The ST End Of Season Football Awards: Smash Gate, Super Injunctions And Savage

From Sian Massey to Sepp Blatter via some razor-blades, Rio's hatred of the apostrophe and the over-hyped Gareth Bale...
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The Sabotage Times “Do we not like that!” award for player of the season.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this Premier League season is that there has been no stand-out star of it. Unlike previous years when Wayne Rooney was virtually untouchable, Cristiano Ronaldo broke all sorts of goal-scoring records or Paul McGrath delighted and dazzles fans and players alike, no individual star has burned all that brightly. It's like a league full of halogen lamps have all been changed to those crappy energy saving ones that don't warm up properly until you've cracked your shin off a chair.

Quite the dilemma then. The Sabotage Times POTY award is not something that can be handed out lightly. In terms of prestige it's somewhere between the Balon d'Or and the Harry Ramsden's golden gravy ladle for product innovation. So, in our infinite wisdom, we've elected to give it to Scott Parker. Why? Well mostly because of his hair, but also because the bloke just tried so hard. In the face of overwhelming odds, and almost comical incompetence on behalf of his team mates, he ran, kicked and tackled his way into our hearts. Scotty, we salute you.

Winner: Scott Parker.

Notable mentions: Sian Massey – Not technically a player, but made a bigger contribution to British footballing punditry in 90 minutes than Jamie Redknapp has done in five years. Fernando Torres – He's very obviously not had a good season, but we just like to be different.

The Talking Point of The Season award – Sponsored by the nation's water-cooler suppliers.

Did you hear? - Hear what? - About that Footballer? - Which footballer? - I can't say, but whoever it was, they definitely did something very interesting, if unprovable. This, ladies and gentleman, will probably be every conversation, about the private life of every footballer, between now and until we evolve beyond the need for mouths. And we all know whose fault that is...

But even now, after countless newspaper splashes and parliamentary conversations, we're still not totally sure if it's ok to name the footballer involved in the super-injunction row. So, for the time being, let's just call him something random like, say, Bryan. Bryan Giggs. Bryan was a bit of a naughty boy at some stage and in the ensuing fallout we're not only having to preach about what's morally right for other people but, more importantly, how best we can get around the law and gossip about it. Blimey.

However, for sheer levels of jaw dropping shock and the speed at which it happened there can be only one winner this year; Arsenal

Winner: Unnamed Premiership Footballers.

Notable mentions: Mario Balotelli – A riddle, wrapped in an enigma, stuck inside a bib. The entire population of Qatar – One minute nobodies heard of you, the next they're all saying you shouldn't be hosting a World Cup. Welcome to the spotlight chaps.

The inaugural “£80million for Gareth Bale” award for Most Overhyped Individual.

The “£80million for Gareth Bale” award is a special and illustrious accolade. It's unique in the sense that it is not awarded for the direct actions of its recipient, but more specifically the furore that follows their every action. As such there can be only one winner this season, Tottenham Hotspur and Andy Gray's Gareth Bale.

A marvellous hat-trick in the San Siro and an encore pasting of Maicon at White Hart Lane suddenly saw the Welsh wizard's stock rise to the sort of altitudes that could make Nasa gawp. He then followed up these two performances with... well... being injured and getting marked out of games by Phil Neville.

But like all good bandwagons, this one wasn't going to be stopped by mere facts and despite scoring less goals than Craig Gardener and ending up nuzzled between Wayne Bridge and Joe Cole in the assist charts, he's still being touted as a potential bank-busting transfer target for Inter Milan and Real Madrid. C'est ridicule!

Winner: Gareth Bale

Notable mentions: Gareth Bale – Kinesio-taped Welshman with the pace of a startled greyhound and the crossing ability of a baby girls throw.Gareth Bale – Just because Andy Gray has a poster of you above his bed doesn't mean you're the new Jarzinho.

