What a difference a week makes. Since Christmas Day, the teams at the bottom and in the middle of the Premier League have performed spectacularly, picking up much-needed points. Consider that Blackburn beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and tied Liverpool at Anfield. West Brom grabbed a draw against Manchester City. Aston Villa beat Chelsea, Swansea held Tottenham to one point, while Fulham drew Chelsea, Wolves tied Arsenal and, last but not least, Sunderland beat Manchester City.
It’s been a fabulous week for “The Other 14” in the Premier League. The best of the season for the struggling teams.
Despite strong performances from the mid- and lower-table Premier League sides, you can expect the pundits and columnists to start writing about how Manchester United and Chelsea are falling apart instead of giving credit to the teams that beat them. This is a time to give the other Premier League clubs some well-deserved respect. These weren’t lucky wins. Many of the matches featured end-to-end action with the underdog, especially, fighting as hard as they could to salvage a point or more against the Goliaths of the Premier League.
Some of the players who deserve individual praise include:
- Lee Cattermole of Sunderland, who — despite his off-the-pitch issues of smashing up cars in Newcastle — was the key to the midfield for the Black Cats on Sunday, acting as both creator and destroyer in midfield,
- Wigan’s Ben Watson who ran on the pitch as a substitute and smashed home an equalizing penalty with his first touch of the ball against Stoke City,
- Swansea City’s Ashley Williams put in a valiant performance as center-half against Tottenham Hotspur, managing to keep the Lilywhites to just the one goal. The Welsh defender also was dangerous on the attack when he made his runs into Tottenham first third of the pitch, and
- Yakubu of Blackburn was again in fine form as they smashed in two of the three goals to help Rovers beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Who are some of the players you feel should be singled out for superb performances during the past week? Share your opinions in the comments section below.