When Michael Packard sent me this piece for the guest-blog, I knew he wasn't the sort to celebrate Christmas, because it was impossible to edit! So while it took me until the day after Christmas to get this up, I soldiered on nonetheless, maybe not in time to coincide with Fabio Cannavaro's fleecing of the Player of the Year award, but on a somewhat reasonable schedule regardless...
When I got this opportunity to guest write in this footy blog, I had so many ideas. The USMNT is always an interesting subject, but that's been covered already. I was thinking about writing a mid-season report card on the Premiership as the title race is shaping up to be so very exciting this year. Let's be honest, there are enough pundits covering that subject as well. There are also so many great goals to talk about as well, such as Matty Taylor's 45-yard strike against Everton, or Crouch's athletic bicycle kick against Galatasaray. The beautiful game is alive and well in England, so why should I state the obvious?
I was feeling so very cheerful this holiday season, celebrating the festival of lights and X-mas, drinking Guiness to wash down my latkes and holiday cookies, but nonetheless have decided to write about those players and managers that irk me. I think it's great that there are awards that honor the best in the game, but we need to also acknowledge those people in the game who are just absolute @$$&^!*$. I have watched so many games already this year, and from my personal experience it seems that everyone in the pubs around NYC have their own opinion on this matter.
I have "honored" both a Premiership manager and a player with my first First Annual Landon Donovan W@^%*r of the Year Award. I figured that was the only way Donovan would have any association with the Premiership so i was trying to be nice. My apologies to Max Bretos and Tommy Smyth as the award was this close to being named after you two +#*+$. Obviously the finalists for the manager award came down to the big three, Mourinho, Wenger, and Sir Alex. Although Mourinho and Ferguson both have a tendency to moan and blame everyone from refs to supporters to stewards for their clubs' losses or draws, I feel that they do have a shred of likeability. Mourinho can make us all laugh with some of his quotes and SAF does get under all of our skins, but he has been at Man U forever and I just think we have to accept his gruff demeanor.
The manager I have chosen to receive this prestigous award is a slam dunk and Arsene "I didn't see it" Wenger is a deserved winner. Congrats Mr. Wenger. Your fight with Martin Jol last spring made us all warm and fuzzy inside, but it was the exchange of handbags with Alan Pardew this year that made this decision a lay-up. No one likes you, except for Gooner supporters, and what does that tell you? While I was writing this article last Saturday you also had the courtesy of justifying my decision by getting sent to the stands against Pompey. You, my friend, are the definition of w@^%*r. Good work.
The decision of who was most deserving of this award from the field of play was not as easy as Mr. Wenger's landslide victory. I mean with Robbie Savage, Gary Neville, Craig Bellamy, El-Hadji Diouf, Ben Thatcher, Arjen Robben, Wayne "I will stomp on your nuts" Rooney, etc., etc., the list just goes on, but I have chosen three finalists for the coveted award. Cashley Cole from Roman's blue army is an obvious choice. I mean who the hell can live on 85 grand a week at Arsenal? To claim how poorly he was treated just makes him even more out of touch with reality (The only good news about Cashley going to Chelsea is if Wayne Bridge has any sack he will leave in January and go to a certain club in close proximity to Cole's old stomping grounds who could desperately use a left-sided defender. C'mon Wayne, don't let Jose ruin your career. Look at SWP sitting next to you.). The second finalist is a certain greasy-haired Portuguese flopper who likes to leave his feet all too often. His skills are world class but his antics do make many sane men want to pick up a gun and shoot. The third and final player I have chosen is Jens Lehmann. Let's be honest Gooner supporters, he is a psycho, there are no two ways about it. His little song and dance with Didier (would have been nominated last year but his diving has stopped and he is in a rich vein of form) Drogba two weeks ago was laughable. He seems to always be yelling at the referees and pretty much just losing his mind on a regular basis. His entertainment value is high, but he is a w@^%*r nonetheless.
The winner was a rather easy decision. Ronaldo gets eliminated because he is the best player in the Premiership. Even with all of his antics, how can you dispute that? I would normally let Lehman join his manager at the award podium, but do not want to be accused of bias against a certain North London club (OK, thats not the truth. There are two huge Germans who drink a lot at my local pub who have a strong affinity for Jens, and if they knew I spoke poorly about him they might hurt me. I mean really hurt me.). So without further delay, in my humble opinion the biggest W@^%*r, *^&+, @$$&^!*, etc., etc. in the Premiership is Cashley Cole from Chelsea. I think it is rather nice of me to reunite Mr. Wenger and Mr Cole. with the Donovan awards, mazel tov to both of you. I am sure many of you do not agree, but it really doesnt matter because I thought of this award. Enjoy the rest of the season!