Roman Abramovich gives more sacks than Santa, doesn’t he?
Chelsea are once again without a manager as their Russian billionaire continues his axe-wielding, sword-swinging and bazooka-firing vendetta against anybody who steps into his football club’s technical area and dares to breathe.
I mean, seriously, we’re talking about a bloke who, in the space of fewer than 20 years, has sacked Chelsea‘s all-time record goalscorer and the club’s most decorated manager twice over.
Lampard sacked by Chelsea
If he replaced Lord Alan Sugar as the presenter of The Apprentice, he’d get to the last episode and instead of announcing a winner from the final three, he’d tell the lot of them that they’re fired and invest the money in himself.
Then again, I am talking about a dude whose yacht has a missile-defense system, so I’m not sure these pelters are going to cause much of a dint. I love you really, Roman, don’t sack me.
But all the sarcasm aside, it doesn’t half feel nonsensical that Chelsea essentially vomited over £200 million-worth of players onto Lampard’s lap, only to be surprised that he still looks as though he’d wet himself five months later.
Lampard was on a hiding to nothing and I honestly hope that he comes back swinging. It just happens that in an industry full of twitchy trigger fingers that Abramovich happens to dip his hand in itching powder every other year.
But rather than reveling in the death knells of Lampard’s Chelsea return like so many right now, we’re instead going to recall that, believe it or not, the beautiful game isn’t always as deadly serious as it sometimes seems.
So, if you’re expecting in-depth analysis and life-changing insight, then run for the hills because the GIVEMESPORT Awards is here to steamroll its dad jokes and nonsensical plaques all over the week of sport.
Goal of the week
Tom King vs Cheltenham
Nothing beats a goalkeeper scoring, but nothing beats nothing beating a goalkeeper scoring than a goalkeeper scoring in a world-record-breaking manner – you follow?
Well, either way, I don’t think we were alone in losing our minds when Newport County’s King lobbed his opposite number with a 106-yard strike from a goal kick, entering the Guinness Book of Records in the process.
Player of the week
It feels scandalous that we’ve reached the 14th edition of the GMS Awards without rewarding the unofficial holder of the Ballon d’Or, but reaching 500 career goals felt like the perfect excuse to make up for lost time.
Bayern’s star man was in phenomenal form last week, moving clear in the European Golden Shoe rankings and becoming just the fourth contemporary member of the 500 club with goals against Augsburg and Schalke.
Manager of the week
The Burnley coach disciplined his side with thorough organisation and defensive solidity, even beefing with Jurgen Klopp along the way, paving the way for Ashley Barnes to score a late winner.
Then, just to put the cherry on top, Dyche led his team through the FA Cup fourth round with an impressive 3-0 win over Fulham courtesy of goals from Jay Rodriguez and Kevin Long.
Game of the week
Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 Borussia Dortmund
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Gladbach were on a hiding to nothing during this thrilling Bundesliga clash when Erling Braut Haaland responded to Nico Elvedi’s opener with a glorious brace.
But the hosts weren’t perturbed by the magic of Dortmund’s lead man, as well as Jadon Sancho; fighting back in style with Elvedi doubling his money before Ramy Bensebaini and Marcus Thuram joined in the fun.
Outrageous skill of the week
Aaron Wan-Bissaka vs Liverpool
Ordinarily, we tend to pick the fanciest and most technically-challenging skill for this award, but there was just something about the simplicity of Wan-Bissaka using Andrew Robertson’s overexcitement against him.
The United full-back did his best impression of Gareth Bale in the 2014 Copa del Rey final with a stunning turn of pace, before making Robertson’s recovery run redundant with an effortless change of direction on the by-line.
Conor Gallagher vs West Ham United
Deep into stoppage time and leading 2-1 over West Bromwich Albion, Hammers fans had their hearts in their mouths as Graham Scott blew his whistle when Gallagher went to ground in the penalty area.
But they could breathe a sigh of relief when the Premier League official duly handed a yellow card to the Baggies forward for trying to win a penalty under minimal contact from Andriy Yarmolenko. Tut, tut, tut.
Strangest punditry of the week
Troopz on Willian
Ok, maybe punditry is a strong word, but the growing platform of football fan media deserves its time in the sun and it was pretty hard to ignore when former AFTV favourite Troopz was ranting away at the weekend.
That’s because the passionate Gooner, who now works in the USA with Barstool Sports, went on a spectacular rant about Willian during the FA Cup defeat to Southampton that has to be seen to be believed.
