Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday May 28 2009
Before pontificating the nuts and bolts of player of the season and the post mortem process, which I will conduct in earnest next week, I thought perhaps it would be fun to consider an award for which the candidacy is large and varied. Football needs its villains as much as it needs its heroes. For every Lionel Messi, there`s a Robbie Savage, for every Martin O`Neill a Sam Allardyce, for every Tony Adams an Ashley Cole and for every Randy Lerner a Mike Ashley. A scything challenge or a dodgy quote gives us football fans as much fuel for our fire as a well crafted goal or poor defending from a set piece. It also gives us football fans a chance to indulge in one of football`s greatest pass times. Schauden fraude. (Good morning Patrice Evra). So without further ado, here are my candidates for that most coveted of awards. Bellend of the season.
When considering this most prestigious of awards, there will always be those that reserve their own parking spot on the podium. Michel Pratini is a serious contender for the award for more reasons than I can list, but watching his astounding lack of professionalism last night as he could barely conceal his delight, smacking his smug chops with a shit eating grin as he presented Barcelona the trophy was just one in a series of episodic lunacy from the woolly headed fucknut. Pratini, keen to expound upon the threat the Premiership poses to the global game with our evil money and our avaricious hoarding of foreigners apparently had nothing to say about Ukrainian football`s bear like stranglehold on the UEFA Cup or whatever the hell they`re calling this increasingly convoluted farce of a competition nowadays. Ukraine of course had two teams in the semi finals; a Ukrainian side won the competition with more Brazilians than Ukrainians in the starting eleven, a Croatian captain and a Romanian manager. I stand by with bated breath as Pratini wields his lofty words of distaste for the Eastern European country famous for its immense totty (believe me, I`ve been there!). Newcastle United have been the by word for bellendery (it`s a word!) for many a season now, from their bare chested messiah bating loons of fans (the ones that bother to show up for Newcastle games nowadays), to their supercilious elbow wielding bland yawn-a-thon manager. But Mike Ashley must reserve special mention. Having started the season necking pints of lager inside the Emirates in his all too snug replica shirt, to admitting he didn`t bother to check over Newcastle`s accounts when he bought the club- that`s called due diligence people- to the increasingly bizarre/ desperate/ hilarious appointments of quitter Keegan, Joe Fucking Kinnear, Chris Houghton and now the uber messiah and very naughty boy Alan Shearer. If you wanted a microcosm of just how utterly clueless and out of his depth Ashley has found himself on the choppy waters of Toon, hear this. His replica shirt bears the legend "Smith 17" on the back. No wonder he thought Denis Wise was a sound appointment.
As ever, another sound candidate would have to be Chris Morgan of Sheffield United. In fact, were I to rename the award, "violent, remorseless thug of the season", Morgan would win it outright. Back in September, Morgan, ever the uncompromising hard man, sent an elbow the way of Barnsley striker Iain Hume. Hume complained about the treatment he was receiving to the referee, who pointedly ignored him. Minutes later, Morgan swung another forearmed assault at the Barnsley striker, fracturing his skull. Hume spent the best part of a week in hospital before being discharged. A few days later, after complaining of nausea, vomiting and severe dizzy spells; Hume was readmitted to hospital for further examination. Hume has not played since and severe headaches are likely to be a common occurrence for the rest of his natural life. Chris Morgan has still to offer any kind of apology, presumably the Championship`s self appointed tough guy is either a) completely incapable of humility and contrition and therefore scarcely human or b) the hard as nails centre half fears admitting liability might result in successful legal action. The hard man surely doesn`t fear one of those curmudgeonly old codgers in a wig and a gown? Oh and by the way, Morgan`s stiff punishment was a yellow card. The F.A, who apparently decided that, via a little media pressure, they could retrospectively punish Ben Thatcher for a similar assault on Pedro Mendes for which he was cautioned, felt that they were rendered powerless in this situation. Way to go boys. Way. To. Go.
Foot in mouth disease is a common affliction for today`s footballer. Emmanuel Adebayor`s priceless excuses for a summer of skulduggery emanate straight from the "my dog ate it, sir" school of shoddy excuses. Apparently, his phone was turned off when all these nasty stories were circulating last summer. For three weeks. And he had no internet because, well, like, the connection is well dodgy in Togo and, err, BT Internet are well crap providers sir. Still, most supporters are willing to forgive and forget. But if you`re going to spend the summer lifting your skirt to all and sundry, make sure you spend the next season covering your arse with displays of ball busting determination and authority (see Barry, Gareth for an example). Don`t generally meander around with the air of a man looking vaguely for a place to piss in the street after closing time whilst rating other European clubs against the FHM 100 Sexiest list. Oh, and please, for the love of Satan`s portion, do not refer to yourself in the third person. Big no, no. Oh and also, just for a further note, don`t get your name and squad number sewn into the headrests of your Bentley. You`ll only give everyone the impression that you`re a massive twat.
