Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 26
- Quality Programming v the Direct Influence of Reality TV on Stupidity
- Hovering, the mother-ship runs low on Petrol
- Some Boys in Blue
The exhausting marathon that was analyzing a full 90 minutes of six matches followed by bits and pieces of the remaining four that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week is now thankfully over. I rue this game of football. I find myself missing quality programming like “Hollywood Week” on American Idol and umpteen time reruns of the hot MTV reality show Jersey Shore. I wonder if Snooki is a football supporter? I imagine her downing shots with Russell Brand (who oddly enough doesn’t drink) at Upton Park supporting the Hammers. She’d be too drunk to complain about the season West Ham are having, she’d fall in love with the handsome Italian Gianfranco Zola, and I’m not even going to touch a “blowing bubbles” pun, too easy.
Snooki herself, not an A-lister, is quite like the London club who aren’t quite posh like a Chelsea or Arsenal, but still remain in England’s top flight. Here’s hoping she extends her 15 minutes of fame and West Ham can build on the win against Birmingham City. The Premier League is better with them, and in some form of weird, odd, lovable cutesy, maybe the world is better with Snooki as well.
Who am I kidding? I love this game, the more football the better, RIGHT!? Football makes us smart, reality TV makes us dumb. Who’s with me!?
All joking aside, I may finally catch up on recent installments of 24 and Lost, but before I can switch the DVR on and embrace my inner Jack Bauer, there were some fine matches on offer this midweek: Chelsea v Everton, Manchester United v Aston Villa and some late drama in the Sunderland v Portsmouth match to name just a few. But before Premier League gives way to FA Cup this weekend and before I finishing sipping this Newcastle Brown Ale, I’ll continue this little experiment of awarding invisible accolades. Snooki officially disqualified.
Honorable Mentions -
Adam Johnson, Manchester City- What a home debut. The pacey winger impressed Tuesday night running at Bolton defenders down the right side of midfield and provided meaningful crosses into the box during his 84 minute man of the match performance. The deadline day signing from Middlesbrough won his side a penalty against Bolton defender Paul Robinson that Carlos Tevez converted in the 30th. Johnson continued his terrorizing of Bolton defenders through a second half that saw Emmanuel Adebayor score a stunna’ and secure a 2-0 win for Citeh.
What impressed me about Johnson was the way he carries himself while running with the ball at his feet. He’s not your typical winger. There’s something special about his posture, steps, and nimble feet that give him the distinct look of a natural footballer. I look forward to watching this young talent blossom in the Premier League and wouldn’t put it against a certain Mr. Capello raising an eyebrow his way in the very near future. For more on Adam Johnson, click here.
William Gallas, Arsenal- Gallas is usually hit or miss for me. Wednesday night in the Beautiful Passing Gnomes win over Liverpool, he was definitely a hit. Gallas was solid at the back all night which was important because of the protection he provided the out of form Manuel Almunia.
Gallas proved what a class defender he is in the first half when he expertly timed a sliding tackle on Liverpool’s David Ngog who was in on goal from a game changing ball from Steven Gerrard. The successful lunge kept the game 0-0 until Abou Diaby headed home a fantastic cross from Tomas Rosicky in the 72nd. I can’t stress enough how much Arsenal need an in form, mentally strong leader such as Gallas to form the spine of a trophy-less since ’05 Arsenal.
Landon Donovan, Everton- Donovan further solidified his place in Everton’s starting eleven Wednesday night as he continuously troubled Chelsea defenders out on the right side of midfield. I’ve noticed Donovan at times seeming to almost toe the touchline as his wide play has been successful in drawing defenders out with him in order to free up space in the middle of the field for his fine crossing ability.
Donovan again had a hand in an Everton goal as his first half corner found the head of Louis Saha. Donovan’s corners have been top draw for Everton in his handful of appearances thus far. Later in the first half, Donovan again received the ball on the right of midfield and ran straight at Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho. Donovan got the better of the Portuguese International when he cut in towards goal and was clipped inside the box. The resulting penalty was poorly taken by Louis Saha, but of no fault of Donovan who may soon look to take Everton’s penalties if Saha misses again.
Premier League Footballer of the Week -
Louis Saha, Everton- I seem to remember predicting a reemergence of sorts from Saha way back in the lowly, forgotten year of 2009. In Everton’s 2-1 win v Chelsea on Wednesday night, Saha was everywhere. The former France and Manchester United striker should have scored a hat trick, he’ll need to practice his penalties or David Moyes will surely give the duties to the aforementioned and in form Landon Donovan.
On the night, Saha’s penalty miss didn’t matter in regards to the match result. Saha constantly troubled Chelsea captain John Terry in mini battles all night – winning headers, running off the ball, making a right nuisance of himself and easily won the war when his 75th minute match winner was a result of his aireal prowess. Saha out jumped the over estimating John Terry for a Sylvain Distin long ball into the box. Saha seemed to pluck the ball out of the air with his chest before an emphatic left footed shot won the match for the impressive Everton. The match itself was quality, especially in the midst of a second half where Everton really hit their stride to beat top spot Chelsea.
See a quality Premier League performance I missed? Feel free to opine below.
We shall be heard, we shall return!