Winners and Losers of the weekend’s Premier League action
Bournemouth have been unlucky this season. Losing your record signing and top goal scorer within a month of the season starting would have the likes of Mourinho and Van Gaal bemoaning their luck, never mind a rookie manager at this level with the smallest budget in the league.
So incredibly AFC Bournemouth, robbed of three deserved points against McClaren’s NUFC, find themselves above both Newcastle United and Aston Villa, just two points from safety. Their 97th minute equaliser against Everton was testament to a team that has given nothing but 100% in every game this season. With NUFC and Vile doomed to relegation it would appear that Bournemouth have a great chance of staying in the Premier League through sheer effort alone. They’ll come up against sides that will not treat them with the respect they deserve, and they’ll win games because of that. They looked doomed a month ago after the defeat at home to NUFC, and now I’d back them to stay up over McClaren’s band of losers.
I don’t need to explain how this was a good weekend for Alan Pardew.
I will mention that YET AGAIN, a national football journalist has done his best to stick the boot in this week’s Guardian ’10 things we learned’:
“And while his time at Newcastle can in no way be rewritten as flawless, hearing him speak from such a position of strength must jar awkwardly with those supporters who expended so much energy in seeking his exit fth. from St James’ Park. Nick Ames”
There are no words.
Another away win and already Watford lie nine points clear of the relegation zone. Free scoring, chance creating and a pleasure to watch away from home at times, the shackles are well and truly off. Watford sacked the manager who lead them to promotion last year – a move abhorred by many. The Watford board didn’t want to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude and simply knew there was a better man for the job. Compare and contrast to Mike Ashley’s inertia and ‘wait and see’ attitude while our manager (sacked by Twente, England, Forest, Derby & Wolfsburg) is given the chance to absolutely secure relegation. Credit to them as a club.
They look absolutely doomed, Watford could and should have won by more. Southampton away and Arsenal at home are the next two games for Remi Garde’s men before the ‘crunch’ fixture at St James’ Park on December 19th. They’re down already.
Villa serve as a reminder that (as do NUFC) years of inertia and not investing in your first team squad cannot be rectified with one summer of panick buys and overpriced players who’ve never played in the Premier League before. Tim Sherwood had his flaws, so might Remi Garde but the fact is that neither man is responsible for the state Aston Villa football club finds itself in.
An absentee owner, who doesn’t really care. What could possibly go wrong?
No league wins in the calendar month of November with the spine of the side facing weeks on the side lines. Rarely do Champions sustain such winless runs and rarely has a manger made the same errors over and over again. Arsenal were poor against Norwich. They were poor against West Brom. They weren’t great against Tottenham either and could have lost the game. Alexis Sanchez was a doubt pre-game with a hamstring injury. Wenger says he was ready to play, and he had to take him at his word. Whether it was the right or the wrong call, no one rotates less than Arsene Wenger.
This should be Arsneal’s year as title rivals lie in disarray and Chelsea are out of the picture completely. Another missed opportunity, another weekend in 4th place, where Arsene Wenger belongs.
ALEX HURST – Follow the true faith PODCAST lads here @TFWeeklyPod