Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Arsene's Jacket, Firmino's Teeth, and the Curse of the Panini Sticker in My End-of-Season Awards

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Arsene's Jacket, Firmino's Teeth, and the Curse of the Panini Sticker in My End-of-Season Awards

Article excerpt

Looking back at the season, looking forward to the next, to life, love, everything.

Arsene's Anorak One of the visual moments, the jacket he could never zip up. What will happen to it now he's gone from the Arsenal bench? He always pretended to do it up without looking down, the fool, never managing till he concentrated properly. By which time they were two goals down. What will happen to his assistant Steve Bould?

He had a non-speaking, nonmoving part. His job was to sit there, being ignored, looking tough and awfully solemn.

When Fergie packed it in, there were people on eBay flogging bits of chewing gum which he had allegedly spat out at the end of each game. 1 hope the anorak will be auctioned for charity. I might bid for it. I could wear it for gardening.

Haircut of the Season Alas, for the first time in 22 years, this is not being awarded. Too boring, too many with the same razor slashes. Instead Teeth of the Year! We have seen some flashing gnashers this season. Not from our native lads, brought up on sugary drinks, but from these foreign chaps who clearly had sensible mummies. And the winner is: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool. Let's hope in the Champions League final against Real Madrid we see his winning smile. Dark glasses ready to soften the glare.

Players of the Season Those who Won Top Awards/Set Records/Helped Old Ladies were excellent, such as Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane, but a small cheer for some lesser lights, in less glamorous clubs, who done good: Marko Arnautovic of West Ham, Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.

Top Rejects Meaning players who got dumped, early doors, and then came back to haunt their dumpers, such as Salah and De Bruyne, both let go by Mourinho when he was at Chelsea, har har.

Ex-Spurs stars who Done Good Gareth Bale had a decent season at Real Madrid, as did Modric, and Kyle Walker got even better after he went to Man City. Top men, top clubs, top money. …

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