Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Clean sheets, double trouble and rarer-than-hen's-teeth goals

Congratulations to Fraser Forster, who on Monday marked his temporary side Celtic's tenth successive SPL victory with a clean sheet against bottom club Dunfermline. With Forster proving a powerful repellent between the sticks, the Hoops have reeled in rivals Rangers to lead the division by two points. Might we choose to cash in on him this transfer window? I suppose it all depends on whether Steve Harper goes out on loan again, with Hull being mooted as Harps' next seaside destination.

In the news for less savoury reasons are a pair of midfielders who not long ago wore the black and white stripes. First ASBO, who was red-carded for the fifth time in his career against Norwich. The noted philosopher and friend of Jabba and Llambiarse had given QPR the lead in the battle of the two promoted sides, but his dismissal - for allegedly head-butting Bradley Johnson - turned the game in the Canaries' favour and they ran out 2-1 winners. The decision was harsh (something even Wor Al - hardly ASBO's biggest champion - conceded on Match Of The Day), but Colin Wanker has done himself no favours with the FA (or opposition fans) by joining his captain in accusing the Norwich midfielder of "conning" the referee. For his part, Johnson has taken the opportunity to pass public comment on ASBO's oral hygiene.

And then there's Stephen Ireland, admittedly rarely sighted in Toon garb, who allowed girlfriend Jessica Lawlor to tweet a photo of himself supping booze and chuffing on a shisha pipe. Arguably most remarkable, though, were the topless midfielder's silver snakeskin strides. As Newcastle fans will recall, this isn't the first time that Ireland's been caught in compromising circumstances on camera. Needless to say, Alex McLeish was less than impressed, muttering something about him not doing himself justice on the pitch for Villa - words the player seems to have heeded, judging by the goal that helped the Midlanders to a shock 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Villa were brought crashing back down to earth on Monday by Swansea, thanks in part to Wayne Routledge. Our former winger's goal at Villa Park was - unbelievably - his first ever in the Premier League, at the seventh club and more than 100th time of asking...

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