NOTE TO MANAGERS, media personalities and players alike – the Premiership ceased to exist in 2007. Welcome to the Barclay’s Premier League…
- There’s no accounting for the immaturity and callousness of certain pockets of football supporters.
Immediately after the publication of thousands of documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster, I came across a tweet where it was posited that the Manchester United supporters would break into a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ during the match against Wigan.
Wishing didn’t make it so.
While the majority of the club’s support kept schtum, there was a clearly audible chant of “always the victims, never your fault,” in the Old Trafford crowd.
Any mitigation that it’s a hangover from the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra farrago is nonsense – neither player was involved in this match. The inhuman chant clearly came as a result of this week’s findings, any hope that both clubs have of a better relationship in the future taken away by a minority of idiots.
- Speaking of Evra, Saturday spelled the beginning of the end of his United career.
The French full-back has been on the wane ever since his involvement in France’s shambolic World Cup campaign in 2010.
Alex Buttner took his chance to impress as well as he could have wished, scoring once and defending with authority. Alex Ferguson has spoken about Buttner’s ‘rough edges’ – once those are smoothed out, Evra will be a ghost.
- The focus on Liverpool’s failure to buy a striker, after loaning Andy Carroll to West Ham, has taken the attention away from a similar problem at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were completely toothless against QPR as Fernando Torres reverted to the diffident, frustrated figure that he has cut for so much of his career in London, storming down the tunnel after being subbed off.
While it’s hard to agree with the opinion that Daniel Sturridge is not a striker – his loan spell at Bolton says otherwise – it’s becoming more and more apparent that the England player’s face does not fit under Roberto di Matteo.
That leaves Torres and Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s main goal threats, so loaning Romelu Lukaku to West Brom looks to be a folly on the Carroll scale.
- Is there a more insipid side in the Premier League than Norwich City?
We were derided by some readers in the comments for covering the clash with West Ham live. While it’s better to liveblog than not to liveblog, where possible, we were left cursing the gods of Sky for making that travesty of a game the lunchtime kick-off.
- Arsenal look devastating.
Santi Cazorla has been the star of the early weeks of the season, and you know things are going right for Arsene Wenger and company when one Yao Gervinho manages to look like a player. Things appear healthy in defence, too, as Wenger can afford to keep Laurent Koscielny on the bench in the face of the vastly improved Per Mertesacker.
The usual mid-season meltdown awaits and Olivier Giroud shows no signs of coming to life, let alone becoming a decent striker in this league, but it’s a good time to be a Gooner.
80% of their play under Brendan Rodgers looks tidy, economical, and almost threatening.
The problem is in the 20%, which you can see in a Steven Gerrard who doesn’t know how to keep it simple, in a Luis Suarez searching for a blind alley to fall down in, and a Fabio Borini who looks lost under the pressure of being the club’s only out-and-out striker.
What Rodgers has in eloquence, he is currently lacking in attacking players to get his modus operandi, well, operanding.
- Tottenham may point to their new away kit as a particularly grotesque good luck charm, but to these eyes they still look like a shadow of the team Harry Redknapp cultivated before he, y’know, became totally indifferent to whether the England job was coming his way or not.
While Jermain Defoe has clearly started the season well, Spurs don’t look like a happy unit under Andre Villas Boas – witness Aaron Lennon’s cold shouldering of his boss, after being subbed off, one moment, only to warmly accept the praise of assistant Steffen Freund the next.
Reading were awful, especially in defence where Alex McCarthy endured a nightmare debut and Ian Harte showed why he spent time at Blackpool and Cardiff. Defoe’s finishing aside, Spurs showed nothing special going forward. They play Manchester United on the 29th.
Expect a schooling.
- Manchester City, so miserly last season, badly need a Steve Bould.
And finally… What is it with managers, former managers, pundits, commentators and players referring to the ‘Premiership?’ Niall Quinn was the latest culprit on Sunday. For the record, the Premiership ceased to exist in 2007.