Premiership Ups & Downs...

Monday, 29 October 2007

Going Up

Chelsea & Avram

So finally Chelsea are finally playing the champagne football that Roman craves so much. It really looks like Chelsea are back in the hunt, and the performances of Drogba and Frank Lampard were something to be admired. He might be slightly rubenesque and probably England's most hated footballer, but no one can deny his defence splitting pass for Drogba was quite possibly the pass of the season. Chelsea showed why they are still unbeatable at home, and against a side that had been threatening to break into the top 4, you really cant underestimate how impressive this result really is, even Shevchenko got a goal, says a lot really doesn't it. Let's not get carried away though, many may be already proclaiming Avram as a saviour, but I'm sure at the end of season Chelsea fans would sacrifice the champagne football and those 6 goals for the 6 trophies Mourinho brought to the bridge.

Man Utd, Tevez & Rooney

So Man Utd notched up another win, scoring 4 goals for the 4th time in a row. When I heard Tevez was joining Man Utd I instantly thought him and Rooney were too similar to play with each other. Both players are short, stocky and have faces that wouldn't require a costume at a Halloween party, but no one can deny that the partnership has blossomed very nicely. These two may never hit the highs on and off the pitch that Yorke and Cole hit, but they are developing an understanding very similar to what the "footballing brothers" had in the late 90s. Tevez's first goal was testament to that. Tevez latched onto a very clever Rooney back heel and cooly slotted in the corner, it was simply sublime and I'm sure Alex Ferguson is hailing his Frankenstein-esque striking partner creation.

Arsenal & Hleb

At the beginning of the season I genuinely didn't think the Gooners had the squad to challenge for the title, but looking at how they have developed you have to say they look like they will be real challengers. Wenger is clearly a genius when it comes to nurturing kids, and this bunch could be even better than the last crop. The passing game is sublime and no team in world football does it better. At times they cut through the Liverpool defence like a bullet through water, and I think the world needs to give special praise to the man who resembles a anorexic Willem Defoe and that man is Alexander Hleb. This season he has transformed himself from a player who lacked simple skills like ball control, to someone who has an innate ability to spot that special match winning pass. Yes many will heap praise on the often superb Fabregas, but Hleb demonstrated on Sunday that he knows how to deliver the killer pass, even though he had 2 other opportunities to make a less effective pass, but he waited and waited and with great vision sneaked in a a clever dinked pass which Fabregas finished nicely, its balls like that, that win Championships.

Kenwynne Jones

Like a dose of Viagra, he the only reason why Sunderland may stay up this season.

Going Down

Liverpool F.C.

Liverpool could have beaten Arsenal on Sunday, but that would not have told the entire story. From tactics to simple technical ability, Liverpool have been woeful in recent weeks and nothing much changed on Sunday apart from Steven Gerrard looking a lot more like the marauding footballer we remember, maybe talk of his demise was premature. Here are some of the problems Liverpool are facing that could ultimately end their season.

1- Tactics

Playing Voronin and Kuyt on the wings was simply baffling, both of them seem to have a potency in front of goal similar to a corpse penis, but I'm sure playing them on the wing did not help that. With genuine width on the bench, why oh why did Liverpool start with 2 players who simply don't know how to beat a man. Why didn't Crouch start this match? Last season he tormented the Arsenal back line with his height and scored a superb hat-trick. You are not going to trouble Gallas and Toure with pace, so you need an extra dimension and Crouch is that man. How Rafa could not understand this simply defies belief.

2 - The Players

Some of the players simply are not good enough to take Liverpool to the next level. Riise can't defend, cross or beat a man, and having a good shot is not good enough reason to keep him in the team, you wouldn't keep a girlfriend just because she had huge breasts and absolutely nothing else. Hyppia is a legend, but he's had it, put a fork in him because his time at Liverpool is done. Kuyt and Voronin are not strikers; strikers score goals and these 2 simply don't do that on a regular basis. I don't want to see my strikers crossing from the wings, because who are they supposed to be crossing to?

3 - Alonso & Agger

Words can't express how much Liverpool miss these two. When Alonso was on the pitch, his passing and ball retention was unrivaled, he was simply bossing the midfield and allowing Stevie to do what he loves. When he went off it all changed and Arbeloa's attempt to do the Alonso role was simply embarrassing. Arsenal then rediscovered the edge in midfield and ultimately equalised. What would Liverpool give to have Agger back? A player who knows how to come forward and carry a football from defence rather than simply hoof it upfield at any given opportunity.

I can't see a quick solution to any of these problems, and with Torres, Alonso and Agger all out for lengthy periods, it could be a very very cold winter for Liverpool football club.

Man City & Sven

Chelsea nicely brought them back down to Earth, the honeymoon is over guys. A top 4 team does not get hammered 6-0 in this era of the Premiership.

Derby County

Can we just relegate them now please?

Tottenham Hotspur & Ramos

Another match and another lead thrown away. Ramos has a big job on his hands, and at the moment I can't see Spurs winning a single match, could they seriously be contenders for relegation? Surely they have too much class, but that's what we said when West Ham went down a few years back. Good luck Ramos, you are going to need it.

Match Of The Day

Did anyone else notice the shoddy editing the BBC used during the highlights show on Sunday. There was an incident with Hyppia and Adebayor, where Hyppia was adjudged to have elbowed Adebayor in the stomach, but they then showed Wenger's reaction which related to an earlier incident involving Eboue and Carragher. You could only notice it if you had watched the match live, it was subtly done but it still suggests that the BBC are being very sneaky using creative editing to mislead the viewer and create a different perspective on football matches. I'm not even going to mention the return of the simply awful Jaqcui Oatley.

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