Blogs & Opinion


Soccer Saturday:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Saturday Summary

Merse, Le Tiss, Thommo and Charlie discuss Redknapp's Rangers, Al-Habsi's clanger and some frustration for David Moyes as they review Saturday's Premier League action...

Soccer Saturday Posted 24th November 2012 view comments

Paul Merson on the task facing Harry Redknapp after QPR's 3-1 defeat at Manchester United

"He would have taken encouragement for 60-odd minutes and then for 10 minutes he would have been thinking 'woah, what a job we've got here'. They were outstanding in the first half, as comfortable as anybody's been at Old Trafford, and in the second half they scored through Mackie. They probably could have gone two up with better passes, they broke very well and if they'd got the second goal then who knows? But you know with Man United they'll just never give up.

"Clint Hill was very good, Shaun Derry was very good, Ryan Nelsen was very good. They're the ones that are going to stand up and be counted. They got stuck in and when they do that, the others can't help but follow. Jamie Mackie worked hard and Djibril Cisse didn't have a lot but he worked hard for the team, which was the most important thing. Sir Alex Ferguson brought Anderson and Javier Hernandez on and all of a sudden it changed; you don't mind getting beat by a bit of good play but bad defending is not good enough. They were good for 60 minutes, but after that no. It will be interesting to see what team Redknapp picks come Tuesday night at Sunderland because this team played very well for 60-odd minutes.

"Man United have got Man City in a couple of weeks and if they play like that against Man City for 60 minutes then it'll be like it was last year; they'll score six. It was so bad and people of the standard of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez will hurt you. If QPR were just a little bit better in the final third when they were 1-0 up they would have run away with this game. Sir Alex Ferguson will be very worried about that."

Read our match report here

Matt Le Tissier on the controversial free-kick that saw Norwich secure a 1-1 draw with Everton

"It's always very disappointing when you concede a goal late in the game and David Moyes will be incredibly frustrated because the free-kick that was awarded to be swung in for Sebastien Bassong to head the equaliser was a really, really soft one. Leighton Baines was pressurising Steve Morrison, who was going away from goal quite a way out and it doesn't look like he made any contact with him whatsoever. Maybe, as defenders do when they go and close down, he popped his arm on his back. Morrison went to pass the ball and took a complete air shot at the ball and fell over. The referee blew for a foul, I don't think it's a foul and David Moyes was raging on the touchline because he didn't think it was either.

"Having said that, Johnny Heitinga needed to defend better from the ball that was whpped in. Bradley Johnson whipped it to the far post and Heitinga was looking like he was marking Bassong. As the ball came in he went back towards the goal, but he didn't see where Bassong was behind him. Eventually the ball went over his head and Bassong headed it down and it hit the underside of the crossbar and Grant Holt knocked it in for good measure, but the ball was already about a foot over the line. It was definitely a Bassong goal and Moyes will be disappointed.

"It wasn't the flowing football that we've seen a lot from Everton this season. They definitely miss Marouane Fellaini in the line-up and they had to tinker with the shape a little bit which meant the Pienaar-Baines combination didn't get going because Bryan Oviedo was playing on the left-hand side. Steven Pienaar was more central and trying to support Nikica Jelavic, who seems to have gone off the boil a little bit lately."

Read our match report here

Charlie Nicholas on Jordi Gomez's hat-trick and Ali Al-Habsi's blunder in Wigan's 3-2 win over Reading

"The hat-trick had everything; right foot, left foot and a header. He could have scored another two or three to be fair - he missed a couple of great chances - and so did Arouna Kone. Gomez will get the headlines for his hat-trick, but I tell you the most relieved man will be Ali Al-Habsi, who made the biggest shocker of a goalkeeping mistake that you've seen for a long, long time. Hal Robson-Kanu hit it and the defender blocked it on the penalty spot and it spun high up in the air and it was landing just over the bar or going to clip the top of the bar. He tried to palm it back over the bar, but he softened his fingers and it hit the underside of the bar, came down on the line and the spin on the ball was so severe that it went over the line by about a foot. He tried to claw it back, but he couldn't and he was so embarrassed because it put Reading back in it.

"It took until the 92nd minute before Gomez popped up on the counter-attack as Reading looked the more likely to win. It ended up that Roberto Martinez's Wigan ended up with the three points. Unbelievable! To have looked as if there was nothing for them today to all of a sudden not just take something from the game, but to take all three points, this was a massive win for Wigan."

Read our match report here

Phil Thompson on Charlie Adam's goalscoring form after Stoke's 1-0 win over Fulham

"It wasn't a bad game, but wasn't as good as I would have liked. There weren't enough chances in free-flowing football. Fulham did well to come back into the game and had a lot of possession, but there's no cutting edge to them. Stoke always looked more threatening and because Brede Hangeland wasn't playing you'd imagine they would have great chances from set-pieces and they did, but they didn't score from them.

"The one they scored was a diagonal ball in to Peter Crouch who knocked it down and there was so much time for Charlie Adam, just inside the six-yard box to control it with his back to goal, turn and put it into the net. He's scored twice in the last three games and got six points for them. Tony Pulis was saying that he wanted and believed he could get more goals, so he's doing what his manager has asked.

"You know that he's got that in his locker. Maybe he played a little bit deeper at Liverpool and didn't get the opportunity to get forward, but this is different. He's playing in more of a three-man midfield and is being allowed to go and play off Peter Crouch. Charlie Adam knows the players that he's playing with and he's trying to react and get in the box. He's scored two and it's six valuable points for Stoke."

Read our match report here

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Goal crazy

When did Liverpool last score three without Suarez and Sturridge netting? Martin Tyler has the stats......

0 comments

Ed Chamberlin

Rough ride

Ed Chamberlin recalls Liverpool's emotional weekend but says Norwich may give them a test....

Andy Walker

Second success

Andy Walker applauds Stuart McCall's work at Motherwell, as his re-built side challenges for second....

Latest News RSS feeds

Suarez urges fans to be calm

Luis Suarez has told Liverpool fans to stay calm as the club attempts to win its first top-flight title in 24 years.

Wenger: We can handle pressure

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his team are able to handle the pressure as they chase fourth spot and an FA Cup win.

Rodgers: Let's win in style

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has called on his side to try and win the Premier League title "in the right way".

Martinez disappointed by loss

Roberto Martinez conceded his Everton side had not been at their best after going down 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace.

Villa tracking Deeney

Sky Sports understands Aston Villa have made Watford hit-man Troy Deeney one of their top summer transfer targets.

Features

No engineer fix

No engineer fix

Matt Stanger reflects on a night that saw the title slip further out of Manchester City's grasp.

Real Madrid: Los Blancos can push forward after Copa del Rey victory at the Mestalla

Real Madrid: Los Blancos can push forward after Copa del Rey victory at the Mestalla

Gerry Armstrong says Real Madrid can kick on after their Copa del Rey triumph and compete for the Treble.

Pulis' perfect plan

Pulis' perfect plan

Daniel Storey is unstinting in his praise for Tony Pulis after watching Crystal Palace beat Everton.