Monday, December 17, 2007

Inconsequential Saturday - PremCorrespondent

Super Sunday is the Premier League’s illegitimate love child with Sky TV. It is hyped by pundits, pubs and papers alike as a showcase for the best oft English football. Unfortunately though, Super Sunday is an untrustworthy bastard.

It is a lie to suggest the football played will be ‘super’. And it is a con to pretend that the English league has four contenders, not least because the ‘super’ side below Manchester City in today’s table hasn’t won a title as recently as Leeds United.

So as most fans expected, two dull matches signalled another two-horse race when some one scored a 1-0 winner for Manchester United at Anfield, and some one else scored a 1-0 winner for Arsenal at the Emirates.

Fortunately though, Super Sunday has a legitimate brother born and raised in the loving wedlock of the old English league. Inconsequential Saturday.

Inconsequential Saturday is everything Super Sunday isn’t. Honest, exciting, and a showcase for English football.

Lets start with soon to be relegated Wigan. What could be more inconsequential than a thrilling 5-3 home win, a glorious comeback, two hat tricks, and three valueless points that lifted Athletic no league places up to deep trouble in 19th?

And thrilling it was. With no title to pretend to challenge for, Blackburn charitably gave Athletic a three goal lead before Roque Santa Cruz cruelly snatched it back to 3-3 with a hat-trick. Then, as if to signal their pointlessness, Wigan’s Marcus Bent scored two to complete his hat-trick and earn his side a happy memory of their time in top flight.

Next up, what could be less important than a 1-1 draw between Aston Villa and Sunderland, I hear you ask. Good question! The answer can only be a penguin catching fish with his flippers while riding a remote controlled motorcycle.

Even the ref feared that Sunderland’s injury time winner accidentally gave the game importance, and so he disallowed it for no good reason. As such Shaun Maloney and Danny Higginbotham scored the goals in this rip-roaring, end to end, physical battle from which all players and fans alike walked away exhausted.

Then there was Bolton Wanderers v Manchester City. This was more a nostalgia trip than football match as Saturday football struck again. Poor defending at both ends saw City ahead against the run of play before Bolton fought back to 2-1 by half time. In the second half City scored three, one early and two late, ensuring a thrilling ninth home win out of nine for Eriksson.

For a game of almost laughable inconsequence Fratton Park was the place to be. Tottenham are too good to go down and too far behind the chasing pack to catch up. Meanwhile Pompey’s own gafa keeps repeating they will only finish mid-table.

And yet, as much to the surprise of their own fans as the rest of us, Spurs put on a top four performance for all to see, if Sky had bothered to show it. The Lilywhites won away for the first time this season with a comprehensive and classy swagger that made them look worthy of a simplistic prefix. And the late winner ensured suspense.

Elsewhere West Ham fielded a second string side amid a desperate injury crisis and lost 2-0 to Everton. Liverpool’s second side are now level with Liverpool’s finest in the league, but don’t expect a promotion to ‘super’ any time soon.

Already relegated Derby deserved more than their 0-1 defeat to relegation candidates Boro. A different ref who cared enough to pay attention might have awarded a penalty to the home side. Though frankly, a well deserved point to Derby wouldn’t have meant much anyway.

No one noticed Birmingham draw with Reading on Saturday, but it was a stunner of a game. A penalty neutralised a goal mouth scramble to give both sides one goal. And in the second half strikers and defenders alike hit the woodwork, often at their own end.

Finally, Fulham v Newcastle was as close to ‘Super’ as Saturday was allowed to be. Delayed for live TV coverage, this intensely dull match was undeservedly won in the dying seconds. That it was Newcastle that took the points barely mattered to the sleeping audience.

19 comments:

andrewm said...

I want Mouth to appear and rip LFC to shreds. I think they deserve it, and he does it so well. I'm not being sarcastic.

I warn you though, Mouth: if you finish above us this year, I will be VERY VERY ANGRY.

