Reflection on 2010 where I give myself a Lifetime Achievement Award

Welcome everybody to what was intended to be an awards ceremony. That has now fallen by the wayside since well, Zonal Marking put it best to me when I asked the good world of Twitter for categories – ‘the best blog award of the year award’. Everyone’s done one, so I’ll hold back until the end of the football season.

Instead, I thought it would be appropriate to thank all those who’ve made 2010 quite a good year for myself.

I had a minor brainwave in August (well startling revelation) that I needed to actually write things for my degree. This blog was half running, after all I did write a lot of World Cup stuff, but most of that incoherent ranting about Marcel Desailly’s patriotism. That makes me sound like Ron Atkinson doesn’t it?

Anyway after that tournament, I decided to research a club called Arles-Avignon. I can’t exactly say why I did this, I think it was because I saw the Ligue Un table and had never heard of them before, so delved in to some French websites. Their back-story became more and more interesting as I went on.

I wrote it. Then through word of mouth (Michael Cox reading it and retweeting it), people flocked to it. Since then, I’ve not done anything as good. But neither have Arles-Avignon. They have won a game though, somehow.

Shortly after that, Andrew Gibney was appealing for podcast guests and I stook my hand up. I was thinking about starting a podcast anyway, but that was in the preliminiary stage so I gladly took up his cordial invitation. I’ve enjoyed every Skype conversation (sorry I’ve ruined the magic of it) with the guys and it feels weird that people actually listen to my Barry White-esque voice and often bumbling pieces of information. I can’t praise how hard Mr Gibney works on his sites, as does Gav, Charlie, Brent, Ethan and every guest we’ve had: all with great websites.

I’d also like to thank Jeff and the team In Bed With Maradona, without doubt one of my favourite reads. To set up a site as great as that within a year, with contributions from that great and good of football blogging (and once in a blue moon me) is a superb achievment and they deserve all the plaudits they get

Through that, I’ve taken an somewhat unhealthy and life-shortening interest in the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium. Why? Because no one else in their right mind would. It’s been fun watching some of Europe’s premier young guns duel it out and also watching not as youthful Tomasz Radzinski at Lierse. My highlight of the year was Zulte’s Habib Habibou throwing a duck off the field against Lokeren; a truly beautiful moment which strangely enough kick-started his season. You could say he found his wings. I thank y0u.

Anyway, to avoid this tone of the article becoming ‘look how great I am’, I’d like to thank all of you for reading the blog at some point in the past year. I’d also like to thank Freddie Shires and Dave Stubbings for their contributions, although I suspect Dave will live to regret his lambasting of an United team that remains unbeaten. We can’t call em all correctly can we, and I should know; I said Mauro Boselli was a good signing.

So what can you expect in 2011. Well a hiatus unfortunately. January sees me visit Champions League magazine for some much-needed work experience and then it’s the final push towards getting a degree. So if anyone wants to contribute to the Player Profiles section, it would be muchly appreciated.

Right, I think my end of year honours list will come to an end now. Thanks to all of you again.

Here’s to 2011 *raises a glass of finest Buck’s Fizz.

Oh and if you can check out this great list of the 100 football blogs to follow in 2011. Don’t know how I made that list, but it is a list of 100, someone was bound to scrape in.

Here’s that moment again. No ducks were severely harmed during the match.

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