Sunday, 28 December 2008

TLDORC December awards

A month that started with four atrocious performances (Fulham was ok), before a big improvement to 'quite acceptable' after Christmas.

PSG (h) 0-0 (thoughts, ratings)
Fulham (a) 1-1 (thoughts, ratings)
Everton (h) 0-1 (thoughts, ratings)
Racing (a) 1-3 (thoughts, ratings)
WBA (a) 1-2 (thoughts, ratings)
Hull (h) 5-1 (thoughts)
Blackburn (a) 2-2 (thoughts, ratings to follow)

Player of the Month

Pablo Zabaleta

Ireland's had a good month, but not as good as Pablo Zabaleta. After a bedding in period that only seemed to take a few weeks, now looks fully at home with the English game. I remember being distraught when Corluka left (or at least, when it was first news that he might leave), but I'm delighted with Zabaleta. Consistent and error-free in a way that Charlie never was, also quicker over ten yards and not afraid to get his shorts dirty. Started with a man of the match display at Craven Cottage, setting up our only goal with a Bosingwa-quality cross and twice nearly scoring his first City goal. For the rest of the month gave us strong, tough, 90 minute displays of defensive solidity and occasional attacking vigour. Finished the month hugging Hughes on the touchline after Robinho's equaliser at Ewood Park. If Hughes can pick up players of this standard from abroad in January we'll have a great 2009. If he spoke English he'd be nailed on for next captain.

PS Honourable mention to Felipe Caicedo, who summoned the spirit of Emile Mpenza with his new hair and bagged four (I'm definitely counting the backheel - fuck Gary Mabbutt) crucial goals. A triumph for Eriksson - an embarrassment for Jo.

Best Performance of the Month

Stevie Ireland v Hull

Probably even better than his Portsmouth, Arsenal or Schalke performances (although against by far the weakest midfield of those four games). Instrumental in almost all of our goals - crossing twice for Caicedo and putting Robinho in after winning the ball in the middle of the park. Capped it all with a great left footed strike for his seventh league goal of the season - now one behind Gerrard and Lampard - his competitors for Premier League team of the season. I'm starting to wonder that maybe, just maybe, if he carries on playing like this and stays here through the 2010s, he could be Manchester City's Paul Scholes.

Goal of the Month

This bit's contingent on my finding clips online to embed, which I can't really find. Our best goal was probably Robinho's first against Hull. My favourites were the Caicedo backheel in Spain and Robinho's equaliser at Ewood.


tommytheblue said...

pablo's a beast...he has sun jihais bullit train tackles excpet with good timeing. It's a great testimant to him that he has come out smelling of roses whilst the rest of the defence are bogged down in a stinking myre of ineptitude.

big felipe backheel was cracking...julio baptista and adriano morphed into one1

Gareth said...

via youtube