December is awards season so the Cutter is dutifully donning its least smelliest tux, printing up some fancy invites and hosting a virtual ceremony to celebrate the best of 2011.

Ladies and gents, welcome to the inaugural Daisies! (If you could make a fanfare noise as you read that last bit it would be much appreciated)

The 2011 Daisies has six different categories and we will be running one per day this week. Simply click on your favourite on the link provided on the homepage and the votes will be collated. The winners will be announced on Dec 28th  and each will be sent a £20 meat voucher for Aldi.

Today we highlight five fantastic teams of this year. But who deserves the gong?

AFC Wimbledon

Nine years ago a FA Cup-winning football club with a 113 year history was stolen from existence. With the full blessing of the Football Association every component was stripped down, rebranded and relocated over sixty miles away. It remains one of the most shameful episodes in British sport.

From the ashes a new club was born. Players were trialled on a local park and inclusion in the Combined Counties League successfully sought.

Five promotions in nine years later AFC Wimbledon – the true and only Dons – returned to their rightful place in the Football League.

It is an outstanding story of resurrection and resolve deserving of a Hollywood homage. The disenfranchised are now only one division away from usurping the bastard franchise that left them for dead. Who could have ever doubted the spirit of a club that once spawned the Crazy Gang?

Shamrock Rovers

In 2006, after decades of financial plight and uncertainty and twenty years of living in exile without a stadium to call their own, the Rovers supporters had endured enough. They took over the club. Two years later they finally moved into the Tallaght, regularly filling it to capacity. Now they could concentrate on football matters winning the League of Ireland in 2010 then immediately repeating the feat the following season only this time they also became the first Irish club to qualify for the Europa Cup. They did so by progressing past a formidable Partizan Belgrade in a two-legged play-off decider, an upset – and achievement – that more than justifies their inclusion on this shortlist.


This year the incredible Barca retained both the La Liga and Champion’s League whilst also winning the FIFA Club World Cup last week in Japan. Their football is so supernaturally brilliant at times it is tempting to take them for granted but every moment should be treasured because it is doubtful we will see their like again. Guardiola’s men continue to take club football to previously unscaled heights of excellence and in Messi they possess a player of such majesty we will be telling our grandchildren about him in whispered tones. He could do with a haircut mind.

Manchester City

After finally ending their thirty-five year trophy draught – allowing blues to savour ‘that’ banner being pulled down – City then set about tearing apart the Premiership for the latter half of the year playing the kind of free-flowing attacking fare nobody would have expected from a team bossed by a supposedly cautious Italian. Numerous records were smashed, including the most goals scored and most points accrued leading up to Christmas and they remained unbeaten until their recent reversal at Stamford Bridge. Should they triumph tonight Manchester City can boast an unbeaten home record for the entirety of 2011.


A small club even by the modest standards of Ligue 1 Lille thrive on sensible purchasing and development of talent. In May the rewards for placing such emphasis on supposedly old-fashioned virtues paid off handsome as they won their first league title for nearly fifty years and did so with a stylish, attractive side that was a pleasure to watch. Coach Rudi Garcia always encourages open, attacking football, a philosophy that’s significantly aided by having such an astonishing talent as Eden Hazard in your side alongside the ever-scheming Cabaye. Up front Moussa Sow enjoyed a season-long goal spree that help take the club based on the Belgian border into the unknown territory of the Champions League.

Don’t agree with our shortlist? Feel free to join in the debate @TheDaisyCutter1 on Twitter.