It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for England’s top four sides and when we at Hot or Not say “top four sides” we mean Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and the fantastic Hull City.
As you can imagine, it was another weekend filled with excitement, goals and controversy but what got Hot or Not’s tongue wagging.
4-5-1 is great for breaking attacking sides spirits but it can be just as depressing for that lone man upfront. Djibril Cisse and Roman Bednar gave everything for Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion with both sides getting great results (Sunderland drew 1-1 with Arsenal and West Brom beat Wigan Athletic 1-0) due in no small part to their contributions. Only Bednar though, was rewarded with a goal.
We’ve all had the dream. The game is level as you come off the bench with the coach telling you “if you get a chance then take it”. Grant Leadbitter wasn’t dreaming but he was in dreamland. To score the “winner” in front of your home support, against a side like Arsenal, in such fashion. Brilliant.
Now if this had been a movie, the trailer would have screeched to halt with a voice over saying that such dreams rarely come true. Oh well Grant you still scored a screamer and it still felt fantastic. And that was just in the Hot or Not studio. The party pooper on this occasion was Cesc Fabregas, with a header would you believe. It certainly was a surprising last ten minutes.
Manchester United didn’t have a particularly good start to the season but they seem to be up and running now. Funny how a great Wayne Rooney performance equalled a great United performance don’t you think?
Hot or Not predicted a successful 2008/09 for West Brom but they hadn’t strung two wins together in the English top flight since 2005. A 1-0 win over Fulham changed all that.
You’d usually expect the save of the week to be by a goalkeeper and Hot or Not must admit it that this week is no different but it so nearly was. Fulham’s Danny Murphy with a fantastic headed goal line clearance then Leighton Baines brave sliding block from a Charles N’ Zogbia point blank effort nearly stole the keepers thunder. That is until Jussi Jaaskelainen superbly tipped Carlton Cole’s deflected effort round the post and Hot or Not’s revolutionary idea’s were put to bed.
A quick mention for Middlesbrough who’s daylight plunder of all three points at Wigan Athletic ended a horrible run of 10 months without an away win in the Barclay’s Premier League.
What a comeback it was by Liverpool at Manchester City (3-2 after being 2-0 down) but forgive us at Hot or Not for not going ape but we’ve seen it all before you know but hey, at least it wasn’t Steven Gerrard with the winner. That might have been too much to stomach. Fernando Torres bagged another two goals in Liverpool’s comeback but it was Dirk Kuyt’s first league goal in 27 games that won the day.
It was business as usual for Chelsea at home to Aston Villa in a 2-0 win. That’s 86 games without defeat at Stamford Bridge. In our not to be trusted quite accurate calculation that is almost four and a half seasons. Do you think it bothers Didier Drogba that Chelsea simply don’t miss him?
Hot or Not is serious about objectivity and would never throw around a word like “perfect” but Geovanni’s free kick on Sunday was simply that. Goal of the week without so much as a thought. What the hell, just call it goal of the season. Hull have a lot to thank the Brazilian for. Mainly, it’s third place in the Premier League. Name us one pundit who predicted that?
Well done to Newcastle United for ending their rut with a classy comeback at Everton. The 2-2 result will do wonders for spirits on Tyneside and we all know that we’re not talking about the football club.
It wasn’t so long ago that Matty Taylor was one of the most talked about players in England and there was talk of an England call up. That though was 2006 and the man who can seemingly score from anywhere had all but disappeared off the radar after a difficult 2007/08 season. Taylor is back (albeit of the Bolton bench) and he’s done it again. A thunderous free kick that left Robert Green in the West Ham goal with little chance. Some would blame Green but he gets enough stick later on.
Have Stoke City scored a goal this season that wasn’t from a Rory Delap long throw? Oh yes Ricardo Fullers wonder goal but otherwise? Delap was back on Sunday and Stoke were scoring again. Well they scored once in a 2-1 defeat and do we have to tell you how?
Finally this week we have Peter “the robot” Crouch with quite a good rendition of the bicycle kick. Okay so it was a superb goal but he only does it because he’s **** with his head.
Is it just us or does Arsene Wenger have a penchant for sour grapes? He moaned about the way Sunderland played against his Arsenal side on Saturday when really he should be moaning at his own side for not shooting. Yes it’s hard playing against a side with 10 men behind the ball but it’s even harder when you’re trying to walk it into the net.
We’ve made it to point two without mentioning referee’s which isn’t bad but here we go again. Should Wes Browns opener for Manchester United have been disallowed? Hot or Not’s verdict is yes, as an elbow is an elbow, especially as keepers are protected from any contact. Why do referee’s think they can change their habits of a season whenever they feel like it.
There was little doubt that Pablo Zabuleta deserved his red card and he probably cost his side the game but why wasn’t Martin Skrtel? Again it’s consistency or the lack of it. Funnily enough Skrtel later went off injured and forced his side down to 10 men. Ironic don’t you think and he’ll be missing for a few weeks. Do you think the Slovakian would rather be suspended?
Anyway on a lighter note we have miss of the week starring £55 million worth of talent. Stand up Robinho and Fernando Torres. Robinho could have killed off the Reds but somehow fired over from all of 6 yards. Torres was on a hat trick but steered and expert cross skywards when it seemed harder to miss. Oh well it makes us feel better. We at Hot or Not have taken harder chances than those.
Football was a completely different game in 1912 (it was a game) and Tottenham Hotspur might not have been taking their season too seriously when they started the season much like the current Spurs side. Martin Jol must be having a jolly good laugh about it all. Sadly it’s no laughing matter as Spurs worst league start in 96 years is just embarrassing.
Everton are having a disappointing year. A poor home record and they’re already out of Europe to a team (Standard Liege) conquered by their biggest rivals and now they’re throwing away two goal leads. At least it looks like David Moyes is signing a new deal but we at Hot or Not must ask why?
Get out David!
Are West Ham ever going to redesign their shirts. That white block looks terrible and it’s putting off Robert Green. The poor England hopeful couldn’t put a foot right and was at fault for all three Bolton goals.
And Hot or Not has been told England are as strong as anyone in the goalkeeping department. Oh really? Did anyone see David James picking the ball out of his net 6 times the other week?
Anyway away from all that, Hot or Not thought Joe Kinnear had bad timing when he turned up on the Toon two weeks ago but it turns out it’s much worse than first feared. Joe managed to miss both Newcastle’s goals this weekend due to his travelling between the directors box and the change room.
In two weeks time he should just forget to leave the change room.
And that is us for another week.
Hot or Not takes an international break next week but we’ll be back and hotter than ever in two weeks time.