Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Toe Story: Thoughts on the BPL's Final Weekend

Had unexpected toe surgery today. Owie!
The fact Ed Paints his Toenails Red Tells You Where His True Footballing Loyalties Lie

There's something on Columnist Ed's mind, and it's not only his foot:

Some thoughts with only a week left to watch:

1.  The FA Cup just isn't very important any more. Ultimately, the biggest games are the fight against relegation, the fight for the top four, the fight for the BPL title, and success in the Champions League.  The League Cup and the FA Cup have become competitions for those big teams that haven't accomplished any of the above (Liverpool, and to some extent Chelsea), and for the little teams who often go against unmotivated or reserve top teams.  The FA Cup seems to have a glorious history in England, but at this point the top level competitions and the enthusiasm and TV ratings they bring are what it's all about.

2.  Andy Carroll might not be that bad.  I thought Carroll played extremely well in the FA cup match against Chelsea, and well again in Tuesday's game.  My only problem with his performance in the FA Cup was his ridiculous decision to celebrate the goal that wasn't a goal instead of making sure of it and following it in.  Putting that aside -- something that's actually difficult to do -- it appeared for the first time since his days at Newcastle that he played with enthusiasm and effectiveness.  If I were coaching Carroll I would give him video of Bayern Munich frontman Mario Gomez to observe and try to emulate, in particular Gomez's anticipation.  Gomes is not wildly talented with the ball, but is able to use his size and speed effectively.  I'd also give him video of himself during his heyday at Newcastle.  The problem with Carroll it would seem is more mental than physical.

3.  Spurs can't get it right!  Okay, they dominated Villa in shots and possession and everything but score, and Villa did put in a lucky one on a deflection, but Spurs' inability to pull out that victory puts Spurs in the position of being:  The Same Old Spurs.  What I mean by this is a team that can never overcome its main rival, and always loses the big game when faced with it.  Pulling out a win at Fulham remains a toss up in my opinion.  This Spurs team, like all Spurs' teams, can't be counted on.  And who knows if fourth is enough?  The only consolation is that Arsenal's game is also a toss up.  The Gunners can't seem to beat anyone without Arteta, and were shoved around by Norwich at the Emirates.  Should be interesting.

4.  Chelsea's season will end with a fizzle.  I suspect that Chelsea is going to get absolutely beat up by Bayern.  This is due to the loss of both of Chelsea's runners -- Ramires and Meireles.  But also because it's in Munich and that Chelsea just aren't that good.  I wouldn't be surprised if this one wasn't that close.  It might be a weird end to a strange season for the Blues, and one which will leave some doubt as to whether Roberto Di Matteo will return next year. 

5.  Ya Ya Toure was the Player of the Year.  I know he didn't win it, and Van Persie did have an amazing season.  But Toure was the critical player for the best team in the League -- let's call them Manchester A.  He was clutch and he dominated the center of the pitch against whomever he played.  Speed, awareness, agility -- Toure was the gold standard in the BPL and should have received the award.  The fact that he wasn't even nominated is kind of absurd, really. 

6.  Blackburn were awful this year.  While maybe he didn't do worse than his predecessor, Steve Kean did nothing to inspire this team, and his defensive strategy in the last few games was abysmal.  No energy, no confidence, no pride.  Blackburn needs to start over next year, something they will be able to do in the Championship Division.

7.  My left toe hurts like crazy.  Actually it's more the top of my foot.  The doctor says it's a falling arch.  I need to get an orthopaedic insert pronto.  Hopefully this will solve the problem or it could threaten my playing career.  I know, "career" is to strong a word, but I'm not sure I can live without those weekly rec games...I can't even contemplate it....

This is farlieonfootie for May 10.

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