#5: Nwankwo Kanu v Middlesbrough in 2004
Captains are supposed to lead from the front, but it doesn’t look like anyone reminded Nwankwo Kanu that before West Bromwich Albion took on Middlesbrough at the Hawthorns in November 2004. And if it could get any worse for the home side and Kanu, it was a new manager – and former Baggy – Bryan Robson’s first game in charge.
Middlesbrough scored early, but West Brom leveled up the contest shortly after. However, it wasn’t long before Boro found themselves back in front, and the hosts’ best outcome looked like being a point. And they would have secured it had Kanu not committed one of the most horrendous atrocities against the beautiful game.
The Nigerian had taken up residence on the left post, waiting for a chance to pinch a point. And that chance came when Geoff Horsfield threaded the ball across the face of goal, directly at Kanu, who somehow contrived to fizz the ball over the bar from around two yards out – even after watching it 100 times, explaining this howler is still impossible. Middlesbrough won 2-1, and Robson was left, undoubtedly, livid.