GIVEMESPORT Awards #12: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Paulo Dybala and Kylian Mbappe among winners

  • Kobe Tong

Welcome back to the madhouse, GIVEMESPORT readers.

Those of you secretly hoping that I'd overdosed on selection boxes - though, the way 2021 is turning out, worse things could have happened - are about to be bitterly disappointed as I crawl out of my cave and into the New Year.

And although I've gone through more turkey and grease than a travel agent over the last few weeks, you'll be sad to hear that the oil drums of gravy haven't robbed me of my ability to write complete and utter nonsense.

New Year, new carnage

In fact, if anything, the humour is going to take a massive hike in quality because I've been motoring through enough Christmas crackers to give me sufficient dad jokes for the next decade.

That, and the complete despair of 2021 and the chaotic state of the world has given me a nothing-to-lose attitude that makes sitting at my desk feel like the violinists on the Titanic.

The only difference being that Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are replaced by the sumptuous curves of banana bread and my insatiable temptation to leave the supermarket with my body weight in vanilla extract.



It's got all the makings of a blockbuster, I'm sure you'll agree, but before we completely submerge in the wake of the iceberg commonly known as 'life', at least join me in battering those violins in the meantime.

In other words, park your expectations and brains at the door as I wheel out the GIVEMESPORT Awards for 2021 in the doomed hope that, somehow, more insanity will be the antidote to, well, insanity.

Goal of the week

Erling Braut Haaland vs RB Leipzig

Oh baby. Borussia Dortmund not only secured a massive win in the Bundesliga title race this week, but they did so with an astonishing team goal that gave us flashbacks to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Haaland started the move himself with some effortless dribbling in midfield, before Jadon Sancho turned on the style with some gorgeous interchange and a killer cross that Dortmund's premier poacher gobbled up.  

Player of the week

Matthew Hoppe

First off, I'd like to extend my personal apologies to Louie Barry because on a normal week, you'd be nailed on for this award with your stunning debut goal against Liverpool and heartwarming post-match interview.

But seeing as Schalke ended their 10,456,789-game winless streak against Hoffenheim this weekend with Hoppe, 19, scoring a stunning hat-trick in just his sixth professional outing, we had to make an exception.


Manager of the week

John Yems

It's been a tough, tough week when it comes to choosing the best manager because Schalke's Christian Gross, Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl and Chorley's Jamie Vermiglio all deserve a shoutout.

But we couldn't resist tipping our hat to Crawley's commander in chief with Yems - a viral sensation for his brutal post-match interviews - marshalling the League Two side to a historic 3-0 win over Leeds United.


Game of the week

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 Bayern Munich

Bayern looked to be flying in their quest for a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title when Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka fired them into a 2-0 lead at Borussia Park on Friday night.

However, the Champions League-level hosts fought back for the week's most breath-taking result with Jones Hoffman's brace levelling up the scores, before Florian Neuhaus' winner blew the title race wide open.

Outrageous skill of the week

Kylian Mbappe vs Brest

Ladies and gentlemen, we might have seen the best assist of 2021 already because Mbappe decided to make the Brest defence his dancefloor when he turned provider for Mauro Icardi's fine finish.

The French wonderkid gave his best impression of Cristiano Ronaldo against Arsenal, practically showboating on the left wing, before an outrageous nutmeg teed up Mauricio Pcohettino's first win in Paris.

Fallon d'Floor

Paulo Dybala vs Sassuolo

There were clearly no shortage of invisible snipers doing the rounds in Serie A this week because Romelu Lukaku has escaped this award by the skin of his teeth after an embarrassing moment at AS Roma.

But even that instance of blatant simulation doesn't hold a candle to Dybala acting as though a grenade had just exploded in his boot as he came under pressure from the eventually-dismissed Pedro Obiang.

Strangest punditry of the week

Ray Hudson's commentary

Ok, yes, this is less punditry and more commentary, but we couldn't resist the moment that Lionel Messi appeared to give Hudson a heart attack with the sheer brilliance of his free-kick in the Granada win.

Hudson is world-famous for his crazy reactions to moments of Messi magic, going as far as comparing him to Albert Einstein, but his rip-roaring scream this week might be his greatest gantry gushing yet.

Disasterclass of the week

Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Southampton

Look, we're not throwing Alexander-Arnold under the bus lightly because he is, in my eyes, the world's best right-back and his defensive errors this season have largely been exaggerated on social media.

