I’m back! Fresh from last week’s End Of Season Awards Part One, this week we have the End Of Season Awards Part Two. Who would’ve thought it? Certainly not me, this was a huge surprise. So huge in fact, that I had to come up with the awards as I wrote this column. Yes, I do work incredibly hard, stop praising me and just read the below!
There are several candidates for this award. All those games with four goals at the start of the season. The wins against Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. And of course, who could forget that historic 3-2 comeback away at Crystal Palace?
However, these are my awards, so I’m going to pick my favourite game of this season, which is the 3-1 win away at Arsenal. We didn’t actually play too well, largely having De Gea to thank for the win, but my goodness, it didn’t half make your heart race.
Where to start? United played three at the back and effectively three up front. They sat back and triggered a devastating counter-attack time and time again. Arsenal’s defenders made two mistakes for the first two goals, the second of which included Martial’s gorgeous flick to Lingard. Pogba showed his brilliance for United’s third, then his stupidity when he was sent off for crushing the leg of Bellerin. The game was played at a ridiculous pace meaning you just couldn’t take your eyes off it.
The true highlight of the game was the performance of United’s number one. If anyone was in doubt about just how good De Gea was before this game, there could be no doubt after. He made multiple saves against Lacazette, a crazy reaction save from a shot by Lukaku off a corner and then that save to stop Sanchez. It was a truly world-class performance.
Winner: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United
To emphasise what a strange season this has been, there are also several candidates for this category.
United lost to all three promoted teams away from home. The three draws in December, whilst still earning points, were truly abject performances. Across two legs against Sevilla, The Reds put in some of their worst ever performances in the Champions League.
None of those games will take home this crown. The winner is the game that handed the title to City, the 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Coming immediately after the derby victory at the Etihad, United put in a performance that perfectly encapsulated the worst parts of this season. There was a real lack of urgency, no creativity and that incredibly annoying bunching up of all the attackers in the centre of the field that we do in every crap performance.
It also highlighted the lack of creative spark this team so often seems to have, despite clearly having the personnel to be really expressive. As well as that, it showed the lack of individual effort that is worryingly becoming a hallmark of this United team.
United should be cut some slack though, as they were facing the greatest manager of all time, Darren Moore. But this game still wins the award.
Winner: Manchester United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
I felt that this needed to be highlighted. The winner here is the feud between United and City. Obviously, there is nothing petty about the actual feud, that’s a hatred that only two teams that inhabit the same city can feel. No, this is winning due to the little moments that were incredibly petty within that rivalry.
Firstly, City beat United at Old Trafford and played their music ‘too loud.’ Like an old man whose neighbour is really into Royal Blood, Mourinho complained, saying that it lacked respect. Of course, this is a man who has always respected his opponents throughout his career. When he’s not clawing their eyes out, anyway.
In the return fixture, United players found out that City had booked tables at a restaurant to celebrate their title win. One unnamed United player reacted by saying ‘we’ll take your f*****g tables,’ which must be one of the strangest threats ever uttered on a football field.
Finally, after the win, United players retired to their dressing room and loudly played their music. Sweet revenge. The reports in the papers the next day stated that Lingard was the most vociferous celebrater. Good on him.
But come on! How has it come to this? When we hated Arsenal we had brawls on the field, threw food at each other and fought in the tunnel! Where’s Keane and Vieira when you need them? Pathetic.
Winner: United v City and their loud music
Worst Insult Received
Dele Alli to Ashley Young: ‘Yeah, well you should be called Ashley Old!’
Winner: Dele Alli, The Archbishop of Banterbury
The Marouane Fellaini Award
This award is given to the player who shouldn’t be at the club because they are simply not a Manchester United player. There can be only one winner. That’s right,
Matteo Darmian Marouane Fellaini.
He’s big. That’s the end of the positives with Fellaini. Against Arsenal, he came on and grabbed a late winner. The pundits back in the studio were detailing how great an aerial threat the Belgian is and how often he wins a match for his team. But that’s literally the one time this season that he’s done that.
Anywhere outside the opposition penalty area, he is a liability. He cannot tackle, he cannot pass, he can’t dribble, he can’t shoot and he can’t take set pieces. His defensive clearances from opposition set pieces aren’t really that great. He is a disaster waiting to happen in his own area. Quite simply, he’s just not up to it.
I was ecstatic when it looked like he would be leaving. There’s not another midfielder out there like him. He’s irreplaceable and therefore, should not be replaced. But since his goal against Arsenal, it sounds like the new contract might be back on.
This should cause the fans to revolt. Take to the streets, tear up Market Street to show how much they don’t want him to re-sign. Please! PLEASE SAVE US! RELEASE HIM!
Winner: Marouane Fellaini
Thanks for reading! Maybe you agree? Maybe you disagree? Whatever your thoughts, keep them to yourselves would you?