GIVEMESPORT Awards #4: Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard and Barcelona feature in 17 winners


The Premier League needs a breathalyser test, let’s face it.

It’s crazy to think that England’s top division seems drunker than when the pubs around its stadiums were flowing with pints. I mean, seriously, does anybody want to win the damn trophy?

The games this season have been so unpredictable that Mark Lawrenson might as well be looking in tea leaves and Mystic Meg, deep in some magic cave, must be in floods of tears that her powers are no more.

Premier League chaos

Suddenly, your mate Dave – a self-proclaimed expert in Belarusian football, amongst other things – blindly keying in the most inexplicable accumulator just became the most accurate way of forecasting the beautiful game.

It’s as though clubs are conducting the most British queue of all time where as soon as one team puts a string of wins together, they turn behind them, see a granny and are like: ‘don’t worry love, we’ll get trashed 7-2, you come right ahead’.

Even when Southampton were 4-0 up at Aston Villa on Sunday, surely game over, the Premier League poured itself another Jägerbomb and we nearly had ourselves a bats*** crazy 4-4 draw.



The result? Errrr it’s bloody entertaining and after the news that the United Kingdom is plunging into another national lockdown, we can at least reassure ourselves that this staggering, slurring competition can keep us occupied.

So, before you reach for your nearest jigsaw puzzle, banana bread recipe and – God forbid – perhaps your wallet for a PPV game, let’s indulge in the madness with the latest batch of the GIVEMESPORT Awards.

Besides, the Premier League isn’t alone in its craziness and with everything from the Bundesliga to Sunday League featuring in round four’s winners, perhaps football is a metaphorical pub in the impending absence of a real one.


The weekly winners

Pull up a bar stool then, take a sip from the vodka-ladened punch they’re all drinking from and check out everything from ‘Player of the Week’ to ‘Managerial Innuendo of the Week’ down below:

Goal of the week

Eden Hazard vs Huesca

Ladies and gentlemen, Hazard is back. It’s nice to see the Belgian making headlines for his stunning skills on the pitch as opposed to injury problems and reportedly enjoying a few too many burgers.

However, if there was any sauce on show during his first start for Real this season, it wasn’t sprayed across a beef patty, but sprayed into the Huesca net with a superb left-footed strike from distance.

There aren’t many players in the world who could have scored with such venom and accuracy from range on their weaker foot and it capped a scintillating performance from the former Chelsea hero.

Nicely done, Eden. Just maybe don’t hang around with Isco too much for now…

Player of the week

Joao Felix

Atletico must have been scrambling for a receipt last season after spending more than €100 million on a teenager who scored just nine goals and floated the idea of retuning to Benfica after five months.

However, it’s a good job they only found cent coins and biscuit crumbs because Felix has come down with whatever the opposite of second-season-syndrome is and this week has been particularly brilliant.

Felix was the star of the show as Atletico came from behind to secure a 3-2 win over Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League, before bagging another brace in the La Liga victory at Osasuna.

Even a missed penalty couldn’t derail a cracking seven days that saw him usurp worthy contenders such as Marcus Rashford, Hazard and Mats Hummels for one of our most prestigious prizes.


Manager of the week

Mikel Arteta

Look, if you think I’m an Arsenal fanboy who’s clamouring over Arteta for ending statistics that the Gunners should have crushed years ago… then, actually, sugar, you’re weirdly spot on.

Ok, nevertheless, nobody can deny that Arteta got his tactics at Old Trafford absolutely spot on and it ended the club’s 14-year wait for a win at the ground, not to mention five years without an away victory at a top six side.

It was brilliant to see the defensive strength of the north London club as Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny shone in the midfield, while Gabriel played an absolute blinder.

Arteta has tonnes and tonnes of issues to address at the Emirates Stadiums, don’t get me wrong, but his refreshingly pragmatic approach to the biggest games is certainly working a treat.


Game of the week

Torino 3-4 Lazio

Let’s go back to that drunken football analogy because just when it looked as though Villa 3-4 Southampton had this award sewn up, an even more inebriated match staggered and vomited its way into the bar.

This Serie A thriller saw Torino leading at half-time after goals from Gleison Bremer and Andrea Belotti cancelled out an opener from Manchester United loanee Andreas Pereira.

