Monday, January 16, 2012

BPL Round 21: Giving Up the Ghost

photo by Môsieur J. [version 3.0b]via PhotoRee

Rumors and Scuttlebut from all the latest BPL action:

o I know his deal is close to done  -- it may even be in the books by the time you read this post -- but this writer still found it quite unsettling to see Gary Cahill applauding like a lunatic at Frank Lampard's first half goal on Saturday -- the very same Gary Cahill who is getting his paycheck from Bolton Wanderers, a team which just happened to be playing at the very same time. Call me old fashioned: I can understand sitting Cahill out so he doesn't pick up a knock that would scuttle the deal, but letting him go to another team's game?  And him applauding and laughing like he's Lampard's biggest fan?  It was all just a bit too much for me....

o It was good to see Michael Essien back on Saturday, even if you're not a Chelsea fan. The Blues have been missing the all around solidity in the middle -- talk about a box to box midfielder! -- provided by The Bison in the past, and it'll be interesting to see at what level Essien returns to the game after such a prolonged absence.

o At the tail end of his last column, Columnist James correctly predicted that Spurs' home game against Wolves could prove a trap. So for all those predicting this could be Spurs' season, let Saturday's game be a warning: it was the kind of game that needs to be gutted out if you want to win the big prize. But when the pressure was on -- for virtually the first time all season -- Spurs wilted.  I'm not saying they don't still have a shot at winning the title, especially in this topsy turvy season, but I am saying that Spurs have to prove they can win when people are paying attention.

o By the way, Harry Redknapp was pretty quick in his post-match interview to give up the ghost on Spurs's title chase. Either Harry's playing possum or he'd really be happy to finish fourth.

o And who's dressing Arsene Wenger these days?  He's got a coat that goes down to his ankles, but when he's sitting you can see that he was wearing a track suit, white socks and sneakers. And by the height of his pants, he's getting ready for the next flood.... Seriously, Le Professor?!

o Sunday was a good day to be Welsh. Unless you're Aaron Ramsey, who may be forgiven for questioning his own citizenship. After gifting a penalty and a turnover that led to two Swansea goals, it was likely not the type of homecoming envisioned by the Arsenal midfielder.

o I saw some things I haven't see very often at the Premier League level when Arsenal and Swansea played. How in the world did Arsenal concede less than a minute after they had equalized?  Do they have no concentration?  Swansea scored so quickly that the television cameras missed most of the build up to the Swans' third goal -- the producers switched off in the same way that the Gooners' defense did.

o And so after the Gunners' latest defeat, the question remains: just how good are The Arsenal this season? Sure, they've righted the ship after the 8-1 listing they received from United earlier in the season. The true answer to this question will be found out next weekend: Manchester United travel to the Emirates in a key match for both teams -- and much will be learned about both squads in the aftermath.

o Dirk Kuyt up front by himself?  Seriously, Kenny?  Seriously?  I'm speechless.

o Who designed Everton's away kits -- a prison warden?  Black and grey are not such a flattering look in a uniform.

o And just how poor are Fulham that they got beat 3-1 by Blackburn?  Correct that -- by ten man Blackburn. That's seriously embarrassing. Especially when the Yak was sent off at 0-0....

o farlieonfootie's Player of the Week was Antonio Valencia. Is there a player hotter than the Ecuadorian hitman right now?  Valencia is making United tick, and if he's on, watch out....

This is farlieonfootie for January 16.

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