Steven S looks back on seven days of plush pitches basking in glorious sunshine but still issues a Hazard warning to Spurs.

This time of year has to be one of the best for football fans. Far away from the long cold nights through the back end of November through to January, what looks better than seeing a plush football pitch basked in glorious sunshine? The buzz on the terraces beforehand is higher as we enjoy the weather in better moods and the tension is higher for those with something left to play for. Even if you have an absolute turd of a pitch like Wigan, then that at least is something to get excited about.

Dave Richards is a man who a decade ago was immensely disliked in Sheffield after leaving the Wednesday side of the city in a complete mess – approaching a winding order and around £16 million in debt. So Davey done the decent thing most chairman would do in a similar situation. He legged it. To the very top of the tree too, taking over as chairman of the Premier League. Lofty heights indeed.

Ten years later it seems as if Dudi (Hebrew) has decided to let the world hear his modernisation plans for the footballing world. “England gave the world football,” said Richards. “Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you’re liars and they actually stole it. It was called Fifa. Fifty years later, another gang came along called Uefa and stole a bit more.” It’s hard to understand why Europe has this perception of us as a small minded, backward thinking little isle, floating aimlessly around the channel. It’s an image capitalised on by the PL chairman further still later that day as he fell into a fountain.

Clint Hill has spent a career in the lower divisions encompassing Tranmere, Oldham and Palace to name a few and I’m sure the thought of getting one, just the one, Premiership goal was a personal target to achieve. As we all saw, Clint scored one, then he didn’t. An absolute shocker from the officials in the QPR/Bolton game left Hughes fuming and the FA crawling out the woodwork whimpering about how much support they give to the goal line tech cause. It is impressive how fast they are to react when an absolute hailstorm of criticism is about to head their way due to their employees incompetence yet when decisive proactive action is required for anything else – like I dunno the England job perhaps – they disappear quicker than David Haye out of Germany.

Swansea continued to develop the reputation built in their first season in the Premiership with a completely unexpected victory over Manchester City, who where then top of the table. There was a point in the first half where The Swans were completely dominating possession to the point where the old myth of the table never lying seeming to be killed off once and for all.

When United, Real Madrid and AC Milan start snuggling up with the lad, its game over.

Everyone had a little chuckle when Leon Britton pass stats showed up higher than Xavi’s earlier in the season and the Welsh side have won a lot of respect across the league with their disciplined work rate and passing game. It does leave them open at times yet the team ethic built from under Brendan Rogers is thoroughly commendable He won even more respect with his comments on the Chelsea job, not wanting to ‘destroy’ a career he was building.

Bendtner made the headlines again ‘Bendtner cleared over cars’ – far too easy. The Great Dane did score again as Sunderland inflicted yet another defeat for Liverpool, who despite winning their game in hand in their local derby, remain 10 points behind 4th placed Arsenal. Their manager was quick to remind us that progression is not just about trophies or league position alone, but money and sponsorship deals too. He is likely to survive another year in charge at least, one that you sense will be make or break for him as a manager and for the club’s progression.

The race for Eden Hazard continues, this time he has been flirting with Fergie. It’s enough to make the skin crawl I know. Anyway, the rosy cheeked one was in Lille checking out one of the hottest properties in football, destined to leave France in the summer. With a price tag likely to be in excess of £30 million, it will immediately cast a number of clubs out of the running. Spurs were deemed as one of those clubs a few weeks ago but when United, Real Madrid and AC Milan start snuggling up with the lad, its game over.

Di Matteo continued his winning start to life as Chelsea’s ‘boss’. The Blues succeeded where Arsenal failed against Milan, coming back from a 3-1 deficit from Naples to win the return game 4-1 to go through 5-4 in a thrilling game at the Bridge. Later in the game JT was spotted directing the team from the sidelines sitting behind RDM waving his arms about. We do need to clarify if a team can be managed by someone from behind bars. I guess we’ll find out by the end of the summer.

The FA Cup Quarter Finals take over for the weekend, leaving only four Premier games played out with the remaining fixtures played midweek. This means a Wednesday night MOTD, which is always pretty sexy. See what I mean about March?

The FA draw is quite varied with Stoke, Bolton and Leicester in the mix yet you can imagine that the big three will all get through to the semi’s. Ironically they will all be looking toward the cup as a source of escape from recent woes; Chelsea wanting to build on their crazy win against Napoli, Liverpool just coming out of their losing streak and of course Tottenham losing three in a row. A shock would be nice for a change but it’s hard to see it happening.

Time for us to exit stage left for yet another week, there is no encore this week so this rambling diatribe will have to do. If you are travelling to a game or grabbing the games on the box, enjoy the two day escape before the Monday madness starts all over again.