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The Premier League Awards: Lloris, Lescott & Welbeck

Lloris is Spurs' backbone, Welbz is dat guy, and Joleon Lescott has incredible faith in his own arse's ability to operate a smartphone.
February 15, 2016, 2:22pm
PA Images

This article originally appeared on VICE Sports UK.

On a weekend when the whole damn country lost its mind thinking the Premier League would be won or lost with almost a third of the season still to play, it was always going to take something special to break from the narrative. Unsurprisingly, Saturday's matches became little more than a warm-up for what was to come on Sunday, when Leicester, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all went toe-to-toe (in separate games, sadly, but you get the point).


Taking our lead from the rest of the world, we too are going to ignore all of Saturday's football and hand our awards to players who made an impression on Super Sunday, a name that for once didn't feel ludicrously over the top.

Gold Award: Hugo Lloris, for doing the impossible and being Tottenham's backbone

Remember when Tottenham were reliably soft-centred and conspired to shoot themselves in the foot season after season? That was fun while it lasted, wasn't it? But this new Pochettino-led Spurs are a completely different beast: sort of like the bear in The Revenent, only with a better defence and goal difference. While the headline-makers tend to be the young lads scoring, making the tackles and wheeling off to the fans week after week, they wouldn't be up to much at all if Hugo Lloris wasn't behind them.

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Though he arguably doesn't get the credit he deserves, despite being every bit as good as any other 'keeper in the league, Lloris leads this new-look Tottenham by example. He's fearless and constantly switched on. He'll catch your cross, he'll dive at your feet one-on-one, he'll bat away your long-distance drives, and he'll sweep up at the back when needed, essentially making him one of the best all-rounders in his position on the planet. In times gone by – probably even last season if we're being honest – this bloke didn't really belong at Tottenham. He was just too good. Watching him make save after save while the likes of Federico Fazio and Vlad Chiriches floundered in front of him made you wonder what exactly he'd done to deserve such a long stretch of community service.

This season, however, it's more like watching King Leonidis lead 300 Spartans into a war against thousands every week. Tottenham shouldn't be this good yet – they've got a team made up of previously unfancied youth products, thrifty purchases, and a child who was playing in League One last season. It's a sign of the times when £30m joke-record-signing Erik Lamela dashes 40 yards up the field at the Etihad and slips in £11m Ajax youth product Christian Eriksen like they're Messi and Suarez, but that's what Tottenham do these days. Do we understand it? Of course not – but if they carry on like this, there's nobody better to lift a trophy on behalf of the team than the bloke who's a freak in between the sticks every week.

The goalscorers grab the headlines, but Lloris is Spurs' backbone | PA Images

Silver Award: Joleon Lescott, for going full-Kanye

You'd think players would be somewhat mournful and apologetic after losing 6-0 at home and all-but securing one of the feeblest relegations in living memory, But not Joleon Lescott – he's coming at you with the full force of his wallet. In a stunt that saw him rival only Yeezy for the social media-wide "WTF is he talking about now?" Lescott tweeted a picture of a ridiculously expensive looking motor, before blaming it on what can only be described as an 'arse tweet' – which sort of works, in a way.

Let's be serious: "I sat on my phone" is an appalling attempt at an excuse, only one step removed from dogs eating homework. If, by some miracle, Joleon Lescott's arse really did tweet on his behalf, it's shown more dynamism than his feet have all season. Of course, in order for his arse to have tweeted on his behalf, without his knowledge, it would need to unlock his phone, open Twitter, click the compose button, click the picture button, select a picture, and then hit the tweet button – in that exact order and with no deviation.

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Forgive us for being sceptical, but given that Joleon couldn't summon the minimal graft needed to stop Kolo Touré from scoring on Sunday, it's hard to believe his arse cheeks have the ability to effectively operate a smartphone. That said, it gives you an accurate measure of the man and the effort he's likely to exert when instead of either confessing to being a dick or coming up with a decent lie, he tells the most basic, transparent tale possible. You're not our OG, and we won't respect you. You didn't make it so that we could wear skinny jeans. Put simply, you're not Kanye – so don't even try it, lad.
— Joleon Lescott (@JoleonLescott) February 14, 2016

Bronze Award: Danny Welbeck, for being dat guy

You probably think players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are under the most pressure to perform, given the astronomical standards that they're held to – but are either of them dat guy? Imagine the weight of expectation Danny Welbeck lives with every single day.

Most people had forgotten Welbeck existed until he emerged from the bench for Arsenal on Sunday, but he made damn sure that didn't last for long. Destroying a fairytale in a manner we only thought possible of Tim Burton, Welbz got his hi-top fade on the end of a Mesut Özil freekick and put plucky little Arsenal ahead in injury time, having been behind against big bad Leicester City until Danny Simpson's sending off on 54 minutes turned the game. In the immortal words of Ravel Morrison, Welbz is dat guy. Carve it in stone.

I've got this lads
— GeniusFootball (@GeniusFootball) February 14, 2016