It’s time for the Premier League Weekly Awards, where The Football Faithful reward the very best and worst of England’s top flight from the week gone by.
Moment of the Week
They might have been relegated back to the Championship at the first go by April, but Fulham’s relegation party was in full flow in Bournemouth on Saturday — and it looked like damn good fun.
Ain't no party like a relegation party 🏖️ pic.twitter.com/VPmM8oX2wK
— Fulhamish (@FulhamishPod) April 20, 2019
Fulham fans were in a cheery mood on the south coast, and brought with them all manner of inflatable objects for their trip to the seaside. And to top it all off, the Cottagers won! The south London outfit defeated the Cherries 1-0 thanks to an Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty, securing their first away win of the season.
Frustratingly for their supporters, the side has a far better points-per-game ratio since they were relegated than before they were sunk by Watford earlier this month. With consecutive wins (and clean sheets) under their belts, they are at least avoiding some unwanted records as their time in the Premier League comes to an end.
Player of the Week
There is only one correct answer to “who is the best player this week?” and it is Ayoze Perez following his hat-trick against Southampton.
The Newcastle United forward is not the most prolific of goalscorers, having not reached double digits during his time at St. James’ Park — until now. His exploits on Saturday took this season’s tally to 10, but the Spaniard offers so much more to Rafael Benitez’ side. No attacking player in the league has completed more tackles or interceptions than he, in fact, it’s not even close, showing how much he leads from the front with his defensive work.
Goal of the Week
Every now and again this category really kicks my ass, because there will be a number of awesome goals that could win in any given week, but fall in the one weekend. This week was one of those, but it had to go one man for his outrageous individual goal on Sunday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang picked up the ball on the right-hand touchline against Crystal Palace and started driving towards the goal. The Gabon international beat three defenders before an attempted through ball to Alexandre Lacazette bounced off Joel Ward and back into his grateful feet. Aubameyang made the most of his luck by driving the ball past Wayne ‘desperate to learn about the Nazis’ Hennessy.
— bielsa boi (@concalcio) April 22, 2019
Mesut Ozil scored a delicious chip earlier in the game for Arsenal, but the Gunners still lost 3-2 at home to the Eagles.
Honourable Mention: Everton had a mini goal of the month competition of their own on Sunday during their 4-0 demolition of Manchester United. All four goals were bloody good finishes, but if I had to rank them in terms of how good they are, it would go like this:
4. Theo Walcott
3. Gylfi Sigurdsson
2. Lucas Digne
Pass of the Week
This delightful Ben Davies chip was made all the better by Son Heung-min’s captivating run for Spurs against Manchester City. It didn’t result in a goal, but it was one of the best moves in the game.
— bielsa boi (@concalcio) April 22, 2019
Howler of the Week
Hang your head in shame, Sean Morrison. If you manage to locate it, that is.
The worst header ever attempted from Cardiff’s Morrison. https://t.co/tlP6s1z7si
— Marwan Ahmed (@MarwanAhmed_KF) April 21, 2019
The Cardiff City defender missed a gilt-edged chance against Liverpool, to whom they lost 2-0. Relegation looms for the Bluebirds.
Stat of the Week
Christian Benteke scored his first league goal for Crystal Palace in 385 days this past weekend. Fittingly, it was headed in from a cross.
Christian Benteke now has as many PL goals as Eric Cantona and is more popular with Crystal Palace supporters
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) April 21, 2019
Donkey of the Week
Could there possibly have been a bigger donkey this week than the English Football Association? The FA cleared Wayne Hennessey of any wrongdoing after he was pictured giving a Nazi salute.
The Crystal Palace goalkeeper’s excuse at the time was that this was an unfortunate moment “frozen in time” as he was trying to get the attention of a waiter. In defending himself in front of the FA for the gesture, he claimed to have very little knowledge of the Nazi party that rose to power in the 1930’s and were responsible for the deaths of millions of people up until Adolf Hitler’s defeat in the Second World War.
Hennessey had a “lamentable degree of ignorance” in this regard, the FA concluded but ruled that this was enough to get him off the hook. Whether or not the player in question is as lamentably ignorant of what a Nazi salute is as the association claims, surely punishment is warranted for merely making the salute anyway? At the very least as a deterrent if nothing else.
Dishonourable Mention: Shoutout to the Manchester United board, owners and Ed Woodward, who continue to make terrible decisions that will keep the club from dining at the top table for many years. The latest of these is regarding the Director of Football vacancy, which the Telegraph is reporting will possibly be filled by Mike Phelan, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant manager.
Phelan is undoubtedly a United man, someone who knows the club inside out, but surely he is better placed on the training fields than in an office making all of the football-related decisions in the club? The United hierarchy could have their pick of experienced and knowledgeable technical directors, yet they apparently want to install someone whose only experience in the role was for a short time at Central Coast Mariners in Australia.
Man United’s current run of bad form is not all down to the manager or the players that are currently at the club, but is the culmination of years of poor planning.