- Champions find a comfortable spot while potential Champions book Wembley
- Goodbye Landon (maybe)
There were four Premier League matches this weekend with one Monday night and another two set for Tuesday. Damn FA Cup always causing problems! I’ll apologize in advance for any supporters of Portsmouth, Birmingham City or Sunderland, those matches take place on Tuesday (with Bolton thrown in the Tuesday mix who were involved in a win at West Ham on Saturday) and subsequently won’t be viewed for this column. Better luck next time chaps.
Manchester United reached the Premier League summit with a grind it out performance at Wolves while potential party crashers Chelsea hold a game in hand while they booked a Cup semi appearance at Wembley. Arsenal (or BPG’s) continued their pursuit of some form of silverware, they’ll take anything at this point, with Theo Walcott looking like he just might reach that form we’ve seen in the past, and Everton push on with their fantastic home form (6 or so in a row anyone?).
The race for L4 actually cooled off this weekend because of the aforementioned FA Cup ties, while an out of sorts Liverpool were lackluster away to a brave Wigan (it was the Latics first ever victory against Liverpool, 1-0). Liverpool simply gifted possession to Wigan too much throughout the night, showed little invention and were even petulant at times with their behavior warranting some 5 yellow cards. Not good enough for me, and Liverpool seem to be running out of time to get things sorted in their pursuit of L4. “They can go to hell“, a Liverpool supporting friend of mine said over text. Maybe a little harsh, but fans patience starting to wear thin.
For the three of you still reading, I salute you.
Honorable Mention –
Paul Scholes, Manchester United – Can’t tackle, but he can score goals, really good goals and vitally important goals. In his side’s rather ugly 1-0 win at Wolves Saturday, Scholes led the team with the winner when United sorely missed Ryan Giggs’ creativity & class, and Wayne Rooney’s current brilliance at all things life related.
It was a goal that many would have rushed and sent screeching into row Zed. Not Scholes, perfection takes time, it takes a slight touch, it takes three bloody touches for that matter, it takes a turn, and picks it’s spot. “No rush, I’ve been here before“, Scholes whispers to himself before smashing United to top of the league. Clinical.
Premier League Footballer of the Week –
Mikel Arteta, Everton– It should have been 7 or 8 to Hull’s 1. Everton were by far the better side and Arteta was simply everywhere for the Toffees scoring 2 and directly causing an OG. You’ve heard it before, but it says something about the country of Spain and it’s ability to produce technically talented footballers when Arteta can’t even get a sniff in the Spanish National team.
Arteta’s first goal originated from a Yakubu long ball which saw Arteta catch the ball at the far post and flick-volley it down into the Hull goal. Arteta’s second, the finer of the two, was the finishing piece to a fantastic Everton move where Steven Pienaar found a streaking Arteta galloping into the box with a well timed back flick. Arteta slammed the well placed ball home in full stride and put the game of out Hull’s reach.
Arteta’s ultimately a great passer with a precise ability to spread the play in midfield in the mold of fellow countrymen Xabi Alonso and Xavi Hernandez. Arteta was also credited for an assist as he forced Hull City’s Richard Garcia to head into his own net when neither Garcia himself or keeper Boaz Myhill could deal with the floating ball. It was nice to see Arteta back to his best after struggling with injury for some time.
Everton won emphatically in what could have been Landon Donovan’s last game for the Toffees (the current loan spell is ending although MLS and the Players Union continue to fuss over the Collective Bargaining Agreement). I think it’s safe to say he’s enjoyed his time in England and this loan stint, unlike others, has been a success. Well done LD.
Jack Rodwell is one for the future for sure, if Everton can start a season at full strength, next year we’ll be looking at Moyes’ men battling in Europe while chasing a top four spot. Take a second to vote in the poll or leave a comment if you saw something we missed.