Monday, 8 October 2007

Weekend Reaction

Hi All,
So, a quick recap of the weekend's action then....

A good win for Man Utd against a very limited Wigan team. Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney look to be performing better and young Anderson's display was encouraging. Of more concern to United will be the 11 injuries they have, though the international break should come their rescue.

Arsenal experienced a few hairy moments against Sunderland, who, unlike Wigan, at least had the courage to attack. Kenwyn Jones looks like a handy player. Overall Arsenal's class took over, but their weaknesses at the back should be worrying Wenger. Almunia should have done better with Jones' header and is not the long term solution. Still 7 wins and a draw is a fantastic start.

Liverpool salvaged a late point against Spurs, in what must surely be seen as another 2 points dropped (especially with Robinson in the opposing goal). With the Gunners blistering pace, and United starting to get back to form, the next 3-4 matches are vital for the 'Pool. Torres continues to impress, but Rafa will be praying to get Alonso & Agger back in the team ASAP, to add stability (and mobility, and be able to head a ball, Mr. Hyppia) and better passing in midfield. It is strange to be very critical of a team who are unbeaten in the league, but they do not look like Champions at this stage.

Newcastle got a good win over Everton, to move into a respectable 9th, 2 points away from 4th. I get the feeling that Big Sam will need to finish in a European place to keep his job, as Mike Ashley is not an admirer. England's comedy club will be interesting this season.

Man City continue to purr along, Elano is fast becoming one of the best ever South American imports - though all this would require is to be able to play football. City surely need a striker though, perhaps 7 goal a game man, Alfonso Alves could be persuaded?

At the bottom of the table, Derby, Bolton & Fulham has an eerie, correct look about it, but Birmingham, Boro, Sunderland & Wigan all have the capacity to fall back. Bolton should survive because they have good players, but Sammy Lee needs get his side in a better position by Christmas to keep his job.

Blackburn and Pompey deserve much credit so far, and Aston Villa are doing better than I expected. Agbonlahor and Young are turning into very good players, but their squad is low on numbers, which will cause problems later in the season. Chelsea get a trademark 1-0 away victory and Sheva is in a strop because he's not starting. Back to Ukraine with you! Avram Grant still doesn't look happy, but that is more because of his permanent scowl, as his team seems to have turned things around.

And finally, West Ham now have Newcastle's injury curse, and I'm delighted, mainly because Dean Ashton looks like a fool.

Mark

5 comments:

JJ said...

Interesting to see that Little Sam grew a set of balls over the weekend and dropped Speed and Nolan. Good move I’d say, as they’re probably in the comfort zone and privately might think things are not as good as when Fat Sam was there. Fair play to Sammy to tell them to get over themselves or fuck off to Newcastle if they don’t like the way he’s playing. He’ll still get sacked but knocking those two off their perch was a nice move.

As I said on a podcast last season, the reason Nolan isn’t in the England squad is that he’s an average player playing above himself. Until now. Expect him to utter the following phrase in a few years after an unsuccessful move or two: “Yeah, people say the Championship is a step down but it’s a very competitive league…” Chump.

Mark said...

he has time to pull it together, and might do it too, if recent signs are anything to go by.

you do have a chip on your shoulder about nolan - do u not realsie he's a scouser!?

Mr C said...

Van Nistlerooy aside, the last two big(ish) name strikers to come over from Holland with an impressive goals-to-game ratio were (I think) Kezman and Sameras (wrong spelling, I know, sorry), so stats can be misleading. Alves might be a wrong move although the guy at Ajax, Huntlaar (sorry again), looks an interesting buy, though even the lure of Sven might not be enough when the best sides in Europe supposedly want your signature. Elano is a fantastic player but also shadows the equally brilliant Petrov who I thought would make a great premiership player when I’d watched him play for Athletico.

Nolan is very much a so-so player and his heavily-edited-by-his-agent ‘blog’ for the bbc website is a tactless means of appealing for a place in the national side. The plight of Bolton rather puts the ability of Allerdyce in a positive light now he's gone but I expect his departure in the end as it still looks like terrible football at times and that won't please the fans, let alone the manager. A lot depends on Anelka- a long term injury to him and things would look very bad indeed. I think they may well go down this season alongside Derby and Middlesbourgh to be honest. Sunderland, Birmingham and Fulham strike me as having good enough squads to survive, albeit just.

England's game on Saturday will be interesting: any mistakes then and it could (and perhaps should) be Robinson's last game as England no.1. James is still unreliable so his inclusion baffles me especially when Green, Carson and even Kirkland (whose initial potential looks to be sadly fading quickly) look more assured and better long-term prospects. Hopefully SMC will play Barry with Gerrard and thus make a positive statement that players who take their chances stay in the team rather then simply being filler for bigger names. Lampard is back to fitness and may well expect to start but I would be extremely impressed if SMC picked a team that plays well as a collective rather than his eleven best players. I might even dampen my contempt for the man if he has the balls to do this. I say maybe though….

Mark said...

yea, alves is a former defensive midfielder turned striker (at 24/25 i think),. 7 goals is impressive, i think last year he got 5 hat-tricks but the quality of the dutch league is suspect... I was just throwing it out tehre anyway. Huntelaar is younger (and suposedly better) so I imagine he'll be off somewhere soon, but probably not to city, though, as luque proved, if you throw enough money around, you maight get him....

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