A man never walks so tall round work on a Monday morning than if he’s been on fire in the Fantasy Football league over the weekend. This week, I was buzzing. Another reason to walk tall is when you predict something, and despite everybody pooh-poohing it and saying you’re some kind of maniac for even entertaining the thought, get it spot on. Again, this is Gatesy today.
Last week when asked about our chances, to much ridicule and amusement, I told anybody who’d listen that it was a nailed on score draw. And with 17 of Sparkys last 26 games ending that way it was a safe bet, however by rights I should have been wrong as Birmingham are a team we should be beating at the Cottage.
After a whites effort having been cleared off the line within the first five minutes a well-timed ball from Seb Larsson to Hleb put the visitors in front when for the second game running the ball came from an area which a fully fit left back would have been expected to put in a decent challenge. The equaliser came from Dempsey’s head after a dubious corner ball was given to us by the ref.
Dempsey told the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle today:
“We believe in the manager – and we can only keep working for him,
It’s not wrong of fans to expect more. After last season, we’ve come to expect more of ourselves. We wanted to show character after last week’s game against Manchester City, although it’s frustrating with so many draws.”
And embracing new technology that all the kids are loving, our own Dikgacoi was making big promises on Saturday morning (unedited):
“We are going to b all over Birhmingham City this afternoon”
Well, that didn’t work out as planned, did it.
We don’t really want to be going into the New Year hoping that at some point Blackpool and Baggies will run out of puff and start falling back down the table and that the trinity of Wolves, West Ham and Wigan are poor enough to save us.
Away from our problems it was a bumper weekend in the Premier League. A record number of goals for a Saturday programme and the first time since the league was formed that every single club in the competition has registered a goal. With 2/3 of all the goals coming after the break.
Accounting for a large number of those goals were Man Yoo. With Berbatov scoring five goals and pretty much single handedly lifting my fantasy football team up the league. Nani and Park got in on the scoring action with Samba making things interesting towards the end with a goal from a corner ball.
Afterwards Big Sam appologised for his team:
“I would like to apologise to the Blackburn fans who made the journey because what they saw was not very good,
“That sort of defending was not good enough to cope with a Manchester United side that was full or running, flair and talent.
“In the end, they mesmerised us. It is not what we wanted or expected but we have to take it on the chin”
Back down closer to us at the foot of the table are two clubs we should be thankful for. You know a clubs in trouble when they organise a ‘Save Our Season’ day in mid November. And to celebrate an entire year of his sides sitting in the drop zone Grant saw his side record a rare victory over Wigan. Attempting to drag the club out of trouble somewhat singlehandedly, Scott Parker made a scoring return to the side along with goals from Behrami and Obina. Wigan then went ton to miss a penalty kick before Cleverly score a consolation goal. Grant keeps his job for another week, but the Hammers are still well down the table, but starting to catch us…
Paul Scharner scored his fifth Premiership goal against Everton in West Brom’s 4-1 win at Goodison Park. Despite having Mulumbu sent off, after scoring hilmself, the Baggies won their first league match at Everton since 1979 and seemed good value for it too.
Blackpool picked up another useful point on the road up at the Reebok. Bolton, who haven’t kept a clean sheet since we visited on the opening day of the season went behind through Evatt and Varneys heads. The Seasiders, holders of the worst defensive record in the lead, couldn’t hold onto secure the three points with Petrov and Mark Davies rescuing a point and keeping the Trotters fifth.
Bolton’s Owen Coyle seemed pleased with the result telling the BBC:
“I was prepared to lose three or four-nil to get back into the game and we finished with a real high and might have snatched in at the end.
“It was a great advertisement for the Premier League and I thought Blackpool were terrific as well.”
Another comback was performed by Wolves. 2-1 down at home to Sunderland with 20 minutes to go, people streaming out of the ground when up popped Steven Hunt and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to rescue three points for the home side.
Before the weekends action City’s gaffer Macini said:
“If you lose you are a stupid manager, if you win you are a top manager”
So he’ll be somewhere in the middle of that sliding scale for the next few days after drawing away at Stoke. A last minute goal from midfielder Ethrington cancelling out Micah Richards header earlier on in the half.
Earlier in the week Carlos Tevez was spouting off to one of the papers back about money grabbing young players:
“I don’t want to play any more. I’m tired of football but also tired of people who work in football. I’m talking seriously. Football is only about money and I don’t like it.
“There are so many agents with really young footballers, it’s awful as these young players are not interested in winning titles. They only want money…
“I don’t want a young player to tell me, ‘Why did you do that?’ in the dressing room. I would punch [them], as I have won 13 titles in my career.”
The words of Carlos Tevez. Who joined Man City, a club without silverware since man discovered fire and where he earns £160,000 a week.
In the Saturday early game Nasri and Arshavrin put Arsenal two up against Aston Villa, before Ciaran Clark pegged one back. Just when Arsenal fans were probably expecting another Spuds style collapse Charmakh and Wiltshire put the result beyond the Villains.
When asked if Arshavrin had worked on the set piece for Nasri’s goal in training this past week he replied:
“No. I just noticed that my teammate was standing lonely in the corner obviously bored. I decided to cheer him up.”
Now I’m not professional football manager (just yet), but with the Russian having set up three goals in his last three games for the Gooners, I’d be working the Fulham midfield on closing him down and attempting to cut this out during training this week.
And yesterdays Sky Super Sunday game gave us the gift of Spuds V Liverpool. And Spuds did it again. Coming from a goal behind to beat them 2-1 they’ve now won 16 points from losing positions this season, which is only one point behind Everton (who were the best at comebacks last year). And to make things more interesting Defoe blasted a penalty wide in the second half, making him the fourth Spud to do this so far this season. ‘Arry questioned whether it’d be easier to cut out the middle man and for the ref to just award a goal kick from now on. Defoe’s personal current record sits at eight of his last 13 not being converted. Aaron Lennon popped up late on with the winner, it being his first goal since Spuds beat Wigan 9-1 last season.
If you like goals Spurs are the team to watch though with 78 goals making an appearance in their games this season!
Earlier in the day that lot down the road were held to a draw up at the other St James Park meaning United stay at the top of the tree. Andy Carroll was gifted the Magpies goal after a sloppy backpass from Alex before Kalou scored a second half leveler.
No matches tonight, it’s the El Clasico instead, so until next weekend we sit in 16th place with a trip to the Emirates on the card for then. I can hardly wait.