The GMS Awards are by far and away the biggest awards ceremony to take place over the last 24 hours. Second to none. It’s not even a contest.
I tell you, my mate Oscar A. Ward made the exact same comment. He and I go way back. We went to an Academy school together and although his mother never knew who The Father was, he always had real Soul.
He’s Mankunian through and through – the trains and industry make it a real Nomadland with the constant Sound of Metal – and his girlfriend, to her credit, is a really Promising Young Woman.
The Oscars vs GMS Awards
He always had the same nickname, I tell you. It’s a classic and always rolled off the tongue. I’d look at Oscar, pause thoughtfully and say: “Aren’t you just the best, The Trial of the Chicago 7?”
Yeh, I think I took that as far as it would go… but let’s have it, Mr. Oscars, because what you have in incredibly talented artists from across the world, we make up for with unadulterated whimsy and chaos.
If we had the budget to get a tuxedo-clad Ole Gunnar Solskjaer collecting a naked, golden bloke for producing the most sexually suggestive comment of the week, then you wouldn’t even be in the same ballpark.
The best awards on the planet (probably… not)
What’s a multi-million dollar masterpiece about the meaning of life constructed by hundreds upon hundreds of world-class talents compared to me passing judgment on football from my mother’s basement?!
Ok, I’m starting to see why the Oscars are pay-per-view across the world and the GMS Awards aren’t, but you can’t fault our ambition and there are plenty of deserving winners across our 16 categories this week.
So, just close your eyes and imagine this isn’t coming to you from a disheveled GMS writer between his fourth and fifth can of lager, but actually somebody far more talented on a stage in California.
Chelsea are ruining Man United’s plan (Football Terrace)
Besides, let’s face it, the dreaded ‘bugger off the stage’ music would probably be telling me to shut up by now, so, without further ado, the O̶s̶c̶a̶r̶ GMS Award goes to…
Goal of the week
Ondrej Duda vs Augsburg
Sometimes, it doesn’t get any better than a dynamite volley on the full, so Duda must have known he stood a chance in the GMS Awards when he wallopped André Hahn’s cross to the edge of the box first time.
And from the moment the ball exploded off his left foot like a missile, flying past Timo Horn and into the top corner, it was more than enough to pip Dries Mertens, Nani and Burak Yılmaz to this week’s plaque.
Player of the week
Who else? In an inspired display at Molineux, Wood became the first Premier League player to notch a hat-trick in the opening 45 minutes away from home since Michael Owen in 1998, helping Burnley to a 4-0 win.
Elsewhere, special shoutouts are in order for Oscar and Mark Arnautovic for producing four assists and three goals in Shanghai Port’s season-opener respectively, while Erling Braut Haaland and Antoine Griezmann are also honourable mentions.
Manager of the week
There was plenty of competition this week with Gennaro Gattuso, Pep Guardiola, Friedhelm Funkel and Roberto De Zerbi all on our radar, but Mainz’s results were simply too brilliant for us to ignore.
Svensson opened the week by leading Die Nullfünfer to a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen, before going one better by spoiling Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga procession by masterminding a stunning 2-1 upset.
Game of the week
Hoffenheim 3-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Again, honourable mentions to Melbourne Victory helping themselves to a 5-4 win and Crotone’s thrilling 4-3 victory at Parma – Serie A is on a roll right now, isn’t it? – but we’re a sucker for a comeback at the GMS Awards.
As such, we couldn’t resist tipping our hats to Hoffenheim for their breath-taking turnaround from 2-0 down at half-time against Gladbach with Andrej Kramarić scoring either side of Ihlas Bebou’s strike.
Outrageous skill of the week
Angel Di Maria vs Angers
To be fair, every touch from Phil Foden against Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur could have been eligible here, but Di Maria forced our hand by taking the absolute mickey for Paris Saint-Germain.
True to his status as one of football’s most underrated ballers, Di Maria capped off the 5-0 Coupe de France win over Angers with a rabona assist for Mauro Icardi so unnecessary that it was equally brilliant.
Dani Ceballos vs Everton
We came within a nose-hair of sending this gong to Charlton Athletic’s Alex Gilbey for what looked to be clear simulation to win a penalty against Peterborough United, but the lack of definitive replays has turned us elsewhere.
And although Richarlison undoubtedly made contact with Ceballos’ shin, it couldn’t have been more incongruous with the petty reaction it provoked from the Arsenal man, even prompting criticism from club legend Ian Wright.
Strangest punditry of the week
Florentino Perez calling for shorter games
From saying that only 40 Chelsea fans rocked up for their protest to claims that the Super League met the demands of four billion supporters, anything and everything to come from Perez’s mouth could easily have won this award.
