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Soccerlens 2008 Awards Winners

And the winners are…

The Soccerlens Awards recognize excellence in football blogging. After the great success of the 2007 edition, SL readers and editors gathered again to choose among 20 different awards categories and crown the best out of over a hundred quality football sites.

Yes people, YOU voted (over 16,000 times) for your favorite blogs. The Soccerlens Awards provides you, the public, with the opportunity to give props to those who have kept you informed, amused, and entertained for the past year. The writers who have made you laugh, those who have made you cry, and all those kickass blogs of footy goodness that no matter how hard your boss screams, you just can’t keep away from at work.

Just like last year, there are two winners for each category in the SL Awards: a Readers’ Choice (voted by you) and an Editors’ Choice. That is our way of saying “we’ll give you the public a right to vote, but if we don’t like who you vote for we’ll still get to pick the guy sitting on the president’s chair”. :mrgreen:

But seriously guys, both choices bear equal weight. It’s just that we are so nice here at SL, we don’t want anyone to be left out. In some cases, the Readers and the Editors selected the same winners. However, more often than not, the Readers and Editors selected different winners, and we’ll leave it for you to decide who made the better choice. ;)

And so, after two weeks of intense voting and behind-the-scenes deliberations we’ve selected the winners of the 2008 Soccerlens Awards. What we have here is a solid collection of some of the best football sites in the blogosphere. Organzing this ceremony sure was no easy feat, but we definitely hope you like the final product. For us, it was well worth the effort.
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Best British Football Blog Of 2008

And we don’t mean the best blog based in Britain, but rather the best blog covering UK football (i.e. English or Scottish Premiership… no we’re not counting you Ireland/Wales!! Get interesting already!!)

Readers’ Choice: Republik Of Mancunia.

ROM offers the best in news on Manchester United with a mix of daily news coverage and insightful commentary. Scott puts a lot of time and effort in his articles, and it shows in the support he got for these awards.

Runner Up: EPL Talk.

Editors’ Choice: Two Hundred Percent.

If you want a) the big picture on where English football stands and where it’s going and b) news about all tiers of English football – then Ian’s the man for you. Possibly the most well-rounded blog in terms of covering English football from top to bottom.

Runner Up: The Spoiler.


Best World Football Blog Of 2008

The best football blog to cover non-UK football, or at the very least not restricted to UK football. You may call this the “Soccerlens Ultimate Award”, or SUA.

And the SUA goes to…

Readers’ Choice: The Offside.

This isn’t really a surprise, is it? The Offside has the broadest and most in-depth news coverage of football around the world with dozens of writers working day and night to make it the best football blog around.

Runner Up: La Liga Loca.

Editors’ Choice: The Offside.

We admit it, we’re in love with The Offside too. If they keep winning like this, we’ll need to retire the award some day.

Runner Up: 101 Great Goals.


Best Football Blog Design Of 2008

The football blog which, by its artistic beauty, extreme Web 2.0-design, and ultra-fast loading speed puts Chris Pearson to shame.

Readers’ Choice: Kickette.

Designed by Michael Heald of Fully Illustrated, Kickette is the premier site for female football fans, and the new skin just pops off the screen. Kudos.

Runner Up: Premiership Talk.

Editors’ Choice: Studs Up.

I think we’re going to have to send this one directly to Michael, as Studs Up is another one of Fully Illustrated’s works of art. Studs Up is cool, the design makes it that much cooler.

Runner Up: This Is American Soccer.


Best New Football Blog of 2008

To be eligible, a football blog must have been created after 1 Jan 08. Or in other words: the “Rookie of the Season” award.

Readers’ Choice: The Chelsea Blog.

The Chelsea Blog has established itself as one of the best sites for Chelsea-related news and opinion in a short period of time, no mean feat considering that they’re up against some of the best in Ole Ole’s Chelsea blog and Blue Champions.

Runner Up: Premiership Talk.

Editors’ Choice: Premiership Talk.

PT is not even an year old yet and is already a reliable and comprehensive source for football news. Well done Brian.

Runner Up: Off The Post.


Best Football Podcast of 2008

The day when technology granted us football fans the ability to rant not only in writing, but through the repeated use of our vocal chords, was both a blessing and a curse. This award recognizes the most blessed (or least cursed) football podcast.

Readers’ Choice: Arsecasts.

The most popular Arsenal blog, the strongest online community, and one of the oldest football blogs around. Is it any wonder the Arsecasts are the undisputed winners?

Runner Up: Non-League Podcast (BBC London).

Editors’ Choice: Arsecasts.

Votes apart, the Arsecast is a quality podcast and non-Arsenal fans should give it a listen to decide for themselves (although I imagine bias trumps common sense, so you might be better off with Chris below).

Runner Up: Chris Harris (EPL Talk).


Best Football Blog Community of 2008

Let’s face it people: us bloggers would have one hell of tough(er) job if there was no one to read and comment on our daily footy ramblings. This award recognizes the best football blog community, both in quantity AND quality.

