Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Weekend Round-up

Yes, I know. It's already Tuesday and only now, I've the time to look back at the weekend and post my thoughts. Maybe there are things that have already slipped my mind but I'll just do my best.

The Difference Between Right & Wrong Mentalities

Football is such a complicated matter that there are many circumstances and situations that you just can't use your normal human logic to explain.

Take it as just unpredictability. Many a times, that's what make us love football.

West Ham's defeat last weekend to fellow struggler, Sheffield United, came not as a total surprise. But logical mind thinks 'how can a team that have beaten Arsenal away managed to lose to Sheffield United?'

Honestly, that's what football's all about. But only on the surface. Luck and many other factors that are underrated by the press contributes to results and forms. Looking at ManYoo's performance this season, only a word could use to describe their push for the treble. 'Steamrolling'.

That's beside the point. The thing I'm about to point out is the mentality of the players. Just like how Alan Pardew took a parting shot at his former players at West Ham, what he said is true to a certain extent, that players care more about their Bentleys and money than putting up good performance in their club colours.

The ultimate downfall for West Ham this season will have to be the mentality and attitude of the players. Is it really all down to the players or maybe Curbishley does have to take up some blame?

For me, Alan Curbishley never seemed to be like someone who inspires confidence and drive. He seemed laid back and when bad goes to worst, he'll just admit to defeat and wave the white flag. Maybe I might be wrong but listening to his post match interviews, he sounded like a defeated man.

When the Hammers sacked Pardew, there wasn't a lot of choices and Curbishley seemed to have the pedigree to save West Ham from the inevitable but sadly, he doesn't seemed to have it in him. Let's not even talk about the millions squandered during the winter transfer window.

Might be down to his lack of motivational skills, his players looked disinterested and uninspired against the Blades. Going down 3-0 against a team not so far above them is not a good sign for their bid for survival.

Just how could you explain their 3 wins against Arsenal home and away, adding to the fact that they even defeated ManYoo at Upton Park while losing to 4 of the 6 from the Premiership basement level?

I just don't think the players have the right attitude and will to fight unlike Charlton and to an extent, Watford. If those two teams were to be condemned, they know at least they tried. West Ham are going to go down and Curbs will probably say 'we deserved it'.

Players Are Thick, Still...

The PFA Player of the Year award nominees are out and just as predictable as the announcement of the 23 names on the England squad list, it's full of 'surprises'. The only one difference is the names are picked by football players themselves and who can blame them?

PFA Player of the Year:
Paul Scholes (ManYoo)
Cristiano Ronaldo (ManYoo)
Ryan Giggs (ManYoo)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

PFA Young Player of the Year:
Cristiano Ronaldo (ManYoo)
Wayne Rooney (ManYoo)
Kevin Doyle (Reading)
Micah Richards (ManC)
Aaron Lennon (Spurs)

A pretty acceptable list of names but of or two does raise some eyebrows. As a Liverpool fan, the inclusion of Steven Gerrard does makes me scratch my head as he's not even the best performing player at Liverpool, bar the league itself. Players like Jamie Carragher, Steve Finnan or even more audaciously, Daniel Agger, could've made their name on the list instead of the captain.

But being defenders, there is a stigma attached and that is you'll never really get recognised unless you have a brilliant World Cup. Goalkeepers are victims as well because they never get the mention.

Over the season, players like Kolo Toure, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho and Petr Cech performed exceedingly well and consistent but they'll always be behind the pack probably due to their lack of superstar likeness or reputation.

Dimitar Berbatov does deserve a mention on there but could very well go down the list of 'one season wonder' if not careful so as far as I'm concerned, he should not be on the list, YET.

Even Everton haters like me have to take our hats off for players like Mikel Arteta and Joleon Lescott. They've performed wonderfully and does deserve some credit.

But other than that, the list is pretty clear cut and I don't think you'll need a second look to tell who's going to win them, eh?

Just A Mention....

If only all the matches are as exciting as Spurs vs Wigan on Sunday. It's by far one of the best I've ever witnessed and perhaps, it's just Tottenham that entertains. Because previously, their 5-4 game against West Ham was a favourite.

It was end to end stuff and the game started off with Spurs conceding an early goal (surprised?). Then the flood gates opened with wonderful goals going by each end with the Leighton Baines one, perhaps one of the nominees for the goal of the season.

At least Spurs showed the desire to go forward and if they manage to plug in the gaping hole in defence, they'll probably do a lot better than they are now. Their 3 strikers combine a total of 53 goals and you've got to wonder how on earth are they still languishing in mid table with a negative 1 goal difference.

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