Premier League Round Up

– Arsenal Vs Manchester City

I was happy this week when I realised the international break was over and domestic football would be gracing our televisions once again, more importantly the first heavy weight clash of the season.

Arsenal took on the Premier League Champions but it was clear from the off that this wouldn’t be a simple walk in the park for Manchester City. Arsenal went a goal down due to a quick counter attack finished off by Sergio Agüero who let again showed his master class ahead of the Champions league bout with Bayern Munich. The second half showed a more direct Arsenal as they took the game to the champions, with under fire Jack Wilshire silencing critics with a man of the match performance; casually rolling the ball away from ex team mate Clichy and finishing from a tight angle over Joe Harts head.

The goal gave Arsenal a revitalisation as they seemed to frustrate Manchester City showing a more aggressive side to their game which seem to irritate Pellegrini, especially as he felt a few of his players were fouled in the build up to Alexis Sanchez remarkable side footed volley past the City keeper.

Arsenal seemed in control but switched off 7 minutes from time when a corner was swung in and players failed to successfully stop Demichelis heading in an equaliser.

Both teams will feel they should have taken the points but from an Arsenal stand point they must learnt to close out games against the top 4 teams. Manchester City will feel allot of decisions went against them especially the penalty shout but both teams can take positives from the performances especially the potential of Danny Welbeck.

– Chelsea Vs Swansea

Chelsea seems to be unstoppable at the moment. Four wins out of four. New signing Diego Costa scored his first hat trick in Chelsea colours and has accumulated 7 goals so far. The 30 million paid for him almost seems like a bargain as both him and Cesc Fabrigas continued to excel over Chelsea’s 4 – 2 win over Swansea.

The Swans struck first with a fantastic ball drilled in by Neil Taylor, which unfortunately ended up in the back of the net when Captain John Terry boot couldn’t divert the cross.

The goal seemed to awaken Jose Moriniho’s men on the stroke of half time as Costas form continued. Remy also found the net 9 minutes from time with a neat finish in the bottom corner, it was almost the perfect day at the office but Jonjo Shelvey claimed some pride back for his side; Swansea’s perfect start came to an end but they battled hard regardless.

– Crystal Palace Vs Burnley

Crystal Palace played Burnley at home and even the returning hero Zaha couldn’t score to claim the 3 points needed to propel them up. Burnley could and should have won the game in the final minutes when a penalty was awarded but The Eagles easily denied Scott Arfield when he crumbled under pressure. Julian Speroni saving not only the goal but also a point for the team.

– Southampton Vs Newcastle

The summer exodus of Southampton, which saw both manager and players, leave the club hasn’t worked out too badly so far. The team almost looks stronger especially after the 4 – 0 thrashing of Newcastle. The Saints new manager Ronald Koeman seems to have found an ethos with the players have responded to well.

Unfortunately for Alan Pardew his job at Newcastle seems to be hanging on the thinnest of strings with his side still yet to secure a win in the current Premier league season, which has fans calling for his head.

You could say the players are to blame for poor defending especially when you concede a goal in the opening 6 minutes of the game. Statistics will say it was an equal came but the Saints came out firing, 2 goals from Pellé, an early second half strike from Cork and Schneiderlin ending the rout on the 90th minute leaving Pardew shaking his head in frustration.

– Leicester Vs Stoke

Leicester finally marked their return to the Premier League season with a win over Stoke. Mark Hughes publically stated that his team didn’t deserve to lose but as we all know its football and sometimes all it takes is one opportunity and Peter Crouch squandered four clear-cut chances.

Unlike Crouch, the Leicester striker Ulloa continued his goal-scoring prowess as he scored yet again this time to clinch all three points leaving manager Nigel Pearson smiling from ear to ear.

– Tottenham Vs Sunderland

Both Tottenham and Sunderland defensively seemed to be sleeping in the opening 5 minutes of their afternoon clash.

Nacer Chadli fired home a rebound within two minutes of the whistle leaving the home supporters perplex to the their teams terrible defending but individual flair from the Black cats winger Adam Johnson levelled the game minutes later.

As expected Tottenham dominated the game and were credited another goal at the start of the second half when Christian Eriksen slid to what everyone thought was the game wrapped up but substitute unknowingly denied his team a win when the ball rebounded off his leg into the goal.

One manager walked away happy to claim a point while it was clear the other will find the result hard to swallow.

– Everton Vs West Brom

Everton just like Leicester finally secured their first win of the season with Romelu Lukaku finally scoring his first since officially becoming an Everton player. He reacted well to loose pass and neatly curled his effort into the goal.

In fairness Everton had many chances but it was a game of errors from West Brom, which lead to both goals especially a horrific one from keeper Ben Foster who failed to stop Kevin Mirallas’s long range shot.

– Liverpool Vs Aston Villa

Just like managers before him Brendon Rodgers was guilty of squad rotation when Liverpool played Aston Villa and it showed in the overall performance.

With Daniel Sturridge injured and Raheem Stirling sat on the bench, the team lacked creativity and it showed in the final third. Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the only goal of the game and though Balotelli has shown great potential he is still getting used to the way Liverpool play.

Lets hope Liverpool find a winning formula so rotation wont affect them as harshly.

– Manchester Vs QPR

For both Manchester United and Van Gaal, the win on Sunday was vital to the clubs future. The investments over the summer had a lot to prove and the late loan acquisition of Radamel Falcao only added to the force, which had bolstered the club.

