The fast few weeks have be very dramatic to say the least in the Barclays Premier League.
There has be excellent games, controversy and may shocks over the festive period. Things appear to be hotting up in the Premier League Title race with Man City and Manchester United neck and neck and Spurs creeping up behind. The competition for Champions League places is also very exciting with Arsenal Liverpool and Chelsea possibly fighting for that last remaining spot. It is also very tight at the bottom with teams fighting to avoid the drop. There was so much that happened in the Football World over the past few weeks that I would be very hard to discuss this in one blog entry but here are my Football Christmas highlights/ talking points.
10. Red Cards – Joey Barton and Milijas both received very harsh red cards which the FA has failed to rescind. This begs the question as to why there is an appeals process when simple decisions like these cannot be overturned.
9. Steven Gerrard’s return- I think I would be right in saying that Liverpool fans aren’t the only ones glad to see him back playing. Still one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and I hope he can help propel Liverpool back to the top 4
8. Gary Cahill – Looks like he will be getting a move to a big club after all. I’m surprised Chelsea are still interested as he has been in poor form lately. Can’t see Chelsea fans being happy at losing Alex for Cahill. Interesting times ahead at Chelsea.
7. Celtic back on Top – The SPL title race looked all but over a few weeks back but Neil Lennon’s squad have fought back well and a well deserved Old Firm victory has them back at the summit. One thing I have leaned from watching this game is that the SPL is going backwards and the quality of players that Celtic and Rangers can attract is diminishing.
6. RVP – Had an excellent 2011 in the Arsenal shirt and came very close to equalling Shearer’s record. His form has helped Arsenal to climb quietly back into the top 4. Can he keep this form going? I don’t think so. RVP has had fierce injury problems over the years and I think he may be due one soon. Never fear Arsenal fans – Henry is back
5. Steve Kean – The fans may not like him but not many managers will go to Anfield and Old Trafford in the space of a week and come away with 4 points. Just as Blackburn looked like they could be on the up they were grounded by Peter Crouch and Stoke. I’m not a big fan of Steve Kean but he has brought through some excellent young talent at Ewood Park. Let hope they go down and let the sale begin …
4. Martin O’ Neill – The Premier League has certainly missed out on his passion over the past few seasons. He has started off like a house on fire with some excellent results, mostly notably a one nil win against Man City. Will be interesting if Sunderland can put a good cup run together?
3. Manchester United – two very bad results over Xmas with defeats to Blackburn and Newcastle. United also have an injury crisis and look suspect at the back. Combine this with Wayne Rooney’s off the field discipline problems and things aren’t looking good for United. One thing we have learned over the years is never write any Ferguson team off ..
2. Louis Suarez – 8 game ban has now finally being accepted by Liverpool. I think we just need to move on and leave this incident in the past. Suarez and Liverpool can get their revenge in Old Trafford in March when he returns and gives Era the Run-around.
1. Mario Balotelli – He has always been known for his antics off the pitch but took it to a new level over the festive period. He started on Christmas Eve by driving around dressed as Santa handing out money. He then placed $200 in the Church collection plate before putting $1000 behind the bar of a pub where he wasn’t even drinking. In keeping with the festive spirit Mario decided to check 24 Homeless people into the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. This man needs his own TV show.