You’ve made it to the final GIVEMESPORT Awards of the season, ladies and gentlemen – pop open a bottle of champagne, set off a flare and get the party started.
For the last nine months, we have been insulting your intelligence and lowering your IQ without you knowing by way of giving a unique outlook on the last seven days of football in truly crude and baseless fashion.
But before we wheel this monstrous affront to footballing integrity back into the morgue for a summer of pre-season friendlies and transfer sagas, it only makes sense to look back on the horrendous mess we made across 2020/21.
Revisiting the 2020/21 season
In other words, we’re turning our focus away from the last week of the beautiful game – like hell are we going to talk about England’s friendlies – and widening the net to the season gone by as a whole.
As such, I put both my body and sanity on the line by trawling through the 31 previous editions of the GMS Awards to see which of our former winners across each of the categories was the best of the bunch this season.
Chelsea get MAJOR Haaland Boost! (Football Terrace)
While, yes, that does mean that we are being vaguely legitimate by crowning a player and manager of the season, it similarly means that we’ve sifted through obscene amounts of s***housery, sexual innuendos and Roy Keane rants.
And with second and third place candidates also being revealed, there’s more than enough footballing filth for you to sink your teeth into, so why don’t you join us on the 2020/21 retrospective you never knew you wanted?
GMS Awards of the season
Strap yourselves in, batten down the hatches and leave your brain at the door by checking out our GIVEMESPORT Awards of the Season 2020/21 edition down below:
Goal of the season
3. Tom King vs Cheltenham
2. Valentino Lazaro vs Bayer Leverkusen
1. Armand Laurienté vs Nantes
As much as loved King’s world-record strike from his own six-yard box and Lazaro doing his best Olivier Giroud impression, nothing comes close to Laurienté channelling Juninho Pernambucano with an outrageous Lorient free-kick.
Not since the days of the Brazilian wizard’s prime have we seen a set-piece strike with so much movement, whistling and whirling its way into the top corner and inevitable FIFA Puskas Award contention.
Player of the season
3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
1. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Yes, whether you like to admit it or not, Messi deserves his place on the podium for a breath-taking start to 2021 with yet another Pichichi Trophy, while Dias has been a revolution at the back for Manchester City.
However, for our money, it’s impossible to look past the incredible Lewandowski for breaking Gerd Muller’s legendary Bundesliga goalscoring tally and bagging the European Golden Shoe with 41(!!!) strikes in just 29 games.
Manager of the season
3. Christophe Galtier (Lille)
2. Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
1. Antonio Conte (Inter Milan)
This was undoubtedly one of the hardest categories in the entire awards because you could easily argue that everyone from Pep Guardiola to David Moyes and Diego Simeone to Diego Martinez should have won medals.
But for ending an almost decade-long era of dominance by Juventus in Serie A with an Inter Milan set-up crippled with financial woes, Conte edged out Tuchel for our gold medal with a stunning Scudetto triumph on 91 points.
Game of the season
3. Nigeria 4-4 Sierra Leone
2. Torquay United 5-6 Crawley Town
1. Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool
While, yes, our bronze and silver medallists probably packed more of a punch in terms of topsy-turvy action, I think just about everybody in world football did a double-take when Liverpool were annihilated 7-2 at Villa Park.
Besides, lest we forget that the reigning Premier League champions still had Virgil van Dijk in their back-line at this point, while Villa were fresh from essentially dodging relegation on a VAR fluke. You simply couldn’t write it.
Outrageous skill of the season
3. Jack Grealish vs Belgium
2. Jesse Lingard vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
1. Nicolò Barella vs Real Madrid
Clearly we have something of a soft spot for skills where the player twists and turns in an effortless manner because Grealish, Lingard and Barella would all have drawn applause from Dennis Bergkamp for their silky spins.
But Barella was the pick of the bunch with a fluid-like back-heel that proved his home address can be nowhere other than ‘The Matrix’. Oh, and the fact that it came against Real in the Champions League gives it bonus points.
3. Jack Grealish vs West Ham United
2. Benjamin Pavard vs Tigres
1. Anuar Tuhami vs Pafos
While Grealish takes the prize for delayed reactions and Pavard stands above the rest for the fish-like nature of his leap, there’s simply no competing with APOEL Nicosia’s Tuhami when it comes to outright theatrics.
We feel harsh picking it as our winner considering he was subjected to a genuinely horrendous tackle that thoroughly deserved the red card that it received but come on, try and keep a straight face when you watch the footage:
Strangest punditry of the season
3. El Chiringuito savage Eden Hazard
2. Tim Sherwood’s terrible Liverpool prediction
1. Sol Campbell on Phil Foden’s strong foot
It was always going to take something hilarious to beat El Chiringuito’s dramatic slamming of Hazard and Sherwood saying that Liverpool wouldn’t score from a corner literally two seconds before, well, they scored from the corner.
But it’s safe to say that Campbell going knee-deep into analysis on why players should have been aware that Foden is right-footed, only to be hilariously corrected by Micah Richard that he’s not, qualifies as side-splitting.
Disasterclass of the season
3. MLS referee’s penalty shootout nightmare
2. Stefan Payne headbutts Grimsby teammate
1. Arturo Vidal’s rapid red card vs Real Madrid
It’s hard to argue that anything qualifies as a ‘disasterclass’ more than getting two yellow cards in 10 seconds during a major Champions League tie, but that’s exactly what hot-head Vidal achieved in November.