Two new boys got their united career off to a flyer as both Di María and Herrera both got early goals within the game. Rooney struck just before half time and the rout was finalised by Juan Mata just before the sixty-minute mark.

Falcao came off the bench late on in the game and almost had the perfect start for the Red Devils but was denied; QPR on another could have made the game very so much tighter but just failed to tighten up at the back and failed to convert.

With what Manchester United spent this summer. They could be back in the top four sooner than most people thought.

– Hull vs West Ham

This game was defiantly worth the wait and had every bit of drama you would expect from a Monday night fixture.

West Ham played Hull away and with the signings both these clubs had acquired I was expecting a goalless draw or Hull to sneak a win…. Oh how I was wrong.

It was a night of first, summer signing Harnández scored his first goal for Hull and a first for Eno Valencia who scored a marvellous strike in the top hand corner, which had West Ham boss Sam Allardyce grinning like a Cheshire cat.

The smile didn’t last long when another summer signing also making is debut scored against his firmer employer, yes none other than Mo Diame.

The game became so open either team could have won it but it was a day for the Hammers as they fought back twice to deny Hull a victory when Sakho had the composure to deliver a blow to Steve Bruce’s side.


Is Falcao really worth it?

On deadline day just like many others I was glued to Sky Sports, thinking which team or player would make that last minute switch. And the one that stood out like a sore thumb? Danny Welbeck. Once a Manchester United player, now that of Arsenal. Danny Welbeck, a Gunner. This alone was a shock to me for multiple reasons.

Welbeck was one of the last players to come through the academy through the Sir Alex Ferguson era. Yes, United are in need of a rebuild but to sell a player who emphasised the ethos of what it means to be a United player, says allot about the direction the team is moving in.

Though Danny Welbeck’s stats aren’t the best for a striker especially one that played for United, Radamel Falcao stats are more than amazing; at Porto he played 48 games and scored 41 goals and continued that form when he moved to Atlético Madrid, keeping Chelsea’s own Diego Costa on the bench.

The only thing, which is worrying to me, is the price paid for a loan player. I understand the transition period in which Manchester United have been experiencing over the last 18 months; since the departure of the clubs most successful manager allot of frailties within the squad have been more than apparent.

Strikers weren’t the problem but centrally and defensively the frailties have led to many lack lustre performances that made Champions League qualification obsolete this season. But could this now change due to transfer window activity?

Now I’m not saying the five players brought in are going to be an instant success but the price paid for them I think most fans would be expecting a high level of intensity from each individual.

The key man, or should I say the main man Radamel Falcao has come to United for a season long loan which so far has cost the club £6million and that’s not including his ridiculous wages of £350,000 a week. Bring him in to me is a statement but it doesn’t address the problems within the squad, as worst-case scenario is the team yet again not qualifying for The Champions League. A huge loss and a unjustified price.

As I keep being reminded, the Premier League is only 3 games in and we all know it is an extremely long season. Perhaps Falcao can deliver and pull United back into the top four but personally I think the whole defensive issue could cause them to miss out yet again. Only time will tell.

Start of the football season

Just a few more hours until the 2014-2015 Premiere League season begins. Yes we had the World Cup but it’s not the same as watching the team you support kick of a campaign with in their domestic league, and to see the competitive edge from the top six teams is what I’ve been waiting for.

Just like the seasons before, every fan, pundit and even player will be asking a lot of questions about the goings on surrounding many of the teams within the Premier League, one being that of Liverpool without their talisman striker Luis Suarez. Whilst many controversies have recently surrounded the player, nobody can deny his talent almost helped Liverpool to a title and a Champions League spot. It will be interesting to see if all of Brendon Rodgers’ summer acquisitions can fill the void left by Suarez.

Chelsea is also another team with a lot to prove after finishing the season without any silverware and in a disappointing third position. The pressure is on both manager and players; Chelsea are a team who don’t take kindly to failure, which has clearly been shown publicly with the amount of managers who come and go over the past eleven years. However, with the acquisition of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, Chelsea are strong contenders for the league but consistency is key against the little teams.

Arsenal’s revitalisation could cause an upset within the league this coming season. With Alexis Sanchez the big marque signing for the Gunners and last terms FA Cup win, the long-term drought finally ended. They do look hungry to add more to the trophy cabinet- shown in some impressive preseason matches-but just like the other big teams within the Premier League, they must make sure that when taking on those top teams, they don’t repeat the same level of goals leaked as last season.

Another transition period for Manchester United but this one won’t be as dyer as that of the Moyes era. Fingers Crossed. Louis van Gaal has been brought into United and from what has been shown has been given automatic respect based on his impressive World Cup campaign. However, even with the summer signing of Ander Herrera who will help bring some control to the middle of midfield, the biggest issue is the weakness in the centre of defensive. The inexperience and consistency can cost United their deserved top 4 position, but as we all know it’s a long season and anything is possible.

And last but not least is the formidable Manchester City. Last season it was clear that it was their League to lose and it almost came down to the wire with a few lacklustre performances, which almost had Liverpool crowned champions for the first time since 1990. Yet, when City have the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany fit and playing they are almost unstoppable- especially with new additions Frank Lampard and Fernando, nicknamed ‘The Octopus’. Yes, it is an extremely unflattering nickname based on what other footballers have inherited, but if successfully lived up to who knows who will win.