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All Hail The Return

Monday, August 13, 2007


And so the Premiership returned, finally after a long absence in which we had to make do with the less than interesting Tevez transfer-saga, the weekend was sunny and filled with exciting episodes such as Obafemi's impressive bicycle kick, Gerrard's pin-pointed free kick, Chopra's last minute winner, Arsenal's comback, Chelsea's return to attacking football and suprisingly the only real bore-fest was United's draw at home to Reading.

We saw Sven put together an attacking team which gave City an away win to West Ham -- a team who have spent big, and were expected to achieve mid table mediocrity. Instead, they could be on the verge of free-fall. Will the blues of Manchester be able to keep this up all season? I certainly hope so, and in repeating such performances perhaps the media will finally go quiet regarding Svennis. Perhaps not.

Will the Geordies fronted by Allardyce finally make up for lost time? It seems that Allardye has finally roused some desire from his side, something that both Roeder and Sounness were unable to do in their combined tenure at the club. It won't be every week that they'll be lucky enough to play against a side as pitiful as Bolton were, but surely a top 7 finish is within their grasp.

This blogger watched the highlights of the Derby v Portsmouth game, but frankly, can't remember them, (although there was a Todd diving header which looked pretty smashing) and therefore won't write an opinionated comment on Portsmouth's season aspirations.
Derby to go down.

Chelsea were suprisingly good to watch -- they attacked at every opportunity (most likely due to the absence of a decent defence, Ben Haim wasn't great and Glen Johnson was embarassing), and Malouda seems to be justifying his price tag. Wright-Phillips was good too.

Man Utd were distinctly average, plus they had to deal with Reading performing the olde "parketh the bus in fronteth the goaleth" trick. Reading did this well and Harmesson was incredible in goal. Rooney picked up an injury, and turns out he's broken his foot. For the third time. Surely it's time to consider changing his boots to adidas?

Liverpool played too, but this blogger reserves the right to biased journalism and therefore any comment on them ends here.

Bring on Tuesday, where Tottenham face Everton!

posted by teedoubleyou
10:51

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Counting Down

Monday, August 06, 2007


This blogger wasn't able to watch Chelsea v Man Utd: the rematch this past weekend. Not that we're too bothered, because by the sounds of it (and itermittent glances at Sky Sports News while having tea with the parents), the game was just a repeat of the FA Cup Final of a few months ago.

Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, we were able to watch the goals, and can conclude that both were fairly good. Giggs demonstrated incredible composure and technique, and Malouda demonstrated speed, strength and skill in holding off Rio Ferdinand, but it was the skill and sheer size of Edwin "Super-Double Save" Van der Sar which won the game for the Reds.

All 3 of his penalty saves were excellent, not purely a product of luck, but a combination of the agility and height which has served the dutch-man well throughout his career. The Telegraph mentioned in passing that Alex Ferguson's ommision in hiring a true world class goalkeeper would be telling over the coming season -- they were wrong.

Classically a legendary performance in a penalty shoot-out isn't enough to save a 'keeper's career, as demonstrated by Jerzy "bench-warmer" Dudek following his mesmerising performance in the 2004-05 CL Final. Jerzy has moved to warmer climes, where he will no doubt perform a similar bench warming task to that of Woodgate during his times in Real Madrid.

So what of Man Utd's goalkeeping prospects? Kuszczak's loan move from West Brom has now been made permanent, and Ben Foster needs surgery on a cruciate ligament problem. Obviously Van der Sar can't last forever, and when he does go, United face the same problem they experienced after Schmeical's departure -- however, Ben Foster looks likely to be one of the best keepers in the game.

Elsewhere, Rooney was up to his old tricks. The boy who wouldn't grow up has failed to live up the promise demonstrated in the Euro 2004. He was largely eclipsed by Ronaldo last season, and this season, the arrival of Nani and now Tevez promise to be more exciting, and will perhaps be the elixir that Rooney needs to return to his form of old. A spell in the England u-21's wouldn't hurt the boy.

All that remains now is to wait for the weekend, for the thrilling encounter that is Sunderland v Spurs. We can hardly wait.

posted by teedoubleyou
10:22

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