by David Sweeney

This week saw current England captain John Terry get embarrassed both on and off the field. Adel Taarabt made an unsuccessful return to Spurs whereas Stuart Atwell continued being unsuccessful at attempting to be a referee. Owen Coyle’s problems continue to mount at beleaguered Bolton and Walsall found out the hard way why you should ALWAYS put a keeper on the bench.

Adel Taarabt
Yesterday Adel Taarabt returned to his former club Tottenham Hotspur with a point to prove to former manager Harry Redknapp who let the Moroccan leave White Hart Lane before the magic playmaker felt he was given a good enough opportunity to prove himself. When he took the field his performance proved Redknapp was right to let him leave on the cheap. His shocking attitude and lack of work ethic coupled with his misplaced passes and petulant antics correctly saw him hauled off at half time with Rangers losing 2-0.
In the Championship Taarabt’s maverick attitude and brilliance was the difference between QPR and all the other teams in that division. However, in the Premiership he’s still the difference against a lot of teams, but only in a detrimental way and the risk of playing him, especially away from home, is one Neil Warnock cannot afford to take if he is to keep his troops up.
His performance and demeanour just smacked of an disinterested player who played like he didn’t want to be there. Joey Barton, the club captain recently said he was yet to see the supposed genius possessed by Taarabt and it’s hard to disagree with the cheeky scouser on the evidence of today. Warnock should let this mercenary leave before his negative attitude ruins the bubbly team spirit that exists in the Hoops dressing room.

Stuart Atwell
Manchester City overcame a resilient Wolverhampton Wanderers to cement their position at the top of the table but the biggest obstacle they had to defeat was not in the shape of the visitors but the man in the middle Stuart Atwell who surely had an old gold shirt on underneath his black shirt. Famed for his award of the phantom goal in a Championship encounter between Watford and Reading, the game was not allowed to flow due to the meticulous Atwell who blew up for every niggle whether it be fair or foul resulting in Manchester City amassing 18 fouls compared to Wolves whose gameplan was to unfairly thwart the home sides rhythm, despite this they only racked up 6 fouls and it must be questioned whether the youngest official in the league had an ulterior motive considering runaway leaders Manchester City had
just thumped established Premier League darlings Manchester United 6-1 last weekend.
Inconstant, bizarre decisions clearly favouring one side highlighted a referee clearly out of his depth. This young attention seeker should spend some time in the lower leagues to gain some much needed experience to make sure he doesn’t ruin any more matches in the best league in the world.

Dean Smith
Walsall suffered another home defeat yesterday, going down 2-0 at home to MK Dons. However their cause was not helped by veteran goalkeeper Jimmy Walker who was sent off for handling outside the box, prompting full-back Lee Beevers to go in goal. In the worst possible start for Beavers the Dons scored straight from the resulting free kick as fiery full back Dean Lewington blasted the ball into the top corner. Manager Dean Smith cited that he refuses to put a keeper on the bench as it
gives him more outfield options. Not a wise move and when situations like this arrive you end up getting punished. With the Saddlers hovering one precarious place outside the drop zone they cannot afford to throw away points, especially because of the foolishness of their manager.

John Terry
Chelsea and England skipper John Terry has endured a terrible week, firstly his side lost away at London rivals QPR, then poor old poppet was accused of racism after he allegedly racially abused Anton Ferdinand. He was then left out of the squad for the league cup tie at Everton away and things took a new low yesterday as the defender was caught out badly as Terry inexplicably slipped late on to gift Van Persie a goal and a lead that would provide the Gunners with a crucial away victory and dent Chelsea’s title charge.
Things had been looking up for Terry who scored to give Chelsea the lead just before half-time. However, as he embarrassingly fell to the ground while he tried to retrieve a wayward pass from Florent Malouda, he cut the figure of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and this maybe a telling blow to the future of the England captains career.

Manager Mauling – Owen Coyle
Bolton’s terrible season riddled with misfortunate and hammerings continued at newly promoted Swansea City who easily brushed aside the Trotters who are looking worse and worse with each week that passes. A nightmarish run of fixtures has seen Bolton drop to 19th in the table, but what is more worrying is that now they are failing to pick up points from the clubs around them.
With a strike force struggling to score, Dedryk Boyata now out for 6 weeks and golden boy Gary Cahill completely out of sorts, Coyle desperately needs an upturn in fortunes if he is going to save the club’s season.
With the locals getting restless the previously promising Coyle needs results and he needs them fast or else Bolton’s tenure in the Premier League may be coming to an end in May.