Paul Parker

Year in Review: Muamba back from the dead

We are asking all of our experts to give us their picks of 2012. Here Paul Parker reviews the year in football.

Best Match

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United. There hasn't been a bigger game in the Premier League given the context of the battle between the two sides and everything that went with the match. It was topped off by a last-gasp winner from Robin van Persie as well to provide real drama.

Best Moment

Lionel Messi breaking Gerd Mueller's record. He proved that size isn't everything in football. Messi is a proper street player who was born to play the game, and he has gone on to become the very best in the world. It's not just scoring goals, but his assists as well. Cristiano Ronaldo isn't anywhere near as natural as Messi is and every Dad wants their son to grow up to be like the Barcelona forward - who still smiles when he plays the game.

Funniest Moment

There haven't been any stand-out moments of hilarity really but I did enjoy the touchline row between Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini in the derby at the end of last season. Seeing those two go toe-to-toe and point fingers at each other was entertaining.

Best Player

Michu. I know he has only been in the Premier League for half a season but he excelled at Rayo Vallecano in the first half of the year and has since made a huge impact in England too. Van Persie has done brilliantly for United but Michu, working under Michael Laudrup, has taken Swansea onto another level and been a real hit.

Biggest Surprise

I have been very surprised by just how badly my former club Queens Park Rangers have done this season. They spent so much money over the summer but have had a horrid calendar year. They regressed under Mark Hughes but Harry has the chance to save them now.

Worst Moment

It has to be the events of March 17 and an FA Cup tie between Tottenham and Bolton at White Hart Lane. The fact I don't need to tell you any more than that says precisely how awful that day was. But seeing Fabrice Muamba subsequently return to health after getting so much support from the football community was also inspiring.

Biggest Disappointment

Adam Johnson. I was always very vocal about the fact he wasn't getting a proper chance under Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and I thought it was a strange decision to move to Sunderland. Since then he has been a real disappointment and I thought he would do a lot more. The English game is crying out for a player like him.

Unsung Hero

Jermain Defoe. I know he is an England international but he still doesn't get the credit he deserves. Now he is starting games and scoring regularly for Tottenham maybe he will get a bit more praise. He has worked very hard under Andre Villas-Boas and it is paying off.

Who to look out for in 2013

Christian Benteke. It is hard to see past the Aston Villa striker. Initially when I saw him I wasn't sure about his qualities as a striker and questioned why Villa had spent so much money on him. But he has definitely proved himself as a goal-taker and a goal-maker and everyone will be talking about him next year.