"They're making Goonies III. Ker-ching!"

by David Sweeney

Marcos Alonso

On Tuesday the 20th of December, Bolton secured an important win away at Blackburn Rovers and Spanish fullback Marcos Alonso was absolutely immense, looking to be worth every penny of the £2.5 million transfer fee Owen Coyle paid for him. Sadly he then suffered a bad injury and since his return he has been absolutely shocking. Yesterday was no different with the evergreen Damien Duff turning him inside out almost at will. Maybe he has been rushed back from injury which may go someway to explaining his poor performance but quite frankly yesterday, fit or not, he was useless. His schoolboy defending and complete lack of positional sense gifted Fulham chance upon chance and the visitors duly capitalised. Alonso must have realised how much of a roasting he was receiving as in the second half he started to fake cramp, which he didn’t have because he never actually went down with it, just had a little stretch each time he got done. That is the first sign of a bottler, clearly not up for a relegation dogfight and Coyle should keep him out of the first team for the rest of the season if Bolton are to have any chance of survival.

Judging on yesterday’s performance, if Marcos Alonso can play for Real Madrid, so can I!

Trevor Kettle – Ref for Oldham vs Charlton

The League One encounter between Oldham and Charlton Athletic was a good, fair game, packed with meaty challenges and lots of effort. That was until referee Trevor Kettle reared his ugly head. Kettle brandished four yellows in the opening 19 minutes and it was a sign of things to come. He eventually reduced the visitors to 9 men and Paul Dickov’s Oldham to 10, understandable if it was an ill tempered affair yet it unquestionably it wasn’t and the bizarre decisions served to ruin a perfectly good game. Kettle did the one thing that really irritates me about referees – he tried to even up his poor decisions. He must have twigged that he was wrong to firstly send off Charlton’s acting captain Danny Hollands so he attempted to make amends by dismissing Oldham’s M’voto for a harmless tussle in the middle of the park. A complete farce; fair enough you accept you got the first decision wrong but don’t punish the other side for your error. Really poor refereeing.  He then sent off young Charlton winger Wagstaff for a something-and-nothing – there was no malice in his challenge, the fact is he didn’t even make a challenge! Wagstaff merely unintentionally slipped over whilst attempting to tackle Dean Furman. Mistakes I can accept but consistently poor refereeing there is no excuse for. Very poor form Mr Kettle.

Linesman at Chelsea vs Wigan

You have to feel for Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic; you go to Stamford Bridge and hold your own only to get undone by not one but TWO appalling decisions by the same linesman. It was daylight robbery and a total injustice to all the hard work the Wigan players put in, to be beaten by a debatably crooked linesman. The second decision I can understand to some extent as it was reasonably tight and it happened in the midst of the excitement from Fernando Torres hitting a post. However the first, from which Ivanovic opened the scoring, was completely wrong, unbelievably wrong. He was a good yard offside at least. How many decisions go against the small teams when they face a big side who find themselves up against it? The answer is the majority. I’m not saying there is some hidden conspiracy going on behind the scenes, but rather the big clubs are consistently favoured especially when they are home. Wigan could easily be relegated by one point, the point they should have claimed yesterday. The referee Mike Jones and particularly his assistant Dave Bryan could well have cost Wigan over £40 million through their own incompetence.

Dirk Kuyt

I like Dirk Kuyt, his never say die attitude is commendable and exactly what I admire in a player. However Saturday’s game against Aston Villa was a 90 minute extravaganza where all of the Dutchman’s weaknesses were on full view. All his effort and determination are sadly offset by his poor technique and lack of skill. There are strong rumours that Dalglish will let the blonde bombshell leave in the summer which, with reluctance, most people would accept to be the correct decision. It’s just not good enough for a forward to score a tap in or scruffily bundle the ball over the line once every ten games, especially when his poor touch breaks up many promising attacks. When he starts games his lack of ability is there for all to see and his only saving grace is that when he comes on towards the end of matches his energy levels allow him to outrun, outfight and sometimes even outperform tired defenders. But unfortunately for Liverpool fans, yesterday he started and was woeful with his miss from two yards following a drilled cross from Gerrard surely a strong contender for miss of the season. The ineptness didn’t end there though; he was constantly messing up, including his failure to even simply adjust his body to tap home in stoppage time – instead of swivelling and firing home, Kuyt let the ball hit his chest and bounce agonizingly to a Villa defender. It wasn’t a one off performance either, he has been poor for a while bar the odd big game where he shines due to his endeavour. He is no longer good enough for the Premier League and it is really starting to show and he must be sold in the summer if King Kenny is to revamp his squad.

On a side note I asked my barber for a Liverpool FC haircut yesterday. A mess at the back, nothing on the sides and nothing upfront! He charged me £130 million for it!