Category Archives: The Good and the Bad

The Good and the Bad

Story by Adam Wilson

The Premier League season is well underway and most teams have played 6-7 of their opening games. Whilst it is impossible to predict how the rest of the season will pan out it is at least beginning to become clearer which teams are going to have either good or bad years.

THE GOOD

3. West Ham

Sam Allardyce and his Hammers have picked up necessary points in the early stages of the season. And compared to the teams who were promoted alongside them they have settled into their new surroundings with greater ease. Contrary to the beliefs of many, West Ham have not settled for playing the long ball alone this season and their displays have been impressive and also efficient. Their bigger tests are yet to come, but if Allardyce can provide similar stability to this club that he has done for many of his previous clubs then the signs look promising for the Upton Park faithful.

2. West Brom

Steve Clarke’s debut managerial post has been nothing short of incredible so far, his Albion side sit 6th in the table on the same amount of points as 4th placed Everton. Nobody knew quite what to think of Clarke’s appointment as West Brom manager, but so far it is proving to be a masterstroke. After all the Baggies are now being led by a man who has worked under some of the best managers that the world of football has to offer. If he continues the way he has, then West Brom look to become a consistent and stable Premier League club, putting behind them the label of being a yoyo team.

1. Chelsea

Roberto Di Matteo is yet another manager who seems to have changed around the fortunes of a club stuck in a rut. Di Matteo fresh from F.A. Cup and Champions League glory has begun the new season in remarkable style. His team are playing in a much more attractive fashion with the likes of Mata, new signing Hazard and even Torres looking sharp and threatening at all times. They are defending well at the other end, it’s just a shame that the off field problems continue to damage the clubs reputation.

THE BAD

3. Aston Villa

It surprised me that Villa were not picked by many as relegation candidates before the season began. They have just brought in a new manager whose only previous Premier League experience was one season at a Norwich side full of confidence. Unfortunately for Lambert, his squad looks bare and uninterested, sadly Aston Villa have hurtled down the table in recent seasons and are a million miles from the lofty positions that Martin O’Neil took them to.

2. Liverpool

Liverpool are similar to Aston Villa in many ways, they still haven’t found the right man to take them forward. Since losing Benitez they haven’t had much luck or given much time for a new manager to take the team back to the top of the English game. However considering the money that they have thrown away in the transfer market, they should be doing a lot better than the currently are. Frankly it’s embarrassing and Brendan Rogers must improve things soon or come January it’s more than likely that he could be another manager leaving Anfield.

1.  QPR

Queens Park Rangers sit at the bottom of the Premier League and are yet to register a victory in any league appearance. They have suffered from bad luck at time, but to not have won a single game is unthinkable, especially after the huge cash injection over the last two years. Mark Hughes is under a considerable amount of pressure at the moment and the longer the winless streak continues; the more the pressure will build even after the club have backed him as their man.

The Good and The Bad

Article by Adam Wilson

 

England’s Opening games.

 

THE GOOD:

3. Jermain Defoe

Defoe is a natural goal scorer and he has proved this during England’s last three games, scoring a sublime winner against Italy in a friendly and scoring another during England’s opening qualifier against Moldova. Defoe also should have had his name on the score sheet against Ukraine, but the referee disallowed the goal claiming that the Tottenham striker had fouled an opposing player in the build up. Whilst England have strikers such as Rooney, Welbeck and Carroll, it is always necessary to have strength and depth as well as a natural finisher like Defoe who can create something out of nothing.

2. 4 points even though regulars were missing.

Even though the draw at Wembley wasn’t ideal, it was welcomed come the end of the game. It will also act as a wake up to Hodgson and his team that this qualifying campaign may not be a walk in the park. Welbeck did well to win a late spot kick which Lampard dispatched well and that point may prove vital by the end of the qualification process. With injuries to regulars such as Rooney, Terry, Young and Walcott at least the Teams should be stronger by the next international break.

1. Breakthrough youth.

Over the two matches not many youngsters were given much playing time, but those that were shone. Although Tom Cleverly missed some golden opportunities he looked creative and was forcing his way into goal scoring situations. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked lively in both games and also when subbed on against the Ukraine, Sturridge and Welbeck looked dangerous and creative in a high a pressure situation.

THE BAD.

3. Didn’t justify being ranked 3rd in the Fifa rankings.

England were recently boosted to the position of third in the Fifa Ranking system prior to the Qualifiers, and although the demolished Moldova 5-0 a result like that would be expected. However drawing to Ukraine at Wembley cannot be defined as anything but underachieving. Hodgson’s men will need to improve vastly if they want to easily qualify for the tournament in Brazil.

2. Same OLD ideas.

Although Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are two of the most accomplished and well respected midfielders that England has ever produced and nobody would deny that they are World class players. It has becoming a disappointing site to see both their names in an England starting line up. For years they have been picked side by side for their national team and they haven’t produced the same form and ability as they do regularly for their respective clubs. When Hodgson was appointed England manager he promised change and that youth would be used, however he appears to have fallen straight into the same old ways and yet again against Ukraine the English midfield was boring and uninventive.

1.  Glen Johnson.

Another problem that seems to reoccur within the English national team is that players get in the squad due to their past achievements. This rather than blooding young players in order to give them experience before they might be called upon to play tournament football at the World cup. It is hard to understand how Kyle Walker was left sitting on the bench whilst Glen Johnson started in the line up. Johnson has been an England regular for years, even though he forgets his defensive responsibilities consistently and is often found occupying the right wing position and being the furthest man forward. If England hope to win any major trophies then they will need a manager with the guts to drop the big names.

The Good and the Bad

Article by Adam Wilson

 

Premier League: The Good and The Bad.

The Premiership is back!

THE GOOD:

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.

THE BAD.

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.