by Steven S
Where do you start a review of the week after last weekend? Like some sort of surreal dream, thirty odd thousand people turned up to see a football match and watched on in horror as their sporting arena was turned into some sort of Victorian operating theatre, as a young man was battling to stay alive.
Thankfully Muamba has taken the tentative first steps toward recovery, breathing unaided and able to recognise familiar faces, so the signs are far more positive. Whether he will ever take to a football field again remains extremely doubtful although his sharp academic abilities may well hold him in good stead.
The knock on effect for the Bolton squad could well prove to be a positive one now that the worst seems to be behind Fabrice allowing the squad to take a weight of worry from their shoulders. Such is the universal bond felt by every football fan in the country and across the world this rare moment could completely change the fortunes of Bolton in the Prem.
Whilst they won’t be given free points for sympathy the team should be completely united in their cause for the rest of the season and perhaps beyond. Indeed, it could be the making of Coyle as a manager that has handled the situation with graceful control. The message to the team will be a simple one. ‘If Muamba can fight for the right to breathe, you can get to safety in the league.’
The enigma that is Dimitar Berbatov has been granted the opportunity to leave United come the summer, a move confirmed by both Fergie and the player’s agent. 112 goals in 249 games is a great return from a striker that has seemed to regress since his transfer up North. His time at Tottenham marked him out as a huge talent, full of cute flicks, sharp passing and finishing although his price tag did raise some eyebrows.
That languid approach to the game has frustrated not only United fans but neutrals too, who think he has so much more to offer. Top scorer for the team last season and seven in ten Premier games so far, his mysterious absence on the pitch is explained by his agent: ‘Sir Alex wants to change the style of play of United, to put more speed in the game’. Not including Fergie time of course.
Fulham have held the ‘second favourite Premiership team’ tag for quite a while but are now facing up to a real battle for that title as Swansea continue to win neutrals over. On most occasions a mid table team will put in a great performance against one of the bigger boys in the league only to crash back down to earth the following week with so much of their energy spent.
The Spanish Kiefer Sutherland is now starting the second series.
Brendan Rodgers team not only followed up their deserved victory at home to Man City with a win, they laid down the Premiership performance of the season. We all know that in recent years Barcelona have added a new dimension to the modern passing game, setting the template for those brave enough to follow. From Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and now Brendan Rodgers the Swans have followed a strict plan out of near financial extinction toward some of the most exciting times seen at the club in quite a while.
The most interesting factor is the primary use of players from the British Isles, which completely destroys the long held myth that the technique still does not exist for more clubs to play this way. The important defensive side of their game has not been neglected which has helped them avoid the boom/bust seasons new sides can suffer after a promotion. You get the feeling that they will be very sensible with their money during the summer, add some new faces to the squad and aiming for mid table would be progressive stability.
Man United left the Midlands after a run out in the park on Sunday, whacking poor Wolves 5-0, the first time they’ve lost six home games in a row in one season. The pressure turned onto City to keep up the pace and they left it late against Chelsea to snatch a much needed victory to keep pace at the top. The nature of their victory provides them with the chance to leave their recent malaise behind and give everything to the cause of becoming champions.
After their recent winning streak Chelsea looked a much more organised side until the City midfield took control in the second half leaving Torres back off the score sheet once more. He recently had wrapped up his first 24 hours without a goal before breaking the spell in the FA Cup last weekend and with Drogba likely to take the striker spot against Tottenham, the Spanish Kiefer Sutherland is now starting the second series.
With the Manchester rivalry at the most intense level seen for a very long time, the big three bickering London neighbours are also scrambling for the remaining two CL spots. Somehow Arsenal have clawed back a ten point deficit to now sit third in the table, one point ahead of Tottenham who are just out of the reach of Chelsea. Until the North London derby Spurs had been playing great football almost every weekend as Redders rode the crest of a wave toward the England job. A single point from twelve at the worst possible time of the season has left them nervously staring into fifth before they travel to Chelsea for Saturday’s midday kick off. ‘Arry has got previous when it comes to the end of season holidays starting early for his players and Spurs fans may start looking back to that fateful final day of the season in 2006. However, blaming it on dodgy lasagnes won’t quite explain a repeat.
And that’s about it for another week. With your attention span going down faster than Tulisa there is nothing more to say other than good luck whoever you support, enjoy the sunshine and I will meet you back here same time, same place next Saturday.