If you have been watching Sportscenter at all over the last month one of the more ridiculous segments that will seemingly not go away is the “which NBA stars would make NFL stars” discussion. Started by LeBron’s commercial for State Farm it is one of those conversations that should be talked about maybe for a week but once Bristol gets hold of it will probably lead to a months long team by team vote. Returning to topic here is Kobe showing what everyone already knew, that he is much more into the beautiful game anyway.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUDZ3Pl0Emg&eurl=http://jmayers.blogspot.com/&feature=player_embedded%5D
Fact of the week 1: Three newly signed strikers scored on debut in the mid-week games – Mido, Heskey, and Bellamy.
Fact of the week 2: In developing a spine news, Newcastle have lost only one of their last nine at St James’ Park.
Fact of the week 3: Sunderland have not won consecutive league games since last April.
Fact of the week 4: Liverpool won their first league game for 2009.
Fact of the week 5: Hull have the fourth lowest goal difference at -15 yet lie 11th on the table showing the great ability to really take a pasting or eke out a win.
Fact of the week 6: Wigan home record 6-3-3 and away record 3-3-6. Nice palindrome.
Televisual fact of the week: In a move designed to encourage increased viewership of the weekly Premier League roundup the four games Sky aired Sunday morning netted a combined two goals..
Manchester United cuntiness level: Ballooning like Oprah looking for weight gain/loss cover specials. Van der Sar must have loved looking at the fixture list and realising that the team he would set his clean sheet record against doesn’t actually have any strikers.
In a round that had more than its fair share of close in the table match ups it would have been easy to overlook the Tyne-Wear derby. In fact if it wasn’t for the abysmal officiating crew in the Superbowl handing the game to the Steelers I would have too. With Sunderland looking for their first double over their near neighbours in 42 years there was a stirring amount of tension as the game remarkably followed the script of the teams first meeting in October. Just like in their October clash Cisse opened the scoring only to be matched by Shola Ameobi with a clutch penalty – usually at 67th minute penalty would not be regarded as particularly clutch but any Newcastle success with pressure on has to be regarded as such. Watching the Nigerian as he placed the ball on the spot he looked more likely to lose his lunch and put the ball in the crowd than the quality strike he managed. Now the crowd at St James’ Park really stepped it up inspiring the players to raise the tempo of the game albeit in a rather bumbling, inept yet endearing kind of way. In the Stadium of Light fixture Kieran Richardson won the game for the Black Cats with a free kick and he had a chance to match this as well as create great trivia by completing not only the same three scorers as the first game but the order as well. But he put it well over the bar leaving each side with a point.
Quick hair note on the game where it was shocking to see Cisse with his natural colouring on top, still rocking the dyed beard so hopefully we’ll see a full return to form for the end of the season push. And then there was this from want-away Frenchie Charles N’Zogbia showing Isaac Luke how it’s really done.
This will now be seen in blue and white stripes as he got his transfer wish last night getting sent to Wigan following one of the truly funny transfer sagas rather than the usual desperately funny ones. N’Zogbia is not the easiest name to pronounce but hardly the most difficult if you just say each letter individually in order as they appear you’re pretty much there. This was too much for new manager Joe Kinnear who pronounced it “Insomnia” in a television interview before resorting to “Charlie” to make it through, all of which resulted in “Charlie” vowing never to play for the club again.
I would like to provide in depth analysis on the Arsenal, West Ham game from the Emirates but I fell asleep and it doesn’t seem like I missed much. A first half with no shots on target followed by the Arse showing how many passes they can string together without creating a shot. Whoever does the laundry for West Ham needs to tone it down a bit, washing all the claret out of the tops makes them far too bright for 3am.
To the advertised match of the round where Liverpool and Chelsea proceeded to produce a game that hardly warmed the heart as the snow began to fall. Chelsea in particular could barely put two passes together and I don’t actually think Drogba touched the ball in his 25 minutes of action. In a game that produced forty two fouls, seven yellow and one red cards it is telling on the performance of human cranium Mike Riley that he got the two biggest calls wrong. The sending off of Lampard was about as quality a call as the roughing the passer call on Roethlisberger that kept yet another Pittsburgh drive alive, and missing Bosingwa’s raking of Benayoun, showing that Portugal may not be pushovers in the 2011 RWC, will hopefully see Riley demoted to the Fizzy League. Bosingwa’s little lapse has now overshadowed what was almost a match saving performance by the Portu-gays speaking side of Chelsea’s back four with Alex in particular making more saves and blocks than Cech who looked more like one of those air dancers than someone who used to be able to be included in the “top three keepers in the world” conversation
Actually all of my thoughts on this game had to be hastily rethought as El Whino changed his nickname back to El Niňo with his first goal(s) at Anfield since Spain hoisted the Euro Cup in June. All this game probably does is hand the title to United as Liverpool will continue choking their way along and now third place Chelsea have had the guts of their team ripped out by the Riley effect.
Robbie Keane is now the third Spurs player, along with Pascal Chimbonda and self-crocker Defoe, to rejoin the team inside a year of leaving. The whole Keane narrative leaves me wondering what else was removed when Rafa underwent his kidney stone operation before Christmas. At that time Liverpool was playing the best football of any team and Keane had seemingly worked out how to play as a lone striker and had slotted three goals in three games. Benitez gets back from hospital and suddenly the Irishman is on the bench, not included in the squad and now traded. And what happens if Torres’ hammy (hardly the most resilient muscle aye Jacob Oram) goes again, Ngog?
– Teeth Benitez