The wannabe top four teams of the Premier League are really making a case for themselves this season. Aston Villa beat the power house that is Chelsea 2-1, Tottenham piled on the misery for Portsmouth with a victory at Fratton Park and Manchester City continue to prove they are serious about challenging for the title even though they walked away with a draw against Wigan.
Seeing these types of teams rise up and worm their way into the elite group of teams in the Premier League is a great thing for English football. It certainly makes the game more exciting for us fans and it’s great to see the likes of Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City making a run for it. Don’t you find this refreshing?
Aston Villa is my team of the week. They have often lost games like they won against Chelsea. It’s happened to them many times against the current big four. But they showed a superb team spirit and togetherness which eventually won them the game. Brad Friedel was a monster in goal and he certainly saved his team on a few occasions. Collins and Dunne were immense on set pieces and their goals were much needed after Drogba put Chelsea ahead. Whether Aston Villa have the squad and fitness to fight on in February, March and April we shall see. This has always been the question mark against Aston Villa. Can you see them breaking into the top four this season? Can they stay consistent?
Tottenham’s path to victory this weekend was a little easier. Beating Portsmouth isn’t exactly a difficult task this season, but with ex-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp returning to the team he helped build, it was going to be a heated affair. In fact, there were a few ex-Portsmouth and ex-Tottenham players on display in this battle. Sharp shooter Defoe scored against his old club but saw himself go from hero to zero after being sent off for a stamp on Portsmouth’s Mokoena. Despite the setback, Spurs went onto win and they maintained their place within the top four. Can they keep it going?
Liverpool have some serious problems. If Torres and Gerrard are not in the squad, they struggle to win. I cannot see them winning the league this season. It seems they may have to make some major transfer moves in January if they want to push for the title. What’s lacking for me when I watch Liverpool is their team spirit. They might put in the effort, but where’s the fight? You can’t blame a balloon for your loss. You need to make your own luck on the pitch sometimes and Liverpool just couldn’t find the inspiration to do that. Can you see Liverpool turning it around this season? Benitez is under pressure, can you see him losing his job if things don’t improve?
West Ham lose to Stoke. Are the East Londoners in trouble? Surely the buyout of the club couldn’t come fast enough for Hammers fans? Is Zola’s job safe for now?
My goal of the week was Robbie Blake’s for Burnley against Blackburn. How great was it to see two old rivals like Blackburn and Burnley back in the Premier League battling it out in one of football’s best local derby’s? The fans created an incredible atmosphere and the old rivalry was well and truly alive. Long may they reside in the Premier League so we can see more great games like the one witnessed on Sunday.
Oh and will someone send the lifeboat out to Phil Brown and his Hull City tigers…