Ahmed’s Note: NUFC Blog won the popular vote but were disqualified from the Readers’ Choice award after a couple of their readers cheated (and admitted to doing so on NUFC Blog). I’m sorry Ed, we’ve taken measures to ensure that this can’t happen again in the future.

Readers’ Choice: Arseblog.

Not hard to see this one coming. Arseblog truly is one of most popular communities around.

Runner Up: Kickette.

Editors’ Choice: Arseblog.

Runner Up: NUFC Blog.

Vote-rigging aside, NUFC Blog is the #1 community for Newcastle fans and Ed has done a fantastic job in building the site up.


Best Football Forum of 2008

A wise man here at Soccerlens decided to keep the “Blog Community” and “Football Forum” awards separate. When asked why, the wise man replied “because a blog’s a blog and a forum’s a forum”. Nuff said.

Readers’ Choice: Soccerpulse.

Soccerpulse is the first name we think of when we think ‘football forums’, and from the votes it seems that plenty of other voters think the same.

Runner Up: BigSoccer Forum.

Editors’ Choice: Soccerpulse.

Running a forum is a serious business, and making one as popular and universally loved as SoccerPulse is damned-near impossible. Props to Chris and the team for making SoccerPulse into what it is today.

Runner Up: BigSoccer Forum.


Best Football Blogger of 2008

Award recognizing the best individual writer. Give props to the guy (or girl!) who regularly blows you away with his/her razor-sharp wits, dead-on tactical analysis, or overwhelming bits of interesting/pointless-but-equally-funny footy news.

Readers’ Choice: Gerry McDonnell (GM Football).

Gerry’s column here on Soccerlens was possibly last season’s most popular column . If you miss his entertaining style and wit, be sure to follow his blog.

Runner Up: Laurie (The Offside).

Editors’ Choice: Brian Phillips (Run Of Play).

This is the most difficult award to give out. We’re huge fans of Laurie and Brian, and Tim is just fantastic anyway. Unfortunately only one blogger can win this, otherwise this would have been a three-way tie.

Brian, congratulations, you’re the best blogger this year. Laurie and Tim – sorry to see you guys miss out, best of luck for next season.

Runner Up: Laurie (The Offside).


Best New Football Blogger of 2008

Also an individual writer award. To be eligible, a football blogger must have started blogging after 1 Jan 08. A “Rookie of the Season, part 2″ award, if you will.

Readers’ Choice: Chris Taylor (It’ll Be Off).

Chris is a freelance writer who blogs about FC United and football in general – and hopefully we’ll be seeing him do some guest commentary on Soccerlens in 2009.

Runner Up: Alessio (Juve Offside).

Editors’ Choice: Fredorrarci (Sport Is A Show).

Alan Shearer is dead! Alan Shearer is dead! Long live Alan!

On a serious note (as if that’s ever possible), Fredorrarci is hilarious, outrageous and spot on with almost everything he says. As with Brian, a richly-deserved award.

Runner Up: Alessio (Juve Offside).


Best Football WAGs site of 2008

Looking for the latest Abbey Clancy spread, bikini pics of Nereida Gallardo (C-Ron, you dumbass!!), or ANY picture of Sylvie Van der Vaart? This award recognizes the best resource for WAG goodness.

Readers’ Choice: Kickette.

Kickette is the #1 source for anyone looking for the latest news and gossip on WAGs around the world.

Runner Up: TheSpoiler.

Editors’ Choice: TheSpoiler.

And if you’re looking exclusively for the photo galleries, The Spoiler has got your back (and then some).

Runner Up: WAGS Blog.


Best Football Goals Site of 2008

Best resource for goal videos and clips. No, YouTube isn’t nominated. If you could, would you really want to vote for a site where FIFA/UEFA clips are removed faster than the José puppet can say “I’m fantastic”?

Readers’ Choice: 101 Great Goals.

101 Great Goals, along with FootyTube, is synonymous with ‘football goals’ and football videos.

Runner Up: Timesoccer.

Editors’ Choice: 101 Great Goals.

FootyTube is a great site, but 101′s greater football coverage gets it the nod. Top stuff.

Runner Up: Footytube.


Best Media Blogger of 2008

Award for the best mainstream media blogger/journalist. Essentially, your favorite writer from the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times, Fox Sports, etc.

Readers’ Choice: Bobby McMahon (Fox Sports).

You know how footballers who don’t make it to the top level are often better pundits than those who do make it? Bobby McMahon (no offense to the man) may not have been a crack footballer but he’s an excellent pundit and football writer.

Runner Up: Tim Vickery (BBC Sport).

Editors’ Choice: Bobby McMahon (Fox Sports).

Runner Up: Marcela Mora y Araujo (Guardian).


Best Football Game of 2008

This can be live action (FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, etc.) or management (Football Manager, etc.). Let’s face it: if we had separated this into two categories, FM would have stolen the term “landslide victory” away from Obama this year.

Readers’ Choice: FIFA 09.

The FIFA series has improved massively in the last couple of years with EA Sports working hard to make the game more ‘real’. It’s worked out well and FIFA 09 pretty much beats it’s other console rival, PES 09.

Runner Up: Football Manager 09.

