Happy Monday folks, and as May approaches things are all still pretty tight both at the top and bottom of the table. Manchester United left it very late at
The main stories though took place at the two local derbies yesterday.
Down around the drop-zone, things took another twist as
Premier League Team of the Week (based on OPTA stats, Fantasypremierleague.com ratings and my own expert eye):
Keeper – Brad Friedel (superhuman)
Defence – Ricardo Carvalho (superb positioning and tackling), Habib Beye (enterprising), Gary Cahill (huge), Kolo Toure (impressive going forward)
Midfield – Gavin McCann (inspirational graft), Jermaine Pennant (tricky), Ashley Young (basically perfect performance)
Up Top – Michael Owen (outstanding in a far from exciting derby), John Carew (unplayable), Benjani (back to his early season best)
Goal of the Week – Compromising a touch of journalistic integrity, sympathy encourages me to throw
Nutmeg of the Week – Peter Crouch nails Kasey Keller in the Fulham goal with a precise strike through the gate.
Save of the Week – Well take your pick from Brad Friedel’s whole performance. His saves from a Tevez snapshot, that stopped on the line, and an O’Shea poke from a corner, were absolutely incredible.
Skill of the Week – No real heroics this week but Arsenal’s corner routines between Fabregas and van Persie were pretty special, and Michael Owen’s little chip over Higginbotham to win
Miss of the Week – It seems harsh to criticize him, but having beautifully controlled a spinning ball 5 yards out, how Benjani managed to blast over is a mystery.
Attempt of the Week – Arsenal Dutch star Robin van Persie crashed the crossbar with a pearler of a freekick.
ASBO of the Week – Wayne Rooney vents his frustration on man-mountain Christopher Samba by producing a jumping scissors tackle.
Sniper-on-the-roof Moment of the Week – Jason Koumas took a bizarre shot in the leg to drop completely unchallenged at the JJB on Saturday; he appeared to trip over a packet of crisps somehow. STT suggests this was a case of assault and vinegar, and then immediately apologises.
Gaffe of the Week – Poor David James had a flashback to his calamity days on his return to the City of
Wrestling Move of the Week – Herman Hreidesson pulls out the classic clothesline to floor Darius Vassell.
Limp-wrists of the Week – Alexander Hleb was lucky to not get a red card for catching Murty in the face, but it was a truly pathetic slap. I’d back a teenage girl in a fight with him.
Class of the Week – It’s always nice to see players having the respect to not celebrate scoring against their formative clubs, so kudos to walking-cartoon Benjani: “I’ll always respect them, I had a nice time there, the fans were really good to me even if I wasn’t scoring.”
Controversy of the Week – A couple of strange handball decisions this weekend: one clear penalty not given against McCann, but one suspect one given against Danny Higginbotham.
Statistic of the Week – Manchester United have scored 73 league goals this year, of which 52 have been netted by Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez.
Lifeline of the Week – Gavin McCann’s goal which might just be enough to keep
Whinge of the Week – Arsene Wenger just doesn’t let up does he? “It’s part of life to swallow…undeserved disappointments.”
Hero of the Week – Carlos Tevez for once again rescuing a point for the defending Champions. This was the 16th time this season they have scored in the last ten minutes of a match.
Zero of the Week – Neil Warnock for suggesting that Rafa Benitez deliberately weakens his teams against Fulham every year. Get over it mate, Sheffield United were just rubbish last year.
Personal Highlight of the Week – Ian Wright standing up for himself and walking out of the BBC after being forced into the mould of court jester. We’ll miss you Wrighty, terrestrial football coverage really is getting too stuffy and less fan-orientated. Shame Lawrenson and Motson couldn’t have gone with him though.