09 October, 2007

Gameweek 9 – ‘Egg Chasing’

Happy Tuesday everyone, and while unsurprisingly rugby has been the talk of the town this weekend, we also saw a full Premier League program including some superbly tight matches throughout the country. Arsenal continued their record-breaking string of consecutive victories, despite a battling visit from Roy Keane’s Sunderland, while Chelsea scored their first league goal for over seven hours. Spurs and Liverpool competed in the game of the weekend, with Spanish wonderkid Fernando Torres saving his mangers’ blushes with a last minute header to equalise for the scousers. Performance of the weekend though has to go to Manchester United, for a near-perfect second half display which might well be the kick-start to the season they’ve been looking for. They netted four times, but more importantly are finally starting to create more and more chances, with Tevez, Rooney, Ronaldo and Anderson all very impressive.

Premier League Team of the Week (based on OPTA stats, Fantasypremierleague.com ratings and my own expert eye):

Keeper – David James (yet another clean sheet for the resurgent “Calamity”)

Defence – Herman Hreidarsson (continues to improve in a generally rock solid defence, plus bagged his second goal in two games), Christopher Samba (big performance from a big chap), Juliano Belletti (normally gets the least plaudits in the Chelsea backline, but comfortable in defence and a constant danger going forward)

Midfield – Christiano Ronaldo (another two goals for the Portuguese pin-up pansy), Ashley Young (great continuation of form from the young English winger), David Bentley (all play as good as ever, topped off by a great turn for his goal), Elano (breathtaking 0nce again)

Up Top – Carlos Tevez (never stopped running and poached the vital opening goal), Robbie Keane (two route one finishes, but sharp throughout), Robin van Persie (superlative all round performance including two excellent goals)

Weekly Awards:

Nutmeg of the Week Ronaldo manages to do so many stepovers he actually tricks himself and falls over, but was somehow able to recover to play a backheel off the ground which megged Emerson Boyce.

Goal of the Week – Although Elano’s brace were both sweet, it has to go to van Persie for the sheer ferocity of his free kick to open the scoring at the Emarites.

Save of the WeekChris Kirkland for clawing away an early Salomon Olembe header that seemed destined for OG territory.

Skill of the Week – Benni McCarthy dances through the Birmingham, busting out a classic Maradona spin in the process.

Miss of the Week – After Hleb had beaten the entire Sundelrand defence and squared it on the six yard line, it was actually harder for Theo Woolcott to miss than score, but somehow the youngster managed it.

Effort of the Week – A standard piece of marauding in the midfield from Kolo Toure led to him unleashing an absolute screamer that left Gordon’s right hand post rattling for about the next five minutes.

Gaffe of the Week Shay Given expertly palms Arteta’s deflected cross the wrong side of the bar to give Everton a last minute second.

Nearest Lampard came to Contributing…er, of the Week – Great to have Frank back this week as he ran the game for Chelsea as ever. I saw him play a great one-two off Guthrie but unfortunately forgot to collect the return. Also dropped this gem in interview: “My one main fear was the injury, and also my fitness.”

Are-you-looking-at-my-bird???!!! Moment of the Week – Again the victim was Alexander Hleb but this week’s deliverer of the pain was fiery ginger Paul McShane, who steamed in late and stamped on the Belarussian’s happy sacks.

Special-Titus-Bramble-Moment of the Week – Confusion is the name of the game at Wigan these days and Titus just confounds this by clattering into Fitz Hall, presumably thinking he was the ball. Or a Subway sandwich.

Superman of the Week – Henri Camara goes full length to brilliantly punch a cross into Scott Carson’s net. Sorry Henri, wrong sport mate.

Wrestling Move of the Week – Didi Hamann goes old school on Chris Riggott, locking the Boro defender into a textbook Cobra Clutch. The ref, however, saw nothing wrong.

Joke of the Week – Aston Villa fans singing “Happy Birthday to Spurs” while 4-1 up at White Hart Lane, as Totthenham celebrated their 125 years anniversary.

Quote of the Week – Steve Wilson talking about Avram Grant: “Doesn’t look like he has a face that smiles that often.”

Hero of the Week – Sven Goran Eriksson for continuing to defy critics by playing superb attacking football as his Man City side just keep on rolling.

Zero of the Week – The FA for scheduling just one match at the traditional time of Saturday 3 p.m.

Personal Highlight of the WeekReading’s mascot, Kingsley the Lion, getting heavily involved in the celebrations for Kevin Doyle’s winner.