Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Full Brady: Round 26 in the BPL

photo by One Laptop per Childvia PhotoRee

It was back to the future at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole all returned to AVB's Chelsea lineup. Unfortunately for the Portuguese Inspector Gadget, it was only back to the very recent future in the first half, as the Blues once again struggled to find the net.

o The second half was a bit better, with old boys Drogba and Lampard re-discovering their scoring touch. Hmmm. Old, "washed up" Chelsea team members play and score. Chelsea has their first comfortable win in quite a while. Coincidence....? 

o It can't hurt that American Tim Ream is gaining BPL experience, but I'm not sure that playing in the Bolton defense is going to do much for his confidence.

o Martin Jol looked especially dapper wearing his suit and tie on the sideline of the West London derby at Loftus Road on Saturday. Perhaps his track suit was being dry cleaned...?

o Pavel Pogrebnyak looks like quite a signing for Fulham. The Russian now has three goals in his first two games in England after scoring only one in his fifteen prior run outs at Stuttgart. The radionuclide polonium 210 that his Russian handlers are feeding him must agree with Pogrebnyak.

o Quick Question: Who is Raffaella, and what did she do to make Mario Balotelli smile so much...?  She must really light his firecracker....

o Last week Villa, this week Blackburn.  Seems as if the new strategy to play against Manchester City is to maintain your defensive shell as long as possible without ever attempting to threaten the Citizens' goal. Better go back to the drawing board....

o I watched 45 minutes of Aston Villa taking on Wigan at the DW, and I'm still trying to figure out why.  I'm sure the fans who also sat through the scoreless second half feel the same way, although I had the good sense to give it a pass.

o All season long I've wondered how Arsenal's defense would look if Thomas Vermaelen had played more consistently. Plagued by injuries over the past two seasons, the Belgian has spent more time on the treatment table than the pitch of late. Sunday's first half provided a quick reply to my question, though, and the answer wasn't pretty: befuddled and confusingly out of position too many times to count, Vermaelen likely left the Gunner hopeful pining for the return of their lumbering German, Per Mertesacker.

o Meanwhile, for their part, Spurs spent the rest of the North London derby as if intent on proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's no more dangerous scoreline in football than 2-nil. Well done, boys: I believe you now.

o Brad Friedel is the latest member of the BPL to showcase his Bradying skills. The picture below just about sums up Spurs' afternoon.....

Brad Friedel Does the Full Brady
And in closing, it's time to name the farlieonfootie Player of the Week: Although West Brom's Peter Odemwingie is red hot, and it's hard to ignore the two goals that Theo Walcott put past Spurs on Sunday -- If I counted correctly, that's two more than Gareth Bale scored, Correspondent Ed -- it would be hard to name anyone other than the ageless Ryan Giggs as our winner.  The Welshman's 92nd minute strike gained a valuable couple of points for Manchester United -- and we'll see just how valuable those points are at the very end of the season....

This is farlieonfootie for February 28.

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