Football news, rumours and lies.
Inside the Sheepskin’s Official Premier League Review
London, May 24th 2011
Following an exciting final day of the domestic season, the Premier League table has been decided. Here at Inside the Sheepskin we have summarised the season for each team for you.
1: Manchester United
Champions once again, United’s title win was greeted with joy in Stretford and Surrey, and indifference elsewhere around the country. Whilst the title run in was exciting for at least a week (in around February), there was an air of inevitability about everyone’s favourite squad of overpaid whiners having a good old moan. Wayne Rooney scored the goal of the season with his bicycle kick against local rivals City – the greatest goal ever scored if you believe United fans and have never seen a bicycle kick scored by any other player such as Mark Hughes, Muzzy Izzett or Trevor Sinclair. For much of the final weeks of the season a player wore the number 11 shirt for United, but we are forbidden to speak his name. Have a look on Twitter if you’re desperate to know.
Player of the Season – Gabriel Obertan
Manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked just an hour after the final day defeat to Everton, with chairman Roman Abramovich initially opting to have the Italian shot in the face by his Russian Mafia contacts – he was swayed from this by Ancelotti promising to buy Fernando Torres for whatever club he ends up at next, for at least £60 million in order for Abramovich to “save face”. Double winners last year, Chelsea had a team that delivered many excellent haircuts: The ever changing Florent Malouda, the massive David Luiz, the convention defying Didier Drogba. Football-wise, you try and remember even one memorable performance from Chelsea this year. Seriously. We’ve lost our notes, we need your help.
Player of the Season – Yossi Benayoun
3: Manchester City
Speculation has already started concerning the spending that City will inevitably undertake in the close-season. Who will they buy? Kaka? Ibrahimovic? Technology to bring past players back from the dead? An island in Dubai? A fleet of micro pigs? Time will tell. City won their first trophy in, well, forever this year and their fans have been dancing backwards in a style stolen from another side’s supporters ever since. Anyone would think that one FA Cup win made them as good as United now. Er, no. Roberto Mancini has managed to retain his job despite tremendous pressure because of his non-grasp of English – apparently he was sacked in January but didn’t have a clue what was said to him.
Player of the Season – Edin Dzeko
Once again Arsenal’s trophy cabinet remains bare, with their only silverware this season being a special award sponsored by Specsavers for Arsene Wenger, dedicated to his ability to not see even the most up-close of incidents when it suits him. At one point the Gunners could have put up a real fight for the league title, but towards the end of the season the only teams with worse form than Arsenal were West Ham, Lincoln City and Grantham Under 7 League bottom club Brook Street Rangers. Wenger has promised to strengthen his squad next season with a lot more fancy-dan lightweight tippy-tappy players that try to walk the ball in and have never put in a tackle in their entire career. And another big useless lump to replace Nicklas Bendtner.
Player of the Season – Sebastien Squillaci
5: Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Harry Redknapp is the greatest manager in England, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, so many strikers, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Ledley King is injured, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Jonathan Woodgate is injured, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, best team in London, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, comical goalkeeping, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Champions League run, might they win it, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, oh dear, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, Gareth Bale, never mind.
Player of the Season – Wilson Palacios
This season was all about the return of King Kenny. Liverpool, the only town in the world where it is possible to imagine a head of a royal family with the name “Kenny”. January was the most interesting month for fans of the Reds, with floppy haired hero Fernando Torres replaced by massive ponytailed Geordie thug Andy Carroll. When Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson it provoked an outpouring of misplaced emotion among Liverpool fans that hasn’t been seen this side of a Jonas Brothers concert. They all spoke of Dalglish getting the Reds back to where they belong, their rightful place in the Premier League. And he managed to do that. Sixth.
Player of the Season – David Ngog
Toffees manager David Moyes has managed another successfully bland season where most people would struggle to name half of their team. I mean, there’s the one with the hair, isn’t there? Ooh, and that young Irish lad, whatsimicallhim. And that striker from Leeds with the attitude problem. They’re all there. Everton’s team is of course totally powered by the booing of the Goodison faithful. When 1-0 down at halftime earlier this season, the booing was as loud as 19 jumbo jet engines. This then moves turbines which heat water, creating steam. This steam then heats up a warm, nutritious broth that the players are fed to ensure strong bones, vitality and a glossy coat.
Player of the Season – Magaye Gueye
What’s that, Fulham? You finished eighth? You, little Fulham? Who’s a clever little team? Is it you? Is it? Is it? You are a clever little team. Yes you are. Yes. You. Are!
