Premier League Odds and Sods 16 Jan 2008


Manchester United dismantled Newcastle 6-0.  It really should have been 10 or 11 goals for United.  There were numerous squandered chances from Rooney and others, combined with a valiant effort by Newcastle in the first half to merely keep the scoreline reasonable.  Ronaldo poured it on with another hat-trick, and is on pace to break the Premier League goals record, as a winger.  Even the most ardent anti-Ronaldo sceptic, can plausibly deny that he is the best player in the Premier League.

Birmingham escaped from an away Match at Arsenal with a 1-1 draw.  This match displays the type of problem that can manifest when the squad has no natural wingers.  Birmingham held tight at the back and Arsenal could not pick apart the lock.  Nevertheless, they kept smacking straight into a brick wall, playing with zero width.  The Gunners needed a fortunate penalty decision to even escape this one with a point.  They looked suspect at the back, leading one to wonder if they will in fact be able to cope without Toure.  Birmingham have some quality players and a quality manager.  Look for them to stay up.

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough.  Boro should look good to stay up, provided that they don’t do anything silly, like making a straight up swap of Downing for Darren Bent.  Liverpool are lucky that none of the second-tier clubs have truly stepped up to make a run at the final Champions League spot.  They are currently in a four-way tie for fourth on 39 pts.  The ownership and managerial situations are a mess.  They enjoy the pretty boy at Anfield, and they should, because he is the only thing keeping them out of the bottom half of the table.

Chelsea disposed of Tottenham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.  The first goal was another cracker from Belletti.  The former Barca Man is incredibly underrated.  He may be one of the signings of the season, on pure value for money.  Wright-Phillips had quite a match and Drog Anelka looked pretty frisky when he was brought on late.  Spurs looked pretty off the pace.  They were playing a decent squad and, purely coincidentally, Berbatov declined to produce.  Does Avram Grant wear the same black suit every day?  Or is it like a cartoon where he has multiple versions of the same exact outfit?

Toon Bring Keenan Back

He leaves one soccer circus

And joins another

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