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Odds and Sods 3 Jan 2008

rafa benitez1 Odds and Sods 3 Jan 2008

“There’s only one Titus Bramble” chanted the Wigan faithful, and he made the difference, earning a point in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool.  Torres scored the initial goal, which salvaged Liverpool a point, but they have to be extremely disappointed with yet another poor result at “fortress” Anfield, winning only four of ten.

Any persistent delusions of a League title this season have been dashed, with four teams and a 12 point margin between them and the top.  This will likely exacerbate the tension between Benitez and the American owners, who expected the club to contend after spending heavily during the summer.

Another manager whose seat is scorching his pasty behind is Sam Allardyce, who suffered another disappointing result as Newcastle lost to Manchester City 0-2.  Remember back in the summer when Allardyce was the safe choice and hiring Sven was wacky?  Elano continues to prove himself as the best value signing of last summer, as he added another goal in this one.  Sven’s strange magic has City in the Champions League Places past halfway through the season.  Imagine how good they would be if they actually had a real striker.

“It was like a funeral in there” Sir Alex said.  The only thing quieter than the fans at Old Trafford was the team’s vaunted attack during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Birmingham.  Like Liverpool, United would really be stuck without their slightly effeminate Iberian.  Though, it’s still better to be critiquing bad victories.  Birmingham are quietly an up and coming side.

Arsenal cooly disposed of West Ham 2-0 at the Emirates.  For once, Arsenal took control of the game from the onset and never relinquished it.  Eduardo and Adebayor both scored for the second game in a row.  Scoffed at by English pundits a few weeks ago, their recent run of form has them back on top as favorites.

Aston Villa beat Tottenham 2-1.  Shockingly, Dimitar Berbatov did not mention to put four past a decent Villa side.  It was a nice result for Villa, having seen some solid performances in recent weeks come up fruitless.  Spurs may be more fit, but they still can’t defend set pieces.  The two goals they allowed from them didn’t matter against Reading, but the two allowed in this match proved decisive.

Spurs have scored the same amount of goals as rivals Arsenal.  But their goal differences are +4 and +26 respectively, which says a lot.  Despite picking up the pace a bit under Juande Ramos, Spurs remain closer to relegation than playing in Europe.