However, of all his tone-deaf and bewildering statements, we think touting that matches should be shorter than 90 minutes due to the attention spans of young people is the worst of the bunch.
According to the Independent, Perez mused to El Chiringuito de Jugones: “Young people are no longer interested in football. They have other platforms on which to distract themselves.
“If young people say football matches are too long, maybe it’s because that match isn’t too interesting or maybe we have to shorten the length of matches.” Bullet dodged, am I right?
Disasterclass of the week
Sevilla vs Granada referee
Human beings are human beings and human beings make mistakes, so this isn’t some tooth-and-nail indictment of Ricardo de Burgos, but there’s no denying that he dropped the ball by blowing up 60 seconds too early in this La Liga tie.
Besides, it was truly bewildering to see the Sevilla players return to the pitch having essentially gotten undressed and ready to depart, only to reluctantly play out an extra minute as Granada chased an equaliser in vain.
Tweet of the week
While Mesut Ozil bantering Tottenham and Allan Saint-Maximin standing up for Sadio Mane were undoubtedly Twitter highlights this week, it doesn’t get any better than Gundogan grabbing UEFA by the horns.
With the new Champions League format for 2024/25 threatening to punish players and pander to the so-called big clubs, it was critical that big names made their feelings clear and Gundogan couldn’t have put it better.
Craziest bet of the week
European Super League
Is this a cop-out? Most definitely, but in the absence of any mind-blowing punts or wild accumulators across our expeditions on Twitter, we couldn’t help addressing the elephant in the room: the European Super League.
And I think we can all agree that Europe’s biggest clubs banking on millions of fans letting their money-rich and closed-off scheme pass by without protest classifies as a ‘crazy bet’ in the worst way imaginable.
Sunday League award
Marco Friedl vs Union Berlin
Anyone who’s ever played Sunday League football knows the soul-destroying pain of blocking the ball on an icy cold morning just about anywhere on the body, but have you ever suffered that fate three times in a row?
Because although Bremen’s Friedl might not have been representing the Duck and Hound at 8am on a Sunday, he still transformed into a real-life Scott Sterling by completing a hilarious hat-trick of body blocks.
Richarlison vs Arsenal
Let’s face it, Everton didn’t secure three points at Emirates Stadium in the classiest of fashion with Bernd Leno providing the Toffees with an absolute gift in the form of a woeful own goal, teeing up the 1-0 victory.
However, try telling that to Richarlison, because he was sure to channel his inner s***house for the umpteenth time this season by producing the sort of celebration that would make you think he’d just scored a 40-yard screamer.
The Roy Keane award
Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick defending
Here we go again. For the second time in just a few weeks, we can’t help feeling as though Keane would have been losing hair in sheer disgust if he saw the way Ronaldo has been defending free-kicks for Juventus.
You just know that Keane would want players to put their bodies on the line – a la Friedl, if you will – to prevent a goal, not ducking one’s head and sticking out a leg to help Parma’s Gastón Brugman find the net.
Urban Dictionary of the week
Word: Spursy (adjective)
Definition: Forever destined to bottle the biggest of moments despite having top quality
In a sentence: Dave from down the road might as well have ‘spursy’ tattooed across his forehead. He’s one of the most talented human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a world-class driver, but failed his test. He’s the best pianist I’ve ever heard, but only reached third grade. He topped all his mocks, but flopped the GCSEs. Poor guy.
Managerial innuendo of the week
“Now my biggest challenge is to get them inside the stadium as quick as possible and show that passion.”
Woof, steady on, Mikel. I’d have thought that the grass and 60,000 seats would be a tad distracting…
TV Burp award
Most hilarious, brutal and loveably unnecessary Sky Sports statistical banter of the week
Holy moly. The Mason family must have been waving their white flag when this popped up on their television screens. Only 516 wins and 24 major trophies to go, Ryan, how hard can it be?
Football has its own Best Picture
Well, at least that didn’t have really long ad breaks and musical performances in the middle, am I right? Ok, ok, I’ll give it a rest. I love the Oscars, too, you know.
But on a serious note – yes, I am capable of such a thing – I think we can all feel thankful that the chaos of the European Super League saga, which consumed our previous edition, has barely bled into this one.
The unity and strength shown by the football community over the course of last week was truly humbling and goes to show that people power is stronger than any bank statement or billionaire.
Try as the bigwigs might, you can never rip the soul out of the game because it’s the foundation of billions and billions of sports fans, towered in a partisan mass, that props the owners up for such a beautiful view from the top.
Perhaps it’s just surprising that their navel-gazing never allowed them to see all the passionate supporters on which they were stood…
So, sure, the last 24 hours might have revolved around what won Best Picture, but I dare say football fans are all the richer for knowing that the dissolution of the Super League leaves them with a better picture for the future. Stay safe, everyone.