Third time lucky: Manchester City finally found a way to the top, albeit for five hours! The first time they were ready to hit the top, they played host to Arsenal. Mancini’s gamble backfired in four minutes (19yr old Belgian defender Boyata was sent off) and they stumbled to a 3-0 defeat. The second time they got ready to hit the top, they hosted Everton. This time their defence fell apart in four minutes as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
Finally, they were ‘third time lucky’ as they tore apart a hapless Aston Villa and gave smiles to all the aged Man City supporters - alive to see this day. They smiled and so did Super Mario – on Mancini’s instructions!
Balotelli corner: Super Mario seems to be living entire life cycles, every fortnight. He won the best U-21 player award; claimed he didn’t know who Jack Wilshere was; thought only Lionel Messi was a shade better than him; subsequently Mancini banned him from training, and duly benched him vs Newcastle; He lead the attack vs Villa, scored an atrocious ‘make-the-goalie-look-a-fool’ penalty and repeated that act again whilst completing a hattrick. Then he smiled, cause he doesn’t believe in celebrations – as he says goal scoring comes as naturally to him as breathing! I say, I just want to be his friend on facebook and twitter.
Third time lucky 2: Ever heard of a leading striker scoring a hattrick and subsequently benched one game later? Ok, let’s go one step further, ever heard of a leading striker scoring five goals and subsequently benched for the next game? Probably has never happened in history! So once Berbatov netted twice vs the Black cats, and with Nani due to return, there were enough signs that the ‘on fire’ Bulgarian will be benched again. Thankfully he played and scored. If there is one player in the United team whose playing style is suited to the Barcelona game, it’s Dimitar Berbatov with his extremely light feet and touch.Wish he was younger! Anyway, he’s happy and no one messes with SAF on being benched. And why should they? United sit pretty on top with two games in hand!
Maradona Scare: If he wants it he will get it. There are enough rumours that Diego Maradona is stand by manager for Fulham, should Hughes get the sack.Guess Fulham players got so scared of this prospect that they decided to soar with Baird to a win at Stoke. Better to stay with a ‘king of draws’ manager than go for the ‘eccentric’!
The Gunners fire back: Wenger’s team vs Chelsea read RVP, Nasri, Walcott, Cesc… the paciest and most creative line in EPL. If they stay fit, look for them to rock more. They have already played the Manchester twins away too.
How Topsy Turvy is EPL: after the first ten GW’s, most pundits declared the title race as a one horse race and Malouda as player of the season. After another set of ten matches, the same pundits fear Chelsea’s title race is nearly over. There are even suggestions that Bolton’s attacking style can help leapfrog Chelsea tonight to fifth place!
Kean to win: Blackburn Rovers are turning the tables, officially, as they jumped three places to 9th spot. A win at WBA wasn’t what the punters expected.Gone are the days when loyal assistants followed their bosses, once sacked. Steve Kean has impressed Blackburn’s Indian poultry owners that he can lead the line and with more style.
Biggest disappointments during Christmas week games: Sunderland, Aston Villa, WBA, Newcastle
For Stats addicts (at the time of writing)
- Chelsea are the worst team on form, picking just three points off last six games.
- Aston Villa now has the worst offence and worst defense record away from Villa Park.
- Man City have scored 19 away goals (best offence in EPL) and just 13 at home (four of which came yesterday)
- Chelsea still has the best home defense with just 4 goals conceded
- Tottenham finally got a clean sheet after 18 games. Is it a sign of Dawson returning?
- Blackpool are on a hot streak picking up 11 of the last 15 points, with four of them being away from home.
- The 3Ws make up the relegation zone.
I finished 2010, in the top 1500 of IKTS, and I hope you have a great New year in 2011!