Sunday, 26 February 2012

What a Weekend!

I am not lying when I say that this weekend of football was the best I have ever seen, hands down. The quality of the football on display shows you why many believe the EPL to be the best league in the world. The best game in my opinion (and obviously many arsenal fans) was of course the North London derby played out at the Emirates.

Coming into the game it looked like Arsenal would have their pants pulled down by their bitter rivals in their own backyard and would further question the managerial position of Wenger at the club. Not so. After going two down they showed incredible mental strength to bring it back before half time with talisman Robin van Persie again key in every Arsenal move. After the break they came out all guns blazing and goals from Rosicky and a brace for Theo Walcott who is so often used as a scapegoat for Arsenal's shortcomings. No blame on him today it seems. However, not for the first time Harry Redknapp got it wrong, the four man midfield was stretched against the three of Arsenal, which should be reason for concern and defensive frailties cost his Tottenham side the match. Food for thought, it would seem.

Another match which made me grin with childish glee was West Brom's game against Sunderland at the Hawthorns. As West Brom's home form at late has been poor (the last home win was in November) and Sunderland being the most inform side in the division things weren't looking great for Roy Hodgson's men. But against the odds, West Brom absolutely destroyed a feeble Sunderland 4-0. You can blame defensive frailties for Sunderland's downfall but take nothing away from West Brom. They outplayed one of the strongest teams in the league and will definitely receive their fair share of plaudits in the coming days.

In the Carling Cup final, Liverpool just (JUST)about beat Cardiff City in a thrilling contest, 1-1 FT, 2-2 aet and 3-2 to Liverpool on penalties. The match reminded me much of the England - Spain game a few months back, one team controlling the play but getting nowhere and the other defending for their lives. The first half was wide open but as the game progressed got much tighter and both teams looked equal. As it turned out Liverpool won but Cardiff made Liverpool work incredibly hard for an accolade no one will give a rat's arse towards. 

My favorite game of the weekend however, was the game between Newcastle and Wolves. If you were to look up the meaning of a game of two halves in a dictionary you would certainly see this game mentioned. Coming into the game Wolves had lost their manager and on the back of a 5-1 home defeat looked devoid of confidence and with 2 goals in 18 minutes, it looked like Terry Connor's first game in charge would end in more disappointment for his side. Luckily for them the first half ended just 2-0 to Newcastle and then the comeback was on. Connor changed the formation slightly to give Doyle more support up top and just 5 minutes after the restart, reaped the rewards of his genius thanks to a well taken Matt Jarvis goal, You thought Newcastle would respond to the goal but they sat back and let Wolves come at them. Bad mistake. They pressed and pressed until the gap opened and in the 68th minute, Kevin Doyle won the 6 yard box scramble and netted the decisive goal in this thrilling contest. I hope Wolves stick by Terry Connor as he could be the man to keep them in the top flight.

It's a real shame this weekend of football had to end but if the next is half the one this one turned out to be, we are in for a real treat.

Dan Broeders 

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