Co-commissioner Our Man at the Valley is here with your Week 19 wrap-up, featuring a possible Pepe Reina impostor, the Ameobi brothers’ unique approach to differentiating themselves, and the continued dominance of the netminder from the Rocky Mountain State:
Gameweeks came fast and furious in late December in the EPL and the BPFL—a mite too quickly for the Backpost editor it seems. [It’s true. To quote the snail that gets overrun by two turtles, “It all happened so fast!”—Ed. ]
Gameweek 19 started on Friday, December 30, 2011, and ended on New Year’s Day. Gameweek 20 has just begun, and includes two matches each for Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. I’ll be back in 10 days for a recap of that one.
Gameweek 19 began with Liverpool v. Newcastle. I hadn’t watched Liverpool in a while. My takeaways were that Pepe Reina seems to have enjoyed some festive-period food and is looking increasingly like someone playing pickup soccer in the park on a Sunday afternoon in a Liverpool replica jersey; Andy Carroll still stinks; Steven Gerrard is much better than Charlie Adam; and Craig Bellamy is much better than I expected.
Demba Ba continued to look good up front for Newcastle, especially after the introduction of Sammy Ameobi as a sub. Sammy’s brother Shola, also a Newcastle striker, is out injured. Sammy appeared with the back of his jersey reading a none-too-helpful “S. Ameobi.” I don’t think Rich and Ron Sutter did it this way.
Elsewhere, as the Robin van Persie goal machine rolled merrily along, Manchester United were beaten at home by bottom club Blackburn Rovers (I picked a bad week to get rid of Yakubu) and leaders Manchester City were shut out again, losing 1-0 away to Sunderland.
In the BPFL, leaders coloradokeeper won again, 53-30 over Fluffy Bunnies. The Bunnies made their first changes of the season in anticipation of the matchup with our leaders; unfortunately, they kept their questionable strategy of giving the captain’s armband to a Arsenal defender who can’t complete 60 minutes on the pitch (Thomas Vermaelen instead of Bacary Sagna).
Performance of the Week: The honors were shared between Old27M (he really can stop whining now) and second-place Dynasty of FC Hammer, each of whom tallied 63 points.
Unlucky Loser: Afrikan Letsatsi logged 57 points this week, a total that would have beaten all but the two teams named in the prior sentence.
Our Cup contingent has dwindled to 17 for this Gameweek’s third round, including RayDomPsychicAdvisor, who only recently moved off the foot of our league table.
Happy New Year to all.
Thanks OMATV. We will now go remove Luis Suarez from our roster. (Sadly, that’s not a joke.)
One other note: Tune in to Fox Soccer Plus tomorrow afternoon at the oddly scheduled time of 2:53 p.m. ET for what could be Landon Donovan’s 2012 Premier League debut in Everton v. Bolton.