- Beer Cup Final & Another Big 4 Beaten by a Door Knocker.
- Landon, You”ll Never Get One Easier Than That
Congratulations to Manchester United for picking up the first piece of silverware on offer this season as they came out on top of a 2-1 scoreline v Aston Villa in the Carling Cup Final on Sunday. The two teams battled bravely over the 90 minutes which resulted in an open, entertaining match full of chances for both sides and fine individual performances from a handful of English talent.
This column is in danger of becoming incredibly redundant due to the consistent form Wayne Rooney has been on in the last few months. Rooney continues to throw his name in the hat for this award every time he steps on a football pitch. His positioning, reading of the game, movement and finishing abilities have seen him improve on his form of last season and his name continually gets mentioned with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
The week saw Rooney score three total goals, two in United’s league win on Tuesday v West Ham and the winner on Sunday in the Cup. England and United fans who were hoping their hero would get a much needed rest had their hopes shattered when Rooney came on late in the first half for an injured Michael Owen.
In my attempts to keep this column interesting and shed light on other top performers, let’s all agree that Mr. Rooney is good, very good and push on.
Honorable Mentions –
Arsenal Football Club, The Lot of ‘Em– The terrible injury suffered by the young Welshman Aaron Ramsey has been covered on EPL Talk this weekend with a variety of fine articles. Whoever you support in this game, your heart has to go out to Ramsey and the rest of Arsenal as they were able to overcome the incident and push on to win a tough, hard-fought match away from home. The Gooners showed a lot of heart and I wish young Ramsey a speedy recovery and truly believe he’ll be back for Wales and Arsenal in the future.
Portsmouth Football Club, The Lot of ‘Em– I may have to change the title of this post to, “Premier League Clubs of the Week”. But when I’m impressed by something, I just can’t help myself. After entering into Administration on Friday, the boys from the South Coast were able to place their off-the-field troubles behind them and win only their second Premier League away match in the last 16 months against a determined Burnley.
Although they’ve had a season they’ll soon want to forget, the Pompey players continually play with purpose, desire and passion. They’ll be relegated this year and quite possibly again next year down to League 1 with the future of the club still uncertain. But Portsmouth supporters, Premier League fans and the football community in general won’t soon forget the effort they’ve seen this year on the pitch.
Premier League Footballer of the Week –
Craig Bellamy, Manchester City – The Citizens were at their high-flying, fantastic best Saturday at Stamford Bridge v Chelsea in what is sure to go down as a major statement game for City. The match will undoubtedly be remembered for the Wayne Bridge handshake snub, but Premier League fans should not soon forget Craig Bellamy’s performance on the left side of midfield that resulted in a brace for the brash Welshman.
Chelsea ended the day with 9 men, but before those 2 Chelsea men saw red, Bellamy scored the goal of the weekend. In the 51st minute, Bellamy received a tidy ball from Gareth Barry inside his own half in acres of space with only John Obi Mikel to beat. The quick winger showed his searing pace and determination by running straight at Mikel before peeling off and slotting home from a tight angle.
In the 87th, Bellamy added a second by tapping in to make the score 4-1 to secure all three valuable points for Manchester City. For Chelsea, it was a disappointing game as their back line led by John Terry continues to struggle. As consolation, Frank Lampard scored his second of the game, a penalty in the 90th minute to make the score line only slightly more respectable.
Bellamy’s pace and determination was too much for Chelsea who have now lost their last two matches. It must be added that Carlos Tevez was also superb for City. His determination, work rate and fitness levels has made him City’s player of the year thus far and the energetic Argentinian also scored two for City.
Author’s Note– Everton also lost their second match of the week on Sunday away to Tottenham in a game that saw U.S. hero Landon Donovan fail to score with what must have been the miss of the season thus far. The goal that wasn’t to be would have knotted the scoreline 2-2 for the Toffees. Donovan was a mere few feet from an open goal and just needed to side foot a Jack Rodwell cross to level the score, but instead his effort was placed harmlessly into the Spurs side netting. Here’s hoping that miss doesn’t taint an otherwise successful on loan stint at Everton. Donovan has made us proud.