The Premier League Weekend in Review
Another Premier League weekend is in the books with plenty of shocks, stops and talking points. The story of the weekend would be Everton’s dramatic comeback against Manchester United and the continued good form of Blackpool. On a sad note though there were one or two concerning injuries and the continued discussion over officiating standards. Nevertheless on we go with the weekend in review.
3. Tim Cahill: This spot could equally be several Everton players. Leighton Baines provided the two inch perfect crosses that allowed the team to equalize and Arteta was once again playmaker extraordinaire. However it was the diminutive Australian who stole the plaudits at Goodison. At times physically dominated by Nemanja Vidic, Cahill kept his nerve and worked on Jonny Evans. His persistence paid off as he scored one and set up the other in Everton’s dramatic turnaround.
2. Cesc Fabregas: On Saturday afternoon the Emirates witnessed something that hasn’t been seen in some time Cesc Fabregas in full flow. Fabregas was superb as he was instrumental in everything positive (which was a lot) in Arsenal’s play. Bolton played a ridiculously high line and were caught out time and again by Fabregas’ passing ability. His cross for Chamakh was superb (having set up the chance that led to the corner) but his pass for Vela was even better. Some may Argue that Essien and his two goals should be in this spot but I felt overall Fabregas’ performance was better.
1. Matthew Gilks: The newly capped Scottish ‘Keeper was the sole reason that Blackpool escaped Newcastle with all three points. He made save after point blank save, good in one on ones, good reactions and a strong save with his feet ensured that Newcastle were left feeling robbed in a game they lost 2-0. Gilks did more for his team’s result than any other player this weekend and is my unequivocal choice for the best player.
3. Robert Green: Green is enduring a nightmare start to the season. West Ham are rooted to the bottom of the league and his performances have been poor. This weekend will be the point where fans may consider it appropriate to drop the former England goalie. His fumble of Drogba’s free-kick is not the quality expected of a Premier League Goalkeeper, anonymous for the rest of the game and badly caught out for Chelsea’s headed goals.
2. Sylvain Distin: As Darren Fletcher waltzed into the box to score Distin stood several feet away looking on, as Berbatov stroked the ball into the bottom corner he found himself lagging behind the not-so-quick Bulgarian after an atrocious ‘tackle’ and but for Tim Howard his stupid slide on the half-way line which presented Nani with a chance inside the area. His performance was summed up in the final minute as he got in the way of Tim Howard claiming an easy ball to head behind for a corner. Distin may well have cause to celebrate at the end but his performance was one to remember to forget.
1. Lee Cattermole: In the words of Captain Mainwaring: You Stupid Boy!
Best Goal of the Weekend: Scott Parker’s audacious piece of skill to finally break Chelsea’s clean-sheet streak. What is it with players scoring against their old teams? (I’m sorry I can’t find a video I can link to, but trust me it was good.)
Best Team of the Weekend:Denied this ‘honour’ in the first week there is no denying Blackpool it now. They may have relied heavily on their goalkeeper but to win was a team effort. Charlie Adam in particular was instrumental in Blackpool’s few clear-cut chances. Their style of play is to move the ball through midfield and their determination to stick to it is admirable. The match itself only resulted in 17 tackles which goes to show that neither team could be accused of rough-play. Newcastle may be miffed by the performance of a hitherto unknown Goalkeeper but don’t be fooled Blackpool are playing to stay in this league. Their thrashing by Arsenal aside they’ve played like the Premier League team few thought they were.
Worst Team of the Weekend:West Ham? No, they were playing the rampant league leaders and but for Piquionne could they have Everton’d it? Manchester United? Three goals away from home is good for any team. I guess it will have to go to Bolton Wanderers, Bolton should be a safe mid-table side this year as their team contains some quality with some dross (here’s looking at you Elmander) but to play such a high-line against Arsenal was kamikaze, they were lucky to scrape into half-time at 1-1. In the second half they started to falter altogether, not threatening Almunia much and eventually losing their discipline (see Cahill and Kevin Davies). Bolton got everything wrong at the Emirates bar their one goal.
Best Moment of the Weekend: The final whistle at St. Andrews bringing a painful 90+ minutes to a close.
Worst Moment of the Weekend: Was Bobby Zamora’s sickening tackle, I won’t link to it out of common decency but if you want to see it (why?) it’s online. It was one of those unfortunate tackles that can happen in a contact sport. Henry (the tackle-er) came in from the side and Zamora’s foot got trapped under the Wolves man, it is galling that a tackle of this nature can have such dire consequences but no blame can be levied at Henry.