Was Kenny Dalglish right to blame Sky for Suarez drama?
Premier League talking points from Thierry Henry's farewell to Harry Redknapp's rout
THERE can be little doubt about the main talking point after the latest round of Premier League games. It occurred before a single ball had been kicked and was still being discussed after the final whistle blew at the end of the weekend.
Luis Suarez's refusal to shake Patrice Evra's hand before the game between Manchester United and Liverpool must go down as one of the talking points of the season.
But there was lots more going on this weekend. Here's what the fans will be talking about this morning:
After all the rancour and bile surrounding the actions of Luis Suarez at Old Trafford on Saturday, the subsequent apologies and hand-wringing, one point made by Kenny Dalglish in his memorable post-match interview appears to have been overlooked.
His attempts to defend Suarez were foolish, but he did stumble into some interesting territory when he suggested that the whole affair was being milked by the media, and in particular Sky.
"See when we had the FA Cup tie, because it wasn't on a 24-hour news channel in the build-up to the game, nothing like this happened," he told Sky reporter Jeff Shreeves in the tunnel. That was a reference to the fact that the Premier League receives wall-to-wall coverage on Sky while the FA Cup, broadcast on ITV, has less prominence.
He obviously believed that the constant speculation in the run-up to the game had not helped matters.
Yes, Suarez's actions were pathetic, but Liverpool, Manchester United and the player have all expressed a desire to "move on". But it is unlikely that the Premier League's paymasters, and the media juggernaut that feeds off it, will allow them to wave goodbye to the story just yet.
Arsenal to bid farewell to Henry, but he could be back
Arsenal are up to fourth and if they manage to maintain that position until the end of the season then they will raise a glass to Thierry Henry. The French legend scored an injury-time winner against Sunderland in (probably) his final Premier League appearance, which lifted them above Chelsea.
It was his 229th goal for Arsenal and the third of his loan spell, during which he has made six appearances.
Henry returns to the New York Red Bulls on Thursday but could sign off with a run-out against AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday. Yet he refused to rule out coming back to Arsenal next year, although by then he will be 35.
Apart from the winners against Leeds in the FA Cup and Sunderland on Saturday the other benefit of his stay will hopefully manifest itself in the form of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom could learn from the master.
What a week for Redknapp
Harry Redknapp rounded off a week to remember in some style as his Spurs side demolished high-flying Newcastle at White Hart Lane, reminding everyone that they are not out of the title race just yet.
The performance also provided proof of Redknapp's ability as a manager. This time last week, he was facing the possibility that his career was about to come to an abrupt end that that he would be spending some time behind bars. By Thursday he had been cleared of the tax evasion charges and was the new England manager elect after the resignation of Fabio Capello.
But despite all that he managed to rally his troops to produce a scintillating performance that blew Newcastle away.
Spurs fans won't be happy to see him go, but there's no way England will overlook him now.
Time is running out for Andre Villas-Boas
Things may be going well for Harry Redknapp, but across town at Stamford Bridge Andre Villas-Boas is having a nightmare. The Chelsea boss took the blame for defeat at Everton and described the performance as one of the worst of the season... and that is saying something.
The Blues have not won for four league games and are sliding down the table. It could soon be curtains for AVB. Chelsea have played 25 league games this season, they have won 12, drawn seven and lost six. Luiz Felipe Scolari got the bullet at the exact same stage of the season three years ago, yet his record was superior.
The Brazilian led Chelsea to 14 wins, seven draws and four defeats in his 25 league games. Under 'Big Phil' the Blues scored 44 goals and conceded just 15. Under AVB they have scored the same number but have conceded 31, double the amount they did under Scolari.
City learn to win ugly, is Tevez coming back?
Manchester City are top of the Premier League once again after a scrappy 1-0 win over Aston Villa. Joleon Lescott scored the winner from a corner and Joe Hart produced a fantastic save in the dying minutes to keep a clean sheet and ensure his side kept the spoils.
It was hardly a vintage performance but Roberto Mancini will be delighted that his side have learned the art of 'winning ugly', something that is almost always essential if you are to win the league.
Mancini's new pragmatic streak may even extend to Carlos Tevez situation. The Argentine was exiled from the club after apparently refusing to come on as a substitute during a Champions League game and is currently kicking his heels in Argentina.
But City failed to sell him during the transfer window and may find themselves short of firepower during the title run-in.
When asked if Tevez could play for City again, Mancini said: "I don't know. I hope so, yes. I don't have a problem and the club doesn't. Carlos knows the situation."
McCarthy is thrown to the Wolves
Poor old Mick McCarthy. He looked a broken man after watching his Wolves side lose 5-1 at home to their bitter local rivals West Brom. The result was greeted with boos and jeers at Molineux and plunges his side into the relegation zone.
He admitted that his team had capitulated, and said: "That's not us. I have never apologised for a performance but would do for that as I know what it means to everybody."
Where the performance leaves McCarthy remains to be seen. His side have lost six of their last seven home games. Their last victory at home was against Sunderland in December, and this year West Brom, Aston Villa and Birmingham have all won at Molineux.
Wolves owner Steve Morgan was moved to talk to the players recently, perhaps feeling that McCarthy was not saying the right things. However, the former Ireland manager says he will not quit and believes he can still turn things round. ·