Friday, 19 August 2011
Weekend Review part 2
Part 2 of the Weekend Review...
Probably the most impressive performance of the weekend goes to Man City who in time demolished a reasonable looking set of Swansea Premiership debutants. Of course the headlines go to £38m signing Sergio Aguero who grabbed two goals and an assist. Surely he will be the ready made replacement for Tevez, swapping a little combative aggression for stylish grace. A long season looms ahead though, and he wouldn't be the first big name signing to fizzle away over the season for City. Hopefully Swansea won't take the scoreline to heart. Its unlikely they will disappear without a major fight - manager Brendan Rogers is full of promise.
The same scoreline hit home two days earlier for fellow newbies QPR. Their first appearance in the top flight in a decade and a half began painfully. Warnock's men were gradually belittled by an on-form Bolton, who opened the scoring with a wonderful strike from young centre-back Gary Cahill. Surely Bolton are too organised and talented now under Owen Coyle to become embroiled in a relegation battle, but those who tipped QPR for a surprise run must now be thinking things over.
The only promoted side to come away with a point was Norwich, who earned it in a hard fought tie with Wigan. Hardly a glamour fixture, this was overlooked by many, but who would doubt that these two could be competing for a Premiership place for 2012/13 come May? The Canaries will have to earn better results over the year, but a point away from home must always be considered a comfortable start.
One of the performances of the weekend must go to Shay Given who shut out Fulham for 90 minutes. This is a tremendous signing for Villa, but more must come from elsewhere to push them into the top half. Their fans must be hopeful of a busy fortnight in the transfer window, as the squad has some quality but further into the season could be relying heavily on the youth team. However good it may be, they will need some help from experienced heads.
Quite the opposite could be said for another debutante. Gervinho managed to get himself sent off in a disappointing opener against Newcastle. As mentioned before, Arsenal too need to get some signings in before the month is out. More and more pundits are tipping Arsenal to fall out of the top 4 this year, but will this pressure manifest itself in Wenger in any fashion? Without Fabregas and Nasri, and a host of players out for Saturday's tie against Liverpool, who are desperate now for Champions League football, this is likely to remain a major topic for weeks to come.
Along with the Arsenal game then, the North East derby is also set for an early kick off, before Everton open their season with a winnable home tie against QPR. Swansea will try to comeback against Wigan who are facing another relegation candidate in a potentially key early season fixture. Villa host Blackburn with both sides looking for a victory to kickstart their season, and the same goes for Chelsea, at home to West Brom at 17.30. A real testing start for the Baggies, if they can push Chelsea as far as they did Manchester United, they should take pride in it.