Ebren said...

Don't be silly Mr M - the last time Everton finished above you you won the European Cup.

It is the role of the lesser club to do this sort of thing (like when Man City last won the league, Man U won England's first European cup).

andrewm said...

On another note, atually relating to the article - in the Observer's hilariously unenlightening (is that a word?) fans match report section yesterday, the Villa fan said "Maloney is superb. He should start."

I can only conclude it wasn't Shaun Maloney, Scotland international, for he ... he is not good at football.

mimi said...

I actually believed the hype about Super Sunday and so cunningly arranged for my visitor to depart on Sat (actually nothing to do with me, all to do with her plans) and so spent Sat having a lovely walk on Findhorn, watching the seals - who came pleasingly close and did some playing to the tourists sweet stuff - that they NEVER do if I go there on my own! And didn't get home til all the football was over.
So Sunday - nought to do but follow the matches and they really were pretty rubbish.
Except for my local team Inverness Cally drubbing Celtic. I'm sure even the English press had some of those terrible headlines that they come up with every time Cally win against the Old Firm - you know the ones that start: Super Cally and end Celtic were atrocious.
God - it's so predictable.

guitougoal said...

Finally Roy Keane is being Roy Keane again, I wonder why it took him so long.If only he could start chasing referees in the tunnel life in the premiership would be
much more fun.

PremCorr said...

In defence of Roy Keane (though the man's scowl would probably serve as sufficient defence against most assailants), Mr Bennett disallowed the winner for no reason other than to wind up everyone connected to Sunderland just as they were about to depart the pitch.

Sp the man needs a good old whack on the head with a cricket bat.

gg said...

andy,

the toffeemen are - as I predicted - rising.

Will they riise above Liverpool, and by how many points come May?

file said...

thanks for this PC, though I'd argue that it's not unimportant for the penguin

MotM said...

Andrewm - I can't rip LFC to pieces: I prefer to leave that to those better qualified than me. Step forward Snr. Benitez!

Osman is out for the Blues who have a Uefa Cup match, Man Utd away, then Bolton and Arsenal at home with Christmas dinner in between. I think the run ends now. But I also think that Liverpool's top four status is under threat from both Blue North Western teams.

Premcor is right about the inconsequential trumping Grand Sham Sunday. I rather liked it when Santa Cruz delved into his shorts to produce that Father Christmas hat to celebrate the hat-trick, although he might have been better advised putting away that fourth goal first.

offside said...

Hey Premcorr, glad to see you're feeling better.

Mouth, I've just heard a scary rumour. Tell David Moyes, that he should under no circumstances buy PSG defender Bernard Mendy. If you're lucky, he'll be the new Titus Bramble. If you're unlucky, he'll be setting new standards.

PS: I didn't see any of the games, but John Terry should have been sent off, non? Is that why bluedaddy is bluer?

mimi said...

It's always great to read all of you. I've just heard on a Gaelic music programme that Passion is the Greatest Common Denominator.

Does it work that way for football too?

file said...

that's a great question Mims, and if not, why not?

guitougoal said...

Neri Catillo, is the one to grab-why is he wasting his talent in ukraine?

mimi said...

Filo'o'fish - so fine to read and enjoy but yes - now it's the wondering. These guns for hire - or I'm just dancing in the dark.

munni said...

It seems Arsenal have officially mastered the art of playing dirty. I'm so proud.

ervanp said...

guito,

Cos the food is amazing in ukraine, well worth freezing your legs of in training.

guitougoal said...

ervanp & munni,
both of you are cruel :)
for neri it's done man city stole him-(on loan), best move because he is going to be the first mexican to
bring salsa on the pitch...que bueno.

offside said...

And not a single player over dirty years of age!

Yeah, yeah, I'll get that loincloth.

PremCorr said...

Offside

More by luck than judgement. Old Tony in the pub bet me a drunken ton that I wouldn’t eat from the same kebab shop. Hah. Fool!

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