UNILAD Football’s Weekly Awards
Watford may have knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup, but here at UNILAD Football, we like to recognise some of the other big winners of the weekend.
Whether it’s the crunching tackle of the day, save of the month or cock up of the season, we want to recognise some of the alternative heroes.
There was drama as ever this weekend, despite the Premier League taking a backseat to the FA Cup.
Diego Costa tried to kill Gareth Barry with a death stare/attempted bite and Arsenal continued their quest to balls up another season, while Manchester City stopped caring and dropped points at Norwich City.
But were those enough to secure one of our awards?
Here are the winners of the week:
Player Of The Week: Adlene Guedioura
For absolutely no other reason other than him hitting a shot that would still be travelling now if it hadn’t hit the net, Guedioura takes this weeks prize.
It’s safe to say the Algerian won’t win many prizes this season, but after nearly killing David Ospina with his shot that flew into the top corner, he can have this one.
In fairness, he put in a decent performance in Watford’s midfield at the Emirates, and deserved the best moment of his career.
Watford were good value for their win, and winning the FA Cup would top off a brilliant season for them.
And with goals like Guedioura’s hitting the net, that may not be as farfetched as it once seemed.
Manager Of The Week: Quique Sanchez Flores
It’s a double sweep for Watford this week, as their suave Spanish boss takes the manager award.
Granted, it’s not exactly hard to beat Arsenal given their current form, but the Hornets still had to go and do the job in the FA Cup, where the Gunners were unbeaten in 37 months.
The last time Arsenal lost in the FA Cup, Colin Kazim-Richards scored the winner. This time, it was another fairly under the radar player who netted the crucial goal, Adlene Guedioura.
Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney were as excellent as ever up front for Watford, while Costel Pantilimon just about managed to repel Arsenal’s late onslaught.
Flores has been brilliant since arriving from Spain in the summer, guiding his side to safety while looking like a footballing version of Hugh Laurie, and deserves his plaudits.
Saviour Of The Week: Anthony Martial
Martial has been somewhat overshadowed by the emergence of Marcus Rashford in the last month, so for the Frenchman to remind everyone that he’s also a pretty decent youngster was well timed.
The former Monaco forward struck with seven minutes remaining at Old Trafford, a goal that saved Louis van Gaal from further embarrassment.
It’s not been a good week for Manchester United, as they went down to local rivals Liverpool in the Europa League just four days after losing at West Brom.
Van Gaal will more than likely be axed at the end of the season, but had it not been for Martial’s late equaliser, the pressure would have moved Ed Woodward one step closer to bringing the blade down on the Dutchman sooner rather than later.
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Lucky Bastard Of The Week: Dimitri Payet
Since signing from Marseille in the summer, Payet has been a revelation at West Ham.
But against Man United, the Frenchman was lucky to be on the pitch when he curled in his stunning free kick.
Already on a booking, Payet threw himself to the floor as Marcos Rojo slid in on him, but referee Martin Atkinson bottled it and didn’t award a penalty or book Payet for a second time.
Minutes later, the French international opened the scoring with a brilliant free kick, which obviously pissed off the locals.
In fairness, it wasn’t the only poor call the referee made that day, as Bastian Schweinsteiger’s push on Darren Randolph went unpunished as Martial scored the equaliser.
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Dirty Bastard Of The Week: Diego Costa
In fairness, this could be a set award each week and it’d have the same winner: Diego Costa.
Costa has actually been pretty quiet for the last month, choosing to score goals rather than piss off opposing defenders, but he was back to his best/worst against Everton.
Given a rough time by Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori all afternoon, Costa finally lost his shit when Gareth Barry challenged him.
Squaring up like a fully fledged nutter, Costa appeared to try and bite Barry before bizarrely hugging the former Aston Villa man.
The Spaniard’s show of affection didn’t work though, and he was sent off for the first time in his Chelsea career – because all the other suspensions have been handed down by the FA retrospectively.