Welcome, welcome, welcome ladies (Pause for laughter) and gentlemen. Welcome to The First Annual Franjo Award For Unappreciated Excellence, or… The FAFAFUE…
I think it’s only fair in the World of Football to give recognition where it’s due. Fans of bottom-half-of-the-table-clubs, how often have you beaten one of the League’s titans, only to have the story be all about them? Maybe you feel like punishing yourself for all of your sins and you listen to 606, where the phone lines are full of their fans complaining, instead of your fans celebrating?
“Manchester United Lose!” Cry the tabloids! “Paris Saint-Germain Lose! Barcelona Lose!”
When the headlines should rightfully be:
“West Brom Win! Guingamp Win! Alavés Fucking Win!”
But it never will be. It never will be because nobody’s buying the paper or clicking on the link or listening to the podcast with that headline, because far fewer people care about smaller clubs. Hence less sales, views or listens, less advertising and less revenue for those media outlets.
But no more. We’re setting a precedent this year. We’re appreciating the unappreciated and celebrating the uncelebrated and we’re starting right here with our own squad. Maybe our message will spread. Today Auxerre, Tomorrow the World!
It gives me great pleasure to announce the maiden shortlist for the FAFAFUE:
Xavier Lenogue – No 16 – Goalkeeper
Absent from the Ligue 2 Goalkeeper of the Season shortlist, no doubt thanks to the incompetence of those money grabbing pencil pushers down at City Hall, Xavier’s smashed the league record for number of clean sheets kept this season and is the base of one of the league’s best defences.
Issa Samba – No 17 – Right Back
Definitely the runt of the Auxerre litter last Summer, academy graduate Issa nearly found himself leaving the club before taking his first team chance and putting together a run of form so phenomenal and consistent that I literally could not drop him from the starting 11. He’s gone from being on the very fringes of the squad to one of the first names on the team sheet.
Baptiste “Captiste” Aloé – No 2 – Centre Back
Oh Captain, my Captain. Not only has Captiste been solid and reliable on the field, but he’s also been the glue that holds the squad together off it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times he’s taken an unhappy player to one side and turned them around, making him essential in my starting 11 and in the changing room.
Mamadou Doucouré – No 25 – Centre Back
Initially brought in on loan as backup for Captiste and Mike Kakuba, Mamadou quickly ousted the latter as a first choice defender. He’s been so solid and consistent that I’ve barely had to mention him all year, except when I mention how little I mention him because of how solid and consistent he’s been.
Phil Foden – No 8 – Right Sided Inside Forward
The coin flip. I bought Phil for a record fee knowing full well that he was either going to be a disaster or an Auxerre great. He’s been the latter. Nobody else in the squad has reached double figures for both goals and assists and he may have even broken the club’s assist record if he hadn’t broken a rib and missed most of March. Throw on top of that the fact that he’s spent the season learning a new position and there’s no doubt that he’s impressed even more than I ever hoped he could.
Other (Please Specify)
These are the contenders. The Auxerre players consistently overlooked by the mainstream media despite the outstanding contributions that each of them have made throughout the entire season to Auxerre.
The winner is up to you. Please send your 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners to firstname.lastname@example.org (Or as a comment wherever you read this) before Tuesday’s Year 6 Review, where the winner will be presented with the greatest award of them all. And that’s saying a lot because the Domino’s Ligue 2 gives out about 20,000 individual awards.
Thank you and good night.