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31st May 2023

HOUSE OF FOOTBALL: End of season awards, FA Cup final preview and reffing controversy

Patrick McCarry

Brought to you by William Hill.

“He’s somehow underrated and overrated at the same time… if that makes any sense?!”

Many of European football’s top leagues are wrapping for the season, with some big cup competitions yet to be decided, including Saturday’s FA Cup final. It was a suitable time, then, to hand out some awards.

Eric Lalor was joined by Alan Cawley and Robert Redmond to look back on the thrilling conclusion to the English Premier League and the ‘toxic’ situation around refereeing before previewing this weekend’s FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City.

Among our alternative end-of-season award winners were Eddie Howe, Antonio Conte, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Erling Haaland, Brighton and Lisandro Martinez. Just try and guess who won what award! There was also a ‘Biggest Let Down’ award, and that drew the biggest debates, claims and counter-claims.

“That award goes to Cristiano Ronaldo,” argued Redmond. “I was watching United’s game against Fulham and thinking, this should have been his send-off.

“If he had just been able to put his ego aside, stick around for the rest of the season, come on in games, score the odd goal… he still would have been the hero. Then get the send-off and go play in Saudi Arabia… instead it went the other way. It was almost sad to see – him thinking he could trust Piers Morgan.”

“The road he went down,” mused Cawley, “everything that was good about him, he tarnished.”


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FA Cup preview, and more, on House of Football

“I’m at matches every week and I see it,” said Alan Cawley. “There is no relationship [between players and referees].

“When the criticism comes in, I hear referees on the defensive, saying, ‘How can you criticise me? You’re all against me. Everyone is against me’. And they almost come out antagonised with that feeling of, we’ll show you.”

Also discussed on the show: