Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Drogballs' Weekly Thoughts

Hey, it's me again. Hope you guys enjoyed the long holidays and recovered from any sort of hangovers or whatsoever. Well, at least from that orgasmic Peter Crouch goal on New Year's Day.

It has been a busy festive period of the Premiership clubs where teams played 4 games in 10 days. Footballers might be paid big time money but they aren't robot. Liverpool vs Bolton was a classic example of why Rafa always wants squad depth in his team and why his constant chopping and changing is NOT without a point. When we start winning, all the rubbish criticism of 'Rafa is tinkering too much' are no more in sight. He still continue to change 3 to 4 players per game but the core of the team remained and we're on a roll. That lost at Ewood Park being the only blemish.

While Bolton had little squad depth and with ageing players all around, they crumbled at Anfield after being consistently good in the league and managed to go up to 3rd place before that match. In the second half, they were over-run by Liverpool and had totally no answer. 1 shot on goal was all they managed and managed to concede 3 although they really have to thank their 'keeper, Jussi Jaaskelainen. Not for his heroics, the scoreline could've been ugly (for Trotters fan at least).

There are of course winners in this round of Premiership. But of course there are the losers as well. It seemed like Chelsea has finally been found out and after 2 years of being consistently lucky with injuries and other matters (Terry handball, Robben diving), they seemed to have lost it as well as Jose Mourinho himself, who finally have a little doubt in himself, very unusual of a confident (or arrogant) man.

To me, it started with that 'Untouchable' talk with him naming players as the ones that will always be in the team no matter what. It definitely has a direct impact on the dressing room and morale of the team. After Terry's injury, they have struggled big time at the back and the lack of cover is quite serious for a team like Chelsea. Buying players over-priced yet can't fill the gap at the back? Terry is colossal, but at least with that money, they should be able to have a stop gap.

After conceding 6 goals in 3 matches, Jose said they can't defend to save their lives. Look what happened next. Lampard blasting a shot over the bar from 6 yards out. Now they can't score. A 0-0 draw at Villa Park must be a pretty damning results for Jose, Roman and the fans.

Newcastle spared them a lifeline and they buggered it up again. So even though ManYoo should've won that game at St. James' Park, they're still having a 7 points lead over Chelsea. Therefore, we can be certain they are the winner for this week. BUT, with Terry's impending return plus Cech's recovery from the head injury, you wonder if ManYoo could continue their wonderful form and move further ahead of Chelsea, or blow it.

Another major loser is obviously West Ham United. To lose 6-0 against perhaps ManYoo or Arsenal might be justifiable. But losing 6-0 against a recently promoted Reading side, they must be pretty damn shite. Not that I'm saying Reading is not a good team. Don't get me wrong. To me, this season's Reading is equivalent of last season's Wigan.

But the difference between the side is not only the 6 goals, it was the hunger and determination of the players. Reading players showed that they want it and they gave their all. At 4-0, you'll expect them to be a little more lenient and show some mercy. But they continued on and killed the game off in spectacular style.

Whereas West Ham players looked lost, uncommitted, distracted and couldn't give a damn. Honestly, the defending for that match was simply, awful. And awful this word is yet another understatement. Perhaps Curbishley would want to send Anton Ferdinand and his brother in arms to watch some Sunday League football and learn from them.

Looking at the goal they conceded previously at the game against Manchester City whereby DaMarcus Beasley just ran through the defence like knife through the butter is just pure embarrassing. That was a sign of things to come.

With the January transfer window opening, there will be activities abound. Rumours flying around and press speculating daily as to when Hargreaves will finally make a move to Manchester or Barry Ferguson's second attempt in the Premiership. We'll have to sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

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