Tag Archives: wayne rooney

PFA Player of the Year Awards

By David S. Wills & James D. Irwin

(David’s words will appear in this text, whereas James’ will appear bold, as that’s the only way of making them distinguishable)

Yesterday the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year was announced. The results were hardly surprising:

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

Carlos Tevez, Man City

Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal

Didier Drogba, Chelsea

PFA Young Player of the Year Award

Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal

James Milner, Aston Villa

Joe Hart, Birmingham

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

My nominations go to Fabregas and Rooney, in no particular order. They’ve both been the sole players on their respective teams this year. Without Rooney Man Utd would have been battling relegation, and without Fabregas Arsenal will be running down the clock from the kick-off for the rest of the season.

These men are the very definition of one-man teams. Their managers have – for whatever reason – come to rely totally on their genius. Man Utd without Rooney is embarrassing to watch, and not just because of his 34 goals. They’re like a cat with a missing leg, always trying to put weight on it and falling on its face.

And I doubt Mr. Burns Arsene Wenger will be very happy without Smithers Cesc Fabregas, who is out with another injury. Fabregas’ goals from midfield have been crucial to Arsenal’s otherwise lame campaign this year.

I’m still struggling to understand how Rooney and Fabregas can appear in both categories. I mean, surely you’re only eligible for one category or the other. It also surely means that if Fabregas or Rooney win Player of the Year then they have to win Young Player of the Year as well.

Another important question, really, is just who cares about these awards?! They’re clearly flawed and, as David has pointed out, extremely predicatable.

However, if I had a vote in the matter (as I did when I won the Champions League with Leeds on Championship Manager 01/02) then my votes would go to:

Wayne Rooney, mostly because I hate him less than the others. Seriously though, the best way of demonstrating just how good Rooney is is by seeing how bad United are without him. He has gone from being a promising young player to being a potential great in the last few seasons. He could make this summer’s World Cup his tournament, although he probably won’t. Because England always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I’m torn on the Young Player of the Year. I’m discounting Rooney and Fabregas, on the basis that it seems incredibly unfair to allow the awards to be dominated by two players that we already know are pretty good.

I’m tempted to go for Milner, but that is largely due to the fact he played for Swindon for a very brief period. Really it has to be Joe Hart. I mean, have you seen how unnaturally well Birmingham are doing?! The man is incredible, and should never have been replaced by Man City. I was immensely frustrated when they signed Given, because it obvious to anyone with eyes that Hart in the rightful heir to the England number one shirt. He’s already better than Robert Green. I’d probably take him to the World Cup now. We’re going into South Africa in the summer with two relegation battling goalkeepers; James is already a Championship goalkeeper, and Green could well be by the end of the season. It is, I would argue, where he belongs.

I digress: I vote Joe Hart.

We turn now to our fantastic although limited readers to pitch in…

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Getting FOX’d Over Football

By David S. Wills

There are two words frequently used to describe me: honest, and biased.

I’m happy to put my prejudice out there and I could probably argue in my defense by saying that anyone who claims to be truly objective is a big fat liar… But I think I’m just lazy. There are some things in this world I like, and some I don’t, and I really can’t be bothered with pretending otherwise.

When it comes to football we all have our passions. Some of us try to hide those passions and fail miserably. Watching John Motson try to cover his erection when Wayne Rooney’s monstrous head comes into view is one such example. And everyone in Scotland recalls Chick Young’s first interview with Rangers’ Danish legend, Brian Laudrup: “Brian, why are you so good?!”

When it comes down to it, we’re all fools to deny our impartiality. As children we are raised by our fathers to play football, to watch football, to think about, talk about and dream about football. We are dressed in certain colours and indoctrinated from early ages to a certain mindset, and when we deny that we look as foolish as Republicans pretending they are anything but a well organized gang of bigots.

If I tried to write about Celtic’s defeat to Ross Country (!) on Saturday I would become a fraud. It would take me several rewrites to finally pick out each inappropriate use of the word “scum.” I would descend into Bush-like language, comparing Ross County’s victory over the forces of evil to… No, I can’t do it.

I was raised to feel a certain sickness at the sight of a green and white hooped shirt. And whilst I’m above the level of sectarian abuse, I cannot bring myself to approach the subject in a professional manner.

I could take a different approach, perhaps, and talk about the majesty of cup competition being its ability to bring the small and under-funded teams of the world to a position where they may vie for a shot a European success, playing in a national stadium in front of whoever the hell will honestly sit through an hour and a half of Ross County…

But then I rewrote that paragraph several times to remove all references to the stranglehold Rangers and Celtic have over the Scottish game, and that it is not a stranglehold built necessarily upon skill or managerial prowess, but rather upon religious division and financial shenanigans, resulting in a pressure upon referees and players to maintain the deeply unjust status quo.

Oops.

Or I could take a look at the other Scottish Cup semi-final and discuss Dundee Utd’s victory over a typically sub-par Raith Rovers team. But then there’s not a lot of attraction in a third placed Premier League team beating a First Division side. For anyone but a United fan it’s a bit of a disappointment, given this season’s gallery of cup-upsets.

But you see, I happen to be a Dundee Utd fan. I was extremely happy to see my team steamroll over Raith and progress to the cup final. After all, with the Old Firm’s ill-gotten grip on the Premier League, first and second place will probably never again fall to another team. The best United can hope for is third place plus a cup victory.

And a bittersweet cup victory it will be, provided Ross County don’t provide another shock and win at Hampden. Such a thing would be so romantic and provide another example of the beauty of cup football… But of course I’ll cry foul and bemoan the referee’s desire to see United lose the game.

Such is the burden of a passion for football. The only people who write about it should be bred especially for the job – isolated in labs beneath the earth until old enough to watch a game with no predilection towards either team.

Or perhaps we should all switch countries and only write about teams against whom we have no particular bias.

I could write about the Man Utd – Blackburn game that I watched on Sunday (from thousands of miles away in South Korea). But then I’d probably start talking about the moment when Park Ji-sung smashed the world long jump record (previously set by Cristiano Ronaldo). Park – who is fond of falling to the ground when caressed by a slight breeze – managed to leap into the box with no provocation, and expected a penalty in spite of the incident (which I shall refer to as the “foul”) occurring several metres outside the box.

Or I could write about the Burnley or Man City games… But then I’ve been involved in a deathly-serious fantasy football league all season, and both games were vitally important to my chances. I had both Carlos Tevez and Graham Alexander on my team, and so in spite of having absolutely no preference for any of the teams involved, I found myself screaming in celebration for four of the goals.

What about the Championship? No one cares about the crappy Championship…

Don’t spread it around, but I happen to be a Middlesbrough fan, and although I try and tell myself it’s not true, I can’t help but peak at the results each week.

And so I come to the conclusion that it’s all utterly hopeless. There is no such thing as professional, objective journalism. We are all slaves to our own stupidity. We are all hopeless.

The only thing to do is to get FOX’d and just except that we’re all extremely biased, prejudiced, fundamentally sick people. The world wasn’t meant to be full of reporters. After all, Hunter S. Thompson put it best when he said:

 

Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits – a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.