The winners this week should all get a mention. Chelsea were OK, but not outstanding. Manchester City were great at times but ended up hanging on for a win at home to Wolves. Stoke and West Brom both did well and had good wins. For me this week, however, the hot team were Arsenal. They were brilliant, but admittedly, West Ham were every bit as bad as they were good.
Not Hot team
Blackburn were outplayed by Chelsea, Wolves had a real good go at Manchester City and Blackpool were their usual entertaining selves at West Brom. Bolton were not great at Stoke but the worst team on Saturday were the hapless West Ham.
I’m afraid that at the back they were disorganised and poor. In the midfield they were out thought, out fought and out played and up front they were clueless. I hope Martin O’Neill knows what he is doing!
He doesn’t get much of a mention when discussions take place about the best keepers in English football but I have been really impressed with the performances of Stoke’s twenty-three year old Bosnian, Asmir Begovic. He is a good shot stopper and he looks really tidy. He didn’t have a great deal to do against Bolton, but he looked like a safe pair of hands.
Not Hot keeper
He does make some good saves and I’m sure he is something of a cult hero, but Blackpool’s Ghana international keeper Richard Kingson is surely punching above his weight by playing in the Premier League isn’t he?
There can have rarely been a more dominating performance by a central defender than the one given by Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic at Tottenham yesterday. He won every header and every tackle. When a block was beeded he was in the right place. He was quite simply immense.
Not Hot defender
It is really harsh to pick on a player who was making their debut for a team who are bottom of the league and was also playing their first game for a long time but I’m afraid I’m going to! Wayne Bridge had an absolute nightmare for West Ham against Arsenal. He played a significant part in all three Arsenal goals and was terrorised by Theo Walcott from start to finish.
If Manchester City keep up their title push people will rightly look at the contribution made by Carlos Tevez. They may also look at the high profile signing of Edin Dzeko if he produces the goods. Despite that, I am becoming more and more convinced that the best signing of the season may have been Yaya Toure. Every time I see him play he is getting better. His powerful running on and off the ball, together with his eye for goal and his eye for a pass make him a crucial member of the side.
Not Hot midfielder
Last season I thought Wilson Palacios was fantastic for Tottenham. He had great energy and great passion. He won the ball and gave it to another Tottenham player to get them going. He was the heartbeat of the team, the one who drove them forward.
He still does some good things but he seems to have lost the ability to pass to a team-mate or actually kick the ball anywhere near where he wants it to go. How bad must Jermaine Jenas be in training for Harry to keep picking Palacios ahead of him?
His first goal was a fantastic solo effort showing great quick feet and everything that is world class about him. His second goal was an opportunist and rare header, showing that he is a born goalscorer. Just where would Manchester City be without Carlos Tevez?
Not Hot striker
I could go for DJ Campbell of Blackpool because he missed a couple of great chances for Blackpool. I could go for John Carew or Matt Derbyshire who were anonymous for Villa and Birmingham in their game. None of those players performed as well as they can but none of them performed as far below par as Carlton Cole did for West Ham. He has not been picked by Avram Grant and his performance on Saturday showed why. He has all the attributes necessary to be a great striker but he has rarely shown it and he certainly didn’t against Arsenal.
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Richard Kingson and every other Ghanaian footballer is punching above their weight.