U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves traveled to Boleyn Ground on Tuesday and spanked West Ham and U.S. defender Jonathan Spector 3-1 in a critical relegation tilt. The victory lifted Wolverhampton seven points above the drop, while leaving the Hammers just three points clear of danger—with Hull City holding a game in hand beneath them. (Spector came on as a second-half sub and played 45 minutes.)
Kevin Doyle opened the scoring for Wolves in the 27th minute and Ronald Zubar and Matthew Jarvis added goals within three minutes of one another in the second half to secure the points for Mick McCarthy‘s men. Those three points were huge for Hahnemann and Wolverhampton, but the real story, as far as we’re concerned, was yet another spectacular postgame quote from McCarthy, the Bard of the Byline. We’re starting to think the man has a writing staff. First there was “mullered” and “passengers” and then “great propaganda” and “right chew” and now this:
“We have not sewn anything up yet but we have gone a long way towards helping out….It was a vital win for us in terms of us concertinaed the league above us a little bit more and doing damage to West Ham.”
We know what you’re thinking: There’s a misprint up there. Mick McCarthy did not actually say the word ‘concertinaed.’ I don’t think that’s even a word, and if it is, McCarthy is obviously not using it in the proper form.
That’s the same thing we thought, and then we looked it up, and … well, we’re still a bit confused:
First, we thought he was talking concertina wires, as in “a coiled barbed wire used as an obstacle.” But in that case, wouldn’t Wolves have ‘concertinaed’ the teams below them in the table? As in, built a barrier between themselves and the drop zone.
Then we decided he was making reference to an accordion-like instrument (a concertina) and its verb form, which the OED lists as to “compress in folds like those of a concertina.” So, did he mean his men were drawing the teams above them towards Wolves, in accordion-like fashion?
That might be it, but in the end, we’re probably meant to just let all of the layers of meaning wash over us—Mick McCarthy is the e.e. cummings, the Bob Dylan, of the 2009-2010 Premier League season: He trafficks in ambiguity and oblique meanings over explicit ones—and we salute him.
Week 31 action continued yesterday, with another American keeper scoring an impressive win as Tim Howard produced a clean sheet in Everton’s 2-0 clipping of Champions League aspirants Manchester City. Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta got the goals for the Toffees, who now stand only three points behind sixth-place Liverpool.
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa played to their second consecutive disappointing draw, 1-1 against Sunderland this time, and had to rely on John Carew for the equalizer again. It was the seventh tie in 10 games for Villa, and another blow to their Champions League hopes.
Chelsea demolished last-place Portsmouth, 5-0, with Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda each bagging two goals (Frank Lampard got the other). Drogba’s first goal came after Portsmouth keeper David James completely whiffed on an easy clearance attempt, leaving the ball and the wide open net behind him for Drogba.
The win puts Chelsea one point behind Manchester United with seven games to play. Arsenal is just two points back in third place.
Finally, MLS Alum Ryan Nelsen dressed but did not play in Blackburn’s 2-1 win over Birmingham City at Ewood Park. David Dunn scored both goals for Rovers.