The bottom of the Premier League is like a SAW film, it’s entertaining to watch but not so pleasant to be in, as this weekend demonstrated perfectly.
For the masses of Liverpool, City and United fans on our doorstep that can laugh at us or even through patronizing compliments (if we’re lucky) seeing ourselves, Bolton and Blackburn scrapping down in the Premier League sewer must be great fun. Especially when they can do it all from the comfort of their own armchair with their prawn sandwiches to keep them company.
Bolton and Blackburn were both involved in encounters with relegation rivals at the bottom, facing QPR and Wolves respectively, whilst Latics played a Norwich team surprisingly in the comfort of mid table. As we all know, their bubble will burst with the ‘second season syndrome’.
My article last week was rather cynical, apologies, although I’m not contacting Fil or LMB applying for my darkside membership, I’m just being realistic. We are the worst team in the division, not ifs or buts, and to stay up looks improbable, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-Martinez.
Basically, I don’t think there’s anyone out there we could get who cares about the club as much as Bobby, or one as good to be frank. Okay, he’s got his flaws but I think it’s the players he has to work with that let him down. Granted, he brought most of them in, but no manager can bring in and keep quality players at Wigan long term, it’s just impossible.
Back to the weekend’s action, Wigan surprised us all by showing they do know how to play slightly above average and can even take a point from a game. Unbelievable, I know.
Again, sorry to take the cynical viewpoint on this, but draws aren’t what we need right now. A useful point it was as every little helps, but with time running out and winnable fixtures fast evaporating, this was a golden opportunity to bag three crucial points.
Norwich have demonstrated the typical season of a surprise package promoted club. They were fuelled on momentum at the start of the season that got them results and earned them a high league placing. Now that energy is fading, and teams have worked them out, they’re starting to lose form, defeated in their last four league and cup games prior to Sunday’s match. We’ve seen it happen before, with ourselves, Hull, Burnley, Blackpool…
Now Norwich are on that run, they were there for the taking. Not that they’re a bad team at all, it’s just that we’re at that stage where we need to make up for all the defeats we’ve had this season with some unexpected wins, Sunday could have been one of them, just ask Mohamed Diame.
Having said that, Latics are still only two points from safety. So whilst we’re struggling to get results, those around us are hardly raking up the wins either.
Wolves managed to lose again, which now means they’ve lost three of their last four, which is excellent news. They look like they’re falling down the slippery slope and don’t look like getting out of trouble. Although this good news also had a downside, the team they lost to was Blackburn.
Junior Hoilett’s double earned a 2-0 away victory, which means Kean’s men are out of the relegation zone, and now lead the mini-league of the five at the bottom.
Wolves are seemingly without a manager who’s a real leader, a born champion who can lead them to safety. Wouldn’t it be great to see Steve Bruce take over and fail to keep them up? It just goes to show how easy it is to go from shopping at Harrad’s to B&M Bargains. Ah well, at least it’s better than Honduras Superstore Ltd.
The final battle at the bottom was between Bolton and QPR at the Reebok.
Every season, it’s inevitable that we get one or two moments of goal line controversy. This season’s most blatant occurred at Bolton at Saturday lunchtime.
We get into this debate every few months, and each time we reach the same conclusion. So why on earth isn’t anything done about it?
Clint Hill headed home Joey Barton’s corner legitimately to give QPR a 1-0 lead, or so he thought. Yet the strugglers, desperate for results, were punished by no fault of their own, but by Sepp Blatter. Who can claim to be Bolton’s player of the season if they stay up by two points ahead of QPR.
Clearly, implementing such technology as hawk eye wouldn’t slow the game down at all. Especially no more than a pedantic nudge of the ball into the corner quadrant or waiting for a player to stop rolling around on the floor clutching his perfectly fine knee shouting ‘f***ing hell ref get him off.” Or so I would have imagined anyway.
Just for the record books, Darren Pratley (who I’m not even sure would make it into our midfield) gave Bolton the lead after the Clint Hill incident. Djibril Cisse equalised before Ivan Klasnic bagged the winner from off the bench.
All this means that the bottom five are tightly trapped in at the bottom, with each team’s tally ranging from 21 to a slightly less embarrassing total of 25 points.
In slightly less interesting occurrences in the Premier League, Man Utd took top spot from Man City after United beat West Brom and Swansea beat Man City. See, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Spurs’ dip in form continued with a third straight defeat, this time at Goodison Park where Nikita Jelavic scored his first Toffee’s goal to earn a 1-0 win. I know it’s an obvious theory but I can’t be the only one who saw Spurs’ decline coming after the Redknapp England fiasco? It’s either that, or they’re starting to miss Roman Pavlyuchenko, take your pick.
Goal of the Week: Both of Junior Hoilett’s strikes for Blackburn against Wolves were neat finishes, but venture into the lower leagues and I’m sure Nick Powell’s 30 yard strike for Crewe against Gillingham was more impressive than anything seen in the Premier League this weekend. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17333387#asset
David Unsworth of the Week: David Moyes celebrated ten excellent years at Everton with a hard earned win against Spurs. In my opinion, there isn’t many better candidates for Sir Alex’s replacement.
David Graham of the Week: Whoever owns the twitter account ‘PLEKSTER’ can feel fairly embarrassed, presumably he’s a Man City fan: “TODAY WE WILL SMASH THOSE WELSH COW SHAGGING BELLENDS. 4-0 TO THE MIGHTY CITY. MANURE WILL GET HAMMERED BY IN FORM WBA FACT”
Quote of the Week: Alex McLeish “Obviously, the more games you lose, the more you don’t win.” You can’t fault him for accuracy I suppose.
Boselli Watch: After returning from an extended holiday, Fernando Torres thanked Boselli for taking his place in the Chelsea team for the last year but ensures he can take off his mask now he’s returned.