However, even his most ardent defenders would have a tough time twisting his wretched display in Southampton, conceding possession 38 times, which is the most of any player in the Premier League this season.


Tweet of the week

Chorley FC singing Adele

If you think the FA Cup has lost its magic, then we'll kindly refer you to the loveable carnage of third-round weekend and it was sixth-tier Chorley FC that arguably produced the biggest 'cupset' of the lot.

But their brilliant 2-0 win over Wayne Rooney's Derby County will probably be best remembered for their incredible dressing room rendition of Adele's 'Someone Like You' that rightfully took Twitter by storm.

Craziest bet of the week

Schalke to end winless streak

Ok, not the craziest bet in the world, but in the absence of mind-blowing £100,000 wins, we wanted to shoutout everyone who took a risk by backing Schalke to secure their first Bundesliga win in more than 300 days.

And Twitter's betting gurus @FootyAccums did exactly that, jokingly taking credit for Schalke's much-needed victory by claiming that finally backing them had provided the inspiration to romp Hoffenheim.

Sunday League award

Marine FC vs Tottenham shenanigans

To be honest, we were spoilt for choice when it came to Sunday League-esque moments during Marine FC's history-making third-round tie with Tottenham Hotspur, albeit one that saw them battered 5-0.

But with a fan watching the game from a tree; somebody realising they could see Gareth Bale from their window and Jurgen Klopp making an appearance as a cardboard cutout, the game as a whole simply had to take this prize.


S***housery award

Morecambe staff taunting Kepa

According to the Telegraph, there were cries of 'shoot' from the Morecambe bench whenever they came within 40 yards of Chelsea's goal, which must have something to do with Kepa Arrizabalaga.

But as much as the Spanish shot-stopper has been woefully unreliable since moving to England, fair play to him for keeping a clean sheet when given his opportunity and making a fantastic save to boot.


The Roy Keane award

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg vs Brentford

Now, we usually reserve this award for a moment that would have seen Keane blowing steam out of his nostrils, but we had to turn the tables this week when Hojberg reminded us so much of the United legend himself.

That's because the Tottenham enforcer had to be physically restrained by Jose Mourinho himself to prevent him from playing on against Brentford after Josh Dasilva had cut open the Dane's shin with a red-card tackle.

Urban Dictionary of the week

Word: Viniciusing (Verb)

Definition: Celebrating something in a wildly over-the-top manner given the circumstances.

In a sentence: I was so embarrassed by my dad viniciusing at the petrol station yesterday. He whipped off his shirt, knee slid in front of the cashier and screamed 'you f***ing belter' after perfectly aligning the cost of his tank as a round number on the display. 


Man Utd penalty of the week


Ermm, hi, hello there. The weather's a bit rubbish, isn't it? Yeh, you know, frost in the morning, it's so horrible, ermm, yeh, hmmm, yeh. Nothing to see here, moving on...

Managerial innuendo of the week

Sam Allardyce

"We played up front with nobody because we've not got anybody. We need one, if not two, front-men because we need to score."


What do you mean we've cut off the quote before the word 'goal'? Naaaaah, we all know 'Big Sam' was moaning about his lack of loving after the Blackpool defeat. Pinky promise.

TV Burp award

Most public reaction to stubbing one's toe of the week


Woof, we feel for you there, Ralph, it's scientifically proven as the most painful thing known to man. I would have gone down like a sack of potatoes, you've kept your composure pretty well.

Man Utd bias?

Ah, it's good to be back. You know, for all the IQ tests you can find on the internet, I like to think that I've devised the first webpage in history that can actually make your IQ change in real-time, albeit in the wrong direction.

And yes, United fans, I didn't miss you calling me names in the comments section near the back end of 2020 because of my supposed 'bias' against the club with our 'Man Utd penalty of the week' award.


But find some solace in the fact that, so far, 2021 is mugging me off by giving me absolutely nothing in the way of United spot-kicks, which, frankly, must be making Bruno Fernandes feel like he's homeless.

I'll just have to crawl back into my cave where a photo of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pinned to a darts board and rant in the dingy, dark corners of some internet forum about my deeply-ingrained hatred for United.

So, tune in next week to see if my fingers are broken from crossing them so darn hard whenever Anthony Martial wanders into the penalty area as I continue my New Year's resolution to be just as sarcastic as ever.


I love you really, United...

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