Sunday, July 22, 2018

Premier League – Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

Who's Hot and Who's Not?

Hot team
A few options this week. Arsenal, Fulham, Blackpool and Chelsea all won and Everton, Blackburn and Birmingham should be commended for their draws.

For me, head and shoulders above all of the others, however are Blackpool, who had a magnificent 2-0 win at Newcastle. They have bounced back from their drubbing at Arsenal the other week and have won two and drawn the one of their other three games. They are fourth in the table and whilst this is very unlikely to last, they should be praised to the hilt while it does.

Not Hot team
Bolton, Wolves, Newcastle and West Ham were the teams who picked up nothing and Manchester United and Manchester City will be very disappointed with their draws. Liverpool, too, looked pretty poor at Birmingham.

Although they were playing the champions, the award has to go to West Ham. Played four, lost four, goal difference minus ten. It has been a truly dreadful start.

Hot keeper
I was all set to give this award to Matt Gilks of Blackpool who was exceptional in their win at Newcastle but then along came Pepe Reina. He made three stunning saves to earn Liverpool a point and fully deserves to be named ‘Hot keeper’ for a performance that put his early season jitters well behind him.

Not Hot keeper
I’m tempted to go for Rob Green who looks to be suffering from an awful lack of confidence following his World Cup disaster. However, his poor form is not the reason West Ham failed to pick up any points yesterday.

Unfortunately for Joe Hart, it was his rush of blood to the head that did cost his Manchester City team two points.

Hot defender
He is a bit of unsung hero at Blackburn but Chris Samba has been absolutely immense for them this season. He is a mountain of a man and plays with passion, spirit and no little ability. Against Manchester City’s array of expensive attacking talent he stuck to his task and looked comfortable all day.

Not Hot defender
I have been impressed with how Jonny Evans has filled in for Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United and he is obviously a talented young defender. However, Everton clearly identified him as a weak link and although it took until injury-time, they used that to their advantage in the end.

Vidic was brilliant for United again on Saturday but when Everton could attack Evans they exposed him at times.

Hot midfielder
Chelsea are looking unbeatable at the moment and that is in no small part down to the return of Michael Essien.

It must be like having a great new signing after he missed last season with injury and he is right back at his best. Two goals and a phenomenal performance at West Ham on Saturday make him a worthy winner.

Not Hot midfielder
For the second time this season Lee Cattermole let himself, his manager, his team-mates and the Sunderland fans down by putting in a stupid rash tackle when he was already on a yellow card and getting himself sent-off.

For a very talented player unless he sorts out this side of his game his career will never reach the heights that it should.

Hot striker
I’m going for Sunderland new boy Asamoah Gyan. He came on at half-time for his debut at Wigan on Saturday and bagged a fine goal with a clinical finish that earned his side a point. It was a good goal and he might prove to be a decent bit of business for Steve Bruce.

Not Hot striker
Does anybody know why Fernando Torres has turned into a sulky kid who doesn’t want to run, chase the ball or even be on the pitch?

He is undoubtedly a world class striker but everyone at Liverpool deserves a hell off a lot more from him than he gave at Birmingham yesterday.


Graham Fisher



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