for Carlos Tevez
Like a dog? No, no. Graeme Souness ain't having that!
"He’s a disgrace to football. He epitomises what the man in the street thinks is wrong with modern football. It is totally unacceptable. He’s a football player and he is paid to play."
And neither was Roberto Mancini, adding: "He will never play for Manchester City ever again. He is finished."
Lies, damned lies.
|"He will never play for Manchester City ever again. He is finished."
- Roberto Mancini closes the door on Carlos Tevez... or does he?!
October saw one of the most harrowing moments in Premier League history as Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch against Tottenham.
"Knowing Fabrice and how much of a battler he is, it wouldn't surprise me if he comes back."
Thankfully, as Owen Coyle suggested, the Bolton midfielder pulled through and is now on the mend.
Moving on to more odious midfielders, this became the year Joey Barton met Twitter. Frankly it's been a LOT of fun watching the QPR captain tweet increasingly foolish messages, so here's a selection of the best:
Installed as skipper, you'd think he'd be a touch more polite to outgoing manager Neil Warnock wouldn't you? Oh no.
"If I talked about Neil, he'd do well to get another job. Twitter cost him his job???? I can think of a million other things! #shutitwarnock.
|"If I talked about Neil, he'd do well to get another job. Twitter cost him his job???? I can think of a million other things! #shutitwarnock."
- Joey Barton sticks up for Twitter after Neil Warnock's sacking
"Lost his job and the guy is blaming everyone but himself! Embarrassing, time to look in the mirror mate."
Following news on John Terry's trial, the midfielder also fell foul of contempt of court, before ludicrously claiming 'free speech' meant he could say whatever he liked.
He saved the best for this weekend though:
"Why do people want to solve any conflict with a fight? As a pacifist, I find it incredible #mindboggles"
This was a mere two days before he was red-carded for elbowing Carlos Tevez, kneeing Sergio Aguero, trying to headbutt Vincent Kompany and scuffling with substitute Mario Balotelli. The mind truly boggles.
Speaking of Balotelli, who could forget one of the most iconic images from the season as the Italian turned to the camera with a blank stare after scoring the opener in the 6-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, and lifted up his shirt to reveal the words: "Why Always Me?".
Utterly, utterly superb.
But, to answer your question, Mario, it might be something to do with your extracurricular activities.
But, his best line may have been his most serious, as he adopted the role of firework safety ambassador following an incident in his home.
"It is an important message that children should not mess with fireworks. They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way. People should follow the firework code."
|"It is an important message that children should not mess with fireworks. They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way."
- Mario Balotelli shows his sensible side after his own firework episode
Moving on. Neglecting the rest of the world would of course be madness and something we at Goal.com just could not entertain. Moving down the English pyramid, renowned total football exponent Sam Allardyce, found West Ham's fans slightly less appreciative of the long-ball guff he'd served at Upton Park this season, firing back at his critics:
“You get opinions about our results like, 'James Tomkins shouldn't be playing in midfield because he is a centre-half.' You get that b***ocks that goes round.
"What happens is I look at the performance of every player and say to everyone who says that, 'You're talking b***ocks."
|"What happens is I look at the performance of every player and say to everyone who says that, 'You're talking b******s."
- Sam Allardyce doesn't take too kindly to criticism of his management
Whilst further south, BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Chapman had to issue this statement following 'passionate' comments by Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell:
"You do not come on this show, which is listened to by fans of all ages, and swear not once, not twice, but three times."
Mitchell took offence to a line of questioning directed at his decision to allow the wife of their Russian backer into the changing room at half-time, adding:
"She's not very football-intelligent but she watched the first half and asked me if she could watch the players come into the tunnel and wish them all the best."
Over in Florence, the bizarre assault on Adem Ljajic by Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi led to his dismissal. The now ex-manager duly apologised claiming he doesn't even hit his children, the lucky scamps.
“My gesture was ugly, disgraceful and I am very saddened. I have never said that I am a saint but you can ask the children and all the players that I have coached in the past what type of person I am. I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children.”
|"I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children."
- Fiorentina boss Delio Rossi reflects on his moment of madness
It may feel like the end of the world for Bolton, suffering relegation to the Championship, but spare a thought for poor Icelandic defender Gretar Steinsson. The full-back inadvertently signed a contract until the year 20140, rather than the standard two-year extension he'd planned.
@OptaFranz: “Gretar Steinsson signed a contract at Bolton that lasts - due to an error - for another 18.002 years.”
It's like a parody of a late 1990's TV drama – Reebok Stadium 20140...
And finally, in what seems a fitting concluding quote of the season, Roberto Mancini gives his opinion on his team's achievements:
“This is an incredible moment. We wanted this title and we deserve to win this title. This is for all our supporters, the club, the chairman and the owner. This is the perfect finale for a crazy season. We dominated this season for 28 games but, when we beat a team like United twice in one season, we deserve this.”
And it seemed Sir Alex Ferguson agreed: "On behalf of Manchester United I congratulate Manchester City on winning the Premier League."
But he couldn't help himself... "Our rich history stands us aside - it's better than anyone. It would take City a century to get our level of history."
|"Our rich history stands us aside - it's better than anyone. It would take City a century to get our level of history."
- Sir Alex Ferguson lays down the gauntlet
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