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Everton season preview: An already good squad, now with extra goal power

The Weekend Awards – Nonsense on and off the pitch

The Weekend Awards are a somewhat serious, somewhat tongue in cheek affair in summary of the best and worst of the Premier League. The usual drama followed the Premier League circus this week, so what was the best and worst?

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Highlight of the Weekend

Frank Lampard notches 203

I guess you could nominate the send off to Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United and it would run this close but to me Lampard’s was a moment that might not have happened. Where Ferguson is in complete control of his retirement, nicely timed for a league winning Old Trafford celebration that also allowed David Moyes a home farewell, Lampard had to rely first on being played, and then on getting those elusive goals to reach the record. When it became clear at the turn of the year that Chelsea weren’t looking to keep him and in his increasingly deep role opportunities for goals looked scarce. It seemed that the goal record might be out of reach. However, he kept professional, didn’t become selfish and kept racking up the goals and wins to drag an exhausted Chelsea back to the Champions league next season.

He actually is a Leader and Legend and should always be the captain when he plays. Never mind some of his deplorable team mates, Chelsea need him to be the face of their club for next season.

Lowlight of the Weekend

Brainless Red Cards

Charlie Adam, Cristian Benteke and Ramires all got two yellow cards. Bare that in mind. None of them got straight reds. They combined for 147 minutes out of a possible 270. None of them lasted more than an hour. For two bookings? And it’s not as if the bookings were unavoidable. All of the offences which brought second yellows were just ridiculous decisions and Adam and Benteke cost their team badly. Ramires was lucky to be saved by the Lampard show.

Goal of the Weekend

Kevin Mirallas (1st) vs West Ham

This was magisterial goal that should show anyone that doubts the football that David Moyes can get United playing exactly what they are capable of. Leighton Baines started the move deep in his own half and after laying the ball off he blazed forwards in to space. After some nice one touch passing Baines was found precisely by Fellaini and he dummied inside before laying it back to the Belgian. Fellaini then nudged it on to Pienaar who immediately put it straight in to Mirallas’ path and his finish with one touch from the edge of the box was unerring. Lovely stuff.

What are you talking about?! Part One

Tony Pulis on Charlie Adam’s Red Card

As always, Pulis used his post match comments to excuse another Stoke showing which was despicable in it’s lack of ambition, quality and entertainment by talking absolute rubbish about the referee. He said that when Adam slid in on a yellow card he ‘gave the referee an opportunity to send him off’. The implication is that the referee couldn’t wait to send him off and that this was an outrageously soft decision that would only be given against Stoke. It’s pretty simple really. You can’t tackle from behind. It’s a booking. It’s a foul even if you get the ball now. Adam didn’t get the ball and was on a booking. Guess what happens next then?

Strangely, during this diatribe he didn’t mention that Stoke only managed six shots all game with the only one on target being the goal. It also must have slipped his mind that his team managed an eye watering 69% passing accuracy which includes a breath takingly bad 72% accuracy on short passes. He also didn’t say that his team commited twice as many fouls. But here’s the big one. In 90 minutes of football Stoke created three chances to score. Three! But that isn’t why they lost, it’s because of the red card.

What are you talking about?! Part Two

Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew

Anyone who hadn’t seen the incidents in question from the QPR Newcastle game would be forgiven for thinking that the referee had a horror show. But, he didn’t. Redknapp was upset about the penalty awarded against Jose Bosingwa but Bosingwa near enough had Ben Arfa’s whole shirt in his hand and hauled him away from getting in a shot. It’s just clearly a penalty. Pardew was bafflingly complaining about the red card for Rob Elliot the goalkeeper. Elliot was booked already and then decided to catch the ball outside his penalty box. Not near, not on the line, but clearly outside. So it’s a red card right? Weird.

Really?! Moment of the Weekend

Rob Green picks up a back pass

Another to add to Rob Green’s blunder list which thanks to the atrocity committed by Ben Foster isn’t even the biggest howler, but certainly the most mind bendingly bizarre. Armand Traore passes the ball back to him in the box and for some reason Green bends down to pick it up. Maybe he think’s it’s 1991 and it’s allowed again. Its not Rob. Adding to the comedy was Mark Lawrenson’s Match of the Day analysis in which he blamed Traore.

Most Deceptive Result of the Weekend

QPR 1-2 Newcastle

Considering this is dominating the awards given with a question and exclamation mark it says a lot. Newcastle are safe because of this result. Because of this, they are allowed to play in the Premier League next season. But, by Harry Redknapp’s own admission, QPR are not a Premier League team. They have an expensively assembled bunch of mercenaries with no fight or ability. And Newcastle only just beat them because Jose Bosingwa donated them a penalty and then an open goal after selling Green up the river with a heinous back pass. That’s it. That’s all Newcastle had to do to stay up. There’s a lot wrong up there.

Premier League Team of the Weekend

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