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Thursday, 3 November 2011

English Football Weekend Picks (November 5th-6th)

I will be starting this post with a few thoughts recapping the last week of football events and will then have my picks up for the coming weekend football.

Things We Learned (October 29th-November 4th)
1) Congratulations to Sir Alex Ferguson for the last 25 years: It will be 25 years on Sunday that Alex Ferguson walked through the doors of Old Trafford with the aim of 'knocking Liverpool off their fucking perch' and he has since cemented his legacy as one of the greatest managers in British football history, if not the greatest.

I will be writing a short piece on Sir Alex, and my memories of the last 25 years on Sunday.

2) Someone needs to have a word in Kenny Dalglish's shell: It is not the first time that Liverpool have insinuated that Patrice Evra should be 'punished' for daring to report Luis Suarez to the FA for alleged racist comments.

However, you would think someone would have told Dalglish not to fan the flames of the argument when he said that either Suarez or Evra should be punished once the FA conclude their findings.

Now I know a little bit about the legal system and know that even if Suarez is found 'not guilty' that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen... It could solely mean there was no evidence to prove Evra's claim.

The only way Evra can be punished if it is PROVED that he made up the allegations and I would love to know how Dalglish believes that will occur?

I assume, judging by his comments, that Dalglish will expect Anton Ferdinand to be 'punished' if John Terry is not by the FA for the alleged racist remarks in that game too?

I don't know what happened between Suarez and Evra and I don't think anyone but the two players in question will know, but Liverpool's attempts to undermine Evra and demands for punishment are a joke.

No surprise the media, who kiss Dalglish's feet, failed to actually say anything to him regarding his remarks or to make anything of them.

3) Have Arsenal convince me yet?: It was a fantastic performance from Arsenal last week at Stamford Bridge, but they were aided heavily by a Chelsea team that decided they won't defend properly and even then it took a freak moment when John Terry slipped to finally give Arsenal the chance to win the 3 points.

I still remain unconvinced as the Gunners have a shocking defence, while Robin Van Persie is always liable to miss 3 months of a season dealing with injuries. If RVP was to miss significant time, or his form was to cool down, I think Arsenal will have a hard time again.

One player I have been impressed with that is perhaps not getting the plaudits thanks to Van Persie's incredible form is Aaron Ramsey... The young Welsh player has grown in confidence and is a very clever player with passing that has unlocked a few defences already this season. If he could add a few more goals to his game, the Arsenal fans can look forward to a bright future in the middle of the park, especially when Jack Wilshire returns.

4) Wigan are already reaching a desperate stage of their season: Roberto Martinez must surely have thought, at least privately, that he should have left the DW Stadium when he had a chance this Summer as Wigan have really struggled this season and already look in danger of being cut off.

They have failed to win a point against any side that was a Premier League team last season, and could find themselves 5 points from safety if they fail to earn something from their trip to Wolves on Sunday.

There are a few positive signs though, as they have been unlucky to lose their last 2 games, but their defending is beyond suicidal and leaves the team with mountains to overcome. They have also lost the magic that Charles N'Zogbia provided last season when he would score or create a goal out of nowhere.

The lack of match winners has proven to be tough to overcome so far and it looks like being a long, dark winter for the club.

I really like Dave Whelan and respect what he has done for his local club, but they need a fast change in fortunes if they want to maintain their Premier League status this season.

5) And finally: I know this racism debate has been raging on all over the place at the moment and it just seems like people have lost their mind.

The Chelsea supporters chants on Tuesday night aimed at Anton Ferdinand were disgusting and they should rightly be weeded out and banned from attending games in the future as they are sullying that clubs name.

We have also seen some action being taken against people who think they are smart to send racist views from behind a computer screen via social networking sites. Someone was arrested for comments sent to Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi, while Stan Collymore has been 'retweeting' comments sent to him which shows how prevalent racism remains.

I also saw a Villarreal supporter making 'monkey' taunts at Mario Balotelli during Man City's 0-3 win in Spain on Wednesday, but the Spanish authorities leniency on racism means it is unlikely anything will be done even though they could clearly see the culprit on TV.

The weekend picks will follow here and I will update this post whenever I lock in some more picks. You can follow me on Twitter where I provide a link to the new picks:

Manchester United v Sunderland Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12307-Manchester-United-v-Sunderland.htm)

Liverpool v Swansea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12309-Liverpool-v-Swansea.htm)

QPR v Manchester City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12311-QPR-v-Manchester-City.htm)

Arsenal v West Brom Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12312-Arsenal-v-West-Brom.htm)

Aston Villa v Norwich City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12314-Aston-Villa-v-Norwich-City.htm)

Newcastle United v Everton Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12319-Newcastle-United-v-Everton.htm)

Blackburn Rovers v Chelsea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12320-Blackburn-Rovers-v-Chelsea.htm)

Wolves v Wigan Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12321-Wolves-v-Wigan.htm)

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12325-Fulham-v-Tottenham-Hotspur.htm)

MY PICKS: Manchester United win to nil @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Liverpool - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Manchester City - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.83 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Robin Van Persie to score first @ 4.33 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Norwich City + 0.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Newcastle United-Everton Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Blackburn + 1 English Handicap @ 2.70 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Wigan + 0.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Tottenham Hotspur to score over 1.5 goals @ 2.20 Sky Bet (2 Units)

November Update: 2-3, - 3.4 Units

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