Having made a fool of himself by trying to win a penalty with what could easily be deemed as dive in the first place, Vidal was booked for dissent by Anthony Taylor and simply didn’t get the message, duly picking up another. Ouch.
Tweet of the season
3. KFC on Michael Edwards’ transfer business
2. Tottenham ‘glossing over’ Dulux drama
1. Southampton mocking Donald Trump
Whatever your politics, there’s no denying that Trump opened himself up to banter on social media when he bizarrely threw his toys out of the pram over the US election, but I bet he never expected the jibes to come from St. Mary’s.
But when Southampton unexpected rocketed to the top of the Premier League – how long ago does that feel now? – they couldn’t resist whipping out a ‘stop the count’ joke that defeats KFC and Spurs’ own Twitter game.
Craziest bet of the season
3. Emerson goal denies £250,000 win
2. Conor Coady face tattoo
1. Correctly predicting 7-0 and 6-2 wins
There are some top runners-up here with Emerson Palmieri’s stoppage-time goal against Atletico Madrid costing a punter £250,000 and an England fan having to get a tattoo of Conor Coady’s face for scoring against Wales.
But nothing blew our minds more than a supporter – who clearly lives in the future – correctly predicting Manchester United and Liverpool to win 6-2 and 7-0 in the same weekend, vying for an insane £40,602 from 20,3000/1 odds.
There’s only one problem… they cashed out. Heartbreak.
Sunday League award
3. Referee’s last-ditch clearance in Mexico
2. Bloke playing in denim shorts
1. Scoring a no-look goal from a corner
Sadly, the global situation has meant that the Sunday League award has been dominated by moments that reminded us of the grassroots game as opposed to actual hilarious moments from pub teams.
But there are a few exceptions and as temped as we were to dish out an award for a player wearing denim shorts during a game, we just couldn’t resist tipping our hat to the madman who managed to score a no-look corner. Carnage.
3. Two balls on the pitch in Sweden
2. Ajax ball boy throws ball at Riccardo Calafiori
1. Silas Wamangituka’s disrespectful goal
There has been some top-level dark arts across a year where s***housery announced itself to the world, but playing with two balls simultaneously and ball boys larking about can’t possibly compete with our winner this season.
Besides, you know you’ve scored a goal that ranks incredibly high on the s***house-o-meter when the referee has booked you for it, but that’s exactly what Stuttgart’s Wamangituka hysterically managed to achieve.
Roy Keane award
3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick defending
2. Manchester derby hugging
1. Video of himself dancing on FIFA 21
And the winner of the Roy Keane award is… Roy Keane. Well, kind of, because of all the things that will have infuriated the Manchester United legend this season, nothing will have struck a nerve more than this TikTok madness.
A hilarious fan edit of Keane celebrating goals on FIFA 21 with the sort of dance moves he wouldn’t be seen doing dead in the real world clearly had him crying inside when Richards rubbed his nose in it.
Urban Dictionary of the season
3. To Torres (verb)
2. Viniciusing (Verb)
1. To Pickford (verb)
On the back of Everton 2-2 Liverpool in October, we couldn’t resist pointing out how the officiating made what could have been a disastrous display from Jordan Pickford into an actually impressive one. Take it away:
Definition: To have one’s own mistakes covered up by good fortune or the ineptitude of others.
In a sentence: Malcolm should have been given a six-month sentence for burglary but he pickforded the court case; the only eye-witness couldn’t attend the trial because they’d been told to self-isolate, while the Crown Prosecution Service had mistakenly lost the single piece of evidence with his fingerprints on.
Managerial innuendo of the season
3. Sam Allardyce: “Put those teams to bed.”
2. Pep Guardiola: “Maybe we can seduce him.”
1. Pep Guardiola calling a journalist ‘sexy’
Now, I won’t lie to you, some serious imagination was required to ensure that random managerial comments even vaguely sounded sexy and erotic at times, but every now and again, Mr. Guardiola made our life very easy.
So, what better to take the season-long prize over tenuous comments about balls than Guardiola straight-up telling a journalist he looked ‘sexy’ because of his moustache. Fair play, Pep, fair play.
TV Burp award
3. Rob Holding and Chris Wood: Most inappropriately-televised adult movie of the week
2. Jose Mourinho: Most p***ed off commuter of the week
1. David Moyes: Most unexpected press announcement by Emperor Palpatine of the week
As much as the 12-year-old inside of me wanted to skyrocket the ‘Holding Wood’ meme all the way to top spot, it didn’t make me laugh to the same extent as Moysey looking as though he’d stumbled off a Star Wars set.
It was hard to tell whether he was breaking down West Ham’s latest Premier League triumph or cackling ‘Good… good… let the anger flow through you,’ just seconds before unleashing force lightning on Pablo Fornals.
Until next time…
So, there you have it, the GIVEMESPORT Awards are done and dusted for the season and I can finally stop trawling through Twitter in desperate searches for s***housery and innuendos.
I swear, by the time I have to hand in this laptop, I’m going to flatten the hard drive with a tank because I’m not sure repeated searches of ‘Guardiola sexy’ next to constant spamming of ‘s***housery’ will reflect too well on me.
But on a serious note, thanks to anyone who has waded through my whimsical ramblings for the last few months and I’m happy to say that we’ll be return for a special GMS Awards on the back of Euro 2020.
As such, when you crash on your sofa with a beer and bag of Doritos for the latest round of Euros action, be sure to pay close attention to what might p*** off Keane and make for an amusing Urban Dictionary entry.
Or, of course, you could watch the games like a normal person… See you on the other side.