It’s a worry and a scary time for us all when both I and Lawro get our predictions correct. This was one such day.
Upon first trudging out of The Emirates on Saturday evening I wasn’t as down as I usually am after a loss. I’d been expecting far worse you see. But an hour later (and after walking about a thousand miles to find a station) and mulling the game over with my away day buddy, the dourness had rubbed off onto me too and I realised that we could, and possibly should, have taken something from the game. It’s all very well having possesion and putting in half decent performances, but its making them count that’ll stop us playing at Coventry and Watford next season. Three wins in the last 21 games isn’t fantastic, and Saturday could have slightly improved it to four.
It didn’t start great, though both of Nasri’s goal was pretty special, but you have to think our defence did look a bit like The Chuckle Brothers have joined the coaching staff. He took on about 17,000 Fulham defenders in the box (an estimation) like a chimpanzee riding on a segway and dispatched a decent first goal. Later on he’d put away another nice little goal too. He’s not looked too bad this season, A plus point for us was Kamara. Looking lively upfront and was making some decent runs and attempts to break down the flimsy Arsenal back five. It seemed that it took until the end of the game before the Whites remembered that Flapihandski is a bit dodgy and by flinging a few balls into the box may benefit us.
Other than failing to test the ‘keeper, Hughes decisions of games to give Matthew Briggs a run out in confuse me a little. Thankfully he was withdrawn after a third of a game where Nasri was in danger of giving the young lad twisted blood. I was also intrigued by the numbers of different colour boots on parade. I noticed pink, yellow orange, blue, white and black. The most diverse in the league? Possibly.
With United having a break due to the lovely Blackpool weather, the win took Arsenal a point clear at the top of the table.
A team I’m very thankful for is West Ham. They’ve not won away since we last did, so it was no surprise to see them go down 1-0 up in Sunderland. With the Black Cats sporting a three pronged attack they could have made West Ham pay even more. Is he deluded or clinically insane? Either way Grant reckons the Hammers are getting better.
“The team are progressing and getting more efficient. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen on Sunday, but we can take a lot from this game and move forward.”
Lets hope it takes some time for them to fully improve, as it probably wouldn’t take a lot for them to close the 3 point gap we have on them.
Wolves took a hammering too at Ewood. Even after their 7-1 mauling last weekend the Rovers defence still seemed uneasy, but thanks to a decent show from their forwards and Robinson putting in a good shift they picked up a 3-0 victory.
In what turned out to be Hughtons last game as Magpies gaffer he saw them go down 3-1 to the Baggies at the other St James Park. A brace from Peter Odemwingie and another from Tchoyi effectively signed his p45. A consolation from Lovenkrands did luttle to help and before Midsomer Murders had started on Monday afternoon (I had a day off, I can watch what I like) he’d been told to clear his desk. Surely Jol, after playing us like a piano over the summer, leaving Ajax hours after Hughton left is just a coincidence?
Wigan and Stoke picked a point a piece after playing out a 2-2 draw, with the Latics twice coming from behind. Also playing out a draw were Brum and Spuds. Goals from Gardner and Bassong saw neither team move in the table. Although already out of one competition (League Cup), Gallas is still predictiing Spuds can win everything. One player less happy at White Heart Lane must be Robbie Keane. Just last week ‘Arry said of the Irishman:
“He wants to play football. He trains hard, works hard every day, he’s shown a great attitude. And probably the hardest decision I had to make was last week: I couldn’t get him on the bench. It wasn’t easy when you respect somebody and what a good player he is or has been. It was hard, because he’s still a good player.”
That, I imagine was what he wanted to hear – give him some hope. Presumably this was crushed when two sub keepers featured on the Spuds bench, yet Keane was left with his feet up at home.
A third draw on Saturday saw that lot down the road finish even with Everton. Perhaps being a tad lucky not to have Howard sent off for a first half challenge on Drogba, the Toffees cancelled out his penalty kick through Jermain Beckford. Baines worked the left wing like a trooper and is starting to look a bit tasty.
Up the top of the table City beat Bolton at Eastlands 1-0. On his 50th appearance in light blue Tevez score their goal and then had a little strop upon being subbed off. Despite finishing the game with ten men City should have put the game beyond all doubt but wasted a billy load of chances.
Last night Liverpool and Villa went to battle with the home side finishing off three nil winners. N’gog, Babel and Rodregez taking the shine off Houlliers return to Anfield. After their shocking start the Reds are now sitting in eighth, some seven points clear of us.
Next week the boys welcome Sunderland to the Cottage with us sitting in 17th place.