10 Things We Learned In the PL/League Cup this WeekendBy: Rob | March 1st, 2010
Usually when I do this I’ll take a look back at the weekend’s action in the Premier League and have a wonder about what we learned. But congratulations are in order to Manchester United who retained the Carling Cup on Sunday against Aston Villa. So it’ll be things we learned from both competitions.
1) Micheal Owen is pretty unlucky.
Right in front of Fabio Capello, Micheal Owen started at Wembley, a perfect chance to show the England manager what he’s missing. And it briefly looked like he would too, opening the scoring. But then he got injured, limped off and had to walk up the Wembley steps in a suit. You gotta feel a bit for the fella.
2) Injuries/Flu can’t stop Wayne Rooney right now.
Rooney started the Carling Cup final on the bench, because he was suffering from a few flu symptoms (good idea to have him sat in close proximity of all those other players then). When Owen limped off, Rooney came on. And scored the winning goal. He apparently had a bit of a problem with his knee after, but he’s had it scanned and reckons he’ll be ok to play for England on Wednesday. Don’t bet against a goal.
3) Sexy Football costs you Bad.
Poor Aaron Ramsey became the third Arsenal player to break a leg in as many years, after a desperately clumsy challenge from Ryan Shawcross saw him taken off the field of play. Arsene Wenger muttered darkly about a conspiracy, but that isn’t it – there is a culture in English football of celebrating the physical side of the game, and while Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool might be familiar with playing against more “cultured” sides, like Barcelona, the grounds where Arsenal’s leg breaks have happened – Birmingham, Sunderland and Stoke, aren’t really. Arsenal are the only team in the country who play in that continental fashion (and they should be celebrated for it), but some teams won’t know how to deal with it, and the consequence is horrible for everyone.
4) The Pot Can Call the Kettle Black
Craig Bellamy on John Terry “I know what JT’s like and nothing surprises me about it, so I’m not going to comment on that guy. I think everyone in football know’s what he’s like”.
5) Wayne Bridge isn’t going to just forget
While not quite going to the length I suggested, Bridge didn’t shake Terry’s hand at the Weekend. The story might now go away now the two of them won’t have to look at one another for a bit. Bridge had the last laugh for now though…
6) The Race for Fourth is still Awesome.
Last week I said that Manchester City were favourites for 4th if they could overcome a really tricky game against Chelsea. They more than overcame it, putting a confidence boosting 4 goals past the Blues at the Bridge. This was partly due to Belleti’s sending off, Hilario’s awful impression of a goalkeeper, and John Terry looking a bit rubbish, but City still had to score the goals, and that they did.
Meanwhile Spurs won against brilliantly in-form Everton (which probably puts the latter completely out the running), which puts Spurs back into 4th, on the same points as Manchester City who have a game in hand. Both are a point ahead of Liverpool. who are three from Villa, who have two games in hand on Liverpool, one on City.
7) Michael Ballack: Still not a great Ambassador for Germany
We always knew he wasn’t the most likable fellow, but he petulantly got himself sent off when his side was down to ten men, presumably because he couldn’t be bothered to be on a losing side anymore. Ancelotti should hang him out to dry.
8. Torres is really important to Liverpool, but so is Pepe Reina
Liverpool played Blackburn yesterday, and they’d been struggling for goals – only six games in sxeven games without Torres, who was starting his first game of 2010. He got the winner, but the real story was Reina, who saved Liverpool from a number of great chances from the Blackburn attack.
9) The post could be enough to keep you up. Or Send you Down.
Might not come to that, but Just ask Wolves how much it can change a game.
10) Portsmouth (probably) down, but not out.
Miles away from safety and expecting a 9 point deduction for going into administration, it would be pretty easy for Portsmouth players to just go out, run round for a bit, get beat and go down – they’re probably heading that way anyway. So it was heartening to see them put in a performance, and get a bit of luck to get a win against Burnley. The fans deserve something to cheer.