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Offside View: The Alternative End of Season Awards

With a weekly ‘Offside View’ of the footballing world new COS contributor EAVESY DOES IT presents the awards that really matter!

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It’s a common misconception supporters watch football for glory and the simple love of the game. No, the average football supporter takes just as much joy from the failure and misery of others.

Whether that be opposing fans, useless referees or hapless strikers who fail to hit the proverbial barn door, it’s all worthy of a good chuckle and gossip.

So, who has given us these stellar moments this year? Whose contribution to the world of football will remain in the memory far longer than trivial things like who won the league and cups, best goal etc etc

THE ‘YOU EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM’ AWARD FOR SPLITTING SUPPORTERS VIEWS, SPONSORED BY MARMITE

Lucas Leiva, a man given so much rubbish by a section of Liverpool supporters that he could fill a landfill site. Rafa Benitez has kept faith with the Brazilian much to the dismay of many reds but there do appear to be signs of light and perhaps Lucas is an early candidate for next year’s ‘EMMANUEL EBOUE AWARD’, or perhaps not. Honourable mention to Dimitar Berbatov who ran Lucas so close for this award and then thought ‘sod it, I can’t be bothered’.

THE EMMANUEL EBOUE AWARD FOR TURNING SUPPORTERS AROUND

Step forward Mr Bobby Zamora. Song heard at Craven Cottage for the first game this season “When the ball hits your head, and you’re sat in row z that’s Zamora”. Song heard at Craven Cottage later this season “When the ball’s in the net and it went like a jet that’s Zamora”. To go from being mocked by your own supporters to being on the edge of the England squad is a remarkable turnaround. To get the Fulham fans singing is even more impressive.

AWARD FOR SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY

Ben Foster, a man so nailed on for a spot in England’s world cup squad that his family had already booked flights to South Africa. Probably. His former manager at Watford claimed “he’s better than current Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, he is going to be the best goalkeeper in the world.” Aidy Boothroyd is now manager of Colchester United, who have just finished 8th in League 1. Foster is now seemingly on his way to Birmingham to replace the on loan Joe Hart who has, by cruel coincidence, replaced Foster himself in the England squad.

NICE MAN, RUBBISH MANAGER AWARD

Brian Laws, if someone could make Burnley look even worse then Laws managed it. Icelandic midfielder Joey Gudjonsson said of his boss “He lost the dressing room long ago”. To be honest the guy seems so hapless it’s a minor miracle he found it in the first place. Having sent Sheffield Wednesday on their way to regulation by December, Laws somehow ended up with a Premier League job and made sure Burnley were not going to benefit from any great escape. You have to ask what made Burnley appoint a manager who was hardly covered in recent glory. Well, the results of a Deloitte and Touche study, delivered at the club’s request, said that he delivered value for money. Well, if you’re going to get relegated anyway then you may as well do it on the cheap.

LADY GAGA AWARD FOR PROVIDING ENDLESS INTERNET GOSSIP

Step forward Mr Gerrard, you’ve provided internet forums and pubs up and down the country with plenty of gossip material. Again. Court appearances, scandalous rumours and another apparent transfer saga, it’s amazing how Stevie G has found the time to keep his football up to the amazing standard he is capable of. Except he hasn’t.

This is why we must honour Mr Gerrard, for putting that pesky football to one side and making sure he keeps us all entertained. A true box to box midfielder if ever there was one. Honourable mentions must go to Ashley Cole, John Terry and Avram Grant. The international version of this award goes to Franck Ribery.

RAMON CALDERON AWARD FOR STICKING YOUR NOSE IN WHERE IT’S NOT WANTED

Not content with showering their club with embarrassment by using porn money to pay for it and turning up to games dressed in a dressing gown or as a member of the Russian army, the two Davids wanted to make their own unmistakable mark on West Ham.

Firstly they publicly said that Zola was safe and there would be no fire sale of players. However they then did everything possible to undermine the little Italian and stated all the players, apart from Parker, were for sale. They’ve publicly targeted players they themselves wish to sign and Gold told us all West Brom’s Graham Dorrans was a personal favourite of his. I have an idea for the cost cutting Davids, why not dispense with the idea of having a manager at all. Think of the money you could save on wages and the time you could save by running the team directly.
THE DAVID BRENT AWARD FOR COMEDY IN THE WORKPLACE

Garry Cook once said “comedy has always been at the heart of what Manchester City is all about” and it seems he is the chief stand up at the moment. With gaffes like “My personal opinion? They bottled it.” about AC Milan after the Kaka deal fell through and saying they would get to Wembley “not if, but when, we beat United again” just before losing to their rivals in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi final, he has become something of a figure of fun. Putting Uwe Rosler into the Manchester United hall of fame with an unfortunate slip of the tongue and proclaiming City would surpass Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United and be the “Biggest and best club in the world” were comments Comical Ali would have been proud of.

He does have previous though. Of Thaksin Shinawatra he said “Is he a nice guy? Yes. Is he a great guy to play golf with? Yes. Has he got the finances to run a club? Yes. Whether he’s guilty of something over there, I can’t worry too much about.” This is the same Shinawatra who was then stripped of over £1bn after being convicted of corruption and who is now helping to send Thailand into further disarray whilst avoiding his lengthy prison sentence by being in exile. Honorable mention must go to Rafa Benitez for insisting his team were going to finish fourth until it became almost mathematically impossible.

There are numerous others who gave their all to keep us all grinning this season. Who was your favourite?

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