A toss up between Manchester City and Bolton this week although Newcastle, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham all deserve an honourable mention.
Although City produced a fine second half performance against Arsenal, it has to be said that the sorry Gunners were there for the taking. Bolton, on the other hand, won well at a confident Middlesbrough and thoroughly deserve the Ã¢â‚¬ËœHot teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of the week award.
There are a few candidates. Liverpool were poor, Chelsea were way below their best, West Brom canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t buy a win and Middlesbrough were outplayed and out fought at home.
Despite all that, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m afraid that Arsenal are the only genuine candidates for the award. I accept that they were missing such players as Fabregas and Adebayor but they should have been better at Eastlands than they were. This could be a tough few weeks for Arsene Wenger and his apparently not so merry men.
He has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in English football for a few years now and he has also shown great loyalty to his club through their bad times and theirÃ¢â‚¬Â¦wellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦worse times. Newcastle keeper Shay Given is a model professional and a bloody good keeper.
He turned in another immaculate performance for the Magpies on Saturday at Chelsea that went a long way towards getting an excellent 0-0 draw against the leaders.
Manuel Almunia was made captain for the day in Arsenal’s game at Manchester City in the absence of the usual skipper William Gallas. Many people have questioned whether Almunia is good enough to play for a team with title and European aspirations but Arsene Wenger has shown a lot of faith in him.
I wonder if that decision is similar in its brilliance to the one he had about making Gallas captain in the first place?
To be fair, Almunia didn’t do much wrong on Saturday and had no chance with the goals. It is just that once again, none of the keepers really let themselves down this week and it seemed wrong to pick on Gomez or Carson again.
This award has to go to a player who impressed with England in Germany on Wednesday. It has nothing to do with his defending in this game though. This award goes to Glen Johnson who scored a thirty yard volley that is already a serious contender for goal of the season. It was a magnificent strike and one that makes him a worthy recipient of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœHot defenderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ award.
Blackburn’s Martin Olsson is a promising twenty year old Swedish defender who is just making his way in the game. He has only played a few first team games but has signed a four year deal and was Blackburn’s young player of the season last time out.
Yesterday, however, his fledgling career hit a low point. He came up against a resurgent Aaron Lennon at Tottenham and quite honestly didn’t know what had hit him.
Having been turned inside out for forty three minutes he missed the ball and hit the player for the second time and was shown his second yellow and a red card.
It was a terrible time for the young defender and I hope he learns from it and comes back stronger.
All I have said about Martin Olsson above can be attributed to the diminutive winger Aaron Lennon who looks to be back at his best under the new Harry Redknapp regime at Tottenham.
He is fast, tricky, direct and at his best, he has an end product. Harry Redknapp expects him to get back into the England team. Although in his position he has David Beckham, Theo Walcott, David Bentley and Shaun Wright-Phillips to compete with, if he continues to play like this, he will definitely be knocking on Mr Capello’s door.
I have said it many times. I love the way Arsenal play football. One of the important cogs in the passing machinery at the Emirates this season has been Denilson. The twenty year old Brazilian has been excellent this season and has slotted perfectly into the Gunners’ passing game.
On Saturday, Denilson, together with a few of his team-mates, couldn’t pass the ball at all. This doesn’t make Denilson a bad player, it just makes him this week’s ‘Not Hot’ midfielder.
Roman Pavlyuchenko looked like a fish out of water before Harry Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane. Now, he is starting to look like the world class striker that whoever bought him for Tottenham in the first place thought they were getting.
His well taken goal was enough to win the game and he almost doubled his tally when he hit the post with an excellent glancing header.
With the excellent form and immediate understanding that Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov have struck up at Old Trafford, it has been a difficult season so far for Carlos Tevez.
When he is given the chance to show what he can do he really has to take it if he wants his loan move to be made permanent in the Summer. On Saturday, in the absence of the injured Berbatov, Tevez had his chance at Aston Villa.
I think his performance can be summed up by one shot that he had that went out for a throw in rather than a goal kick.
I love Tevez’s work ethic and his energy, but he was really poor on Saturday.
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