Last weekend, two young men in North London had a point to prove to their managers, and both proved their point in excellent fashion.
Roman Pavlyuchenko at Tottenham Hotspur hasn't enjoyed the best season so far, having not featured in many of Tottenham's games, yet with Harry Redknapp taking over as manager, his form and confidence have improved remarkably. Scoring two goals last weekend against Wigan was a great way to show Harry Redknapp how much he wants to succeed at the club. This will help his confidence a lot, so keep an eye on him in the next few weeks as form like this will surely help Tottenham to improve their league position, and also in their upcoming FA Cup match against Bolton.
On the red side of North London, Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner has also had a tough season, after being criticised by some sections of Arsenal supporters early in the season, and then being out through injury for a large part of the middle of the season. The current Danish player of the year also scored on the weekend, helping Arsenal score a vital 2-0 home win against Sunderland. Arsenal fans will now be hoping he can continue this form and prove once again that Arsene really does know.
Towards the bottom of the English premier league table, West Ham are currently battling against relegation after recently having been saved from going into administration, and the early signs for a recovery are looking very good. The Upton Park fans have always been behind legendary manager Gianfranco Zola and the Hammers players, and their faith seems to finally be paying off for them. Having beaten fellow premier league strugglers Hull City 3-0 last weekend, West Ham can finally breathe a bit easier, but they will still have to fight to stay in the premier league next season.
In the south of England, things are finally looking up for Portsmouth as well, as they have just been bought by Singapore based businessman Balram Chainrai. This is great news for the Fratton Park players and their faithful fans, who are some of the most passionate supporters in England, and whose club have a very proud history.
While on the subject of proud, passionate fans, special mention should be made of Newcastle Utd, and their current good form, which is keeping them on top of the English championship. This should see them return to the premier league once again next season. Another club who have had their fair share of hard times of late, Newcastle have fought their way back under manager Chris Houghton, and should make a strong impact if they return to the premier league next season. Other clubs who may possibly move up are Nottingham Forest, West Bromwich Albion, and strangely, the two Welsh teams Cardiff & Swansea. It will be interesting to see at least one of the Welsh sides playing in the English premier league next season!
This weekend's round of premier league games will see Yossi Benayoun and Fernando Torres back in action for Liverpool against Blackburn after returning from injury. Their return is crucial for Liverpool, as they have been missing the two of them in recent games. Chelsea also have a crucial match against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, and neither side can afford to drop points. Another massive match is the match between Tottenham and Everton, again, both are sides pushing for a champions league spot next season, so both sides will be giving everything possible in order to get one up over their challengers.
This has been one of the closest premier league seasons yet, and it is looking as though it will get even better in the late stages of the season.