By March 20, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Siu’s View: EPL Round 30 Recap, Lampard Hits 200, and Ferdinand Snubs England

In my weekly column on SWOL, I take a look back at the weekend’s English Premier League and domestic cup action and the talking points that it throws up, as well as any significant news related to English football at large.

Follow me @theredarmchair for regular updates throughout the week.

Wigan Athletic Chairman Dave Whelan

EPL Round 30 Recap: Permutations in the Top Four and Bottom Three

 At this stage of the season, all eyes are focused on what happens in the top four race and relegation battle, so let’s jump on the bandwagon and discuss away. This weekend there was plenty that happened at both ends of the table.

At the bottom, Aston Villa triumphed in the tired and overused “relegation six-pointer” against QPR, Southampton earned three precious points against Liverpool, and Wigan Athletic beat Newcastle United 2-1 with a few bad calls along the way.

What does this mean? Only that Villa are now 17th on 30 points — three ahead of Wigan, who have a game in hand — while both Southampton and Sunderland are living dangerously with 31 points on board. Newcastle and West Ham United both have 33 and aren’t safe by any stretch of the imagination. QPR are still stuck at the bottom with 23 points and a -22 goal difference, the same wretched record Reading have notched. But no one talks about Reading anymore, presumably because they’re nailed on to go down. What a pity.

What about the top then? Everton beat Manchester City to set the visitors 15 points behind Manchester United after the Red Devils manufactured a routine win over Reading on Sunday. Ahead of the Toffees by two points are Arsenal, who, after their win against Swansea City and a shock Tottenham Hotspur loss against Fulham, are just four points behind Spurs with a game in hand. Chelsea’s easy win over West Ham put them above Spurs with 55 points and a game in hand.

So, while the title race is over, City, Chelsea, and Tottenham could yet be embroiled in a top three battle. Any of those plus Arsenal and Everton should be in with a crack at the top four, with Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion battling for a place in the top five.

The Legend that is Frank Lampard

You’ve probably heard or read this too many times after this weekend, but Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea against West Ham on Sunday. That’s 200 goals from midfield in one of the most successful English clubs of this past decade. Lampard might be unfairly — but hilariously — slighted for his physical appearance, but numbers are numbers, and this feat simply confirms that he is one of the greatest players to have graced the English game. A fine introduction for the people at LA Galaxy to use when he leaves Stamford Bridge this summer.

The Mystery that is Joe Allen’s Shoulder

I’m just going to go out on a limb and guess that if you’re suffering from a recurring shoulder injury that requires surgery, you should probably go get that surgery. Am I right or am I right?

Well, in the curious case of Joe Allen and Brendan Rodgers, I am actually wrong. Because not only has Rodgers not granted him the time off for recuperation, but Allen showed that his presence on the operation table would be more impressive than on the pitch with a frankly depressing showing at St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday. Now that the international break is coming up, of course, Allen has withdrawn from the Wales squad to finally go under the knife. He’ll need that shoulder to cry on…

The Headline-Grabber that is Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand is back! For the second successive week, England’s best defender has grabbed column space for controversial reasons. Last week, it was about his bullying of Fernando Torres in United’s FA Cup tie against Chelsea. This week it’s about Roy Hodgson calling him up to the England squad, Sir Alex Ferguson saying he will definitely join up and Ferdinand, after “lengthy discussions” with Hodgson and consultation with Ferguson, withdrawing from the England squad. Apparently this was because of an “intricate, pre-planned” fitness program for Ferdinand at United.

Anyway, this has just turned into a huge mess. A mess that could have been averted if there had just been a little bit of communication between Hodgson and Ferdinand prior to the squad announcement. Lots of people are whispering that it’s a snub to the manager after the reverse took place before last summer’s Euros. If that is the case, let me shout this: If Ferdinand cannot even make two qualifiers in the space of five days, then perhaps Hodgson did leave Ferdinand out of his Euro 2012 squad for footballing reasons.

1 Comment on "Siu’s View: EPL Round 30 Recap, Lampard Hits 200, and Ferdinand Snubs England"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

Post a Comment