Editors’ Choice: Football Manager 09.

More players, football now in 3D and a host of small improvements that make FM 09 a must-get for FM enthusiasts. FIFA may still be the game of choice if you’re with friends looking for quick entertainment, but FM is the only game for serious football gamers.

Runner Up: FIFA 09.


Best Online Football Game of 2008

Strictly and exclusively ONLINE games. Video-games with an online multiplayer option (e.g. FIFA, PES) are not eligible for this category.

Readers’ Choice: Hattrick.

Possibly the most popular online football game along with the excellent OFM.

Runner Up: Online Football Manager.

Editors’ Choice: Online Football Manager.

We’ve tried other online footy games but we keep coming back to OFM – it’s simple, it’s addictive and it’s brilliant.

Runner Up: Football Manager Live.


Best Fantasy Football Game of 2008

My friend Tim doesn’t understand the concept of a “balanced team”. Tim always blows his entire budget buying three overpriced strikers, ends up with a goalkeeper like Massimo Taibi and then wonders why he loses every game 5-0. We hope the people who voted in this award aren’t like Tim.

Readers’ Choice: Times PlayTheGame Fantasy Football.

PlayTheGame isn’t the simplest of fantasy football games but it’s easily the most innovative and much loved by hardcore fantasy football fans.

Runner Up: Fantasy Premier League Football.

Editors’ Choice: Fantasy Premier League Football.

The Premier League’s fantasy football offering keeps it simple and does it best. Perfect for a more ‘hands-off’ approach and for newcomers to fantasy football.

Runner Up: Times PlayTheGame Fantasy Football


Best Football Shirt of 2008

This award recognizes the most beautiful shirt (club or national team) of the year 2008. To be eligible, it must have been used during the current year, so “Spain’s Euro 2008″ shirt is IN, but Jorge Campos’ attempts at redefining goalkeeper fashion are OUT.

Readers’ Choice: Bayern Munich 2007-08 Home.

The Bayern, United and Spain shirts were in a very close contest but ultimately the Bayern shirt won out, and fairly too – on the pitch it’s probably the better looking of all 3.

Runner Up: Man Utd 2008-09 – 3rd kit (blue) & Spain Euro 2008 Home.

Editors’ Choice: Bayern Munich 2007-08 Home.

Runner Up: Marseille 2008-09 Away.


Best Football Player of 2008

The best player of 2008. Call it a “FIFA World Player of the Year” award à la sauce Soccerlens. Minus you know, the pricey silverware and hot female models presenting it (although Ahmed is available upon request).

Readers’ Choice: Cristiano Ronaldo.

For all his faults, it seems like more people like Ronaldo than they like Messi. Ok, I know that’s not true, but at least he didn’t win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, did he?

Runner Up: Lionel Messi.

Editors’ Choice: Cristiano Ronaldo.

The numbers say that Messi was more influential per game whereas Ronaldo was more influential through the course of the season. Numbers say a lot of things, in this case 2 titles to 1.

Runner Up: Lionel Messi.


Best Football Team of 2008

This award recognizes the best club or national team of 2008. Call me crazy, but at the time the nominations were published I predicted either the UEFA Champions League or Euro 2008 champions were gonna win this one.

Readers’ Choice: Manchester United.

English and European Champions, it’s hard to contest against this one but nonetheless people will argue that Spain were the better team, albeit only for 3 weeks. The popular vote suggests otherwise.

Runner Up: Spain.

Editors’ Choice: Manchester United.

How do you measure the performances of a team? By percentage of wins? By the number of trophies? By the tough and trying circumstances in which victory was achieved? By the number of games played? It’s not an easy choice and your decision may change depending on which factors you consider the most important.

For us, it comes down to this: who went up against teams better than themselves and came out on the other side as winners? United’s Champions League triumph is built on beating teams bigger and possibly better than themselves, and it’s not something Spain can lay claim to.

Runner Up: Spain.


Best Live Football Site of 2008

The best website providing access to live football matches. Can be commercial (e.g. Setanta broadband) or P2P (e.g. my2p.eu).

Readers’ Choice: Live Soccer TV.

LiveSoccerTV.com gives you the latest tv schedules for live games for US and Canada. Although not necessarily a ‘provider’ of live football games, they nevertheless provide a very useful service.

Runner Up: MyP2P.eu.

Editors’ Choice: MyP2P.eu.

The premier site for live football streams (and other sports), hands down.

Runner Up: Setanta Broadband.


Best Football Betting Site of 2008

Betting odds, betting tips, maximization of earnings, etc. The terror of the housewife and paradise of the modern football gambler.

Readers’ Choice: OLBG.

Online Betting Guide (OLBG) is a comprehensive resource for football betting and one of the most popular betting sites around.

Runner Up: Betfair.

Editors’ Choice: OLBG.

We’ve discussed this before – not all the top sites on football betting were included in the nominations. Of those that were, OLBG (and Betfair) stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of providing useful betting advice to their readers.

Runner Up: Betfair.


Design Credits:

Major props to Randa Clay for her impressive design work on the award graphics.

Topics: 2008 Soccerlens Awards


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