Do you remember what you were up to on 20th August 2009? No? Well that was the day Andrew Johnson last scored for us. Until last Saturday.
After a scrappy first half the game came alive in the second half with disallowed goals, decent football and Johnsons equaliser making the trip worthwhile for the traveling Cottagers.
the past we’ve had mud slung at us in the press for poor attendances, yet Wigan were offering two tickets for £20 for our visit this year and still had swathes of empty seats. So far this season they’ve struggled to get above 60% of their ground filled. Similar with Brum. In their biggest crowd puller for supporters they attracted a little over 22,000 supporters – their second lowest of the season so far. Yet a bumper crowd of Whites made the trip up the West Coast Mainline to Greater Manchester.
If you’re excited about news of us being linked with wingers who can’t buy their way into a starting XI, have bundles of pace and can’t cross a ball then you are in luck today, my friend. According to the massed ranks of the press we’re one of a number of clubs after Shawn Wright-Phillips Also queuing up to pay his £90,000 a week salary while he ponces round on loan for the remainder of the season with us are Newcastle, Birmingham and Bolton.
A year ago on Wednesday a new chairman and director team walked into Upton Park saying:
“West Ham were actually in a worse state than Portsmouth when we took over. We were £110m in debt and Portsmouth were only £70m in debt…It is caused by exactly the same thing by bringing in players on wages the size of the club cannot afford…whilst we all want to put the best team out there and we hope to sign players to improve the team, we have to do it with prudence to sort the mess out.”
They too can’t wait to throw money in the direction of the ex-England man. Which, of course is on top the cash mountain sent to loanee Wayne Bridge weekly. Hopefully they’ll get a reduction for all the time Bridge will be out injured, as Mancini sums it up nicely:
“The problem he has is he is always injured. Every game he plays he cannot finish”
Perhaps after his debut, they’ll be hoping the sooner he’s crocked the better… The plan was Bridge would add some stability to the sponge-like defence at the Boleyn. It didn’t work. Looking thoroughly the beaten team, even before Arsenal put three past them, you don’t imagine the stories plastered all over the papers of Grant being a dead man walking helped the side much.
It was quite the day for derbies in the Premier League on Sunday. David Bentley made his Birmingham debut in the one all draw against Villa. Hoping to reignite his career in the midlands he spoke of how he’s never stopped trying:
“Sometimes people think I don’t want to play but I love waking up in the morning, coming to work and sometimes it can get lost that I toss things off”
Hilariously for all concerned, all is not going as was planned for Liverpool. After sacking, sorry agreeing to part ways with Uncle Roy, King Kenny is continuing to balls things up. Although he got praise for a much better team against Man Yoo in the cup (we shant mention that it was actually Uncle Roy’s selection and Kenny hadn’t seen the team till just before kick off). The draw against Everton on Sunday keeps the Reds down in the relegation dogfight though many fans reckon their too big a side to be troubled by the drop. Not so according to the footballing demi-god Lawrie Sanchez.
“Liverpool are no longer a big club. You hear Liverpool fans going on and on about being a big club but they haven’t won the Premier League and it’s been going 18 years. They won the Champions League by default. It’s a great achievement but when you are 3-0 down at half-time. They just had one of those days when everything went right after going wrong. They lost 17 games that season. I remember the days when they were a big club. When they would win the league and go on to win the European Cup in the same season. Those were the days when they were a big club”
I suspect Sanchez wont be making his grand return to management at Anfield anytime soon…
Nolan scored his tenth goal of the season in the norf-east derby. A late equaliser from the Black cats means although only having two shots on target in the game the Magpies have taken four points off their nearest neighbours this season. Gyan scored the late equaliser for the home side, seeing them in sixth place in the table.
Man Yoo remain unbeaten after taking a goalless draw at White Heart Lane and saw Rooney return to action. Though United had to play the last 16 minutes without Rafael who received a second yellow card and was sent off. But Redknapp Jnr still found time to praise the defender:
“He’s young and you have to admire him for it”
Yes, well done for being born in 1991. But the result see’s United stay top of the tree and Spuds in fifth spot. Though ‘Arry doesn’t reckon the unbeaten run will continue til May.
“It would be a miracle if Alex got them through the season unbeaten”
he said after the game.
Blackpool impressed despite losing at West Brom. Although playing entertaining, or as Paul Merson says, “Blackpool play extra-time football”. The game finished 3-2 to the home side, but by all accounts the real winner was football. The Baggies boss seemed relieved after the game:
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions and it wasn’t our best game of the season but we’re pleased to get three points.”
While Holloway said:
“It was two good teams having a go at each other and it could have been 6-5, unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of it.
Despite their defeat Charlie Admas continues to catch the eye, with Villa being linked with a £3.5m move for the Scotchman. Though The Sea-siders gaffer is determined to keep hold of his man, having previously said:
“I would love Charlie Adam to stay for a long time and get us in the top four, maybe Champions League places, maybe winning the Champions League. You might think I am crazy but I am not. I have watched games over the last few days and I have watched my team play”
Since the end of November Wolves have alternated between wins and defeats in the league. They won their last match, so guess what happened this week… Since swapping sides of Manchester Tevez has scored 37 goals in 52 starts for City and he managed another couple this weekend. The sides shared seven goals with new boy Dzeko chipping in an assist on his debut and helping then win the points.
Ancelotti has aid he thinks 80 points will be enough to clinch the title this season, and that lot down the road went three closer to that mark with a two nil win over Rovers. While Bolton continued their miserable run of aweay results with a two nil loss at Stoke.
Next up for our boys is Saturday afternoons visit of Stoke City. Currently we sit in 15th place and another win against the Potters and their charming fans could see us climb as high as 12th.