Skip to main content

Premier Sketch: goalie bags, S.A.D. and a free-kick-off

Have you ever wondered what goalkeepers keep in those little goalie bags they stick in the back of their net? Spare gloves, obviously; tape, probably; the Barcelona keeper might take a novel in case Xavi, Inesta, & Co. decide to play some keep-ball.

Well, ArsenalâÂÂs No.1 Manuel Almunia no doubt stores his brain in his, and if you took a peek into Jens LehmanâÂÂs man-bag youâÂÂd not only get a slap from Mad Jens but youâÂÂd possibly find a voodoo doll of the selfsame hapless Spanish keeper.

On Saturday, Almunia was up to his usual tricks of costing the Gunners vital points in the title race, but what did his boss Arsene Wenger expect after bringing back the SpaniardâÂÂs arch enemy to watch over and make fun of his every move? 

Meanwhile over at Old Trafford another goalkeeping mistake was handing league leaders Manchester United a rather fortunate win over Bolton, and it was the Trotters' usually safe keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen who fumbled a tame effort from Nani straight into the path of Bulgarian supersub Dimitar Berbatov â prompting the usual âÂÂEasiest goal he'll ever scoreâ quotes.

Perhaps the Finnish keeper was surprised to see the Portuguese winger on the field in the first place after suffering a âÂÂseason-endingâ injury just two weeks ago. No one realised at the time that by "season" the doctor meant "winter".

Talking of injuries, all our good thoughts go out to BoltonâÂÂs Stuart Holden after a tackle from Jonny Evans necessitated 26 stitches in a knee wound and ruled him out for six months. Does Nani feel silly for crying now? No, probably not.

LetâÂÂs finish with two cracking, and very different free-kicks; you can make you own mind up whether youâÂÂre a fan of force or finesse. The first one was a thunderbolt from Danny Higginbotham capping a wonderful 4-0 win for Stoke over Newcastleâ¦

...and the second was conjured from the cultured left foot (it reads poetry you know!) of BlackpoolâÂÂs Charlie Adam in the 2-2 draw with Blackburn.

Which do you prefer?