Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wonder-Full: BPL Round 28

Stevie Wonder cor 18

I wondered where all the goals went on Saturday, as a paucity of them led to some very tight contests.  Sunday and Monday were a bit better, but BPL Round 28 was far from a classic in this viewer's eyes:

o If you're wondering about the current state of refereeing in the BPL, the game to watch this weekend was QPR vs. Bolton, as  the two linesmen overseeing the contest turned in a shocker.  One legitimate (over the line) goal was disallowed, while one illegitimate goal (offside) was allowed.  I'm not sure exactly what can be done about it, but it seems as if refereeing controversies are seriously damaging the integrity of the game.  Maybe the FA should employ more women like Sian Massey, who seems to understand the offside rule very well, indeed.

o People wondering if Stoke have an undeserved reputation for thuggery ought to be required to watch Ricardo Fuller's brutal act of stamping Branislav Ivanovic where no man should be stamped, committed after his full-strength team had utterly frustrated Chelsea for the first 25 minutes of action.

o If you were among the Chelsea faithful wondering about how the RDM era will work out at Stamford Bridge, you had to be somewhat disappointed by the Blues' slim 1-0 home victory over a Stoke side that -- thanks to Ric Fuller -- played with ten men for over an hour.  I'm not sure that effort will inspire much confidence heading into Chelsea's mid-week Champions League showdown with Napoli.

o Meanwhile, in North London, Spurs are wondering how their season all seems to have gone a bit wobbly.  It's as if the storyline arc hit its high point this season at Uncle Harry's acquittal, and the subsequent England manager conversation, and has gone steadily downhill ever since. While many people previously believed Spurs to be a lock for third place, the denouement is looking more and more like a dogfight for fourth, with a Chelsea side that has considerably more experience in these type of situations.

o I wonder why commentators have to bring up facts like "Scott Sinclair has made 13 penalties in a row, while Joe Hart has not saved a penalty yet this season," right before Sinclair stepped to the spot early in Sunday's contest.  It was more than predictable after that remark that Sinclair would offer only a weak roller that the City 'keeper had no problem dealing with.

o Those who read the British media should wonder why there's such a fascination with Harry Redknapp taking over the England Manager's job.  Wouldn't the FA be better off considering a young manager from the UK such as Brendan Rogers, who has a clear vision of the type of style he wants to play -- on vivid display Sunday in Wales -- a style that is differs radically from the modestly successful hoof and run style the English team has employed for the past 40 years...?

o If you've been wondering about the answer to the question I've been posing for the past few weeks -- namely, what happens when Manchester City has to play from behind? -- we finally got an answer on Sunday: Nothing. Well, technically, there was the rather pathetic sight of an overweight man in a City shirt blubbering uncontrollably when the Swans scored their 83rd minute winner, but I'm not going to count that. I will, however, count Luke Moore's short appearance as a substitute for Swansea, an appearance that saw his his late late goal that twist the title race -- likely not for the last time -- and made him the farlieonfootie Player of the Week.

o I wonder how long Gervinho spends strapping down his dreadlocks pre-game before he's finally feeling confident enough to enter the fray...?

o And finally, I'm wondering how the League keep coming up with such great endings to its games, and how important Thomas Vermaelen's 95th minute goal is going to be at season's end for the Gunners...?  And how did they ever manage to score a goal that didn't involve Robin Van Persie...?!

This is farlieonfootie for March 13.

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