At times, the unique perspective that some of the English Premier League managers seem to have is simultaneously bewildering and breathtaking.
Villa’s English Premier League form never short of fantastic according to Lambert
Every week, without fail, Paul Lambert starts his post-match interview with the words: “I thought we were fantastic today”. Clearly, even the most one-eyed Villan would have to admit that, sometimes Lambert’s team are merely good, often mediocre and far too frequently appalling. If it weren’t for the woodwork and a spectacular save from Brad Guzan, QPR would have had all three points in this English Premier League relegation six-pointer wrapped up by half-time.
Just who is Lambert trying to convince and does he run the risk of making himself sounded stupid with his constant misplaced optimism?
Martinez defending the indefensible
Sharing the rose-coloured spectacles this week was, surprisingly, Roberto Martinez. Instead of displaying his usual humility, probably appropriate given that Lady Luck had enjoyed an afternoon at the DW with a bevy of her mates, he sought to defend Callum Macmanam’s indefensible tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara.
Why do manager’s think that “not being that kind of player” is somehow some sort of defence?
Trust the FA to save Martinez’s blushes though by proving what a wholly inadequate and antiquated organisation it is. Ref Mike Halsey put his hand up almost immediately after the game and said that he didn’t see it which is normally grounds for the FA to be able to retrospectively punish the player. However, the FA declined to do so reasoning that the assistant official did see it and chose not to bring it to Halsey’s attention.
How is it that the FA are seemingly unable to make a sensible decision even when it’s easier to do so? How is it that players can appeal a decision to send a player off but can’t appeal a decision not to?
QPR and Reading out of relegation battle?
The FA’s non-decision capped off a great week for Martinez, first knocking Everton out of the FA Cup, then getting drawn against Millwall in the semi-final at Wembley and then a 2-1 win over Newcastle in a must-win English Premier League game, given that Villa had pulled out a six point gap after their win over QPR.
Helped enormously by Macmanam avoiding a sending-off and Figueroa’s helping-hand in the winning goal, are the Latics the only team in the bottom 3 with a realistic chance of avoiding relegation?
Reading are hoping to appoint a replacement for Brian McDermott by this weekend, their Russian billionaire owner is flying-in to interview candidates said to include Southampton’s ex Nigel Adkins. But given that nine out nine Englsih Premier League teams who have sacked a manager this close to the end of the season have been relegated, what’s the point?
Wouldn’t have been too many Saints fans thinking about Nigel Adkins on Saturday as Southampton spanked Liverpool 3-1 at St Mary’s. A deft touch, an appalling wall and non-existent defending all contributed to the Reds backing up from last week’s win over high-flying Spurs with yet another defeat to a side in the relegation battle.
Who are the real Liverpool and will Suarez be at Anfield next season?
Is the hardest thing with Liverpool this season, working out whether the win over Spurs or the loss to Southampton (or Aston Villa) is the freak result? If it weren’t for Luis Suarez’s 22 English Premier League goals this season, could this game have been a six-pointer at the wrong end of the table?
More than likely Suarez will be the English Premier League’s top scorer playing for a middle-ranking side so isn’t it almost inevitable that a club that can offer European football, perhaps Champions League, is going to try and tempt him away?
Man City’s season falling apart
Man City’s chances of retaining their English Premier League title looked to have passed way beyond realistic as their surprisingly meek defeat at the hands of Everton at Goodison Park leaves them 15 points behind Man Utd, who beat Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Forget thinking about what are the chances of United losing five of their remaining nine games, surely the question is what are the chances of City putting nine consecutive victories together?
What’s going to happen to this City side come the end of the season – Yaya Toure’s manager is already making noises about leaving, could we see this team fracture and even Mancini leave, particularly if City don’t get a trip to Wembley?
Interesting to see that former Swansea winger Scott Sinclair is looking for an Eastland’s exit after failing to gain a regular spot.
We’ve seen it so many times where a player who’s a regular is a smaller side gets lost in the squads of a big club, so why do they move? Is it all just about the money?
Arsenal turn a corner
Swansea suffered only a third defeat of the season at the Liberty Stadium and surprisingly it was to Arsenal. Or was it surprising – was the game against Bayern the previous Wednesday something of a watershed for the Gunners?
In fact it was a perfect weekend for the Gunners after Spurs recorded back-to-back defeats as Fulham recorded an upset 1-0 win at White Hart Lane, only their third away win of the season and only Spurs third defeat at home.
Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal of the game – and had a suitably subdued celebration in front of his old fans – but was the real hero Mark Schwarzer who brilliantly saved twice from Defoe?
Actually, AVB was Mr Sensible Coach this weekend, refusing to take the excuse offered to him by his interviewer that may be Spurs were tired from their trip to Inter on Thursday. He will be hoping, however, that his international players return injury-free from the WC Qualifiers taking place over the next week or so as that race for 4th hots up, especially with Arsenal and Everton only 4 and 6 points behind respectively but both with a game in hand.
Have Spurs simply been relying on Bale too much or is it a case of the season starting to take its toll on AVB’s team?
Doom and gloom at Stadium of Light
Norwich City inched closer to safety and Sunderland remained on the fringes of the relegation battle after one of the hardest points they’ll ever earn. With their goalkeeper sent-off after only 30 minutes, Norwich not only played an hour with 10 men but gave Sunderland a penalty to help level the scores. When the game finished level Chris Hughton was by far the happier of the two managers.
Just three points in the last seven games, are Sunderland in a death spiral that will end in relegation?
All this plus the Rio Ferdinand saga! Download show (mp3 59m39s 29mb).