- Slim Pickens isn’t just the name of the bloke from Dr. Strangelove
- Congratulations isn’t just the name of the new MGMT album
- Rafa’s (Money Back) Guarantee
In one of the all time “we’re not up for this” performances, the proud, historic, legendary Liverpool Football Club capitulated any hope of fourth (which remember, was guaranteed) and sadly shook the hand of Chelsea FC while Chelsea’s left clutched the title.
Were Chelsea that good? Or was Liverpool’s uninterested, lackluster, impotent display a further extension of the season that begins the slow, tumultuous off season look for a new manager, midfield captain and replacement for Spanish stud? It was a good idea Rafa’s guarantee didn’t have money attached to it.
Still though as my mind battles bitterness with professionalism, the league table doesn’t lie after 37 matches. Averting what would be a monumental meltdown, Chelsea will claim a deserved title next weekend at home in front of their supporters.
A Congratulations is in order to Ancelotti and his men who’ve shown the ability to rebound from adversity (away loss to Spurs then thrashing of Stoke), score goals (hit 7 in league matches three times, hit 5 in league matches twice), and remain focused after off field shenanigans or players out of squad (John Terry, enough said and African Cup of Nations absentees). All variables a champion doth make.
Half the games didn’t matter this weekend. The ones that did, half the teams didn’t show up. So Slim Pickens.
Honorable Mentions –
Steven Gerrard, Chelsea FC – Gerrard’s pass to team mate Didier Drogba to unlock the 0-0 stalemate against Liverpool was a thing of beauty. The midfielder found Drogba with a low direct ball from the center of the park that allowed Drogba to side step Pepe Reina and score Chelsea’s first on way to what could be their first title in four years.
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United – Giggs was heavily involved for United on Sunday linking up play and spreading balls from midfield. United may not have been at their best, but the 1-0 victory away to Sunderland keeps them in the title hunt, if only Wigan can conjure something similar to that of their recent victory over Arsenal.
Giggs remains evergreen for United having secured another 1 year deal that will keep him at United until 2011.
Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur – Again, I know. Bale must be a confidence player. His performance again for Spurs was inspiring as they now look set for a winner take fourth clash v Manchester City on Wednesday night.
Go past defenders, put the ball where it needs to be, add width to the pitch. Bale has had a fantastic breakout season and certainly deserves all the accolades I or anyone else has thrown his way this season.
Premier League Footballer of the Week –
Adam Johnson, Manchester City – I’ve spoke highly of his qualities before, but Johnson again proved he’s one for the moment and the future on Saturday as City came from behind to claim 3 points at home to Aston Villa.
What Johnson does best is what he did Saturday – advancing the ball down the right side of midfield and providing crosses into the box for attempts on goal. In the 41st, the pacy winger forced Villa’s Stephen Warnock into a rash challenge that resulted in a penalty that Carlos Tevez converted.
A minute later, Patrick Viera slid a weighted ball to Johnson on the wing who conducted a tidy two step, kept his poise and found Emmanuel Adebayor in front of goal. Adebayor finished coolly to send City into the half with a 2-1 lead and eventually came out 3-1 winners. Johnson hero for the day yet again.
Author’s Note – If you haven’t listened to this Monday’s weekend review show on the EPL Talk podcast, DO IT! The fellas have really hit their stride as of late and are slowing becoming one of the better shows around. Things get slightly to a little beat heated when the boys discuss the best footballer in the world. It’s all a bit of fun in the end, but makes for some great listening.