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A busy weekend of Premier League action with a surprisingly large amount of braces being scored by players left right and center. We managed to carry on our decent run of form since the shambles that was the Boxing Day defeat to Wham. David Stockdale continued his run of being unbeaten in all of his appearances this season. I imagine he’ll attribute this fine run down to his now traditional night before the game ritual of visiting Nandos. The whole team put in a good shift, with our completed pass rate hitting 81% at full time – only the top four clubs managed to best that.

Dempsey causes the Potters problems.

Although Pennant failed to make the starting XI for Stoke, we should probably just be glad he remembered to show up for the game. After his failed time in Spain he returned to the midlands only to completely forget he’d left his £90,000 car in a station car park out there until the club reminded him about it. One fella who certainly did turn up was Potters Captain Ryan Shawcroft. Tony Pulis has long defended the centre back and stuck up for him saying that he’s not a dirty kinda player.

“Ryan is a smashing lad, he comes from a lovely family. He is not that type of lad, not that type of player”

Fellow Stoke player Danny Pugh also backs up this club line, this time after he broke Arron Ramseys leg:

“There was no malicious intent from Ryan, he’s not that kind of player”

The eagle eyed fans at the Cottage on Saturday may have spotted Shawcross picking up his third red card in 11 months. But he’s not that kind of player. Honest.

Wham managed to pick up a point, which is good work considering they were leading Everton twice. Now it’s quite unlike the club and their fans to whinge about anything, even when they have no reason to, but they’ve managed it again this weekend. After scoring what he thought was the winner, Piquenne leapt into the hordes of the gathered cockneys to celebrate. He was given a booking for his troubles, as Andrew Johnson was at Wigan, as the letter of the law says. However as this was his second booking of the game he was shown the exit. Much to my amusement. Not everybody had as much of a belly laugh at this as I did, with soon-to-be-Hammers-ex-manager Grant mouthing off saying:

“Next time I will tell my players to go to a funeral when they score…He scored a goal and went to celebrate with the supporters. He has not done anything wrong – he went to celebrate with the people who deserve to more than anybody. “

We’ll ignore the fact that the rule is there to ensure the crowds safety and also ignore the fact that Grant has put his weight behind their move to the Olympic Stadium, where a player would have to use a connecting flight to bridge the running track and reach the supporters to celebrate with them…

Man Yoo continued to knock goals in for fun, and assist my charge up the HammyEnd fantasy football league, with a five-nil drubbing of Brum. While a lot has been made of Berbatov’s goals, and the possibility of the reds going a season unbeaten the big story today was that midfielder Anderson has refused to cut his hair:

“There is no chance I would ever consider having all my hair cut off. My hair is my life. It’s so important to me. If you cut off my hair, it is like cutting out my ear or cutting off my legs. I would cry for days and days”

Arsenal kept the pressure up on them with a 3-0 home win over Wigan, with Latics ‘keeper Al Habsi playing a blinder and managing to keepthe score respectable. Man City Stumbled to a one-nil defeat to Aston Villa with Darren Bent scoring on his Villains debut after his move from Sunderland.  And talking of him, Steve Bruce has said it’s time for the Black Cats to move on and get over his departure:

“The one thing I have learned about the squad is that in adversity they will always respond,”

And that they did with a 2-1 win at Blackpool, with Kieran Richardson (remember him?!) scoring a brace. After the game it was all talk about a possible transfer for Charlie Adam after word got out of three transfer bids already turned down before the news on Monday that the player’s asked for a move. This probably could have come at a better time, with the sea-siders set to face Man Yoo on Tuesday night. Back before the original fixture date, just after United had spanked Blackburn, they were pretty much thumbing their nose at the Reds giving it the big come on. Ian Evatt thought he’d set himself up for a fall by saying:

“I noticed Dimitar Berbatov scored five on Saturday. Let’s see if he can score five against us. I don’t think so”

Not finished there yet:

“United may have beaten Blackburn 7-1 but they have not come to Bloomfield Road yet”

He’s either VERY confident or VERY stupid…

Spuds managed a last gasp equaliser at the other St James Park, while there were wins for both Liverpool against Wolves and Blackburn over the Baggies.

A female? At a football game? Has the world gone quite mad??

Overshadowing a lot of the action this weekend was Sky Sports’ hairy handed presenter Richard Keys and Andy Grays discussing female lineswoman, Sian Massey. Now, I don’t have a problem with, and actually encourage, the presenting team to make more sexy comments about officials, but with them both been suspended for tonight’s coverage if I’m subjected to Redknapp Jnr fawning over his cousin I shall be most annoyed.

And the reason he may be doing that is because tonight’s Monday Night Football (probably without sexy comments directed at the officials) is Bolton Versus Chelsea.

Wednesday night sees us travel up to Scouseland for our rearranged game at Liverpool. Handily re-scheduled for after Uncle Roy has left and just as they seem to be finding form again. Then it’s Cup action at the weekend when the luckiest team in the world, Spuds visit our gaff. This’ll be fun…