Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 3rd edition of the Annual Arsenal Associated Awards Relating to Greatness and God-awful Hilarity!!! (or AAAARGGH! for short) Over the next couple of thousand words, we’ll reflect back on a season full of highs, lows, and I’ll be handing out AAAARGGHs along the way. So, we begin the festivities with……
The Samaritans Award for Most Generous Opponents
To Reading. After going 4-0 up during the first half in League Cup tie against us, compassion descended upon the Madejski Stadium. No longer would those in blue and white hoops submit those in red and white to the horror of conceding goals in such obscene numbers, and instead would place the burden of conceding all those goals on their own shoulders. The result of this selfless gesture? From going 4-0 down in that cup tie, to the end of the second league game this season between the two teams, Arsenal were ahead by the cumulative scoreline of 16-4! SIXTEEN-FOUR!!!!!!!
There are gifts and there’s that; this is the equivalent of having to work two twelve-hour shifts with no breaks, only to come home and have your girlfriend remind you that it’s Steak and BJ month. Not “day”. Month. A truly uncalled for show of generosity by a team that had no reason to make one. Thank you Reading, consider this AAAARGGH as a token of our undying appreciation towards you. Other notable nominees include Malaga, for letting us have Santi Cazorla for as little as £12million, and to Barcelona for giving us £15million for Alex Song. They were both lovely gestures.
The “Gangnam Style” Award for Most Inexplicable Event of the Season
To the FA Cup defeat at home against Blackburn. That was just awful, and to this day I can’t fathom how we could play so aimlessly, especially with a Champions League game versus Bayern Munich coming up soon afterwards. We’ve had more than our fair share of disappointing results this season, but this one was particularly egregious as it was the second time that we’d come up short against a team from a lower division. Once is fine, upsets happen and considering that Bradford went on to beat Aston Villa over two legs before getting to the final of the League Cup, I can accept losing to them as a one-off. But to go and do it again, at home, with places in the team to play a European knockout tie up for grabs in, was just an incredible disappointment.
The Dan Compton Award for Best Fan Reaction to a Goal at Newcastle
I gave this award to Dan Compton two years ago for this glorious reaction to us chucking away a four goal lead at St. James’ Park. If you’ve never viewed this epic clip, feel free to bask in its magnificence below.
I must admit, I was very confident that I would never see anything that would rival that video in terms of sheer entertainment. Oh, was I wrong……
You know, if I was a looking to take a cheap shot at Tottenham here, I’d post that same video again just so we can watch it without having to scroll back up the page. It’s a good thing then that I don’t sink to such childish jibes, that I rise above such nonsense, that I am the epitome of class and respect towards our rivals, that I maintain a level of decorum which mirrors the way our club conducts itself, that I……………….oh bleep this!
The Herpes Award for That Embarrassing Thing That Just Won’t Go Away No Matter How Much You Want It To
To Piers Morgan. Or, to give him his full name, Piers “I’m an attention-seeking sycophant who has no qualms in ruining innocent people’s lives by fabricating content to sell newspapers” Pughe-Morgan. A man who has done as much for the cause of credible journalism as Luis Suarez has done for the vegetarian movement. He is of course entitled to voice his opinions on The Arsenal, but inferring any extra importance on those views, just because of his celebrity, is the equivalent of saying that as it was a Muslim that murdered a soldier in London last week, all followers of Islam must be murderers; it’s nonsense and not to be encouraged.
If you think that the above paragraph is in any way harsh, consider this: If Robin van Persie sent you a signed photo of himself kissing the Premier League trophy, how far down the list of things you would do with that photo is “Tweet about it in an act of self-absorbed pique”? Honestly, if Piers Morgan is the public face of Arsenal, then it’s time to call in a plastic surgeon.
