Some excellent performances and on any other week, Bolton would have been right in the frame for this award. Next on the list would be Liverpool who attacked brilliantly in the first half against Chelsea and defended brilliantly in the second.
As it is, I think this can only go to Newcastle. They were excellent at Arsenal and to restrict the home side to just five or six attempts at goal at the Emirates is no mean feat.
Not Great team
For me, this has to be Chelsea. There is much talk about what a strong squad they have but in the absence of Lampard and Essien and, in the first half, Drogba, they were a shadow of the team we all know. They were pretty poor.
He didn’t have a great deal to do, but Newcastle’s Tim Krul really looks the part. The Dutch under twenty-one keeper looks assured and confident and he made one stunning save to stop Samir Nasri giving Arsenal the lead.
Not Great keeper
Blackpool’s Matt Gilkes should have done better with Everton’s equaliser, but he has been excellent all season so he doesn’t deserve to pick this award up. On the other hand, Arsenal’s Lucasz Fabianski has rarely been excellent. He only really had one decision to make in yesterday’s game and he got it horribly wrong and cost his side the game.
Last time Newcastle were in the Premier League Fabricio Coloccini looked way out of his depth. This time around, the Argentinian defender looks completely comfortable. He gave a faultless performance at the Emirates and alongside another unsung hero, Mike Williamson, he has formed a really solid partnership.
Not Great defender
When he put in the tackle that led to the horrific leg injury suffered by Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey I was amongst the many who leapt to the defence of Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross. We all said that he was a committed but not dirty defender. Watching him play against Sunderland on Saturday I began to question my judgement. Two stupid and unnecessary fouls led to two deserved yellow cards and a red one. I think he is a fine young defender but he has to learn quickly what is acceptable and what isn’t.
I wrote about him yesterday. Park Ji-Sung is one of Fergie’s favourites and his brace, including an injury-time winner, against Wolves, showed everyone exactly why that is.
Not Great midfielder
How far off the pace did Cesc Fabregas look yesterday? The likes of Nolan and Barton for Newcastle out worked him and completely snuffed out the threat that the Spaniard usually possesses. When things weren’t going his way he got petulant and nasty. Another referee on another day may well have directed him to have an early bath. It was a really poor day at the office for a player who is a great deal better in every way than he showed in that game.
There is a very strong case for Fernando Torres who has been through such a bad time but produced two moments of magic yesterday to remind us who he really is. I’m not going to give it to him though as I suspect he might well be in the frame several more times this season.
When he was selected for England many people, including me, raised their eyebrows. However, with Fabio Capello looking on from the stands Bolton’s Kevin Davies didn’t do his chances of future selection any harm in the 4-2 win over Tottenham. He scored two, made one with a beautiful deft header and led the line with aplomb. All in all it was a master class in forward play.
Not Great striker
Chelsea have, as I have said earlier, got a very strong squad allegedly. If that is the case, can anyone explain why with just a couple of injuries Salamon Kalou gets a game? Can anyone tell me what he brings to the team?