You have to hand it to Waddle. He played the game the way fans love to see it played.
Part 2 of our team of the season below. Check out part 1 here.
MF: MICHAEL ESSIEN (Chelsea)
A rock wherever he plays, Essien is the embodiment of the perfect modern midfielder – in the eyes of managers, if not fans. I’m pretty sure all Premiership bosses would choose to poach Essien above any other player in Chelsea’s rich squad, even Drogba – Essien is strong, can run and tackle all day, knows when to play it simple, is good going forward and chips in with crucial goals. And he’s improved his discipline no end – just five yellow cards in the Premiership this season.
Honourable mention: Gilberto Silva (Arsenal) Not many bright spots for Arsenal this season, but Gilberto has had a good campaign and deserves a mention. He doesn’t rant and rave but he’s a quietly effective leader. He also scored 11 goals in all competitions, way more than he’s managed in England until now.
Birmingham City fans, this is what you have to look forward to (if, as expected, he signs for the Blues).
Big Sam Allardyce doesn’t muck about, does he? Just one day after Allardyce was unveiled as Glenn Roeder’s successor at Newcastle United, five players were released by the club: Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, Olivier Bernard, Pavel Srnicek and loan signing Oguchi Onyewu have all been told their contracts will not be renewed.
David Beckham (foreground) warms up with his Real Madrid team-mates during a training session in Madrid on 15 May 2007.
Neil Warnock has decided to leave Bramall Lane after almost eight years in charge of the Blades. ‘I believe that this is the right time for me to go,’ said Warnock. [BBC Sport] Joey Barton arrested over Dabo training-ground incident, released on bail. [F365] Michel Platini wants even more match officials. The loon. [Guardian Unlimited] […]
Ronaldo’s tux must be worn out by now. And how much of a suck-ass is Jim ‘face of a Medieval gargoyle’ Rosenthal?
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been arrested and cautioned for obstructing police officers who tried to quarantine his pet Yorkshire terrier. The Special One dashed away from Chelsea’s end of season awards ceremony after receiving a phone call from his wife saying police had arrived to take the dog away. Officials feared the dog had been taken abroad, then back to Britain, without jabs.
The clip features an unusual ‘penalty’ shootout from the Birra Moretti Cup – an invitational Italian pre-season tournament comprising three teams playing 45 minute matches against each other. Draws are settled using this one-on-one shootout, with players allowed to run with the ball and goalkeepers allowed off their line to close the attacker down. Here is the shootout from Juventus’ match against Napoli at the start of this season.
Two Malawain sides played a game of 10-a-side amid fears that voodoo magic could be at work. The entire second half of the match between Moyale Barracks and Dwangwa United was played with both teams a man light. The concerns started before the game when Dwangwa’s Winter Mpota waited for all the Moyale players to step onto the pitch before entering the field of play himself.
With Steve Sidwell making the move from Highbury to Stamford Bridge, via the Madejski Stadium in Reading of course, Pies looks at 10 giveaways which could/or have come back to bite Mr Wenger on the Arsene.
Yeah, this is table soccer! (Pumps fist, shakes mullet.)
These are our favourite goals of the season. Vote for your favourite after the jump.
1 Robin Van Persie vs Charlton
Very few players in the world are capable of scoring a volley like this. Happily for Arsenal fans, Robin van Persie is one of those rare players. Like no other goal I’ve seen and so it wins out as Pies’ favourite Premierhip goal of 2006/07.
The BBC is asking readers of its website if they would like to see Ian Holloway keep his column for next season. What a stupid question – of course he should keep his column, it’s 20 times better than the mundane cliches churned out by other football columnists, such as Kevin Nolan and Owen Hargreaves.
According to Match of the Day anyway. And here it is: Jussi Jaaskelainen Save of the SeasonUploaded by amarchauhan
The story is that Rivaldo feels betrayed by his club, Olympiakos of Greece. The 35-year-old Brazilian World Cup winner announced his departure from Olympiakos after negotiations for a new contract broke down. The club said on Saturday that Rivaldo had rejected an offer to renew his contract for another year on the same terms as this season. But Rivaldo claimed that Olympiakosâ€™s administration wanted to halve his salary.
And in other news, dog bites man. It has hardly come as a surprise, but Big Sam Allardyce has officially been confirmed as the new manager of Newcastle United. The former Bolton boss has signed a three-year deal at St James’ Park.
Aalesund’s Gustave Bahoken does his utmost to keep Lyn Oslo at bay in the Norwegian league with this Zaire-inspired moment of magic.
This advert for Dutch pension company Nationale-Nedelanden brings together some of the finest players to wear the oranger of Holland to score the perfect total football goal.
With ‘God’ on his way out of Anfield once again, it is probably as good a time as any for Liverpool fans to invest in this tribute to the one and only Robert Fowler. A fitting, and only slightly blasphemous, tribute to an Anfield legend. It is available from TShirts365 for Â£14.99 if you click in the general vicinity of this hyperlink.
Does the Monday craziness never end? First Paul Jewell keeps WIgan up but then he resigns. Now Man City, who finished four points above the relegation zone, have sacked Stuart Pearce! What does this mean for out-of-work managers like Iain Dowie, Chris Coleman and the mighty Sven? It means their agents will be straight on the phone to Man City, that’s what.
This sketch from the Fox network’s MadTV sketch show is about American football, but the actors look like they would have made a formidable midfield pairing at their peak!
Unlike most people, we actually wait until the end of the season to do our ‘team of the season’. Makes sense, don’t you think? Anyhoo, here’s our selection for the best XI in 2005/06 (fitting neatly into a time-honoured 4-4-2 formation):
GK: JOSE REINA (Liverpool)
Pepe still flaps at the odd cross like a giant baby bird, but we’ll forgive him the odd discretion (all keepers make mistakes, simple as that). Reina is still young for a keeper (just 24, although he looks more like 34) and improving all the time. He’s had a great season, behind a constantly changing back four, and the fact fans now take it for granted that Liverpool concede hardly any goals is a testimony to his effectiveness as a shot-stopper.
Honourable mention: David James (Portsmouth). A renaissance season for Jamo. Nothing calamitous about his form these days.