Review of the year

Although football is all about seasons rather than years the festive period is always a great time to take stock and look back at the past 12 months. Skysports.com's football desk deliver their highlights and lowlights for the calendar year.

Skysports.com's football desk pick their highlights from the past 12 months to deliver a series of awards.

Player of the year: Pete Fraser considers the best players from a memorable 2011 and picks out the shining light. No surprise it's a little Argentine that gets the nod ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and some leading lights from the Premier League. Game of the year: Rachel Griffiths selects her best match from the past 12 months and plumps for a derby demolition in Manchester. We suggest Man United fans look away, with a dark day at Old Trafford now woven into the very fabric of Manc derby history. Manager of the year: Pete O'Rourke selects his manager of the year and it is another boss from Scotland who has taken England by storm. After guiding his club to successive promotions, Norwich boss Paul Lambert deservedly takes our gong as the top tactician over the past 12 months. Goal of the year: Chris Burton selects his goal of the season, with there only really one contender for the top prize. Manchester City may have stolen bragging rights over their neighbours this season but it is Wayne Rooney's overhead effort from last term that steals the top gong. Quotes of the year: Alex Dunn sorts the quips from the quibbles to bring together the best sporting verbal sparring of the year. Foot in mouth disease has infected all and sundry in 2011, with footballers in particular prone to some knockout soundbites. Signing of the year: Mark Buckingham picks out his signing of 2011 and opts for a bargain buy who has impressed at two clubs. Plenty of players have shown this year that shelling out big money doesn't necessarily buy quality but our winner proves you can still get plenty of bang for your buck if you look in the right places. Celebration of the year: James Pearson has a look at which football celebrations caught the eye in the 2011 football calendar and plumps for Super Mario's idiosyncratic effort at Old Trafford. Few would begrudge one of football's true mavericks his day in the sun - with the exception of Old Trafford regulars.. Fantasy player of the year: Tim Clement looks at who was the number one player in 2011 in Sky Sports Fantasy Football. It's no surprise that one of our nominees for the player of the year award tops Tim's findings as the game's highest scorer. It's not the silverware Arsene Wenger would have wanted but it'll do for now. Flop of the year: Graeme Bailey looks back on the biggest flops of the last 12 months and piles the agony on for a misfiring front-man in West London. His replacement on Merseyside hasn't proven much Kop either, but narrowly misses out on the most unwanted of our awards. Controversy of the year: Rob Parrish pulls no punches as he makes no excuses for laying into Sepp Blatter and his FIFA cronies following 12 months that world football's governing body would rather forget. From corruption to racism, FIFA has endured it all.

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