With the football season drawing to a close a plethora of websites, newspaper columns, blogs and podcasts are dishing out their entirely made-up end-of-season awards. Here at the Football Pubcast we’re no different and we’re now ready to dish out our very own end-of-season awards.
For want of a better name, we’re calling them The Alpine Awards or The Alpines for short – so named as we will be toasting each award winner with a pint of Sam Smith’s finest – Alpine lager.
The Alpines will be the major part of our end-of-season pub crawl special, where we’ll visit seven Sam Smith’s establishments in the Soho/Fitzrovia area of Central London, toasting an award winner in each pub as we go.
If you care to join us for a pint during a (hopefully) balmy summer’s evening we’d love you to join us. We’ll announce the date of the awards and the route we’ll be taking around London next week.
But for now, please vote for your winners (and losers) of season 2010-2011 in each of our seven award categories, then email or tweet the link to your friends and encourage them to do the same.
The Pubcast’s answer to Ron Burgundy, anchorman Simon Head looks back over the season and selects his team of the year.
My team isn’t a greatest XI of the season, it’s a team comprising players who have impressed me during the 2010-2011 campaign. There’s a mix of international stars and lower league campaigners, with a mad Finnish keeper thrown into the mix, too.
Lassi Hurskainen: “Lassi who?” I hear you ask. Considering Dan had already nicked my goalkeeper pick (Rogerio Ceni) I’ve gone for another keeper whose YouTube exploits entertained me greatly this season.
Graham Alexander: Penalty king and evergreen pro, Alexander passed the 1,000 appearance mark this season and has been a reliable presence at the back for his side for the best part of 20 years.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Previously I’d thought the Spurs left back was a weak link in Harry Redknapp’s side, but this season I’ve seen him in action quite a bit and he’s impressed me every time. A bit of a sleeper selection, as he’s not the sort of player to get the headlines, but he’s worthy of inclusion in my side.
Matty Lawrence: If he isn’t Gillingham’s Player of the Year this season I’ll storm Priestfield and demand a recount. The former Millwall and Palace defender has been a model of consistency this season and the major reason why we’ve improved defensively following Andy Hessenthaler’s arrival as manager. Shocking hair, mind you.
Sean Hessey: Accrington Stanley centre half Hessey spent most of his appearance at Priestfield doing his nut at his teammates, but when the home fans started taking the mickey out of him for it, he took it all with great humour and spent the rest of the game sharing gags with the Medway Stand faithful before applauding the home fans on his way off after the game. Sometimes the game can take itself too seriously, but when you get a player who’s happy to take a bit of stick in good humour and give a bit back with a grin, it’s one of the great things about watching football live. For being a good sport and reminding us that football can be a good laugh too, Hessey gets into my XI.
Jack Wilshere: After a summer of abject disappointment during the World Cup, Wilshere’s transition from the bench at Arsenal to first-team regular for club and country has brought a real boost to the England side, just when it really needed it.
Joey Barton: Yes, yes, we know he’s not covered himself in glory in the past, but he’s been brilliant this season and, if performances on the pitch were the only factor in picking players for England, then Barton would be in the England squad. Along with Kevin Nolan, he’s been the driving force in Newcastle’s midfield.
Matty Jarvis: Undoubtedly the proudest moment of my season was watching Matty, who came through the ranks at Gillingham, take to the field at Wembley in a full England international. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told people he’d make it at the top level and this season he’s been excellent for Wolves. His international call-up and first cap were just reward for a player with the right attitude to match his undoubted ability.
Adebayo Akinfenwa: While his strike partner Cody McDonald has been bagging the lion’s share of the goals for my club Gillingham this season, a large proportion of them have been down to the big man playing alongside him. Bayo doesn’t look like a footballer, he looks more like a prop-forward. But at League Two level I don’t think there’s a better player with his back to goal.
Darren Bent: His move from Sunderland to Aston Villa for £18m (rising to £24m) may have raised eyebrows among some fans, but the lad always scores goals. His ability to step up to international level is yet to be consistently tested by Fabio Capello, but at Premier League level there are few more consistent finishers than Villa’s number 39.
Luis Suarez: The Uruguayan international is probably the one striker in the Premier League who has me on the edge of my seat when he’s on the ball. He’s made the step from the Eredivisie to the Premier League effortlessly (something Afonso Alves and Mateja Kezman failed to achieve) and looks capable of producing something special whenever he gets the ball in and around the penalty area.
It’s that time of year when the platitudes are wheeled out and the awards are handed out to the stars of the season.
But rather than asking you to tell us about your best players, we want to know who were your worst performers of the season.
Which players were so bad, you’d rather they weren’t wasting space on the team bus?
Who was so awful, you’d have been better off playing with ten men?
Which player, when announced on the PA system, always brings a groan from your fans?
In short, who is YOUR club’s Anti-Player of the Year?
Inspired by an old feature on the brilliant and much-missed Baker & Kelly show back in the late 90s, we’re looking to compile the definitive list of Anti-Players – one for each club – and we need YOUR help to do it.
Send your nominations to us at banter [at] footballpubcast [dot] co [dot] uk
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW
Simply log in using your Facebook account and leave your nomination.
Send your tweets to @FootballPubcast, and be sure to include the hashtag #antiPOTY
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Tell friends who support other clubs so their clubs are represented
When sending us your nominations, please tell us who you support, and who YOUR club’s Anti-Player is. We’re only accepting one nomination per club, so make sure you get yours in early.
ANTI-PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS SO FAR…
Arsenal – Manuel Almunia, Sebastien Squillaci, Denilson
Aston Villa – Stephen Ireland
Cardiff City – Lee Naylor
Carlisle United – Richard Offiong
Chelsea – Fernando Torres, Jose Bosingwa
Everton – Yakubu
Gillingham – Mark McCammon
Huddersfield Town – Alan Lee
Leyton Orient – Ryan Jarvis
Liverpool – Christian Poulsen
Manchester City – Aleksander Kolarov
Manchester United – Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Gabriel Obertan, Bebe
Newcastle United – Steven Taylor, Sol Campbell
Plymouth Argyle – The old directors of the club
Sheffield United – Nyron Nosworthy, Neill Collins
Sheffield Wednesday – Darren Potter
Stoke City – Danny Collins
Tottenham Hotspur – Jonathan Woodgate, Peter Crouch, Vedran Corluka
Simon’s adopted Football Pubcast team, Peterhead, have today parted company with their manager Neale Cooper.
Peterhead sit mired at the foot of Scottish League Division Two and face two crucial matches this week in their attempts to pull themselves out of relegation trouble.
But after a run of seven defeats and one draw in their last eight games, the Peterhead board decided to part company with Cooper and have installed defender and club captain Bobby Mann as caretaker while they look to bring in a replacement.
BBC Sport understands that former Cove Rangers manager John Sheran is the favourite to step in and take charge on a permanent basis.
With a vital match tonight against ninth-placed Stenhousemuir and an away trip to eigth-placed Alloa Athletic on Saturday, the next few days could prove crucial in The Blue Toon’s battle to stay up this season.