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All Things Footie | Monday, March 11 | Jordan

Revenge is…

Chelsea will certainly tell you how it feels, the blue and white half of North London may offer a different perspective. Tottenham looked as toothless as they did in the Worthington Cup Final, and Chelsea demonstrated with frightening ease how simple it is to destroy a side. Chelsea's ability to play wonderful and effective football like this one week and then get beaten by Charlton the next (no offence addicks) becomes more incomprehensible by the week.

A mesmerising performance of passion, teamwork and a lethal frontman in Eidur Gudjonsen was only spoiled by an all too typical act of lunacy from the (allegedly more intelligent than most) Graeme Le Saux. The challenge that the ex-England international recklessly threw at Maurico Tauricco is the kind of offence that is all to often overlooked as a serious foul. In games where players are sent off for throwing the ball away or falling over their own feet, potential career enders are usually punished with a slap on the wrist and little else.

Which brings me on to a pet-hate of mine, one that reared its ugly head a number of times in another of yesterday's matches. Picture this if you will…

…the ball is meandering towards the touchline by the corner flag and a certain portly centre forward is trying his hardest to reach it in time. He arrives when the ball still has two or three yards to run and attempts to keep it in play. But wait, there's a player positioning himself between said forward and the ball with no attempt to make contact (quite the opposite in fact). The forward adjusts himself and runs around the player to take possession from the side but the defender steps across to be in his way once more…


West Bromwich Albion can take a lot of credit from their showing at the Hawthorns last night. Some may say that Albion had a lesser task than other teams at this stage as less than a year ago, playing Fulham was merely part of the first division program. Those people would do well to remember that Jean Tigana spent over £1m a day last August and that WBA's best player was injured.

Which side of the fence do you site on? were Newcastle unlucky and did they deserve a victory? or was Arsenal's resolute and accomplished defending coupled with Newcastle's poor strike force worth a draw? Personally I think that despite having the Lions share of possession Newcastle did not deserve a victory for the simple reason that they didn't win the game. With the exception of Laurent Robert and to a lesser extent Nol Solano, Newcastle's offensive play lacked subtlety, guile and a cutting edge. Carl Cort was nearly as bad as against Liverpool and Alan Shearer was marked out of the game by the superb Igors Stepanovs.

Following on from last weeks praise it's worth mentioning (again) the ever youthful Lee Dixon. He turned in another great performace; blocking challenges, winning crucial aerial battles and holding off players half his age and six inches taller. There really is no substitute for experience and commitment.

Performace of the week : Chelsea vs Spurs
Player of the week © : Eidur Gudjonsen (Chelsea vs Spurs)
Goal of the week : Laurent Robert (Newcastle vs Arsenal)
Team of the week :

Richard Wright
Lee Dixon
William Gallas
Igors Stepanovs
Celestine Babayaro
Jonathan Greening
Clarence Acuna
Manu Petit
Laurent Robert
  Eidur Gudjonsen
Alen Boksic

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