After the shortlists for PFA Player and PFA Young Player of the Season were announced this week, I decide to look at other people and moments throughout this season that deserve an honorable or dishonorable mention.
Best at making things worse
Sunderland are rock bottom of the Premier League, financially in trouble and don’t look like surviving. So what does manager David Moyes do after a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Burnley? He threatens to slap a female reporter. His actions were condemned by everyone, including himself, after the incident he immediately reported it to the board and apologised when it went public. After falling from grace over the last few years, this won’t be the only thing David Moyes regrets doing recently.
Biggest social media uproar
Honorable mentions go to almost every Arsenal away game since January and Marouane Fellaini giving away a penalty at Goodison Park, this award has to go referee, Mike Dean. Dean sent off West Ham’s Sofiane Feghouli against Manchester United at the London Stadium after 15 minutes for a challenge on Phil Jones. The fact that there wasn’t really anything wrong with the challenge and that Dean was not even going to give a foul until he saw Jones’s overreaction, made social media turn against the referee in emphatic style. Mike Dean is known for making himself the centre of attention but this event, in front of a big TV audience made for hysteria in the media, with almost every pundit in the land criticising the referee.
Most Infuriating Use of Vocabulary (Other than David Moyes)
After Francesco Guidolin was sacked as manager of Swansea in October, the Swans appointed American Bob Bradley as his replacement. An appointment which baffled almost everyone connected with football, one that could only be explained by the fact that Swansea are owned by Americans. Bradley only lasted about 2 months at the helm but sparked a frenzy on social media after his comments in a post-match interview after his side lost 3-0 to Middlesbrough. Bradley said his side gave away a PK (Penalty Kick) and called away games ‘Road matches.’ Most British football fans, soccer and its terminology is one of their pet hates so it’s no wonder these terms didn’t go down well.
After his scintillating form at Euro 2016 with France, West Ham play-maker Dimitri Payet came back to the Premier League with more pressure on his soldiers to perform. He had enjoyed a brilliant debut season in English football and started this season in similar form. But as the West Ham fans seemed further away from the action, Payet distanced himself from the club and refused to play in January and forced a move away to Marseille, claiming he was homesick. Payet’s image was removed from the London Stadium and fans were filmed spitting on his shirt, a shameful decline for an extremely talented player.
Like every other year, there have been funny own goals, shocking misses and manager gaffes, but it has been another brilliant Premier League season… and there’s still more to come.