However, that’s where the normality ended as Saša Lukić looked to have won the game for the home side by cancelling out Sergej Milinković-Savić’s equaliser with a 87th-minute strike.

Well, queue scenes like the 1999 Champions League final as Lazio astonishingly won 4-3 with two last-gasp goals from Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo in the 95th and 98th minutes respectively.

Outrageous skill of the week

Mats Hummels pass vs Arminia

Clearly Hummels woke up on Saturday morning and just thought: ‘f*** it, I’m going to play like Lionel Messi today’ because scoring both goals in Dortmund’s 2-0 victory was just the tip of the iceberg.

We could have picked a sexy roulette or set of step-overs that resembles a 12-year-old spamming the buttons on FIFA after fuelling up on Skittles, but the skill level of this pass takes the biscuit by our estimations.

For a centre-back to casually whip out an outrageous diagonal ball with the outside of their foot that, frankly, should have led to a goal is simply incredible and more than deserving of this week’s gong.

Fallon d’Floor

Mohamed Salah vs West Ham United

Please don’t leave, pleaseeeeee… Iook, I know it’s not that bad, I do and I think Harry Kane – as well as most Premier League footballers, to be honest – can be as much of a ‘diver’ as Salah can be.

That being said, regardless of whether this should be a penalty or not, I can’t help feeling as though Salah going to ground like a sack of bricks is indicative of how easy spot kicks are to win these days.

I mean, if this was the case in the 1990s, there’d be more penalties than Mario Balotelli trying to park his car in Manchester city centre and Salah certainly isn’t alone in his playacting efforts.

Besides, lest we forget that Timo Werner decided to give us a glimpse of his gymnastics routine for Tokyo 2020 by adding some completely unnecessary barrel rolls to win a penalty vs Krasnodar.


Strangest punditry of the week

Jason Cundy: Rashford > Neymar

Now, to say I love Marcus Rashford would be the biggest understatement of all time – the guy is literally a hero and I can’t possibly commend his work to battle child poverty in the UK enough.

However… putting his off-the-pitch omnibenevolence aside for a moment, I can’t exactly get on board with the idea that the United hero is a better footballer than Neymar. Take it away, Jason Cundy:

“I’d have him over Neymar. People talk to me about Neymar, I’ve had this argument for years now, and I’ll still have this argument; give me Sterling and give me Rashford over Neymar every single day of the week.

“Neymar is overrated. I saw the performance last week against PSG, Rashford walks off with the prize and Neymar again is flattering to deceive.” Nah, football-wise, it’s got to be Neymar for me.


Disasterclass of the week

Alvaro Morata

If footballing gods exist, they have a serious problem with Morata because it seems as though the poor guy can’t go more than a few weeks without being turned into a meme for some unfortunate reason.

And that couldn’t have been more apparent than when the former Chelsea flop had THREE – yes, three – goals ruled out for offside during the 2-0 defeat to Barcelona.

But to make things worse – you couldn’t write it, honestly – Morata had his fourth goal of the week chalked off for offside during Juventus’ return to Serie A action at the weekend.

We’ll let you decide whether Soccer Thor has thwacked his massive hammer on the bloke’s head or, well, Morata needs to remember to stay in the same postcode as the defence he’s battling.


Tweet of the week

Ben Chilwell

Now, as much as we could have chosen Barca trolling Juventus about Messi being the GOAT or a porn star addressing James Rodriguez’s testicle injury – uh huh – there was a far more important tweet worthy of our attention this week.

It came from Chelsea’s Chilwell who bravely admitted to having suffered with his mental health during a difficult period last season in a bid to encourage others to talk about their problems.

As much as we all make jovial comments about the chaos of 2020 – myself included – it feels more important than ever that we address mental health head on and champion the greatest medicine to fight it: talking.

As Chilwell says, if at least one person reads the tweet and decides to speak about their mental health, then that’s a wonderful thing and frankly, Ben, I tip my hat to you.


Craziest bet of the week

653.5/1 bet comes in

Yeh, so you know I was on about Dave and his random accumulators? Well, let’s all take a moment to bow down to the mystical genius of his mate ‘Samuel James Lee’ for this astonishing £6,545 win.

It was pretty darn brave to lodge a tenner on Rashford bagging a hat-trick – especially as he was bunged on the bench – Messi to score Barca’s second and Haaland chipping in for good measure.

