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That?s Entertainment!


Dorset

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Strange weekend in the Premiership or what?! It is probably safe to say that football?s unpredictability reached new heights in every one of the Big Four games and in the Sky opener at the Stadium of Light the Big Fifth proved to be worthy in last minute excitement only. In short, all five teams turned up and played how we least expected them to and, in United?s case, it clearly beggared the belief of a crestfallen Sky presenter.

Opening fixtures can never be trusted to provided wholesale good news, but Chopra?s late winner got us off to a good start, putting the Pretenders firmly in their place, which is some way away from a Champions League slot and, well err, still pretending. The Spurs midfield looks horribly threadbare and bringing Huddlestone on with a few minutes to go summed up their plight rather succinctly if you ask me, which their fans won?t, as they prefer instead the hyped up delusions of grandeur on offer - round of applause for Jose on that front methinks.

The Scousers sent out their supposed best eleven and with it a few mixed messages such as - is Stevie G restored to central midfield for good or will Sissoko get more than a minute?s playing time next Sunday? The midweek CL game clearly holds the key to that conundrum and I?m guessing that the comic Book Hero (have I got the capital letters right here?) is due for a European resting. Sadly, that sniper in the crowd who follows him around was there at Villa Park and struck once again at an opportune moment, making a major difference both to the result and to the plausibility of him being declared missing in France. Incidentally, ever thought that, in football parlance, it?s a bit of a shame that the sniper always appears to be more of a winger than a clinical finisher? Let?s hope that a last gasp winner for them doesn?t become a habit - it?s unlikely, unless, of course, Mike Riley is given more than the paltry share of important Premiership games (just one to check to see if he?s improved) that he deserves.

Likewise Arsenal, although here I have to hold my hands up to having a couple of spies in the Emirates camp yesterday, as eldest daughter and son-in-law were present and later reported back that the Gunners have at last realised that it is legal to score late on in a game, even when it is to win it! They have also come to the conclusion, belatedly in my view, that Lehmann is a complete looney who also requires the attentions of a sniper, preferably one that takes no prisoners. Both owned up to being somewhat relieved to get past a banana skin like Fulham and were quite unjustifiably chipper. I am, however, finding this a little disconcerting, as the Gunners can, and probably will, be a serious threat.

We were next up and very impressive we were too, if you like great fluidity amongst the forwards and fine wing play - the deadball line lives!! Shame about the defensive lapses, but you can?t have everything if you play this way and to those who say it wouldn?t have been any better defensively with Alves in the side the obvious reply is - yes it would because we?d have been an even greater threat going forward and probably three goals up by the time Kapo struck. So I?m not grumbling and neither, it seems, are the Media, with the notable exception of Richard Keys, but more of him later. If Robben does decide to stay, or we insist (don?t mind either) he will be all out to prove his worth and, given a fair reception by our fans (please) we really would have all bases covered.

Last, and hopefully least, United made our day with the type of performance that could lead to Fergie retiring gracelessly. Clueless was the best way to describe it, once Rooney disappeared down the tunnel, and in his post match summation Sky?s expert for the day (Ruud as it turned out) duly highlighted every narrow nook and blind alley they went down as they tried to do without a recognised central striker. O?Shea arrived up front to emphasise the point, for those United fans who had missed it, and all the while Tevez was powerless to intervene. Looks like my long awaited joust with Loz over his capability to lead the line is going to be put to the test sooner rather than later. I sincerely hope he?s right and I?m wrong, but I?m already heading for the back of the sofa, just in case.

And so it was left to Richard Keys to assess the relative performances of the top two title contenders and he came up with these immortal words ?I suppose some will say that Chelsea were, arguably, the more entertaining team today.? Clearly, in the eyes of some and amidst the bias of many, Chelsea still have a long way to go to be entertaining on a football field.

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How refreshing it was, to see all the talk of the revolutionary Spurs, swept duly away in one swing of Chopra's boot.

And how sickening it was, to see Gerrard making a referee's decisions for him, yet again, in earning that last gasp free kick.

It is true that one swallow does not make a summer, but even the most hardened members of the Anti Chelsea Brigade could not help but admit, that it was the boys playing in Blue this past weekend, that provided the Theatre. (Of Dreams? icon_wink.gif )

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Well, this is awkward!

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