By 90Min
December 31, 2017

It's been a long year, this is your seventeenth end-of-year roundup article of the day, let's skip the foreplay and just get right into the list shall we?

Joey Barton Memorial Award for Most Dislikable Player of the Year


The future of English football? Perhaps. Dirty little scrote? Absolutely. Dele Alli has made his position as football's most dislikable player reasonably secure over the last year - and it's not the helpful kind of gritty fouling that players of Stoke teams past have mastered. It's unhelpful. 

He gets suspended for aiming middle fingers at people, or for horrible, petulant, nightmare jump tackles on Gent players. You'll hear a lot about it being 'the kind of thing he needs in his game'...but that's nonsense. Nobody needs a player to go in with vile leg-breakers. 

Sacking of the Year

Alex Broadway/GettyImages

It's been a great year for sackings - Claudio Ranieri and Simon Grayson both unceremoniously binned off in the same month as their clubs released unequivocal statements of support - but spare a thought for former Gillingham kit man Bob Lewin, who was let go by the club back in April when he forgot to bring their away kits to their game at MK Dons. 

Nazi Apology of the Year

Bert Ehm and fifth tier German side Teutonia 05 were more or less unknown outside of their own regions until early this season...when Ehm ended a tricky press conference with the phrase 'Sieg Heil!'

Joern Pollex/GettyImages

Yes, that one. 

“It was a giant error on my part," he insisted afterwards. "I’m no National Socialist. Those words just kind of tumbled out of me.”

You'll forgive us for being neither surprised nor sympathetic when he was dismissed days later. 

Streak of the Year

Sunderland went 350 days in a row without a win at home in 2017. That's all. 

Unlikely Comeback of the Year

Nobody was expecting to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic again when he did his ACL in the first half of the year...but nobody was even thinking about 2017 being the year of blackface in football

And yet. 

It kind of started back in March with Italian lower league side Quiliano, who blacked up en masse to promote a 'zero tolerance to racism' policy in support of one of their teammates who had been racially abused, which...guys. There are better ways to do that. Like, loads. Punch racists, that's one of them.

Then...then there was Antoine Griezmann. That was recent - you all remember the picture, followed by the non-apology, followed again by the scripted apology later. Put blackface in the bun and for the love of god, actually leave it there this time. 

Oh, Paddy Barclay can do one, too. 

Shirt of the Year

Absolutely no contest. Ebbsfleet United's special number 5 shirt for Yado Mambo, created by fan request, raised £1,650 for Prostate Cancer UK when the club auctioned it off earlier this season. 

The story comes with a bit of a downer postscript though, as Mambo himself had to retire just two weeks before the end of the year at the age of just 26 after suffering a bad knee injury against Wrexham. 

Title Decider of the Year

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se

Everyone loves a title race that goes down to the last game of the season (they even make films about them sometimes; see the excellent '89' for more on that) - but the Georgian top flight's decider was one of the more dramatic seen for...well, a while. 

How dramatic? Dinamo Tbilisi had a 96th minute penalty to draw the last game of the season against title rivals Torpedo Kutaisi and snatch the trophy at the very last...only for their captain to dribble a shot down the middle to be saved easily. It was the last kick of the game, and Georgian headline writers presumably had a field day. 'AGUER-OH NO'?

Dance of the Year





Dog of the Year

So the obvious answer is all of them, because they're all good boys. The slightly less obvious answer is a joint victory for Atom and Humber, Alexis Sanchez's dogs. The correct answer is the brilliant little sausage dog who invaded the pitch in an Argentine game between San Lorenzo and Arsenal de Sarandí. And chased balls around. And gave a post-match trying to steal and eat a microphone. 

Now, not all dogs go to heaven (as, erm, the film All Dogs Go To Heaven showed, despite the name) - some of them get adopted by the GROUNDSMAN OF THE GROUND THEY INVADED AND RAN ONTO HANG ON WHAT IS THIS AN ACTUAL DISNEY FILM PLOT?

The groundsman in question was Julio Duarte, who explained that the dog would join the other ten he has to keep pigeons off his grass seed, saying: “I’m keeping her. We need what she’s got.”

See you in 2018, everyone!

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