Fifth official: The last look at the weekend
Few of us like Monday but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the weekend.
Spursgate: Episode 678
Oh dear Spurs fans. Oh dear, dear, dear, dear. Surely you can't even have let the dirty thought enter your head that Hull City might beat you at home. No, our proud club won't sink that low, you thought. Oh my giddy aunt how wrong you were. Tottenham are such a shambles at the minute I bet even Soccernet's five-a-side team would give them a run for their money. Wearing blindfolds.
What a goal from Geovanni though eh? He likes north London so much he should splash out on a two-up two-down in Walthamstow. I'm sure Spurs' famously fickle fans are big and ugly enough to hold their hands up after the dust has settled and in a calm and cool manner admit they were beaten by a goal worthy of winning any game. What's that? They're rioting outside White Hart Lane? Oh right, well scrap that idea then.
Toongate: Episode 743
Spurs' current nightmare got worse after even comedy club Newcastle United managed to pull away from them at the foot of the Premier League. The week leading up to the Toon's game at Everton had been dominated by Joe Kinnear's now infamous, expletive-riddled rant at the press, but even before that seismic swear-a-thon he was known as JFK on Tyneside due to most fans reaction to his appointment: "Joe f****** Kinnear!?"
With Newcastle 2-0 down after 44 minutes at Goodison Park it was looking likea nother 'eff' fest was on the cards, but then scroll forward to the 47th minute and the Toon were level. Poor old Joe can't get anything right though, missing both goals because he was tramping up and down the stairs to the dressing room after his touchline ban meant he had to sit in the stands. Maybe he should have spent the entire game going up and down the stairs. He may even have shifted a few pounds.
Owen woe as Fabio goes 'no show'
Just what is it about Michael Owen that Fabio Capello doesn't like? Is it cos he's tiny? Is it cos he plays for Newcastle? Is it cos he's England's all-time fourth highest scorer with 36 goals in 78 games? Is it cos he's scored five goals in eight games so far this season for Newcastle United? Is it cos he left Real Madrid after just one season? Is it cos he likes a flutter on the gee gee's? Is it cos he's been just about the only bright spark at all in Newcastle's tragic season so far? Is it cos he responds well under pressure? Is it cos he's a bit too boring? Is it cos he likes Kevin Keegan? Is it cos he used to helicopter into training on Tyneside? Is it cos he doesn't speak Italian?
Well, then I've absolutely no idea why it is then. Maybe because Peter Crouch is better?
Dirk ends his drought
Dirk Kuyt splits opinion like no other Premier League footballer. So, is he a tireless work-horse or just absolute pony? Before his last minute winner at Manchester City he had gone 27 Premier League games without a goal, whereas Liverpool fans are stunned if Fernando Torres goes more than 27 minutes without notching up a double hat-trick. His fans will say he is never lacking in commitment, is often played out of position and will always fill a slot.
His critics will say he couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo, has a terrible touch and takes up a place in the side that could be filled by any number of more talented players due to his manager's stubbornness and refusal to admit he was wrong to splurge all that cash on him in the first place. So, where do you stand? Me? I think he's a right donkey.
Depleted Chelsea batter Villa
How very demoralising. There was much fanfare about Aston Villa and Spurs (ha ha) being the teams best-equipped to finally break into the top four this season, so as Martin O'Neill and co travelled to Stamford Bridge to face an injury-ravaged Chelsea side we thought maybe, just maybe their long unbeaten run at home might be in jeopardy. That shows how much we know, for Villa were handed a spanking of epic proportions. How it only stayed 2-0 I'll never know. They had one half chance compared to Chelsea's 45 clear-cut ones.
Even invisible man Branislav Ivanovic slotted in and looked as calm and assured as a Paul Newman performance on the big screen. Then, as if that wasn't enough, Big Phil Scolari comes out, says he'll do his best to patch up Joe Cole and John Terry for England duty, reveals he's Fabio Capello's number one fan and hopes England do really well in the future. Is this guy for real?!
And finally a mention to Grant Leadbitter, who scored a cracking goal for Sunderland and then, with a tear in his eye, ran to the spot just in front of the dug-out where his late dad's ashes lie. A genuinely touching moment in an increasingly greedy and self-indulgent game.