Article by Adam Wilson
Premier League: The Good and The Bad.
The Premiership is back!
3. Promoted teams look promising.
First up on Saturday’s 3 o’clock fixtures were ‘The Hammers’ and Reading. West Ham took on Aston Villa at Upton Park and proved that they have a skill that seems to have evaded many Premier League teams over the past few seasons. That skill is defending. Although Villa didn’t threaten the West Ham goal much, it was mainly due to the Home teams battling nature; West Ham won the game thanks to Kevin Nolan, who may prove very valuable this season. Reading had a tough opening fixture at home to Stoke, although they only came away with a draw, they defended well and the goal they conceded was purely a goalkeeping error. Finally Southampton proved they can put up a fight against the biggest teams in the league as the narrowly lost an enthralling encounter with Man City. All three teams can take heart from their opening fixtures, but there is still a long way to go yet.
2. Eden Hazard.
At this moment Eden Hazard remains the Premiers Leagues most expensive import this summer, so as Chelsea lined up against Wigan many people’s eyes were on Hazard. Hazard did not disappoint once the match had begun and within the first 10 minutes he had sent Ivanovic through to score Chelsea’s first and he burst into the box only to be felled by Ramis to win a penalty which Lampard easily dispatched. In fact once Hazard was replaced, Chelsea seemed to lose their spark and resorted back to a similar style of play to last season.
1. Everton and Marouane Fellaini.
Everton have proven to be quite the bogey team for Manchester United of late, last season their 4-4 draw was seen as the game that handed City the title and Monday night was another painful experience for the Red Devils. They didn’t look particularly dangerous against Everton who defended brilliantly and thanks to a dynamic and imposing display from Fellaini they took the lead. The game may have finished 1-0, but the Toffee’s could have won buy more. United will need to improve if they are to take the title back from City this season.
3. QPR and Norwich’s defensive displays.
Whether or not Fulham and Swansea played incredibly, there is no avoiding the fact that the defensive displays of both Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City were abysmal. Many have tipped the R’s and Canaries for relegation and judging by the weekends performances it could well be the case. QPR still have the resources to strengthen before the transfer window closes, but Norwich have no choice but to hope their current defence begin to perform to a higher standard. After all both these teams could suffer from second season syndrome. Mark Hughes should have the ability to keep his side up, whereas Chris Hughton is yet to complete a full season in charge of a Premier League club after being sacked form Newcastle.
2. The F.A.’s reaction to Pardew’s push.
During Sunday’s fixture between Newcastle and Tottenham, in a moment of madness, passion and frustration Pardew shoved the linesman and was sent to the stands. Pardew realised his stupidity and after the game was over, immediately apologised to the linesman.In interviews he also exclaimed how sorry he was and that he realised his behaviour was ‘ridiculous’. That should have been the end of the matter. Nevertheless the F.A. has decided to look into the matter and no doubt they will issue Pardew with a fine or touchline ban. Now that is ridiculous.
1. Brendan Rogers Liverpool still need a lot of work.
Before Saturday, Liverpool fans were eagerly anticipating the new season, in hope of witnessing a brand new style of play at Liverpool that would be both exciting to watch and also fruitful for the time and their search of trophies. However after a successful pre season, their opening match against West Brom did not go to plan. Two penalties were given away at the expense of one goal conceded and one red card received. Their strikers did not have too much luck either as Suarez missed chance after chance. If this performance is anything to go by, bringing back the Liverpool glory days are going to take time, not just a change in manager.