05 November, 2007

Gameweek 12 – ‘Gallelujah’ (thanks to the NOTW for that gem)

Happy Monday everyone, hopefully over the weekend plenty of fireworks were safely discharged and effigies comprehensively burned. The most-hyped game of the season so far at the Emirates was great to watch, with both teams definitely playing their part and a draw was probably the fairest result. Elsewhere, things aren’t looking good on Tyneside following a drubbing by Pompey, while new boss Juande Ramos seems to have steadied the sinking Spurs ship somewhat, with a much better all round performance from the side. The snoozefest that is Liverpool continued with another goalless thriller at Blackburn, leaving them further adrift from the top 6, with Chelsea notching up their fourth consecutive impressive win in the league. Reading, Birmingham and Derby lost once more and already I fear for their survival…

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

Keeper – Brad Friedel (another clean sheet and some vital saves late on to secure a point at Ewood Park)

Defence – Patrice Evra (vital contributions at the back and sublime going forward as ever), Willem Gallas (solid in defence and crucial late equalizer), Martin Laursen (the super-chilled-out Swede continues to impress after long-term injury), Noé Pamarot (great tackling and a wonder-goal), George McCartney (defensively excellent again, plus a pretty sweet volley for the opener at Upton Park)

Midfield – Christiano Ronaldo (still not as effective as last year but some great darts down the wing and crosses), Cesc Fabregas (permanent fixture), Simon Davies (great performance from the under-rated Fulham man, cracking hit for his goal too), Shaun Wright-Phillips (plenty of tricks from the finally buoyant winger)

Up Top – Benjani Mwaruwari (the Zimbabwian badman’s awesome form continues)

Weekly Awards:

Goal of the Week – Brazilian ace Juliano Belletti shows some of his South American pedigree, storming forward the length of the pitch from right back before arrowing it into the top corner past Kirkland. Luke Young and Pamarot’s similarly explosive efforts were not far behind though.

Meg of the Week – Speedster Gabriel Agbonlahor nailing Jay McEverley numerous times at Villa Park.

Save of the Week – Antti Niemi continues to earn his keep with a superb Schmiechel-esque smother to deny Stephen Hunt’s dangerous snap shot.

Skill of the Week – Mikel Arteta for a beautiful reverse pass to put Yakuba through for Everton’s first at Goodison. Ronaldinho would’ve be proud.

Attempt of the Week – David Dunn pops up for his one contribution of the season, beautifully controlling a hoof forward to swivel and volley just over Reina’s crossbar. Maybe next year Dave. A video for this has yet to surface on the interwebnets, so here's a clip of what David will forever be famous for:

Miss of the Week – Kevin Davies for messing up a header from 5 yards out in the last ten minutes at Upton Park. Isn’t that the one thing he can actually do?

Sniper-in-the-Crowd of the Week – Stephen Hunt takes one in the lower spinal chord to buy a free kick on the edge of the box at Craven Cottage

Nearest Lampard came to Contributing…er, of the Week – Deflected a lovely throughball from SWP past the stranded Kirkland, but apart from that was as ‘influential’ as ever despite the plaudits.

Most gravitorally challenged of the Week – Claudio Cacapa for Newcastle; gifted Pompey two goals and was then subbed after 18 minutes. Good contribution!

Toys-out-of-the-Pram of the Week – Alan Curbishley for hurling a water bottle and stomping around like an angry bear after Bolton’s last minute equalizer.

Horror Movie Extra of the Week – Nicky Hunt screamed the house down on Sunday and showed anguish that anyone from the wonderful ‘Hills Have Eyes’ series would’ve been proud of. He did dislocate his shoulder though, so justified.

Best Potential-Rap-Duo-If-Their-Careers-Go-Down-the-Pan-Anytime-Soon of the Week – Jermaine Defoe and Darren Bent. Expect a two-step garage throwback album in stores before the end of the year.

Malcoordination of the Week – Theo Walcott for two ridiculously inept attempts to fire home an equalizer from 5 yards out against Manchester United. Good job the ball had already crossed the line from Gallas, eh Theo?!

Hero of the Week – Cesc Fabregas for already being on 11 goals for the season and having such a great facial expression when he scores.

Whinge of the Week – Alex Ferguson complains about the refereeing on Saturday: “It’s difficult to come here (the Emirates) and be completely fair.” Er, does he have any idea how many completely justified penalties haven’t been given at Old Trafford over the years?

Zero of the Week – Big Sam Allerdyce unfortunately. Plenty of Newcastle fans left after 15 minutes in a tirade of boos, and by the end of the game the ground was less than half full. Mark Hughes is already being lined up as his replacement by the press…

Personal Highlight of the Week – Recovering from Saturday night’s exploits in front of the Old Farm Derby between Norwich and Ipswich, which ended 2-2 and was a cracking advertisement for the Real League.