Yes, it’s another pulsating weekend of Premier League action, at both ends of the table, so in true Ransacker style, we’re going to concentrate our musings on the situation in the upper mid-table vicinity, raising a pipe and peering over the rims of our spectacles at the battle for European football next year.
Everton and Wigan Athletic are making a damn fine assault at Champions League/Europa Cup ambitions, and having done so in a manner that hasn’t involved a King’s ransom or a bevy of dodgily registered players, will win the plaudits of many a neutral who is disillusioned with the big bucks frenzy of top-level football.
Of course, these two aren’t shy of spending a few quid when the temptation arises, but in Joleon Lescott and Ben Watson, they have two players picked up for next to nothing, having earned their stripes a division below in the Championship.
Lescott’s efforts in his Nike Total 90 Laser II boots have secured him England plaudits, and it’s no surprise given its ability for clinical direction and accurate passing. Some might think it strange for a defender to be wearing the same boot as Wayne Rooney, but Everton’s slick game relies on moving the ball around the midfield, and with Lescott being the prime supply line at the start of that process, Everton rely heavily on the accomplished defender.
Watson, meanwhile, snapped up from Crystal Palace in the January transfer window, is a rugged midfielder who has matched his own predatory ability in front of goal by employing the Adidas Predator Powerswerve boot. A classic piece of footwear that is as good in the tackle as it is despatching shots at goal, and with Wigan in need of making a difference in the final third, particularly given the absence of stayaway Amr Zaki, the impact of the boot may well be as important as the impact of the player, in this key battle.
Ransacker Verdict: Everton should have enough to see them through, but Lescott’s Total 90 has performed horribly in Boot Wars so far this season. Could the classic Nike cleat finally be in with a chance of securing its first Boot Wars victory, or will the Predator nudge that bit closer to the all-conquering Puma V1.08? Let battle commence!