Weekend Watch: Walcott is the real deal, just pay him and play him
22:34 GMT, 30 December 2012
Star Man: Theo Walcott
There were some typical frustrations from Theo Walcott on Saturday and I'm told some Arsenal fans were shouting 'sell him.' Are they mad Don't get wrapped up in a debate of where he plays, just let him play. And get him that new contract. Pay him what he wants.
Star attraction: Theo Walcott holds the match ball after scoring a hat-trick for Arsenal against Newcastle United on Saturday
Ba a bad loss
Newcastle have a lot of injuries and Cheick Tiote seems to have lost his hunger. Demba Ba has been carrying them. Take away his 13 league goals and they are in deep trouble. But with that get-out clause, no wonder Chelsea are interested. He'll be a great buy for them.
In the window: Demba Ba, scoring here for Newcastle against Arsenal at the weekend, is attracting interest from Chelsea ahead of the transfer window
Did he dive, or didn't he I get six re-runs at Sky to make up my mind, our commentary team might get a couple working live. The referee gets one and I think they are guessing, as if tossing a coin. This time, referee Martin Atkinson was wrong. But Gareth Bale is so fast, they have my sympathy.
Frustration: Martin Atkinson books Bale for diving, earning him a one match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season
Sure on Shawcross
The saying in football that you can sometimes have your best games when you are not playing was prevalent at Stoke. They missed the organisational skills and ability to sense danger of their captain Ryan Shawcross. He's a good defender who will improve, too.
Commanding presence: Ryan Shawcross (centre) has impressed for Stoke so far this season
Keep cool with Paul
I like Paul Lambert, but he will need cool heads all around him now. The Aston Villa board need to back their manager in the window and the supporters have to hold their nerve. Most importantly, the players need to liven up and stop using their age as an excuse.
What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday
Osman's the man
He’s 31 and he’s English — and wasn’t it delightful to see Leon Osman going toe to toe with Juan Mata yesterday I was looking forward to seeing the Spaniard, who is having a wonderful season. But Osman (right) was every bit as good. He’s terrific for Everton.
Great season: Leon Osman of Everton is starting to realise his massive potential
Why sell Frank
It’s not because he’s my cousin, more that he makes such a difference to Chelsea . . . what are they doing letting Frank Lampard go Like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are symbols of Manchester United’s success, Frank (right) is such a top pro in that dressing room.
Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer
Team of the season (so far…)
4-3-3: Begovic (Stoke, right); Zabaleta (Man C), Williams (Swansea), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton); Carrick (Man U), Michu (Swansea), Mata (Chelsea); Bale (Spurs), Suarez (Liverpool), Van Persie (Man U). No Cazorla or Fellaini, but I couldn’t fit them in. Sorry!