Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Clean Sheet 14

This week saw the 50th clean sheet of the A-League (@Aleague) season notched up by Melbourne Heart’s (@MelbourneHeart) Andrew Redmayne (@redders_20) win over Perth Glory (@PerthGloryFC) 2-0 at AAMI Park in the club’s social media’s #interactivematch experiment. I’m not quite sure if it was successful or embraced by the football public, but hats off to the club for trying something a little bit left of centre. Unfortunately for the Perth Glory the loss was the catalyst for the club to move on from current manager Ian Ferguson who remarkably took the side to the Grand Final less than 12 months ago. Good luck to ‘interim’ manager Alistair Edwards who takes over the reins on a horse in desperate need of a spell over continuing onto to an autumn carnival campaign. One thing’s for certain, after the ACC’s recent Performance enhancing drugs in sports bombshell, the Glory are at long odds to rate a mention anywhere in their ‘terms of reference’.

The only other keeper to record a clean sheet was Adelaide’s Eugene Galekovic whose solid performance helped his side recapture some much-needed form against Melbourne Victory. Until Friday night, the Victory was unbeaten in their last three games, while in contrast United had lost their previous three and in danger of losing touch with the top four.  In all honesty, barring a complete form implosion from the leading clubs, I cannot see the Grand Final winner coming from outside the current top four.  The top six is a little odd to be honest, as it rewards mediocrity.  A quick look at Sydney FC’s stats uncovers that winning seven and drawing three of after 20 rounds of football could still reward them with a finals birth.

To the English Premier League and Manchester United are all but home and hosed after Manchester City stumbled against Southampton in what was arguably their worst performance under Roberto Mancini. This prompted many disappointed City fans to take to the airwaves voicing their disapproval. “A new Kompany tea tray is available at the MCFC club shop. If carries 10 mugs.” A tough crowd but under the circumstances a fair assessment of how important Vincent Kompany is to their team. United on the other hand continue to hum along at the top of the ladder and are now 12 points clear of their rivals. Joe Hart proved that a week is a long time in football. After a clinical display against Brazil midweek, Hart’s howler enabled Southampton’s Steven Davis to slot home a simple goal and ensuring the night was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Things worsened for Hart after Gareth Barry slotted home his easiest goal of his career, only problem it was at the wrong end. Attention will now turn to the battle for the all-important Champions League spots. Tottenham must be thinking they have a better than average chance after last year’s let down. Without setting the world on fire with one-sided victories they have stretched their unbeaten run in the League to 10 matches, and their French keeper Hugo Lloris has certainly given them confidence at the back to keep their goals conceded tally to a minimum this season.

This week sees the League pause for the various FA Cup clashes on show. As always there will be a game or two that could potentially throw up a ‘romantic’ Valentines Day win for a low league side against the wealth and might of a Premier League squad brimming with more Ferraris and Lamborghinis than a Monaco cocktail party. 

Until next week.

Football Quote of the week:
"An artist in my eyes, is someone who can lighten up a dark room. I have never and will never find difference between the pass from Pele to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970 and the poetry of the young Rimbaud, who stretches cords from steeple to steeple and garlands from window to window. There is in each of these human manifestations an expression of beauty which touches us and gives us a feeling of eternity."
Eric Cantona

Some deep deep stuff from Eric….

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