Quick apology but there won’t be a podcast this week as the supersub has unfortunately had to cancel his debut appearance. I was tempted to fly solo but to be honest I think I’d be as entertaining as this soul crunching commercial.
So anyway, with no pod for the moment (the plan is to do one next Tuesday – unless I drunkenly record something over the weekend) I thought I’d give a ramble in text format rather than the usual Polish-beer induced insight myself and Mark specialise in most weeks.
I write while watching Spurs in a horrifically boring UEFA Cup game against Wislaw Krakow (though the return match should be interesting considering Wislaw fans’ fairly interesting views on World War 2) and really the north London team are a bastard to figure out. For the third time in four years they have lost three of their opening four games; they also have a side bursting with creativity but one which also lacks experience in the Premier League.
I know that most managers wish to mould their squad but Ramos has taken that to new heights with the signings of Modric; Dos Santos; Bentley and Pavlychenko. It’s as if he wanted to rip apart anything that Martin Jol had done whether good or bad and create something completely new. A noble idea but he must be confident that Daniel Levy will leave him at it (and indeed Levy’s fairly obvious jibes in director of football Damien Comolli this week indicated that there will at least be one fella leaving White Hart Lane before Ramos anyway).
I hope Spurs click because if they do there is the potential to play better football than Arsenal.
With absolutely no segway – and because I started writing about Newcastle but lost the will to carry on – here’s predictions for this weekend. Can I beat Lawro? If not, I feel I should really think about never doing predictions again and leaving it up to some mystical spider or a magic eight ball to take on the mantle.
Sunderland v Middlesbrough: Derby time and after two defeats at home Sunderland are under a bit of pressure. I think Keane has brought some absolute fools to the club this year to be honest – Cisse and Diouf being the primary examples – and I fancy a well organised Boro (who have been very unlucky on two occasions away this season losing to undeservedly to both Pool and Pompey) to take at least a point. I’ll bank on entertainment and shoddy defending to say 2-2.
Blackburn v Fulham: Paul Ince’s place in ODF history is well established. But while we don’t necessarily like the guy we certainly don’t think he’s a terrible manager. After some horrific defending in the last two games I think he’ll sort Blackburn out and they’ll beat a decent Fulham side 2-1.
Liverpool v Stoke City: Many moons ago Liverpool always followed up an important win with a terrible defeat to a lower side but I think on this occasion (unlike the many, many occasions I’ve said this before) this time it’s different. Roll on 2-2 draw with a last minute Torres equaliser then. No actually, I’ll keep the faith and go 4-1 to the Pool.
West Ham v Newcastle: Could little Franco Zola have picked a better team for a home debut? Alan Smith is out for three months so obviously that will be a big blow to Newcas… oh wait; he’s been a disaster there, just like most of their signings. 2-0.
Bolton v Arsenal: Whoopee, commentators up and down the country can talk about Arsenal being soft ‘up north’ when the stats actually saw they have a great record at Bolton and Blackburn. Gotta love ill-informed pundits. We can only hope Jeff Stelling stops Phil Thompson or whichever other gimp they have in for this before they start blabbing on about the whole sorry myth. Away win 1-3.
West Brom v Aston Villa: Meh, 1-1
Chelsea v Man Utd: Big matches are sometimes great; and sometimes pants. But this one at least allows us the opportunity to watch this again (though attempts by United to mend bridges have been admirable). In a way I hope karma kicks Chelsea in the Scolaris and Terry makes the mistake that costs Chelsea the game; but that’s a little bit small considering the talent on display. Tevez; Deco; Rooney; possibly Ronaldo and more – come on lads at least give us a decent first half before we switch over to the bog ball on RTE. At a guess, it’s got to be Chelsea due to their excellent start… in fact, I think United may get a hiding if they go down to an early goal. Screw it, 3-1.
Hull City v Everton: Probably the same story as last week, when Everton did a number on Stoke (they should have won by a lot more than one goal). Away win city – 0-2.
Man City v Portsmouth: ‘Arry versus the Sheikh; it’s like a Guy Ritchie movie with some Brazilian pikeys thrown in for good measure. City looked very, very disjointed in the UEFA Cup last night and I think they’ll do well to get a draw here against a Pompey side that seem to be many people’s second team. So what if it’s only due to the fact they have a player with the nickname The Herminator, everybody loves Portsmouth. 2-2.
Tottenham v Wigan: Back where we started… good old Spurs. The revolution starts here – 3-0.