In a season with few Leeds United candidates – quite probably only one – for “Man of the Season“, this blog has had to cast its net further afield to find the one outstanding person who has brought us the most joy and pleasure in the campaign just gone.
On the face of it, the claims from within Leeds United, of our inspirational captain and lethal striker Ross McCormack, are next door to irresistible. Rarely has one man dominated to the extent that Ross has in this fractious, disrupted campaign. Any other possible contenders, such as the admirable Matt Smith who enjoyed such a promising début season, would be a country mile, at best, behind our 29 goal Scottish international. McCormack’s status as our “Man of the Season” would be undeniable – if we were merely looking for consolation in the midst of our suffering. But we’re not. We’re looking for actual joy and pleasure unconfined – and that’s really not to be found inside the bounds of Elland Road, not for a good few years now. So we must perforce look elsewhere – sorry, Rossco.
As with any set of right-thinking, well-balanced and reasonable football fans, the supporters of Leeds United know what to do when their own favourites fail to stir the blood or lift the spirits. Firstly, there’s “Win or lose, we’re on the booze” to fall back on. The soothing and pain-relieving balm of alcohol has beguiled many a sad hour over successive painfully disappointing years. But some seasons are just so unspeakably awful that even when you spend most or all of your time in a drink-generated fug, you can’t escape the cold chill of despair that lays its clammy fingers across the back of your neck, whenever you’re sober enough to contemplate the plight of Leeds United. So you shudder miserably, and look elsewhere for a bit of cheer.
Eventually – inevitably – you resort to taking positive pleasure in the pain and misery of those you despise. And who better to delight you with their cataclysmic plummet from grace, than the former and allegedly still “Biggest Club in the Universe and all Four Dimensions of Spacetime™”? Yes, gentlemen and ladies, I give you – for quite frankly, I don’t want them – Manchester United, the Greatest Football Club in the World (Copyright © The UK Gutter Press). Now stop that giggling over there in Barcelona and Milan – it’s not nice to kick a football club when it’s down and deluded.
This season, the “greatest team in the world” finished, erm, seventh. Outside of the European places (yes, even those poxy, Thursday night, Europa League occasions are denied them) – but are they bovvered? Do they look bovvered?? Well – perhaps a bit.
Their trophy haul for the campaign was similarly derisory. Suffice to say that they won exactly the same as Leeds United – oh, hang on – I forgot that pre-season friendly against Wigan, when they were awarded a vulgar silver plate as a reward for turning out for “charidee”. But, as any Pride of Devon fan will confirm – for this season just gone, at least – the Community Shield is, in fact, a major trophy. Funny, that. It’s a principle that has sometimes applied to the League Cup too, in its various guises – but only when it’s the sole trophy to have made its way to the Theatre of Hollow Myths.
This season has been remarkable – almost unprecedented – for the way in which that Man U star has fallen. Home defeats by the barrow-load, home humiliations in the domestic cups, miles off the pace in the Title race from about Christmas onwards and a trophy cabinet that has remained gloriously bare, save for one lonely, hungry spider named Alex.
It’s been car-crash football watched through agonised slits of eyes by those armchair denizens of Devon and Cornwall as they chew distractedly on a straw, and wonder what on Earrrrth ‘as ‘appened to “Yew-noited”. So, have we any pity to spare for these tragic creatures? Have we blooming heck as like. It’s been far too much fun, watching this tragi-comedy – if you’re a real, non-plastic football fan, that is. It’s been just too funny and too entertaining for words. And there may yet be more fun to come next season, what with the almighty mess that’s been left behind. Priceless, no?
And who do we have to thank for all of this joy and celebration? Who is this man, who has brought us such rich and amusing entertainment? Who is the saviour who at last achieved his decade-long ambition of seeing Everton finish above Man U? What is the name of this hero who has presided over a season unparalleled in the course of Premier League history – which, as we all know, is the only history that really counts??
Faithful readers, I give you – for the inaugural Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything “MAN OF THE SEASON” – that fine coach, that brave and decisive manager and, above all, that determined saboteur of all things scum; I give you (Drum roll) Evertonian Special Agent ………. Daaaaaavid MOYES!!!! (Sensation, loud applause, sustained cheering).
Well done INDEED, David. A fine achievement and a deserved accolade. You took a club favoured by the game’s authorities, by most of the referees and other officials and, not least, by that thankless bitch Lady Luck – and you destroyed them, utterly, inside a twelvemonth. We salute you – and we wish you the best of luck as you look to re-establish yourself in football proper after this one-off year as a double-agent and “overblown reputation demolition contractor”. No praise can be too high, you have done a great service to football fans everywhere outside of Torquay, Devizes, Barnsley and Milton Keynes.
Come back this time next year, gentle reader for the second LLUUE awards blog. Who knows, perhaps we might be able realistically to nominate an actual Leeds United person? We’ll start brushing up on our Italian, just in case…
Oh, and – PS. To all of those pedantic souls who might wish to point out that Leeds United haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory this year – look again. I have sort of addressed that, I feel. And anyway – we’re not the biggest club in the bleedin’ world, are we??