Putting together my Premier League fantasy preview in August, I needed to come up with a sleeper pick at forward. As a Spurs supporter, I have felt the agony and the ecstasy that is Dimitar Berbatov. Last year it was almost all agony with Berbatov for Manchester United supporters. But there hasn't been a player in the history of Spurs who has provided more transcendent moments of brilliance than Berba, and I have always maintained faith that the Bulgarian superstar is one of the most talented players on the planet.
So I picked Berbatov as my sleeper pick, and after watching one of the most sublime performances by a striker in the history of Manchester United on Saturday, I patted myself on the back just a bit. He tallied five goals against a Blackburn Rovers side that doesn't give up a lot of goals as United won 7-2 on Saturday. Berba leads the Premier League with 11 goals.
And the Red Devils jumped two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table after the boys from Stamford Bridge we hell to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Sunday afternoon. Arsenal's 4-2 win over Aston Villa in the first game of the weekend slate gave the Gunners 29 points, putting them even with the Blues on the table.
Manchester City stayed in fourth position, but threw away two points in the process when they conceded a stoppage time equalizer to Stoke City's Matthew Etherington. Tottenham capped off a dream week with a 2-1 comeback win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane, with Aaron Lennon's brilliant effort in the 92nd minute sealing three huge points for Spurs.
Bolton continues to fight, and are becoming the darlings of the Premier League in 2010-11. Following the theme of the weekend, they earned a dramatic 2-2 draw with Blackpool on the strength of a late goal by Mark Davies, who only found himself in the lineup because American Stuart Holden was sidelined with a thigh injury.
The middle of the table stayed bunched up thanks to Sunderland's 3-2 loss to Wolves, Newcastle's draw, and Liverpool's loss. Blackpool won't go away either, as the Tangerines stand tied for eighth place with 19 points.
The bottom of the table holds all of the suspense as we enter December. West Ham dwell on the bottom of the table, with Wolves and Wigan slightly ahead of the East Londoners. It's the three names treading water ahead of the relegation zone that are huge surprises.
After a disgraceful 4-1 loss to West Brom on Saturday, Everton find themselves just two points from the drop zone, while Clint Dempsey's Fulham side only have one point of breathing room separating themselves from the bottom three.
Aston Villa may be the biggest stunner of all however, as their post-Martin O'Neill nightmare continues. The Villans fell to Arsneal, and stand within three points of the bottom three. Any relegation talk is extremely premature before March, but it still raises an eyebrow to look over the table and see those three names, Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton flirting with the drop zone.
- Man of the Week: Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United. Safe to say that the Man U faithful now have fully embraced their number nine. Get yourself over to YouTube and check out some Berba videos. IBerba plays a different style than Ronaldo or Messi, but he does things that nobody else on the planet can do with the ball.
- Turn the Page: Tim Howard, Everton. Ouch. It's been pretty tough, and Saturday's 4-1 loss to West Brom is definitely rock bottom, which is never a good place to be...but it's an even worse place to be when you have a very, very cranky Chelsea team on the schedule next.
- Dreamland: Tottenham. In eight days, Spurs have earned comeback wins over Arsenal and Liverpool, while finding time to dismantle Werder Bremen 3-0 to advance to the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. Michael Dawson returned to full training and the club was given the green light to proceed with plans for a 56,000 seat stadium where White Hart Lane currently stands.