1. Snow business like no business – It is my solemn duty, and deep regret to announce that my report-stroke-all-to-obvious-and-try hard-attempts-at-comic-observation from the Blackpool – Manchester United game have been cancelled due to bad weather. I’d been struggling in the run up to the encounter as it was, perturbed by the fact that writing from home isn’t one of the many jobs that fall under “Things heavy snow prohibits you from doing”. Unfairly shorn of the opportunity to say I was unable to make it in to work, I never the less remained resolute in my determination to be a proper, dedicated member of the British public by being put out the smallest bit of adverse weather. I thus decided instead that I’d claim I couldn’t make it out of work, and as such had developed a sort of claustrophobia induced Shining-like cabin fever which was prohibiting me from doing anything productive, apart from playing the Playstation, which is of course a well known and accredited way of maintaining mental stability during psychosis. This is of course how things work in England when it snows. If the ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ had been set here Jake Gyllenhaal wouldn’t have stood a chance. Forget the day after tomorrow, the world would’ve ground to a halt three weeks before yesterday, as everyone in Britain packs up and gives in at the merest hint of some flakes on the line at Penge. Thankfully my faith in the system won out as Blackpool’s state of the art – for the 1980s – pitch buckled under the pressure of whiteness and the game was abandoned, leaving me completely justified in my lazine..er…convictions.
2. Young man, there’s no need to feel down – As North London’s fancy modern under soil heated shrine to corporate determination and foreign efficiency commendably dealt with the one day of snow London had had three days earlier and been fighting ever since, Samir Nasri continued a growing and encouraging trend. A small band of young, previously inconsistent and often derided wingers are suddenly starting to come very very good, and in an era where La Liga is assumed to have gained the best, established, peak players, it can only be good news for the Premiership. Nasri, along with Manchester United’s Nani and Tottenham’s soon to be Ballon d’or winning – despite the trifling matter of not being nominated – Gareth Bale have all suffered the ignominy of growing up under scrutiny in a big team. All have endured the dismissal of fans, pundits and Alan Green. And all this season seem to have stepped up their efforts, and quality quite drastically. Nasri’s two goals against Fulham where magical, as he quite literally (TM Jamie Redknapp) walked in a winter wonder goal not once, but twice, despite them both seemingly scored against a row of stoned traffic cones. Added to his volley against Villa last week and his commanding performance against England at Wembley, he looks to be ripening nicely. Though the whole snood, gloves with short sleeves thing needs to stop. If you’re going to be soft, be soft properly!
3. When Saturday Comes – As Chelsea continue to slide further away from their early season form and deep into a patch of whatever colour the opposite of purple is (yellow?) Everton’s Jermaine Beckford continues to serve as a reminder of what would actually happen if a player plucked from obscurity was suddenly given his chance at the big time. Despite Hollywood (not to mention Sky1’s peerless football soap opera/Hollyoaks audition/Nuts magazine photo shoot opportunity Dream Team) telling us constantly how slim the gap between the very top, and those who’re earnest and try really hard actually is, it’s not fooling anyone. It’s certainly been no Hollywood experience for Beckford so far, and even when he does manage to score an important late equalizer against the reigning champions on their own patch, the overriding reaction is “yeah well I could’ve done that” and all the plaudits go to Leighton Baines.
4. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – Everyone loves a good fight don’t they? Well apart from Audley Harrison (though to be fair I don’t know why everyone’s being so harsh on him, it’s not like he’s ever hurt anyone) but down at Eastlands they’re kicking off all over the shop. Bangerang! Fresh from a good old training ground dust up between Jerome Boateng and the quintessential moody troubled child Mario Balotelli (who’s unfortunate but obviously very serious inability to smile is surely losing him countless lucrative sponsorship deals) the Middle Eastenders were at it again on Saturday as captain Carlos Tevez unleashed a few choice verbal volleys and dramatic gesticulation his managers way. His rather long and protracted attempts to learn English, which seem to have taken him four years and is still an on going process, surely rule him out of knowing any rude words in Italian, but it’d be interesting to see how Mancini deals with such public petulance. Whatever the reason though it seems to have gotten City playing some sexy football. They devastated Owen Coyle’s Boltolona with attack after attack but were unfortunately let down by most of the final chances falling to their full backs. Maybe they could buy some more strikers and play them as full backs? Or use some of their existing 47? Bellamy and Adebayor might get a game then.
5. Baggie Trousers – After riding out their little slump, West Brom are back to within 8 points of the Champions League places (so, 7 points) and back playing like it. In addition to the almost prolific Odemwingie, in Somen Tchoyi they seem to have found the valuable professional equivalent of that awkward fat lumbering kid at school who is unfathomably good at scoring goals, usually by hitting it really hard at the goal whenever he’s anywhere near it. At my school he was called Yassir and looked like a sort of Persian Super Mario, but he could wallop it goal-bound like nobodies business and had tricky feet for someone with the turning speed of an old lady trying to parallel park a transit van. Such an achievement would probably be enviable to Sol Campbell though who celebrated his 500th Premier League appearance by having a rest whenever West Brom attacked.
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