PatRice Evra`s rather childish quotes serve as a timely reminder as to the infinite stupidity of footballers. But who could forget Ray Wilkins` rather timely boast back in November? Fester decided the night before a home tie in the Carling Cup against Burnley would be a brilliant time to brag about how seriously Chelsea take the competition whilst taking a neat sideswipe at Arsenal`s policy of blooding youngsters. Of course Arsenal`s children (good morning Patrice Evra) went on to tear Premiership Wigan a new a-hole that evening before Chelsea`s first team surrendered to a penalty shoot out defeat at home to Burnley. Didier Drogba displayed the kind of calm authority age gives you by lobbing a coin at the Burnley supporters. It`s a fucking disgrace Didier, eh? However, it`s not the sole preserve of footballers to say stupid things (I should know, in the summer of 2007 I sagely predicted Torres would be a bigger flop than Shevchenko. Whoops). Football supporters can be equally as capable of flexing those yoga skills by placing their feet neatly into their mouths. Step forward the Arsenal supporters who, in their sapient wisdom, booed Nicklas Bendtner for misplacing a pass late on in the home match against Bolton in January, which was locked at 0-0. Those same idiots were made to sheepishly climb to their feet three minutes later when Bendtner scored a late winner. I`d also really like to hear the thoughts of the Charlton fan who asked Alan Curbishley "where did it all go wrong?" on the day he left the Valley with the Addicks a run of the mill, mid table Premiership club. I`d also like to ask said soothsayer if he will be making the short journey to the Den next season.
However, as valiant as the efforts of all of the aforementioned have been this season. One man outstrips them all consummately. In fact, you could even say, he tanned their behinds. Step forward Mr. Philip Brown. From his vituperative lies, to his astounding gall in questioning the Arsenal captain`s dress sense, Brown has set new standards in wazzockry. (It`s a word). He gracefully accepted his award by strutting onto the KC Stadium pitch without an ounce of humility and leading his Humberside choir into a chorus of "this is the best trip I`ve ever been on." Disconcertingly apt phraseology there Mr. Brown. Any resident of Humberside that thinks he can con people into thinking that`s a genuine year round tan probably spent his youth dropping some serious loony dust whilst listening to those worn out old Jefferson Airplane LPs on the portable dansette. That possibly explains his sudden daylight hallucinations of Arsenal captain`s spitting at his raving buddies. Maybe lysergic activities are to blame for his apparent loss of short term memory when he denied making the statement "that shows what this club (Arsenal) is all about", despite the fact that he offered said words to a fricking television camera. Perhaps that`s why he forgot that Arsene Wenger did in fact shake his hand after both league encounters with Hull this season; contrarily to Brown`s increasingly deranged claims. Maybe the whacky tabs explain his paranoid assertion that the ensuing criticism he received in the wake of the Arsenal cup game were a result of "little Hull upsetting the apple cart." Yes, that would be little Hull who, back in the autumn when sat in third place, were receiving every plaudit going. But yes Philip, you really started upsetting the apple cart when you went on that big boy busting run of 1 win in 17 games and 1 win in the calendar year 2009. Yes, that really ruffled some feathers in the Premiership hegemony didn`t it? These boots were made for quaking and that`s just what they`ll do in awe of mighty Hull and their stately progress. Perhaps that`s why he could not spot the hypocrisy in strutting onto the pitch, sans his playing staff, after a game he didn`t play in, which his team had lost to Manchester United`s ball boys, when Fabregas` entry onto the Emirates pitch was apparently offended his sensibilities so greatly. And one more thing Browny, that headset. Who the fuck are you talking to on that thing? All of your coaching staff sit on the bench with you, they`re all within spitting distance (couldn`t resist). After his post match karaoke effort (why were you singing in an American accent?) Brown, as ever, was quick to appraise his own performance. "I`ve never done that before, except maybe in church. But this is my church." In which case, all I can say for Hull City and their supporters is, God help you. The Allardyce apparatchik has done the unthinkable and outstripped his mentor in the true stakes of being a bellend. If Brown was a dog, he would not need to be spayed as he would likely lick his own balls clean off. Mr. Brown, you have well and truly earned the prize of bellend of the season. I am sure the readers of this site and Arsenal fans everywhere will join me in elucidating just how richly you deserve your award when you visit the Emirates next season.LD.
Date:Thursday May 28 2009
Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund Match Preview (Tuesday November 25 2014)
It's The Positives That Worry Me (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Arteta: 'Shocked and Frustrated' (Monday November 24 2014)
The First Goal Matters (Saturday November 22 2014)
Team News: Arsenal vs Man Utd - Walcott Missing (Saturday November 22 2014)
Arsenal v Manchester United Match Preview (Friday November 21 2014)
Giroud Back To Face Man Utd + Other Injury Updates (Thursday November 20 2014)
Wenger & Ozil Share a Mutual Trust (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Memories: Jens Lehmann (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Debuchy Looking For An Early Christmas Present (Wednesday November 19 2014)
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