The Arsenal Award For Doing An Arsenal

Apparently the most hotly sought after award on our illustrious roster this year, with no end of teams and individuals looking to throw things away quicker than nervy dealer who's just heard a knock at the door. However, for sheer levels of jaw dropping shock and the speed at which it happened there can be only one winner this year; Arsenal, and they're spectacular second-half collapse when 4-0 up away at Newcastle.

In truth Arsene Wenger's men could have taken this award for a few things, going from 'in' to 'out' in their Champions League final with all the predictability and gusto of the oke-koke, requiring a simple defensive clearance to take the Carling Cup final into extra time yet being given runners-up medals mere moments later, and of course having the Premier League title in their own hands in March and now facing the reality of a Champions League qualifying round. Oops.

However special recognition needs to be given to those 45 minutes they enjoyed at the hands of Newcastle United. Looking as comfortable as a team looks when four goals to the good with only a single half of football to play, they ventured out for the second half having left all 11 brains and spines in the dressing room. It began with Diaby receiving a red for a total loss of professionalism and ended a mere three quarters of an hour later with Cheik Tiote lashing a 25-yard volley into the bottom corner.

Winner: Arsenal.

Notable mentions: Birmingham City – Carling Cup Winners To Championship in three months. Andy Gray and Richard Keys – Sky Sports to TalkSport (via the dog house) in two weeks.

We're certainly not short of perennial bell-ends this season

The “140 carat gold” award for Twitterer of the season.

Social networking has taken the footballing world by storm this season and we're now a mere tweet away from an inside look at what Nani had for dinner, or how good Jack Wilshere is at FIFA11. Truly, we're living in a golden age.

We've had a plethora of candidates for this award and, even as I type this, Joey Barton is outing the details of Newcastle United's laughable transfer policy to his 60,000 odd followers. Even Ryan 'tulips-wouldn't-melt' Babel was forced to delete his account following his decision to tweet a photo of Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt, which, and let's be fair about this, was actually pretty funny.

But leaving all pretenders in his wake, is West Ham Asylum's Danny Gabbidon who, in the wake of his side's defeat to a clearly under-par Aston Villa, went out on the lash with a few of his nearest and dearest. For whatever reason, after a few sly halves he must have felt the urge to check this Twitter feed and was greeted to a load of abuse from understandably disappointed Hammers fans. What followed was nothing short of brilliant. "U know what f*** the lot of of you u will never get another tweet from me again u just don't get it do you. Bye bye."

Bye bye indeed Danny. Hopefully this award will go someway to healing the wounds of your relegation, dwindling career and £6,000 fine for using offensive language.

Winner: Danny Gabbidon

Notable mentions: Robbie Savage – Searches for mentions of his name and RTs any criticism to his army of gormless followers. RioFerdinand – No understanding of an apostrophe but treats Piers Morgan with the contempt he deserves.

The “He's behind you” award for Pantomime Villain of the season.

We're certainly not short of perennial bell-ends this season, I dare say most football fans could produce their own personal XI of players they've lost all love and respect for during this campaign. Be it the usual boo-boys who've kept winding us up, or the former childhood heroes who, shock and horror, fancied ploughing a topless model instead of watching their wives age, we've all had our hearts broken.

But we deserve it. If we're going to exhaust people we barely know, or worse, allow their behaviour to wind us up then we've only got ourselves to blame. That's why this award is handed out to those who've really taken a shit from up high onto the heads of some poor, umbrella-less men and women who truly, truly deserved better. We're talking to you Flavio Briatore, and whoever else had a say in Queens Park Rangers decision to charge every loyal supporter (who've stuck by them during the clubs leanest of spells) out of the hoop for the privilege of watching Premier League football. Not cool guys, not cool.

Winner: QPR Chairman Flavio Briatore

Notable Mentions: Lionel Messi – Aye, you're a wonderful footballer son, but I'm afraid it's just not funny anymore. Let someone else have a go. Sepp Blatter – Because we didn't get to host the World Cup and it's everyone else's corrupt, black-hearted fault. Especially him, the prick.

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