With the Premier League getting its first fixtures of 2014 underway on New Years’ Day, you could be forgiven for thinking that some figures overdid the New Year celebrations given some of the errors that were on show. So here is a look at the villains of the first round of fixtures of 2014.
Cattermole had the simple task of just controlling the ball and finding another man in red and white striped shirt. Instead there was no control of the ball at all as he allowed Gabriel Agbonlahor to give Aston Villa the lead – a goal which cost bottom of the table Sunderland dearly.
Debuchy put it what could only be described as a brainless challenge on West Brom’s Claudio Yacob midway through the second half with the score at 0-0. You simply can’t go into challenges airborne with two feet together, as the Newcastle man picks up a three game ban.
Does anybody know what is going through the West Ham skipper’s head at the moment? The last thing they need is Nolan kicking opponents off the ball with the Hammers in a really hard relegation scrap this term, and it doesn’t help it is the second time he has been sent off within a month. No wonder Sam Allardyce was less than pleased with him.
Your side is leading 1-0 going into stoppage time and on the brink of a big win, so what do you do? Well, if you’re Jermaine Pennant you mindlessly dive in on Leon Osman and give away a penalty. Not just once, but twice Pennant tripped Osman, when all he needed to do was stand up and try and see the game out.
Not a great day at the office for Leroy Fer as he gave away the penalty that allowed Jason Puncheon to equalise for Crystal Palace after Norwich had led. And in the second half he goes diving into a challenge with Mile Jedinak that was completely mistimed.
We usually have five villains, but Moyes is making it six. Whilst he may bemoan refereeing decisions in his side’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur, the assertion that Manchester United played well is a baffling one, well for at least the first 70 minutes. Moyes also needs to question why his side are not getting such decisions as well, maybe the reputation that certain players are developing?
image: © Ben Sutherland