Welcome to my 'ten games in review of the season so far`. I decided that this week there were several things I wanted to write about and so I`ve come to the conclusion that I will include them all in this thus far review…
The mixed fortunes of North London
What a contrasting season it has been in North London so far. For Arsenal it`s been a vintage start, and for one man in particular, Cesc Fabregas. It`s been obvious for a few years now that Cesc would become a fantastic player and it looks like the Spaniard has finally started to become that player. One of the most obvious criticisms of his game thus far is his lack of goals. That has been rectified this season with ten all in competition`s, 2 and a half times as many as last years entire tally!
It`s fair to say very few, I dis-included from the minority, expected Arsenal to do as well as they have. To have been top of the league with Chelsea and Manchester United trailing in their impressive wake came as a huge shock. A shock, certainly, but a nice one without doubt. The way in which Arsenal have played football and been able to finish their chances also, has been breathtaking.
What, for me, is most pleasing though, is the way that Wengar has done it. Whilst clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United go out and blow silly amounts of money on established players, Wengar has always had his own way. It has always worked, but now for the first team in my lifetime I have been able to witness the upbringing and development of the likes of Fabregas, Toure, Clichy, Eboue and Adebayor. Ok, they`re not English, but I`d rather see good football with foreigners than bad football with Englishman-SPURS!
Moving onto Spurs, I am again in the majority who would have expected them to be high up the league, much higher up the league. What has gone on there this season no-one will ever know, and that`s on the pitch as well as off!
After a second-successive fifth-place finish, the wise money would have been on Spurs trying to break into that top four, yet they have been fighting relegation. On paper the signings look good, perhaps Bent was over-priced, but he can certainly do it at this level, like our own Ellington, he just needs pitchtime. Jermain Defoe is another man who needs pitchtime before he can re-iterate himself as one of the key men in England`s forwardline for the future.
I`m not going to comment on the whole Ramos/Jol fiasco, all I will say is, the old gaffer has been replaced by an equally good one. Good luck.
First of all, hat off to the guy. He cops an awful lot of flack yet he`s delivered the F.A Cup, Champions League and a couple more finals to boot. Yet, somehow he gets stick off of his own teams fans for rotation.
My own experience of squad rotation goes as far as Football Manager 08. Now although it generally works in keeping players happy, those who have played well but drop out the side are left bemused. If this is a computer game being bemused, how and earth must players like Peter Crouch feel. On the rare occasion he plays, he more often than not scores. Next game comes round, bench or not included. Hmm…makes sense.
It has been said a million times since the Champions League began and I agree entirely. Play your best team, irrespective of opposition. If you can`t play your best team, then rotate.
Managerial merry go round
Something I wrote about in a recent set of memoirs, since then though, we`ve had the ridiculous situation of Gary Megson leaving Leicester after just six weeks to join Bolton! A bad a appointment for both I believe, so ridiculous as it may be, Foxes fans rejoice!
On top of that, I`ve today read how Nigel Worthington is in line to jump ship from Northern Ireland gaffer and become either Leicester or Norwich manager. Jobs he`s been in in the last 12 months! What and earth is going on!?
I never thought I`d see the day Dennis Wise complained about being sworn at, a language he understands, surely? But then again, many of my older readers never thought they`d see the day that Leeds were in the Third Division.
Although I wanted Leeds to go down last season, I do now think that the total of 25 points they have been deducted is crazy. Does the Football League/F.A really want one of England`s biggest, more successful clubs out of business, surely not?
It is therefore pleasing to see Dennis Wise and co. heading back towards the Championship. How they will fare if and when they get there, remains to be seen, but the appeal of playing for such an illustrious club, with the chance for being a part of the club`s rebuilding will stand them in good stead.
The Manc Revolution
If I was a Manc, I`d support City, irrespective of specific birthplace or the Citizen`s league position. I`d hate the 'glory hunting` ways of those up the road at Old Trafford.
Therefore I`m delighted to see City doing well, shame it`s under Sven, just reminds us England fans of what we could have had with the Swede in charge, but perhaps he`s better suited to club management.
A shame that of course, the weekend before writing this, City lost 6-0 and performed poorly at Stamford Bridge. They will by no means be the last team to lose by a cricket score against Avram Grant`s men, so chins up Blues fans.
Any other business?
Bye bye Palace?! 2-0 defeat and still in the relegation zone, coupled with our hopeful promotion that would be great wouldn`t it? Especially with Colin in charge!
Bye bye Jose!
Bye bye Euro 2008. Or is that hello? I might enjoy an international tournament without having to fret about England!
Keep the faith,
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