A quick look back at yesterday, the Chelsea game went pretty much according to plan and we would have made a flying start to the afternoon, if Celtic had managed to hold on to a two goal lead entering the final 20 minutes of the game.
I did expect that game to produce goals, but to lose from that position was tough and the Hoops were guilty of some suicidal defending. The penalty conceded by Edson Braafheid at 4-2, which came minutes after Robbie Keane had been withdrawn and when Celtic were looking to close out the game, was completely unexplainable, under little pressure the dutch international somehow decided that to control the ball with his hand was a very good idea ! He had a bit of a nightmare and must be hoping that his national team boss misses out on the match highlights (lowlights ?) and he is already off my Christmas card list.
Elsewhere, my beloved Bees also had a bad day at the office and were fortunate to salvage a point from local rivals Wycombe. However, another word of praise to the board/management who got Myles Weston to sign a contract extension this week, the 21 year old seems certain to play at a higher level and this ensures that if it is not be with Brentford, the club will at least receive a decent fee for the speedy winger with an eye for goal. This is another example of how much better run the Bees are now and concerns about the short/medium term future of the club have all but disappeared.
Manchester City put in another lethargic performance and with so much talent at the club, that must be very disappointing for long suffering supporters of the team. They have no problem raising their game when the bigger teams are in town, but struggle to finish off sides prepared to battle for every ball, the bread and butter games. Fun game to play when watching City, is to try and pick which balls played Emmanuel Adebayor the Togo superstar will actually bother to try and collect, suffice to say that his talent is way out of proportion to his work rate ! Come back Sir Robert Taylor all is forgiven ! The former Bee never got a fair crack of the whip at City (yes,I have a long memory!) but is one of my all time favourites and whilst he might have put on a few pounds since retiring (see photo), there is just more of him to love !
I have watched a lot of the pre-season Scandinavian games over the last week or so and have been very impressed by one of the Swedish teams in particular. They have improved each game and look very advanced in preparation and I am certain they will get off to a flyer this year in Allsvenskan, so something to look forward to there and I am also contemplating a long term bet on them, more about that in the coming weeks.
Today, I am not exactly fired up by the entertainment on offer, but am hopeful of a more uptempo display from Tottenham . They face a difficult looking trip to Bolton, but Wanderers are entering a make or break period of their season, with EPL games against Wigan, Blackburn, Wolves and West Ham up next and could surely do without the distraction of an extended cup run. The home side are already without a number of players and look a little short in the centre of defence today and Owen Coyle might well choose to rest a couple of others. Even if Happy Harry decides to follow suit and I somehow doubt he will do little more than normal rotation, front men like Defoe, Crouch, Gudjohnsen and Pavlyuchenko will all fancy ther chances against a defence sorely missing Gary Cahill and the home side might struggle to deal with the high balls into the box. Interesting to see who HH goes with upfront, anyway, I favour Spurs to bounce back from a poor midweek showing at Wolves and will take a little on them giving up the bigger (0.75 goal) handicap at tempting odds.