The Weekend That Was – 29/4/14

Could Alan Pardew be on the way out at Newcastle?

Could Alan Pardew be on the way out at Newcastle?

Another weekend of sport is in the books, with the destination of the Premier League title no clearer after yet another shocking twist on Sunday afternoon at Anfield. However that wasn’t the only headline grabbing action, so keep reading to find out just what happened in the latest installment of ‘The Weekend That Was’.

Mourinho Masterminds Chelsea’s 2-0 Victory Over Shocked Reds

After dropping hints he’d change almost the entirety of his usual first team lineup for Chelsea’s visit to Anfield to take on table topping Liverpool, Jose Mourinho pulled off the ultimate heist by fielding a near full strength eleven and coming away from Merseyside with a 2-0 win, courtesy of goals from Demba Ba and Willian. Although I’m a huge fan of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the work he’s done this season I’m sure even the most ardent Reds supporter will admit that ‘The Special One’ outfoxed his former assistant on this occasion, with his defensive unit impenetrable despite being up against the leagues leading scorers while his attacking players took advantage of any Liverpool mistakes. The turning point in the game, and perhaps the title race, was Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s slip, a cruel twist of fate after he told his teammates “this does not f****** slip now” following their victory over Manchester City a fortnight ago. The league crown is now City’s to lose, and should they win their remaining three fixtures and therefore the title they’ll owe Jose Mourinho more than a hint of gratitude.

Unrest Grows in the Northeast After Another Newcastle Defeat

Newcastle lost 3-0 against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to record their sixth successive defeat, a harrowing run for the Geordies which is their worst for over two decades. Manager Alan Pardew has never been overly popular with Newcastle fans for a number of reasons, but this most recent desertion of form has seen him slip to perhaps his lowest ever status with those on Tyneside. Mix in his attempted headbutt on Hull City’s David Meyler and it hasn’t been a brilliant 2014 so far for Pardew, who could see his job come under threat once the season is finished.

Meanwhile, thanks to his side’s win and Everton’s loss to Southampton on Saturday Arsene Wenger looks all but certain to guide the Gunners to Champions League qualification for the umpteenth season in a row. With an F.A Cup final on the horizon against Hull, Arsenal could even end their nine year trophyless run at Wembley next month. While their title push may have faltered some weeks ago after they’d sat top of the pile for so long the season would still surely register as a success should Arsenal do the top four and F.A Cup double.

Farbrace and Newell Given Roles in England Set-Up

After former Lancashire and Sussex coach Peter Moores was appointed as Andy Flower’s successor with the senior England team there were still a few roles to be finalised on his staff. Those roles would now appear to be filled, with Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell the man chosen to replace Ashley Giles as a selector and Paul Farbrace hired away from his role in charge of the Sri Lankan national team to fill the role as Moores’ number two. Farbrace brings a wealth of experience  to the position, and it’s widely thought that after Moores made several mistakes with regards to man management during his first spell in the role the ECB were keen to surround him with someone else who has experience at the highest level. Newell’s appointment came after Giles stepped down as a selector, presumably because he decided the role wasn’t right for him after he was overlooked for the role of head coach. Newell is well known for his disagreement with Kevin Pietersen back when the South African born batsman played for Notts, dampening the chances of Pietersen earning an international reprieve further still with the anti-KP Moores already in a position of power.

That’s it for this weeks installment of ‘The Week That Was’, have your say on the action in the comments or tweet @fredjstanley.

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