Phew… it’s over! As the curtain falls on God’s greatest creation, we can all take a moment to breathe, a slight hiatus to all us to regroup and reflect on what has been a truly remarkable season of football. From chickens draped in flags of protestation to grown men chaining themselves to goalposts (...with handcuffs of protestation) it’s hard to think of a more dramatic season. However, I’ve managed to narrow it down to 5, and here they are…
5. Conquered Catalonia (and Neville’s Orgasm)
As Chelsea marched through the gates of the Barcelona Empire, they knew that, despite winning the first battle, the war was not over. An army of 18 strong men, laden with armour, swords and shields strode onto the grass and refused to move an inch. Chelsea took the first blow going 1-0 down before their leader, self-proclaimed ‘Commander of Monogamy’ shot himself in the foot as he looked to flee from the supposedly sinking ship (…these wartime metaphors doing anything for you?). Another goal would inevitably ensue until… what’s this?… a moment of Brazilian brilliance (minus the cockney input of Lampard) made it advantage Chelsea! Barcelona were stunned into silence – in fact, the only things heard were the dulcet tones of John Terry’s Barking accent as he tried to seduce Di Matteo’s wife in the stand (by the way, all this is fictional… so please don’t sue Zoe).
Yet, suddenly, the crowd were awoken again as 2nd in Command, self-proclaimed ‘Executive Officer of Playacting’ caused a player (I don’t remember who exactly, ok?) to tumble in the box. Penalty Barcelona, Penalty Messi, Goal Messi… but no! Denied! Would they ever find that 3rd crucial blow or would this continental battle turn into a war of attrition?
To cut a long story short, they didn’t find that goal that would’ve sealed their ticket to Munich. In fact, I’ll show the moment when Chelsea finally slew the dragon courtesy of the most unlikely of knights…
(P.S. Gary Neville’s climax at the end is worth being on the list alone however I thought it would be fitting to marry the two)
4. Super(cilious) Mario
Now, I know it’s not a very rare sight to see arrogance on a football pitch – deary me, it’s full of overpaid children puffing out their chests, spreading their peacock feathers while carrying around the latest brand of STI’s, however one man takes the mickey. OK, so it can’t be certain that he has syphilis (Jennifer Thompson didn’t spill all) but what can be sure is that he shows as much (if not more!) chutzpah than one of his biggest fans – Liam Gallagher. Some might say he’s arrogant, some might say he’s hilarious but we can all agree that he is good value for money (if you’re willing to pay £22 million for a children’s entertainer!). From scoring goals with a shrug of a shoulder to promoting firework safety (days after having burned down his bathroom with… a firework), he’s provided all we could have asked for in a player! If I’m honest, I sure am going to miss his mercurial talents if he leaves next season!
Oh, did I mention that he can’t dress himself?
3. Papiss: Prolific and Prodigious
13 goals in 13 games – who says that winter transfer signings struggle to settle? Well, whoever it was must be eating their words after what has been a truly remarkable demi-season for this spectacular Senegalese. As Demba Ba’s goals slowly started to dry up, Cissé stepped forward and has delivered some great performances. Forget that he can’t speak a word of English, forget that his neck is longer than a giraffe’s, this man has been a welcome addition to the Premier League. Not only does he score goals but the manner in which he does is a joy to behold… so much so that I think we should let his goals do the talking. Show me the ocular proof!
2. City Cheer While Sir Alex Sobs
“Should I watch the City game or should I just wait until Match of the Day’s on later?” Thank god I made the right decision!
Going into the last game of the season, Man City knew that a win over relegation-battling QPR would see them clinch their first title in 44 years, regardless of what their neighbours conjured up on Wearside… but nothing is that simple is it? As the blue moon rose in the mid-afternoon, everything was going swimmingly until disaster. Man City found themselves 2-1 down early in the 2nd half and, despite being a man to the good (courtesy of Joey Barton doing his best Rambo impression to confirm that he has the worst haircut in the league…). However, in an attempt to emulate what Chelsea did in Barcelona, QPR dug in and wouldn’t lie down. Like dominoes stuck to the ground with extra-strong superglue, they refused to self-destruct until… until… deep into ‘Fergie-time’ Man City found the breakthrough they needed, most importantly, twice.
I don’t even support them but, on hearing the final whistle, I erupted into a state of pandemonium as I couldn’t wait to see the smiles on the smug faces of messieurs Rooney and Ferguson being duly wiped off. In a matter of seconds Man Utd had gone from securing a 20th title to, possibly, witnessing the start of a Blue Revolution – and that’s the beauty of football!
Have Man City broken the Manchester Monopoly or will United recover and come back stronger next year? Either way it’s going to be an exciting prospect for the future!
1. Muamba’s Miracle
“I asked God to help me… and he didn’t let me down.” – Fabrice Muamba
Therese Neumann, Joseph of Cupertino, Jesus… people, certainly in the 21st Century, are sceptical about genuine miracles, attributing such events to coincidence or luck. However, I think we can all agree that, what happened with Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba truly was miraculous. “I am walking proof of prayer” – indeed, regardless of whether or not we were affiliated with a religion, everyone was praying for Fabrice.
78 minutes – that’s how long he was ‘technically’ dead for, so to come back, without even suffering repercussions, is incredible! What is more, it brought fans together. No longer were rivalries relevant, indeed relegation seemed a mere, insignificant dot, for one man had stared death in the face… and lived to tell the tale.
So, as what has been a wonderful season (it certainly has had its fair share of ups and downs!) closes on us for another summer its easy to forget the bigger picture sometimes. Indeed, the most spectacular part of the year was not what happened on the pitch, but what occurred outside. Football is more than a just about a 90 minute game, it’s about building a community and, through the support shown for Fabrice, it certainly has got a lot stronger.
(P.S. If I’ve missed a favourite moment of yours, please feel free to comment underneath! Thank you and good night!)
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of clichés so it will come as a bit of a surprise that I’m blaming you for the supposed ‘spring’ we’re having. Are you taking the piss or do you wish to create a nation of drowned rats? Therefore, in protest, I have decided to boycott summer since I believe it will amount to nothing but heavy showers, gale force winds and the re-releasing of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ – so off into hibernation I go!
Yours truly (pissed off),
I’d like to thank you personally for not beating about the bush.
But answer me this. Why is that, in an age of such awe-inspiring technological advancement, people are happy to retreat into shades of grey? It should either be black or white – ambivalence and ambiguity don’t find answers, only more questions… and, while Politicians and World leaders alike dilly dally, carving out Neanderthal toys with rudimentary tools made of flint and wood, the important issues are often over-looked.
It’s the 21st Century, not the 18th. If we claim to strive for racial equality, if we can recognise that there should be parity between men and women, then why can’t we eradicate homophobia?
Let’s hope that, for civilisation’s sake, your words of honesty and assurance can start to make the world a better place.