It has been another round of mess-ups and brilliance. Like always: some of you got on the right side of things, while others ended up in that deep, dark, fantasy-hole- together with your no-goal captains and penalty missing midfielders (yes, we had Mirallas to win it before the last match). Depending on how you did, this week’s edition of “On the Rebound” presents a good opportunity to amplify those good vibes, or laugh off the bad ones.
1. Wenger kidnapped by aliens?
We love a good conspiracy theory, and even though we all saw what appeared to be Arsene Wenger on the sidelines at the Ethihad, we find it reasonable to assume that the real Wenger was abducted by frustrated Arsenal-supporters from another planet. By using some sort of super-advanced technology, they must have replaced the Frenchman with an identical robot, programmed to do what Wenger never wanted to: DEFEND. Arsenal came to Manchester with a complete new approach. They dropped deep, waited out City and countered with deadly precision. When it was over, the home team had not really produced anything and Arsenal came out as comfortable 2-0 winners. Can you honestly believe that this was the work of “all-out-attack-Wenger”? We think the first explanation is more realistic, which means that fans of The Gunners should look forward to very interesting times ahead. This Arsenal-side was made for counter-attacking! There’s so much speed, both on and off the ball, and by dropping a bit deeper they will not be punished so hard for Mertesacker and Koscielny’s lack of pace.
2. Chelsea’s goal bonanza
Last week we compared Chelsea to Manchester City, stating that City was all about entertainment and creativity, while Chelsea was more of an industrious team. Oh,boy, did we miss the goal on that one! In their recent hammering of Swansea, Mourinho’s men weren’t satisfied before the score line showed 5-0. They combined in the middle, they played it out wide and they were all over Swansea for 90 minutes, and it should really have been more! Willian hit the woodwork on two occasions, With a bit more luck it could have been even more! After a couple of dodgy displays, it seems that Chelsea are back with full force. When performing at their top-level not even City come close to such complete displays. Right now, the only stumbling block at sight must be injuries to a handful of key players. If they beat City in the upcoming clash, we think it’s safe enough to congratulate them with the trophy.
3. Christian Eriksen
Once again, the point-scoring Dane showed class and won it in the last minutes for Tottenham. In addition to being great on the ball, he’s also a consistent goal scorer. So far this season the goal tally shows eight, already exceeding the seven goals he scored last season. The London-club is always going to be an attacking side, and throughout their history, there’s been a proud tradition with brining forward great offensive midfielders such as Hoddle, Ardiles, Ginola and Gascoigne. With his recent displays, young Eriksen surely is a hot candidate to this list. That is, if they can keep him…
1. Aston Villa
So they lost again, you say? Oh,yeah, that’s right, Liverpool won 2-0. It’s almost as if you don’t notice Villas existence in the Premier League anymore. Those few times you do, it’s because you have an interest in the team they’re up against. Day by day their presence fades further away from the average football mans consciousness. Last three seasons results played it’s part in this growing existential crisis, finishing 16th, 15th and 15th. Moreover, if you take a short glimpse at the table right now (15th of course), it’s safe to say that the club has made a permanent move from Birmingham to “no-mans-land”. In addition to their consistent below-pair performances over the years, the team lacks profiles, charisma and identity on the pitch. The best three-word description would be “GREY ** ****”. Something need to happen, and it better happen quick before they are completely wiped out of our memory.
Let’s turn back time to when it was actually fun supporting the Villains:
2. African Cup of Nations
3. Kevin Mirallas (..and Everton)
Leighton Baines has scored on 15 out of 16 penalty kicks, which places the only Britpop loving footballer in the “top five penalty takers-list”. Everton have been terrible this season, but showed strength last round against City and was desperate to take all three points when WBA visited Goodison this round. The match was never going to be an easy one, as the Baggies, under Tony Pulis’ new command, has proven themselves a very tough nut to crack. In a match such as this, getting the first goal early on is vital, and when Everton were awarded a penalty right before half time it should have given them that precious first goal. Kevin Mirallas made sure that never happened when he grabbed the ball and denied Baines the opportunity to make it 1-0. Instead, he ignored all of his teammates and took the spot kick himself- and of course, he missed it. It was not a big surprise when Everton entered the second half without the Belgian midfielder, but the mistake was irreversible and they never recovered from it as the game finished 0-0. Another tactical victory for Tony Pulis and another disappointing day at the office for Roberto Martinez.