Disasterclass of the week
Vinicius Junior vs Alcoyano
Truth be told, we could have picked the entire Real Madrid squad because their defeat to third-tier Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey was an absolute disgrace.
However, Vinicius particularly embarrassed himself for the first goal when video footage emerged of Marcelo talking him through marking Jose Solcano – even going as far as saying: ‘don’t mess it up’ – only to spectacular at doing, well, exactly that.
Tweet of the week
Jack Wilshere on facing Barcelona
When asked which of Barca’s midfielders he learnt the most from during the famous Emirates win, Wilshere earned over 100,000 ‘likes’ and 18,000 retweets for joking that they spent the night in his pocket. Class.
Craziest bet of the week
Missing out on over £12,000
Sometimes it’s not the biggest wins that are the craziest bets, but those that got away and that was exactly the case last week when Twitter user @Millzbets came within a whisker of bagging themselves £12,800.
In a truly whacky accumulator that included correct punts on Bayer Leverkusen vs Dortmund and Leicester City vs Chelsea, it was only the Harrogate vs Exeter City game that denied the absolute limbs.
Sunday League award
Leamington FC carnage
Yes, yes, we know this isn’t Sunday League football, but it’s the closest we come to it right now and besides, Leamington FC’s clash with Kettering was so chaotic this week that it began spreading like wildfire on Twitter.
The tweets have since been deleted but with everything from a player being sent off for ‘hitting’ the referee, before dramatically trying to re-enter the game, to the floodlights failing, it’s fair to say the game was eventful.
Andrew Robertson vs Manchester United
I’m not sure you can honestly say that you’ve played Sunday League football if you haven’t tried to put somebody off from scoring by shouting at them – and that’s exactly what Robertson seemed to be up to at Old Trafford.
That’s because images emerged of the Liverpool left-back with his mouth wide open just seconds before Mason Greenwood scoring for United and let’s face it, you wouldn’t put it past the king of s***housery himself.
And besides, the Scot faced tough competition this week because it took some serious strength not to choose Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović for randomly taking and scoring a penalty against Atletico Madrid.
Roy Keane award
Fred vs Fulham
It’s a brilliant time to be a United fan right now and the desire in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad has played a massive role in that with Fred’s unbelievable commitment in the Fulham win proving the perfect case in point.
You can just imagine Keane giving a round of applause for the sort of battling spirit from Fred that he delivered himself at Old Trafford with his Brazilian successor fighting for the ball despite being repeatedly fouled.
Word: Torres (verb)
Definition: To become completely ripped when you least expect it
In a sentence: My old neighbour Dorris, who moved out when she retired, used to be an incredible power-lifter, but I never expected her to torres. I bumped into her in town three years later and despite putting down the iron, she had rippling biceps twice the size and shoulders like an ox. Fair play to her.
Man Utd penalty of the week
Do you know what? Whether the situation has proven to be pure coincidence or Klopp’s mind games are working a treat, the United fans of the world have gotten the better of me here…
It’s the third week that the Red Devils haven’t won a single penalty – Bruno Fernandes must be feeling lonely – so unless they return to spot-kick duties next week, we’ll be kissing goodbye to this old classic…
Managerial innuendo of the week
“I want to see the reaction. Everyone is elated and on a high, they should be. But tomorrow morning I want to see players thinking about Wednesday, not today.”
You dirty dog, Ole, what have you got in store for Wednesday?
TV Burp Award
Most awkwardly-televised secret satisfaction at seeing somebody fall over in the snow of the week
Is it just me that kind of respects Zidane for ever so slightly seeing the funny side of Los Blancos somehow managing to lose against a third division side? Either way, it’s award-winning in our eyes.
Another crazy week of football
Hello there, plucky buggers who made it to the end, I hope we haven’t pulled you through the mud too badly with our innuendos and whopping disappointment at United’s penalty drought.
Rather, we hope the latest outing of the GMS Awards has offered a little light-heartedness on a day that, at least from where I’m sitting, is the latest damning indictment of the shrinking attention spans in Premier League football.
Joke as I might about the broad-stroked stereotypes of Abramovich and his Russian billions, but for all the respect of his statement and sentiments, you can’t help feeling for Lampard being unceremoniously thumped out the Stamford Bridge exit.
So, yes, as much as I bark on and on about football not being so serious, make no mistake that, sadly, in a world where club legends are disposed of after just 18 months and one bad spell, that sometimes it very much is.