But that ten pound note quickly grew 600 times over, so I guess drinks are on you, Samuel… at least, I’ll need something to use as a chaser for the pint of tears I’ve amassed in jealousy.


The Sunday League award

Stéphane Zubar hit with a ball

Sure, this isn’t strictly Sunday League, it’s the eighth tier of English football, but we couldn’t help shining a light on this bizarre incident of ‘diving'(?) that went viral on Halloween.

Besides, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a sniper in the crowd or that the ex-Bournemouth man was trying to crying to catch the eye of the Oscars for an outside chance at Best Actor.

All that said, as much it can’t be denied that the clip is funny out of context, his club, AFC Totton, have made it clear that Zubar received ‘physical and verbal abuse’ throughout the game and there is most certainly nothing funny about that.

S***housery award

Erik Lamela vs Burnley

If there was a University of S***housery, this cheeky little incident would see the Head Professor pull Lamela aside and whisper in his ear with way too much tongue: “I’m so proud of you, son.”

Not only does Lamela take a whole bloody tree out of Luis Suarez’s book with a tasty tackle on his Burnley adversary, but he proceeds to rub electrolytes in the wounds by stealing one of their water bottles.

He doesn’t just take a sip either, he decides to make the water bottle his own, pouring it all over him and probably, for all we know, opening a joint bank account and getting a mortgage with it.

The Roy Keane award

Barcelona’s defending vs Alaves

We know for certain that Keane was absolutely seething with United’s defeat to Arsenal, but if one thing makes him even angry than his old team losing, then it’s absolutely dreadful defending.

You only have to look at Harry Maguire and David de Gea messing up against Tottenham over the summer to see how Keane can be driven to declaring that he would throw punches and unleash verbal tirades.

So, I think we can be pretty safe in assuming Neto and the Barca defence would have been hanged, drawn and quartered by the Irishman for their comedy of errors for Alaves’ opener on Saturday.

It’s not difficult to imagine Messi crying, Griezmann calling his mother in tears and Ronald Koeman bricking himself as Keane gave such a rollocking hairdryer treatment that ear drums would pop like corn kernels.

Man Utd penalty of the week

Anthony Martial vs RB Leipzig

It’s like clockwork, isn’t it? I could literally hibernate in the jungles of Colombia for the next three years, emerge like some hagged man of the land and know, with no doubt at all, that United will have won a penalty that week.

So, here we are again and this time, it’s not actually Bruno Fernandes who has been doing the honours because Rashford has once again proven why he’s the ultimate human being.

That’s because the absolute walking ray of human goodness decided against securing a hat-trick and awarded Anthony Martial the honour of scoring his first goal of the season.

Then, karma being karma, the opportunity presented itself for Rashford to bag his treble regardless. Well, either that or he just knew that United would win another penalty the week after…


Managerial innuendo of the week

David Moyes after Liverpool defeat

“We came up to Xherdan Shaqiri just a bit quick and I think he puts it through the centre-half’s legs.”

I bet you did, Xherdan, you dirty dog.


Urban Dictionary of the week

Word: Benzema (verb)

Definition: To screw over a supposed friend in a sly manner

In a sentence: I got well and truly Benzema’d last week when my colleague Phil slid into my girlfriend’s DMs despite telling me we were friends forever in the Duck and Hound last Thursday.


TV Burp award

Most p***ed off commuter of the week


Oh come on, Jose, buses aren’t that bad. At least you don’t manage the team whose home kit looks like the seats in them anymore. Every cloud, right? 

2020 chaos continues

As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The greatest Premier League seasons are the ones you can’t predict.”

Ok, maybe he didn’t, but let round four of the GIVEMESPORT awards show that the utter madness of the 2020/21 season can serve as some sort of tonic for the wider craziness of 2020. 


The fact of the matter is that millions of people are dying around the world and football is just some silly game of kicking a ball around when compared to family tragedy and horrendous human loss.

But at the very least, given that it has been deemed safe for elite football to continue, we can allow it to become a welcome distraction in our lives and a uniting medium when physically coming together remains unsafe.

It doesn’t stop the pandemic, it doesn’t assuage the mental health crisis and it doesn’t eliminate financial worries, but it does make things that extra 0.00000001% more tolerable and power to that.


Besides, hey, it’s about time 2020 had some madness that was mad in just the right way. 

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