FOOTY-BOOTS WEEKEND REVIEW

In a new section, Footy-Boots.com contributor Chris Kendrick will be casting a critical eye over the footballing world! Expect frank opinions and light-hearted ribbing of the beautiful game with the Footy-Boots weekend review!

What™s the best thing you can do when you have a manager who has won the Double in his first season and his team is sitting pretty at the top in the following season?

Change his managerial backroom team for the heck of it, of course.

Chelsea™s bizarre removal of Ray Wilkins and the decision to replace him with the youth team kit man will have bemused Chelsea fans almost as much as Carlo Ancelotti, with the net result being that the title race is back on after successive league defeats.

The latest reverse, at Birmingham, saw Lee Bowyer wind back the clock to produce the type of burst from midfield and tidy finish that once made him one of the foremost (albeit, unloved) attacking midfielders in the Premiership.

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Arsenal™s decision to surrender a 2-0 half-time lead and 17 years of North London bragging rights earlier in the day led Harry Redknapp to declare that his Tottenham side were serious title contenders. As wonderful as they are to watch “ and as great a comeback as they had just produced, which included Gareth Bale™s exquisite touch and finish “ Tottenham sit level on points with Bolton, whose manager Owen Coyle possibly hasn™t started to think about open-top buses just yet.

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Staying on the North London Derby – is anyone else getting tired of William Gallas constantly switching up his football boots? It seems trivial, as he’s not really moving away from the Nike brand, or even moving away from the Mercurial Vapor Silo – but one week the Centre back is in a yellow-ed out Superfly I, then he changes to the Voltage Cherry Superfly II and now he’s back in the original Superfly, but without removing the branding? Make up your mind William!

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Wayne Rooney made his return to the fold at Old Trafford, joining his pauper team-mates for the first time since pulling off the ˜I want to leave because my team-mates aren™t all that, but I™ll stay and thanks for doubling my wages™ masterstroke. Two of his poorly-paid colleagues came up with the goals that beat Wigan™s five-a-side team.


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Football Boots Christmas

We also couldn’t help but notice that Nike had kitted out Rooney with one of their Nike Pro Combat HyperWarm baselayers. Firstly, we can’t believe that the powers that be would allow the Hyperwarm on the pitch, thanks to it’s black venting zones on the elbows – normally the Premier League are the first to jump on a ‘uniform infringement’ as minor as that.

Second of all, kudos to Nike; getting the most talked about player in the country to d©but their flagship winter product. Marketing genius from the American brand. Combine that with the aforementioned black elbow-vents and the Nike Pro Combat range has to be one of the most visible undergarments in the world (that hasn’t been worn by Lady Gaga. Yet.)

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West Ham helped Liverpool feel good about life again by giving them the second half off at Anfield. For all the on-field doom and gloom that has surrounded Roy Hodgson™s short tenure at the club, Liverpool now sit just three points behind ˜title candidates™ Spurs and, er, Bolton. Avram Grant, meanwhile, should start looking at how to mount a promotion challenge next season.

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In Spain, Barcelona edged an eight-goal thriller away at Almeria, but Jose Mourinho™s young guns at Real Madrid show no signs of tailing off either. The standard of opposition in La Liga may leave a lot to be desired, but the Cristiano Ronaldo/Lionel Messi weekly goal sprees are something to behold. Next Monday™s El Clasico will see two teams in their pomp meet in arguably the greatest club game in world football. It has now got 0-0 written all over it.

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Villareal, Espanyol and Valencia are leading the battle to finish third as Spain™s top flight manfully attempts to induce analogies with the SPL“ even if the football is from another planet, the league table is not.

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Speaking of Scotland, if ever we needed reminding of the vital role that referees and officials play in the game, next weekend there could be lots of footballers and fans getting in a bit of Christmas shopping earlier than planned. Bad decisions and inadequate explanations of them are one thing; death threats to officials for making those mistakes take the game down an unwanted avenue.


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