03 December, 2007

Gameweek 15 – ‘Natural Order’

Happy Monday then everyone and welcome to December. As it is officially arctic outside I hope we all have the fluffy parkas and ‘natural padding’ necessary to keep warm through these bleak days. If you were lucky enough to be at Anfield yesterday then no doubt the quality of football will have kept you warm, such was the dominance of Rafa Benitez’s side. Their current run of form over the last 5 games (scored 21, conceded 1) will be cause for concern but one wonders if they have already dropped too many points this season to challenge the top 3. Luckily for Bolton, misery continued for Derby, Spurs and Newcastle, all losing once again to keep them well within the relegation battle rapidly developing among the bottom eight or so teams. Finally, Arsenal and Chelsea also continued their winning ways, taking victory in difficult ties against Aston Villa and West Ham respectively.

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

Keeper – Tim Howard (some fine saves *SHIT* throughout and another *FUCK*clean sheet for the *BOLLOCKS* American)

Defence – Bacary Sagna (great attacking interplay with Eboue), Luke Young (continuing fine run of form from the young Englishman), Sami Hyypia (marshaled the defence and bagged the opener at Anfield), Alex (rock solid in defence, starting to look like a good partnership with JT)

Midfield – Steven Gerrard (inspirational again, good to see he’s responding the right way to justified criticism), Matthieu Flamini (fantastic in Cesc’s absence), David Bentley (performance of the weekend from the ex-Arsenal man), Ashley Young (excellent once again down Villa’s left)

Up Top – Fernando Torres (running out of superlatives to describe El Niño), Robbie Keane (two great poachers goals to get Spurs back in it, but day ruined by a totally unnecessary red card)

Weekly Awards:

Goal of the Week – Ex-Arsenal man Sebastian Larsson pings a 30 yard wonder-strike into the top corner to crush Spurs’ hopes of a point at White Hart Lane. Not just an awesome shot, but also couldn’t have been timed any better, such was the quality of the goal that it even elicited the infamous “take a bow, son” comment from Mr Andy Gray.

Meg of the Week – Steed Malbranque threads a needle through Larsson’s legs to find Aaaron Lennon in the Birmingham penalty area.

Save of the Week – In for England’s Most Expensive GoalkeeperTM Craig Gordon, Darren Ward somehow pushed Kenny Miller’s point blank effort onto the woodwork.

Skill of the Week – Obafemi Martin’s delightfully lifted pass to put Alan Smith through on goal.

Miss of the Week – Nicolas Anelka somehow manages to miss a literally open goal, under no pressure, from 8 yards out after Pepe Reina and Jaime Carragher had collided on the edge of the Liverpool box.

Gaffe of the Week – Obviously Titus Bramble for expertly missing the ball to let Giovanni in for this season’s fastest Premier League goal. How he still plays professionally is beyond comprehension.

Speculative Effort of the Week – Sulley Muntari’s freekick from well over 40 yards out that had to be tipped over by Tim Howard.

Nearest Lampard came to Contributing…er, of the Week – Was instrumental in everything Chelsea created apart from Joe Cole’s deciding goal. So nothing then.

Fish hook of the Week – Luis Boa Morte busts out some Portuguese street-fighting to keep John Terry from lynching him at Stamford Bridge.

Flirt of the Week – Marcus Hahnemann and Ibrahima Sonko square up like they’re about to kiss after a nearly-fatal fix up at the Madjeski.

Fashion Statement of the Week – Austrian dude Paul Scharner rocks a lovely combination of red sweater, pink tie and red-framed ‘naughty secretary’ glasses to celebrate his equalizer at Wigan.

Hairstyle of the Week - Lucas's lovely blond mane makes him look a bit like an attractive lady from behind. That's all the encouragement some men need.......

Jinx of the Week – Out of the last 5 games at Fratton park, 4 have ended 0 – 0, while the other ended 7 – 4. Perhaps they used up the entire season’s quota of goals in that game? Make your own mind up…

ASBO of the Week – El Hajj Diouff reminds us why we all hate him by going over the ball in an attempt to break young Arbeloa’s leg at Anfield. Far worse then the tackles deemed red card-able this weekend (Keane and Melciot), this was a stark reminder what a complete scum bag he is.

‘Nam Flashback of the Week – Didier Drogba swore that he saw the green laser point of a sniper rifle flashing on him during the first half at Stamford Bridge.

Truth of the Week – Everyone’s favourite West Brom fan Aidrian Chiles pops up with: “When the Bramble Blooper DVD comes out it’ll have to be about 4 hours long.”

Quote of the Week – Professional moron (and Leicester City manager) Ian Holloway drops this pearl of incoherence on Sky Sports: “If that was a penalty I might as well call myself Alec McJockstrap and wear a kilt.” Er, what?

Hero of the Week – Alex McLeish for delivering perhaps Birmingham’s best performance of the season so far, topped off with a last minute winner to lift the Midlands club to 12th.

Zero of the Week – As if it was necessary, Joey Barton reminds everyone was a brain donor he is by, once again, criticizing his new team’s fans. This time he called the Toon Army “vicious” and guilty of driving away top players. “Without people behind us we can’t achieve anything and I know other players feel the same,” Barton added. We shall see the reception he gets on Wednesday as Newcastle line up for another pasting, this time at home to Arsenal.

Personal Highlight of the Week – See non-league outfit Harrogate Railway’s awesome Beaver mascot yesterday. Good to see that even in the Ryman’s League, decent animal-based mascotry is shown the commitment it deserves.