SportsNet - December 2012
5) Fernando Torres – It’s come to the stage when if Torres scores, he is said to be back and his confidence has been found again. However I believe Torres has been brilliant this season. Yeah he probably could have scored a lot more goals and his movement could be a lot better but he has been triumphant whilst the media has slated him and the press has slaughtered him. He deserves to be in my top 5 this week because he scored against Villa whilst taking the tonnes of stick from pathetic football fans.
4) Gareth Barry – Barry scored perhaps Manchester City’s most vital goal of the season so far. On the 93rd minute, Barry climbed and nodded home to lead Manchester City to a 1-0 victory over Reading. If Barry didn’t score, City would have remained six points adrift with Manchester United holding a game in hand. Although Barry isn’t City’s greatest or most valuable player, he is held very highly by some pundits as he works tremendously hard behind the scenes. But he’s still not liked by every football fan as many don’t believe he’s good enough for a title winning club.
A matchup that looked better when it was scheduled in the pre-season has undoutedly lost what little luster it had coming into this season as both teams have been elmintated from playoff contention and both teams have been victimized by poor QB play respectively.
The Jets are actually coming into the game with somewhat of an intriguing storyline that should give Jets fans a reason to actually tune into a game, a game that would otherwise be virtually unwatchable at this point. The Jets have a new starting QB after benching Mark Sanchez after his abysmal performance against the Titans on MNF. Mark Sanchez played so incredibly bad he could probably be suspended for “Conduct Detrimental to the Team” and the NFLPA wouldn’t even fight it, yeah it was that bad but as bad as that was, it’s no longer any immediate reason to dwell on it as Greg McElroy has now been given the reins to the Jets offense and will look to capitlize on what he called “an opportunity of a lifetime.”
The New Orleans Saints (6-8) march into Cowboys Stadium Sunday afternoon, to play the Dallas Cowboys (8-6). The Saints are no longer in playoff contention, unlike their opponents who are in the thick of the chase.
Jason Garrett’s team seem to have turned a corner. They are riding a three game win streak, and are tied at the top of the NFC East standings alongside a surging Washington Redskins, and a stumbling New York Giants. So going into this game they have everything to gain, and lose.
New Orleans will look to end the season on a high note, and possibly end the year an even 8-8, which after the terrible start to the season would be quite an achievement. With quarterback Drew Brees in control of the offense, they are still very capable of putting up huge numbers. Both in yardage and on the scoreboard, as the unlucky Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out last weekend when shutout 41-0.
Remember the name Michael Oliver, because if United do not win the Premier League it will be because of one of the worst refereeing displays ever seen in Premier League football. They say that Roman Abramovich bought the title when he spent over a £1bn on players to win the Premier League. However, you wonder if his troubles may have been uppermost in the mid of a referee who consistently let Swansea defenders manhandle Van Persie without any reproach.
I lost count of how many times Van Persie was brought down from behind with rugby tackles from desperate defenders, obviously following a plan to stop the striker from scoring. Add to that, a string of valid penalty claims and you get a picture of an official on a mission; to stop United from progressing any further in the Premier League title race.
Michael Oliver looks like a rookie and acts like a rookie. Every 50/50 decision went the way of Swansea. When Paul Scholes came on at the end, he was given a yellow card for the very first foul, and an innocuous one at that.