The real football awards 2007 awards (Part 2)

by James Baker

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Forget the PFA Awards, forget the Oscars, the Emmys and the Brits. Knighthood? No thanks. The only awards that matter are the UK Football Finder awards for 2007 by yours truly. It’s been a hectic twelve months in the crazy world of professional football. The Premier League is officially the most watched league in the world with the most money and many of the games best players. Here is my tongue in cheek look back at the last twelve months and who deserves what award.


Soap Opera of the Year:

Step forward West Ham United. Has any other club experienced such a catalogue of bizarre episodes, mostly brought on by them selves? One of the biggest transfer coups in the history of English football brought the arrival of two of the brightest young things in South American football, Tevez and Maschareno. Poor form in the league, out of the UEFA cup at the first attempt, players checking in to rehab for drinking and gambling addictions, a player betraying the trust of the club by going to America on a jolly up after saying he had to visit his sick Gran. The club were also taken over by two Icelandic businessmen who decided to sack their manager, Alan Pardew and they were rock bottom of the Premier League at Christmas and were still there well in to February. The January transfer window came and the club splashed out on players that seemed to get injured as soon as they signed for the club. Maschareno went to Liverpool and the transfer of him and Tevez to West Ham went on to be scrutinised by the powers that be. The club were fined a record £5 million pound but crucially, were not docked points. Then the turn around in form and the call from other clubs for them to be docked points. The team stayed up somehow, Sheffield United went down crying foul play and have had a number of appeals rejected for their re-instatement to the Premier League. Then there was the who owns who debate of Tevez as Manchester United tried to sign him. I am knackered just writing about it. Things have been much quieter since the start of this season at the Boleyn and I am sure West Ham fans are glad for the rest!


The Steve Mcqueen Great Escape of the Year:

See above. The Hammers have to take this one as well. They won 7 out of their last 9 games including away wins at Arsenal and Manchester United. Because of the controversy regarding Tevez they have never really received the recognition they deserved for pulling of one the greatest Houdini acts ever.


The Resurrection of the Year:

No, it isn’t Jesus or the Messiah that is Noel Edmonds! Leeds United started the year battling to stay in The Championship. They didn’t make it. When they knew they could not stay up, Ken “Papa Smurf” Bates and his board placed the club in to administration. This way, any points they were to be docked for going in to administration would not matter because they were already down. However, the club did not count on their points deduction to be carried in to this season. The club were deducted 15 points and the appeal against this was upheld (the club and their Chairman have never been the most popular amongst rival fans). With no money to spend on the team and the points deduction, many considered Leeds to be ripe for demotion to League 2. How they were wrong. This season, Dennis Wise’s Leeds team have gone from strength to strength and unbelievably, reached the top of the league last week temporarily. They have slipped back a little in since but are bang in the promotion shake-up and who would bet against them sneaking back in to the Championship come the end of the season? Hats off to you Dennis and Leeds.


Worst Kept Secret of the Year:

There could only be one winner. We know that once the media get hold of a story there is only one way it will end. Tottenham decided they had had enough of Martin Jol and wanted to pursue other avenues. The papers get a sniff of this and that was that for poor Martin Jol. A good manager who had done a better job at Spurs than anyone else had in the past 20 years. It was painful to see the humiliation of a decent man by his employers. It was just another illustration of the crazy world of the Premier League. Give a manager £40 million to spend in the summer then get caught talking to other managers after 2 games of the season. Well played Tottenham!

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