Player of the Weekend
Whilst Alan Pardew has received great praise for his signings since he’s been at Newcastle, Yohan Cabaye has been somewhat overlooked, mainly down to the fantastic performances of his fellow arrivals. Despite being on the pitch for just under an hour against Stoke on Saturday, Cabaye helped to win the game for the Toon.
He headed home a rebound for his first after Papiss Demba Cissé’s effort hit the bar. The Frenchman then slid the Senegalese striker through on goal and as expected, Cissé scored before Cabaye then sealed the game. With the ball rattling around on the edge of the box, the midfielder calmly curled the ball low past Asmir Begovic to secure a victory putting Newcastle into the top four. So a top performance from the former Lille star who’s used to competing at the top of the table having won Le Championnat last season.
Goal of the Weekend
Junior Hoilett definitely has an eye for the spectacular as he’s shown with some of the goals he’s scored this season. His latest strike was another long range effort but arguably his most spectacular of the campaign. Cutting inside on the left hand side, Hoilett unleashed a superb curling effort from 30 yards which flew into the top right corner of John Ruddy’s goal.
What’s more, it effectively sealed the victory for Blackburn who turned in a very assured performance on Saturday afternoon. Junior Hoilett will probably not be at Ewood Park next season due to his contract expiring this summer but if he continues to turn in good performances, Hoilett can help to ensure Blackburn’s survival too.
Game of the Weekend
Goals don’t necessarily mean quality in a game but Sunday’s encounter between Manchester United and Everton certainly provided plenty entertainment. There was some fantastic finishing but this was combined with limp defending at times. Not many could have foreseen United letting a two-goal lead slip either even with Everton expected to test the Red Devils.
David Moyes side should take credit for their fantastic attitude and performance at Old Trafford. Nikica Jelavic in particular looks another fantastic signing by Moyes. He joins the likes of Papiss Demba Cissé, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Gylfi Sigurdsson as another great January import. As for Manchester United, they now face a very tricky derby game at neighbours Manchester City who will be buoyant ahead of next Monday’s game.
Quote of the Weekend
There’s usually only one winner when playing mind games with Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Roberto Mancini seems up for the fight judging by one comment he made after his side’s win against Wolves.
“After the derby, they [Manchester United] have two easy games.”
The point Mancini was trying to make is that City have to face Newcastle after playing Manchester United; undoubtedly a very hard game. However, perhaps Mancini is forgetting his side’s results against Swansea and Sunderland, the two easy games supposedly. City lost to Swansea just over a month ago whilst Sunderland will be the only team this season that Manchester City have failed to beat after the Black Cats took four points off Mancini’s men.
Was the Italian being completely serious? No, he was being quite clever, as this could pep up Swansea and Sunderland for those games. Mancini’s mind games are much more subtle than those of say, Rafa “That’s a fact” Benitez and Kevin “I would love it if we beat them” Keegan. Whether he will emerge victorious might become clearer next weekend – either way next Monday’s game at the Etihad is an exciting prospect.
For more musings and frippery on the Premier League, follow @archiert1 on Twitter