|photo by maessive||via PhotoRee|
o Led by their wantaway striker Demba Ba, the Newcastle offense is something to behold: seven goals in its last three games, and against top opposition at that. The only unit currently more adept at putting the ball into the back of the net is whichever team happens to be playing the Magpies on any given day.
o Dimitar Berbatov looked like a chess Grand Master against West Brom on New Year's Day. Gesturing where he wanted the ball passed -- and not alway to him -- Berbs was thinking three to four moves ahead of anyone else on the pitch. And warping the time /space continuum, Bebatov seemed to float above the game, consistently popping up in the most unexpected places for a man who is reputed to move at very leisurely pace.
o Resting Ashley Cole, Ramires, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard at the same time may not have been the smartest decision by Rafa Benitez, but the real dope of Round 22 was Referee Lee Mason, who chose to flash only a yellow card at Chelsea's Marko Marin for his clear-as-day red card offense, which could easily have resulted in a broken leg for Stephen M'Bia.
o Player of the Week Javier Hernandez bagged a brace against Wigan on New Year's Day, but that's not what won him the Award -- or else his Flying Dutchman teammate would have been in contention, too. No, instead it was the Little Pea's superb movement off the ball and stunningly quick reaction time -- in which the mexican appears to speed up just as others slow down -- that gave Chicharito the honors and have made him one of the most lethal predators in the League today.
o The shirt message thing hit a new low when Edin Dzeko took a yellow card to display the latest words hidden under his kit. And for those of you wondering what's happened to City's offensive creativity this term, the answer, it seems, is written on the shirt. Last year was all about Super Mario's "Why Always Me?" display. But apparently the best a City striker could come up with this season was "Happy New Year...?!" We guess Dzeko's not the imaginative type.
o The farlieonfootie corporate staff was pleased to see Clint Dempsey score his first home goal in a Spurs' kit on New Year's Day. We're certain Tottenham fans are in the process of discovering the reason why Dempsey is so prized on this side of the pond: as former US Men's team coach Bruce Arena put it most succinctly, "He tries shit."
o Daniel Sturridge sat by himself watching his new side play Sunderland during the final game of the festive period. Which was a fitting place for him to be, as it's the same way the ex-Chelsea frontman likes to play: by himself.
o We don't know which potential January transfer development would trouble us more: Arsenal choosing to hold onto Marouane Chamakh, or West Ham's choosing to sign him....
This is farlieonfootie for January 4.