2011 was a year to savour. The world witnessed the dominance of British golfers, a golden age of tennis and the controversy of the rugby world cup. There were impressive individual performances in both cycling and swimming, whilst the dominance and financial prowess of Manchester’s finest came into fruition. As the year draws to a close, we focus in on some of the best pairings established in 2011.

 

Scott Parker and Luka Modric

…after a fierce battle to keep him away…

The heart of the Spurs midfield was transformed at the start of the 2011-2012 season with the purchase of defensive midfielder, Scott Parker from relegated West Ham. The super signing made a seamless transition into the team, slotting in beside Luka Modric, who only remained at the Lane after a fierce battle to keep him away from the clutches of local rivals Chelsea. With Parker’s focus on tackling anything and everything, Modric was free to create. The balance between the two meant that Spurs have made one of their best starts ever to a premier league season, with a 9 game unbeaten run and 3rd position in the table at Christmas. One of the most effective midfields in the premiership.

 

Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel

…going on to win it in emphatic style…

2011 witnessed another remarkable and dominant display from arguably the sportsman of the year, Sebastian Vettel. The German formula one driver took the sport by storm after moving to Red Bull in 2009. A graduate of their young driver programme, he took second place in the 2009 championship, going on to win it in emphatic style in the next two years. In 2011 he became the youngest double world champion in history with 4 races to spare and secured a record 15 pole positions. The harmonic partnership between himself and Red Bull Racing produced scintillating form and a driver who destroyed the rest of the field on pretty much every occasion.

 

Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook

…most prolific opening test partnerships…

In another mild English summer, the formidable opening partnership between Strauss and Cook helped secure England’s definitive 4-0 test series victory over India and in the process the pair moved into 4th place in the table of the most prolific opening test partnerships. Cook continued his extraordinary form from the victorious Ashes series whilst the durable pairing was the key ingredient in the white wash of the Indians, helping the side to become number one in the world. It was in the third test at Edgbaston that their form really took off with opening partnerships of 186 and 75, helping England to win by over an innings. England’s most productive opening pair of all time.

 

Venkys and Steve Kean

…narrowly escaping relegation…

In last place is a partnership which, unlike the others, has been completely derailed in 2011. The Indian company Venkys took over Blackburn Rovers in 2010, quickly sacking manager Sam Allardyce and appointing assistant coach Steve Kean. Despite narrowly escaping relegation in the 2010-11 season, this season has seen traumatic times for the Rovers with an open war breaking out between management and supporters. Venky’s and Steve Kean sit on one side, with the irate fans on the other, demanding that both are quickly outed. With just 11 points from 18 games, Blackburn were bottom at Christmas, meaning history too is against him. Only once in the last 7 seasons has a team managed to avoid relegation from this position. A partnership which could do with some severe counseling and attention in the new year.

 

About The Author

I am currently in my first year at UCL studying French and History of Art but my real passion lies in sport. I play netball for the university and am an keen follower of rugby and football.

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