The Fiver Christmas Awards 2009



Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 by theguardian.com

The Fiver Christmas Awards 2009
Another year, another award for Tim Lovejoy. PA Photos

Welcome to the 10th Fiver Christmas Awards. Or is it the 11th? Oh, we don't know, but if you just wait behind that velvet rope while Danielle Lloyd and Jamie O'Hara pose for the paparazzi, then we can get on with the fun.


THE MEMORIAL MATT LORENZO IN A DALLAS BUNKER AWARD FOR MOST HOPELESS ACT OF BUFFOONERY
Tim Lovejoy, for sneeringly claiming that "Barcelona are so overrated, they only have one way of playing" following their Big Cup semi-final first leg draw against Chelsea. Yes, the same Barcelona who scored 105 goals in the 2008-09 La Liga season, thrashed Manchester United in the Big Cup final and won six major trophies in the calendar year. Still, some good came from Lovejoy's ignorant nouveau-fan rant, with the Beeb finally punting him out of the 6-0-6 door. Let's hope Spoony is next.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Andrés Iniesta's stunning injury-time equaliser against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Barcelona bench celebrated by sprinting, en masse, to the nearest corner flag - with coach Pep Guardiola leading the way - before bundling on top of each other. It was then that Sylvinho reminded him, "Boss, remember the game isn't over". He was right: Chelsea subsequently had a penalty appeal turned down, which led to Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba shrieking like pre-pubescent banshees at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, who, disgracefully, received death threats and had to be smuggled out of the country.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Leo Messi. Big Cup winner, La Liga winner, Copa del Rey winner; top scorer in the Champions League, top scorer in the Copa del Rey, and scorer of 38 goals in total in the 2008-09 season. And, unlike a certain Madrid-based footballer, he doesn't think he's the second coming either.

TEAM OF THE YEAR
Barcelona.

THE KENNY EVERETT BROTHER LEE LOVE AWARD FOR COMEDY HANDS
The Fiver had no time for Thierry Henry when he grizzled like a big bairn after Arsenal lost the 2006 Big Cup final and after France lost twice to Scotland, or when he insisted on cultivating a va-va-vacuous image as a jazz-cool hipster, despite grizzling all the time and sporting that moustache at the 1998 World Cup. But chapeaus off to him now, for doing what anyone else would do to set up the winner for William Gallas against Ireland in the World Cup play-offs – then refusing to apologise and cravenly genuflect afterwards. "I am not the referee," he stated, managing to retain more dignity as a cheat than the FAI were left with after begging to become the 33rd team in South Africa. Although admittedly that's not setting the bar particularly high.

THE MR MOTIVATOR AWARD FOR MOST UNUSUAL INCENTIVE TO WIN A FOOTBALL MATCH
Local businessman Luis Miguel Arraztoa was so desperate for Osasuna to beat Espanyol that he offered the team a win bonus of 12 suckling pigs. Osasuna won and the captains Patxi Puñal and Carlos Cruchaga took delivery of a dozen squealing piglets, all under a month old. There was just one problem: Javad Nekounam, the Iranian whose goal won the match, doesn't eat pork.

THE JOHN MCCAIN AWARD FOR LONGEST TIME SPENT MISSING IN ACTION
Alberto Aquilani joined Liverpool in August for £17m. Five months on, he's played just 59 minutes for the club. Oh Rafa!

THE ROY EVANS AWARD FOR PULLING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY
You could make a case – it wouldn't be a very strong one, admittedly – that Liverpool were the best team in the Premier League for the largest proportion of last season. After all, they did beat the big teams: Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and all of Arsenal except Andrey Arshavin. Sadly for the Reds, they also spent the whole of January touching cloth, allowed Chelsea to stuff them at home in Big Cup, got knocked out of the FA Cup by an advert for Tic-Tacs, and are now this season marginally less consistent than Wigan Athletic. What a shower.

KEITH RICHARDS AWARD FOR GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLY
Within the space of a wild week in December, Stuttgart keeper Jens Lehmann refused to pay a €40,000 fine for derogatory comments about the club's supporters following the departure of manager Markus Babbel ("There was a certain bunch of fans, most of whom are just going through puberty, and that's what influenced the club in making certain decisions"), relieved himself behind an advertising board during Stuttgart's 3-1 win over Unirea Urziceni in Big Cup and, having been sent off against Mainz and got lost trying to make a quick getaway, temporarily nicked a fan's glasses. "Jens, why can't you be normal?" the spectator asked the 40-year-old keeper". We'll miss him when he retires in May.

THE MIRACLE-WORKING GOD OF THE YEAR
Roy Hodgson. Speaking five languages and battling what seems to be a near-permanent cold is impressive enough, but taking Fulham into the knockout stages of Big Vase, while keeping them in the top half of the Premier League, is up there with the healing of the Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter.

THE SUSAN BOYLE AWARD FOR THINGS WE HEARD REPEATEDLY IN 2009 THAT WE NEVER EVER WANT TO HEAR AGAIN
Take your pick from Harry Redknapp pointing out that Spurs had two points from eight games when he took over; Peter Storrie for claiming credit for each successive takeover at Portsmouth; players joining Notts County for 'football reasons'; Lord Ferg saying he wants to find "value" in the transfer market because, honest, that's why we're not spending money and Rafael Benítez's use of the word "control", when of course it's been spiralling out of his control all year.

ALAN PARTRIDGE MEMORIAL AWARD FOR MOST INNOVATIVE USE OF SPORTS CASUAL ATTIRE ON A SATELLITE TV CHANNEL
Sky's Goals On Sunday isn't the place for Sahara-hot catwalk trends - unless you're recently arrived from 1981 and you're loving Chris Kamara's frizzy fro - but back in August tikka-tinged Hull manager Phil Brown decided to drape a salmon-rose-coloured jumper over a white-and-brown striped shirt. It may have been a nod to EM Forster's A Room With A View but, well, what do you think?

THE RALEIGH GRIFTER AWARD FOR RUSTY BUT TRUSTY OLD CYCLE
England are going to win the World Cup. That's right, isn't it?

BUMPER ONE-OFF FESTIVE TV & RADIO SPECIAL: ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR PERIOD
Right, aye. You are joking, aren't you?

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