The Kate Upton Award for Best Pair
To Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. It’s hard to imagine that after being handed the captaincy in August, Arsenal fans would be rather unconcerned if the club sold Thomas Vermaelen this summer, yet the form of Kos and the BFG in the latter stages of the season has turned Vermaelen into a rather awkward third wheel. As much as squad depth is vital to a team’s success, having your captain on the bench for extended periods of time is far from an ideal situation for both club and player.
So for once, we’ll be in the position of perhaps hoping that the captain of the club will be sold. How times change from previous seasons, eh? I’m not saying he should be shipped out immediately, if he wants to stay and fight for his place, then good luck to him. But after the pairing above go seventeen games unbeaten when starting together, it won’t be easy for him. Because of that, it’s only fair that Koscielny and Mertesacker are recognised here. A pairing not up for celebration however, are Black and Purple. Puma, if your reading this, stick to red, white, yellow and blue. Please?
Sorry to interrupt this column, but there has been a massive development in the North-East!
For reactions to this news, let’s go now to White Hart Lane!
If there are any more developments, I’ll be sure to update you on them. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes….
The Heidi Klum Award for Most Desirable German
To Jurgen Klopp. Any time when someone has asked me who I think should be Arsene Wenger’s successor, I’ve never been able to answer it confidently, as it’s such a big job today, I found it hard to come up with someone who would be suitably qualified. Even Pep Guardiola never seemed like the right guy to me. Yes, Barcelona during the last five years have been on a historic run of performances, but they do have the spine of the current World Cup and double European Championship winning Spain team, plus some bloke called Lionel who isn’t that bad either.
There is so much more to being the manager of a top level club than coaching the first team; he will be the man that fans will hear the most from on issues about the club, so much so, that the club will inevitably take on that manager’s personality in the eyes of the fans. That’s why watching Man Utd play next season will seem so much more different, because Ferguson isn’t there any more, yet Chelsea will seem more familiar because Mourinho is back. The same will happen when Wenger leaves, so we’ll need a man with both the tactical acumen needed plus the character to be able to forge a club the size of Arsenal into his own image.
Step forth this man.
That short clip has completely convinced me that Klopp would succeed at Arsenal, if not anywhere. We all know how well Dortmund have played over the last couple of seasons, and have developed some great players in Gotze, Lewandowski and others. But for a brief moment, we were able to see just how devastated Klopp was after losing that game. That’s what I want to see from anyone at our club, that they care about winning and losing just as much as I do. In today’s football, those people are few and far between. Jurgen Klopp is one of them, and I do hope he gets the chance to show us in person.
The John Jensen Award for Goal of the Season
To George Graham, for this stunning effort against Liverpool in 1970. Seriously.
The Gus Caeser Award for Player of the Year
This was a tricky one for me, as there wasn’t a single standout performer as there have been in years past. Lots of players can make a strong case, but they can be cancelled out by another’s. Cazorla has been excellent for most of the year, but did struggle during periods of the season, as did pretty much everyone else who was asked to get us a goal. Nobody really managed to put a consistent string of good performances together, up until Per and Kos were continually paired together, but even that was just for a third of the season.
Arteta did an admirable job as the “defensive” midfielder, but the lack of a true holding player really hurt us at times. Both Wilshere and Ramsey are still recovering from serious injury, although Aaron’s progress is becoming more and more apparent as the weeks go by. Diaby and Rosicky were decent when they were fit, but unfortunately that wasn’t very often….
At the back, the same issue crops up, a lot of solid efforts but nothing truly exceptional, and whilst Szczesny is back as the number one goalkeeper, the fact that he had to be dropped after the away game at Tottenham due to poor performances says it all. Of course, I could give the award to one of our many players that were loaned out…… (Looks up Nicklas Bendtner’s stats for Juventus this season.) …..ok, maybe not.
So, what can I do?
Every season has a memorable moment that remains in the mind forever, that one instance where you know exactly where you were and what you were doing when you saw it. So, in absence of any unanimous candidate, the Gus Caeser award goes to……………..
Olivier Giroud’s Penis!!!!
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