Just a week to go, and then it’s all over. As the title eventually made its way to Manchester City, most people celebrated that football was over for a few weeks, and that something else might be on the television.
It’s time to look back on the Premier League, and what was one of the closest title races in recent memory, if you don’t count the one two seasons ago which was even closer. So, ignore that one, think about this one.
It’s time to give out some awards to recognise the magnificent achievements made by some. Here are the 2013/14 Alex Netherton awards:
Tim Sherwood Services to Mild Cheddar Award
Mild cheddar has been in the news ever since Tim Sherwood was appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager, and people went into the archives to examine his past interviews.
In one particular interview, Sherwood proclaimed his disdain for other cheeses, even mature or standard cheddar, and said that he was only interested in mild cheddar. This is, therefore, an award for who in football has given the best service to the course of mild cheddar.
Sherwood has been marked out for talking about mild cheddar for the best part of the season. Sherwood is only interested in mild cheddar. Brie? No, Tim Sherwood likes cheddar. Camembert? No, Tim Sherwood likes cheddar. Gouda? No, Tim Sherwood likes cheddar. Cheddar. Mild cheddar. Tim Sherwood.
Tim Sherwood Services to Mild Cheddar Award: John Ruddy
There were very few people who weren’t willing to tell us that Liverpool were the neutrals’ choice for the Premier League, and that it was destiny that they would win the title. There were very few people who didn’t back up Brendan Rodgers’ claim that Steven Gerrard is a wonderful human being. There were also very few people who weren’t sure that Liverpool were certainties to win the league after they had defeated their rivals Manchester City a few weeks ago.
The problem is that all those people saying that, with barely any exception, were Liverpool fans, and therefore were unable to see things without red-tinted specs, and when Gerrard slipped the rest of the world could not stop laughing, suggesting the affection for the man was perhaps overstated.
Hubris Award: All Liverpool fans on the internet. Don’t slip on your way up to collect the award.
David Moyes Award for being David Moyes
David Moyes became a parody of himself towards the end of his Manchester United tenure. He was insistent that he would try. He would hope that he would improve things. He would also say he did not know what he had to do to win, thereby undermining the effectiveness or value of hoping or trying, when it seemed essentially pointless.
David Moyes became evermore David Moyes. He said Liverpool were the favourites when they came to Old Trafford (which they were, but you never say that to United fans unless you’ve given up on your job, and life).
He couldn’t make effective substitutions and his safety-first approach on and off the pitch resulted in defeats and Marouane Fellaini, which certainly feels like a defeat.
He dithered and got stuck in quicksand, and tried more dithering as a way to get out of quicksand. David Moyes was at his David Moyes-est this season, and that should be rewarded.
David Moyes Award for being David Moyes: David Moyes
Specialism in Failure Award
When Jose Mourinho described Arsene Wenger as a specialist in failure, a big hoo-ha ensued for two reasons.
Firstly, it was staggeringly rude to say this about a man who acts with a relatively high amount of dignity in the Premier League - that is, not much if it was the real world, but much more than Sam Allardyce.
Secondly, it was because it was true. Nobody had been able to put it in such bald and correct terms.
Wenger had overseen a decade of failure, and yet again his league challenge had fallen after, having been told to buy another striker by anyone with eyes, failing to buy a striker. And so it goes again, as he finishes fourth. There is, then, only one person who deserves the award as a specialist in failure.
Specialism in Failure award: Jose Mourinho, for failing to win a trophy when all he needed to do, as said by anyone with eyes, was to buy a striker, and instead bought Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah.
Football Writers’ Football Writer of the Year Award
It’s time to admire one man’s courage, strength, and indefatigability.
He knows all the words. Every single one of them. He knows that a noun is a doing word, and that a proper verb is something like a name, like Sandy Shaw, for example. He knows both an adverb and the gerund perhaps too intimately than should be shared.
Football Writers’ Football Writer of the Year Award: Alexander Netherton.
Here’s a quick a few words from Alex:
“Wow. I can’t believe it. I knew that as I was typing the words, and before I was thinking about typing the words, that I was thinking about giving this award to myself, and that there was no way I wouldn’t write it, but that still doesn’t stop you being surprised when it happens. Even if it is the third time in a row I’ve won this award, and nobody else ever has. This season I’ve tried to be really environmentally friendly, and recycled jokes whenever I can, and it’s paid off. But this is not the end. This is done. Next month, it’s the World Cup. I will not let this slip. We go again.”