The Six Pointer – Morose Managers, Arsenal’s Relegation & more…

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We’ll focus on the transfer window in a separate post but for now that was the weekend that was. 

1. Liverpool vs Chelsea was pretty dire to watch but the home team just about deserved their victory I’d say. Fernando Torres looks like he is just about fully fit again and he will be the key to Liverpool’s pursuit of Man Utd.  Not for the first time in his career Mike Riley made a terrible decision in sending Frank Lampard off. He clearly got the ball first and the reason his foot was off the ground was that the ball was too. I’m sure the feud between Lampard and Alonso meant the Spaniard made a bit of a meal of it but I expect the red card will be rescinded once the FA look at it again. The Bosingwa incident was just bizarre really but he has already got away with it. I think a yellow card would have sufficed as it was frustration more than violent conduct – I sound like Andy Townsend saying that! Chelsea’s challenge is over though, they just seem to lack the hunger they had under Mourinho. The Champions League may be a different story but it’s obvious the league doesn’t hold that much of a draw.

The earth moved...

The earth moved...

2. Another clean sheet, another win for Man Utd. That’s twelve in a row now, a phenomenal record. They haven’t been at their free flowing best recently due to various injuries but then the defence has meant they haven’t needed to be. They have a nice little cushion and a game in hand while Carrick and Berbatov are in particularly good form right now. Of course they will still slip up before the end of the season but right now I don’t see them slipping up enough to let anyone else catch them.  

 

3. Spurs can sign all the attacking players they want but Saturday’s defeat at Bolton showed that some players with defensive know how is probably what they need most. Bolton’s winner saw particularly comic defending from Spurs and Harry Redknapp can blame Comolli, Ramos and whoever else he wants but he has had more than enough time to at least get his side well organised.

Let's just blame it on someone else

Let's just blame it on someone else

4. Arsenal have been creating so few chances recently they are now relegated to the final brief highlight spot on Match of the Day, usually reserved for the likes of Middlesbrough vs Blackburn. There was a great stat I read the other day, that since the 2-1 win over Man Utd on November 8th they have scored only four goals at home. Here’s hoping they sign Arshavin…

 

5. Tony Adams oversaw yet another defeat for Portsmouth and it gets no easier with a game against Liverpool next week. The problem with giving Adams time is that nothing about his reign so far suggests he has what it takes to drag Pompey from the relegation mire. His record at Wycombe was also poor and he just looks permanently depressed and unable to inspire his aging players. His career record is now 74 games and just 16 wins which is simply not good enough at any level. He is also gaining a reputation as an unlucky manager – and in a sport full of superstitions this is one tag he can ill afford to have. 

Adams & Southgate, Glum & Glummer

Adams & Southgate, Glum & Glummer

6. Gareth Southgate is another man in a bit of a mess. The days of Steve Gibson being very generous with his money have long gone and it means ‘Boro have to rely on local youngsters and players from the secondary tier of European leagues. Middlesbrough have been slipping for a while and haven’t won in the league since a shock win over Villa in mid November. They just aren’t quite good enough in every area and really needed some reinforcements over the transfer window. I quite like Southgate (even though he’s another permanently morose manager) and I’d sooner see Middlesbrough stay up over many other teams. I just worry that the resources aren’t there to do so.

 

T.

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