Player of the Season – Phillipe Senderos
9: Aston Villa
Villa fans have had a season to enjoy the managerial stylings of Gerard Houllier. See! A lot of goalless draws. Enjoy! The growing possibility of relegation until April. Waste! A lot of money on Robert Pires. Ninth was not seen as a good enough return by the Villa fans, who of course have been a massive club ever since winning the European Cup in 1982 and having their manager immediately bugger off and manage their local rivals for slightly more money. This club which has seen such legends play for them as Richard Dunne, Bosko Balaban and Phil King will expect more next season. They won’t get it.
Player of the Season – Nigel Reo-Coker
Nobody will be happier than Steve Bruce for getting the Black Cats into the top ten of the table. Bruce – who is slowly turning into the British version of Jay Leno – has built a squad of players on loan from Manchester United, or rejected by Manchester United, or once targeted by Manchester United and it has paid off as their enthusiastic fans can now own the dubious title of “best team in the North East”. What a truly amazing honour. Like being the best tennis player in Albania.
Player of the Season – Marcos Angeleri
11: West Bromwich Albion
Roy Hodgson has worked wonders in his time at Albion, letting the perpetually funny-named squad finish well outside of the relegation zone as TV cameras focus on Frank Skinner eating a pie.
Player of the Season – Gianni Zuiverloon
12: Newcastle United
Magpies fans will of course be disappointed with their 12th place finish, because of course they are the best team in the world, supported by the greatest fans in the greatest city on earth. If decisions had gone their way, they would have course have finished top of the league, won the champions league, world club cup, the ashes, Wimbledon, the cold war, the Alamo and the battle of Hastings – led to all of them by Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.
Player of the Season – Shefki Kuqi
13: Stoke City
Cup runners-up Stoke have had a great season, scoring every single of their goals from set pieces or on the end of one of Rory Delap’s throw-ins. Delap is scheduled to spend the close season throwing watermelons into the air for clay-pigeon shooters to take pot-shots at. Kenwyne Jones’ hair has become one massive matted dreadlock due to dressing room superstition, with the club barber needing a petrol powered chainsaw to cut it before the end of season party.
Player of the Season – Salif Diao
14: Bolton Wanderers
Boss Owen Coyle has managed to change the public perception of Wanderers this season. They are no longer the long-ball, physical side of Sam Allardyce and Gary Megson. They’re now the long-ball, physical side that have a fat Swedish bloke up front who occasionally scores good goals. Kevin Davies remains the club’s talisman, known throughout the Bolton area as the man with the sharpest elbows, the most barrel-like chest, the most vicious dogs and the longest grass.
Player of the Season – Zat Knight
15: Blackburn Rovers
Managing to avoid relegation on the final day of the season, Rovers have fallen a long way since their title win in the 1990s. Then again, Jason Roberts is no Alan Shearer. Morten Gamst Pedersen is no Stuart Ripley. And Paul Robinson is no Tim Flowers, although they may weigh the same. Rovers nearly signed Brazil superstar Ronaldinho in the transfer window, presumably until he saw footage of Blackburn town centre, set to the Hovis theme music.
Player of the Season – Mame Biram Diouf
16: Wigan Athletic
Who cares? It’s Wigan.
Player of the Season – One of them
17: Wolverhampton Wanderers
The hardest looking team in the league managed to scare other teams into letting them stay up. From Sam The Eagle lookalike gaffer Mick McCarthy, to rugby league player George Elokobi, to Hollyoakes wifebeater Ste (aka Richard Stearman) and all the way up to a frontline that features a serial killer (Steven Fletcher) and his firm of solicitors (Sylvain, Ebanks and Blake), Wolves have threatened and wounded people all the way up to staying in the league. We say well done, because we’re scared.
Player of the Season – Ronald Zubar
18: Birmingham City
Relegated on the final day of the season despite winning the Carling Cup, the Blues will be playing in Europe next season in the Championship – as will all the sides in the second tier, as they have a trip to Cardiff and maybe even Swansea to look forward to. Exotic!
Player of the Season – Alexander Hleb
Journalists were caught openly weeping as the Seasiders went down on the final day. Hacks all over the UK are now wondering what they can do to fill column inches with ludicrous quotes with the relegation of Ian Holloway. Some even resorted to goading him with a stick after the final whistle on the last day, hoping for the Blackpool boss to secure a top-flight job next season with a final display of beautiful, free flowing, attacking prose.
Player of the Season – Ian Holloway
20: West Ham United
The happiest that hang-dog faced Avram Grant looked all season was when he was sacked as West Ham boss. The hammers have managed to be universally appalling all season, the only bright spark seeming to be Scott Parker getting cockneys all excited by kicking a few people up in the air and running around like a headless chicken whilst looking like a footballer from the 1950s. By their standards this year, that’s deemed as actual skill. They now have moving into the new Olympic Stadium to look forward to in 2012, ironically probably welcoming Leyton Orient as visitors in League One.
Player of the Season – Fuck knows