The Six Pointer – Shearer’s Old Tricks, Adebayor’s Attitude & more…

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That was the weekend that was…

1. Congratulations to Man Utd on yet another title. They weren’t particularly good on Saturday against Arsenal but they didn’t need to be, being safe in the knowledge that a point would be enough. Indeed their record against the top teams this year has been mediocre at best, and they had no away wins against any of the top seven and dropped home points against Liverpool and Arsenal. It was consistency against weak teams that saw them through, with 22 wins and just one solitary draw against teams placed 9th to 20th(before a final game against Hull). Of those games just six were fixtures in which goals were conceded, and ultimately is their defence which won the title for them this time round. 

Solid.

Solid.

 

2. If you believe Arsene Wenger, Emmanuel Adebayor was out injured with either a hamstring or groin problem (it changed before and after the Utd game) but following his interview on Saturday’s Football Focus, it’s not unreasonable to suggest he was left out of the squad for the comments he made. As he says in the interview, of course no one can blame him if Milan or Barcelona come sniffing. What can be blamed on him are comments like “I’ve love to play for Barcelona“‘ or “Milan looking at me is like Beyonce looking at a boy” which are not exactly going to endear him to Arsenal fans. Coupled with a massive rise in pay and a massive drop in work rate this season (clearly he thinks he’s made it) it’s no surprise there isn’t a lot of love for him at the moment. I’d go so far as I think he’d played his last game for Arsenal and I reckon he’ll be shipped out this summer, possibly even to a rival if what Wenger says is true. I’ve had several discussions recently with the Football Guy about why Adebayor gets so much stick compared to someone like Van Persie. I think it’s down to attitude more than anything, both on and off the pitch. On the pitch Van Persie has missed plenty of decent opportunities but has given the impression of someone who cares and wants to succeed. Adebayor to be fair has only scored a couple less but too often has had an air of not being bothered about him. Now I know much of the season he has played up front on his own and has lacked support but at the same time you can still make an effort and try and make yourself available. Too often he has stood around and looked at others (something he clearly learnt from Henry), the ultimate example being in the Champions League semi finals. Off the pitch it’s about not airing your dirty laundry in public. Everyone knows that players get tapped up all the time and deals are made and offers looked at. The key is to do it without anyone finding out. Van Persie has been gunning for a new contract too this season and though it has been through the media somewhat, he hasn’t gone so far as saying he’d love to play for this club or that club. Adebayor may get his move but he’ll have to change his attitude if he’s to be loved again, by Arsenal fans or otherwise.

Ade spots Beyonce at the exit door.

Ade spots Beyonce at the exit door.

 

3. With Martin Laursen retired and Gareth Barry likely to leave, Randy Lerner will have to dig deep to ensure Villa make another push at fourth place next season. Their collapse this season can be linked to Laursen going down with injury and it will take a special (expensive) player to replace his leadership and calmness at the back and goal threat going forward. Villa’s problem this season was that they lacked the squad to keep up with the big boys and the worry for Martin O’Neill will be that the likes of Man City and Spurs will overtake them next season. 

 

4. It’s a shame West Brom went down, in the sense they play the best football out of anyone in the bottom five or six but they just didn’t have the quality to stay up. Two recent home wins gave them false hope but it was always going to be too much to ask to get a result against Liverpool. Their third relegation in seven years rightly gives them a reputation as a yo-yo club but they seem to be a well-run outfit that should avoid the pitfalls of a second drop down to League One, as suffered this season by Southampton, Norwich and Charlton.

 

5. I found it quite ironic that Mark Viduka’s goal on Saturday was (harshly) disallowed after Kevin Nolan fouled Mark Schwarzer. Remember Sol Campbell’s header being chalked off against Argentina in World Cup 98? Who was the player who fouled Carlos Roa? One Alan Shearer. No doubt he has been teaching his Newcastle team his old tricks. After Hull gained a vital point on Saturday it leaves Shearer’s men in a hell of a mess. They need to go to Aston Villa and get a result whilst hoping Hull don’t match it against a Man Utd team sure to rest the big guns ahead of the Champions League final. Throughout his brief reign, all the talk has been of winning the home games. They were too nervous against Portsmouth and drew, beat a poor Boro side and succumbed to Fulham on Saturday. In practice it just hasn’t happened for Shearer, through a combination of poor, out of form players lacking in confidence and probably the inexperienced Big Al himself. I get the feeling Hull won’t get anything against Utd, but Newcastle will still manage to screw it up. 

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

 

6. Football players are sensitive souls. The other week Patrice Evra called Arsenal players babies. On Saturday three players in quick succession chose to let him know what they thought of his comments. Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie all fouled him with the former two being booked. I’m sure Evra won’t care having won the title and potentially the Champions League but he’s developing a nice line in pissing people off (see his Rafa-mocking it’s over gesture against Wigan). There are plenty of players to find irritating at Old Trafford but he is first rising to the top of the list. 

 

T.

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