Another week, another snappy title. Busy weekend, so we’ll get straight down to business and say that it’s been…
A good week for:
Jose Bosingwa. The sight of a Chelsea full-back charging towards the opposition’s 18 yard box and whipping inch-perfect crosses in is still something of a novelty; seeing one scoring goals isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence either. The Bos (for want of a better nickname) has been one of our most consistent performers this season, impressing both the fans and Scolari with his Cafu-esque act on the right flank. He started out as a midfielder until another bloke called Jose, formerly of this parish, persuaded him that his talents would be better employed elsewhere. Nice one, Jose (both of you).
Anticipation. With October just around the corner, it’s not all dark nights, Strictly Come Dancing and even crapper weather than usual. A glance at the fixture list for the next month is mouth-watering – the magnificently named CFR Cluj and Luciano Spalletti’s AS Roma in the Champions League, with the small matter of the second and third placed teams in the Premier League, Rafa’s Liverpool and Martin O’Neill’s extremely impressive Villa side both due at the Bridge. Arriving in November in a similar position to where we are now would do very nicely, thanks.
Frank Lampard. Attracting plaudits again after another excellent week. The sublime pass for Bosingwa’s goal gave just a small hint that he and Deco have been comparing notes; exceptional stuff.
Geovanni. Cracking goal, son. We might just be thanking you for that come next May.
And a bad week for:
Rob Styles. As decisions go, there are Darwin Award winners embedded into cliff faces that have displayed better judgement than Styles did for yesterday’s penalty shocker up at Old Trafford. His refusal to face a Match of the Day interviewer is a perfect illustration as to why the FA’s “Respect the Ref” campaign is looking as comprehensively screwed as Bambi Woods in “Debbie Does Dallas” (so I’m told). No stranger to the art of the cock-up (see our game at Anfield last season), Styles will surely be making a phone call to Mark Halsey in the next day or two for tips on the best route to Chester.
Arsenal. From the emergence of some more terribly gifted children from the Arsene Wenger Center For Kids Who Play Football Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, to yesterday’s careless capitulation to the mighty Hull, the highs and lows of the Gooners’ week can be summarised by the late and rather great Paul Newman. Arsene could do better than look to this short exchange between Newman’s (recently defeated) Fast Eddie Felson and Bert Gordon (George C. Scott) from “The Hustler” to see where his problems lie:
“So I got talent. So what beat me?”
All the prodigious 16 year olds and team building memos in the world can’t make up for the obvious lack of that particular quality up at the Emirates right now.
Newcastle. You couldn’t get more black and white comedy if you spent a month watching Buster Keaton movies; I have a Sunderland supporting mate who needs an oxygen mask at the mere mention of his Tyneside rivals. Odds of 4-1 currently available on the men from St. James’ Park playing in the Championship next season – in the current tough financial climate, that looks a safer investment bet than Bradford & Bingley shares. Maybe Mike Ashley should get his wife to introduce him to the fans at the next home game – it seems to have worked wonders for Gordon Brown.
Injuries. At the time of writing, I’m unsure as to the extent of the knock that removed Kalou from the action against Stoke, but with Deco and Carvalho out, along with long-term absentee Michael Essien, no more please.
Men of the week:
Jose Bosingwa. And Paul Newman.
An important win against Stoke – our two nearest challengers in the league have emerged with precisely one point between them from their encounters with Tony Pulis’s men – not our best performance, but it will do nicely for the time being.
Elsewhere, Burnley will visit the Bridge in the next round of the Fizzy Cup after our impressive victory over Portsmouth in midweek (that’s eight goals this season already with at least one more game to go); all is generally right in the world and frankly, Big Phil is doing a far better job than I – and I suspect many others – imagined he would. As you were, Mr. Scolari. Oh, and welcome aboard, Miniero.
I’m off to the legendary Oktoberfest in Munich to consume a litre or two of the local brew. Enjoy the week, folks.