Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Scary Performances

Hi All,
Well, after my long weekend it is time again to reflect on the action in the Premiership.

Liverpool vs Arsenal.
The Gunners first real test in the league was one of those type of matches that on the surface seem to tell a lot, but when you consider the circumstances of the game, we still don't know enough.
The theory that Liverpool were defensive, didn't do much the whole match and that Arsenal controlled the match is fine, but how different could it have been if it had been had Gerrard not scored early? Benitez's natural caution took hold after as he encouraged Liverpool to drop deep and keep it tight. I can't help feeling that Arsenal would not have had it so easy had the scores been level for much of the match. A superior team Arsenal may be, but Liverpool played right into their hands by conceding possession, what little of it they had, so easily.
So Arsenal proved, to some extent, that they are worthy challengers for the title, but a sterner test will come next weekend against United at Ashburton Grove.
For Liverpool, the same old questions remain, and they didn't show to any observer that they are up to a title push, and they could be out of the title race by the time Alonso and Torres are back fit if they continue this poor form.

Tottenham vs Blackburn
The on-looking Juande Ramos will be glad he's trousering an extremely large wad of cash for his new job at Spurs, as he has got a really difficult task ahead of him to get that rabble into shape. A few decent cup runs seem likely to be all to keep Spurs fans occupied this year. The next three league fixtures are against supposedly weaker teams, and Spurs could conceivably get their act together to climb the table. A league finish of 7th or 8th is still on the cards, but it would be some comedown for a team which looked set to break into the top four.

Looking to the long term, Ramos will need to spend some money (or vastly improve his centre midfielders and centre defenders by coaching) and looking at the Spurs squad, it is in a poor position considering the amount of money spent in recent years, not least this summer. Add in the classic Spurs tradition of finding a way to screw things up, and it will need a combination of Mourinho, Wenger & Ferguson (as one tabloid newspaper described Ramos) to improve their lot. I wouldn't be confident about it at all

Round Up
Avram Grant at Chelsea has started his media manipulation, by claiming that they are playing attractive, attacking football, in contrast to the previous regime at Stamford Bridge. His 6-0 win over City appears to back up his point, but Mourinho's team would have won that game 3 or 4 nil, playing the same football, then sat back to conserve energy. The old Chelsea were Liverpool-style hoofers, but they could turn it on at times, and did for the majority of Mourinho's 1st 2 seasons. Beware Grant rewriting history over the coming months...

United blew away another opponent and their attacking players look in great form. The loss of Scholes for 3 months will be a blow, but Anderson has been been playing well, Hargreaves is fit and Carrick is almost back from injury. The partnership of Tevez and Rooney looks great against poor teams, but how will they fare against Arsenal?

Of the other results, Aston Villa look destined for mid table mediocrity, Blackburn & Portsmouth continue to impress, Everton have got Cahill back and should move up the table, and surprisingly, Reading have the same amount of points now as they did at the same stage last season. That's a nice crisis to have



JJ said...

Nani's goal was an absolute stonker, can't wait for next week's face off. Pity it's the first game of the weekend and not the super sunday though.

Thought ronnie whelan's performance on the premiership on sunday was the business though. Willing the pool to lose so that Benitez is sacked. That kind of ill feeling from a genuine fan of the club could only happen on Irish tv.

Mark V said...

i fear the arse manu clash will be an anti-climax, the past few years certainly haven't been great, not up to the keane vs vieria times.

JJ said...

It'd be a crying shame if it was. Fuck sake how long has it been since ya watched a game where both teams played good football?

Honestly. I'm trying to think of one...

Ranieri's Chelski V Arse in 2003 is a possibility. Or Barca's 3-3 with Real from last year. Maybe Germany 0-2 Italy in 2006? Or Milan v Man U in the 1st leg of the champo league semi last season.

There has to be more but I'm struggling.

Anonymous said...

See! told you Whelan's up in the punditry top 4! Liverpool without Torres and Alonso will become Mourhino's Chelsea except allergic to holding football for 3 or more passes,so basically chelsea without Drogba. Carragher usually looks shattered at the end of games now,reckon him and Hyppia could be strolling hand in hand to knackers yard shortly. Glad to see Giles rubbish Keanes reasons to hire O Leary and finally would give i,d but it's like trying o break into fort knox to get a blogger id here! (mea culpa technophobe sorry!)

Is this betting said...

Interesting point about the Liverpool game being different if we had not scored so early. We definitely sat back though not as much as I thought we would. We could and should have won the game having been up with ten minutes to play.

If Arsenal play like that against Man Utd they will get beat. They gave the ball away too often. They are the ones who will need an early goal in that match.

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