Thursday, 18 August 2011

Weekend roundup 1: part 1

Well I made it to Birmingham. This is horrendous, I basically walked along the M6 and all its spectacular scenery, and got stupidly tired having made only made 9 miles progress. Birmingham's actually alright these days so I'll temper any insults I'm inclined to throw around haphazard.

I've moved on since then though. I'm heading to Coventry in time for the match at home to Watford. I've never been to the Ricoh before so I'm quite excited.

To fill you in on some details, I've budgeted mainly for Euro 2012 and tickets to any games I pass en route to Poland. The rest of my money is reserved for a little alcohol, and if necessary, food. My luggage is a laptop and a few changes of clothes, all stuffed into a large rucksack. I have made some tenuous arrangements for overnight accomodation, which so far is running smoothly.

Anyway, I shall press on with the season's first (and somewhat delayed) Weekend Review

For some time over the weekend it looked like a dour opening for the established top 6. Nothing could be more disappointing than a cancelled first game because the locality is suddenly too much of a disaster area. But fizzling out to a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland was hardly the dreamy start Liverpool had in mind after their summer spending spree. Not to take anything away from Sunderland - Steve Bruce seems to be forming a solid team who should be expected to finish top half. What Liverpool can take heart from is that in Luis Suarez they appear to have one of the finest attackers in the Premiership, certainly with the ball at his feet.

Similar news for Chelsea on Sunday. The one positive they can take away from a 0-0 at Stoke (other than a point) is that Torres looked far sharper than he did over the second half of last season. No surprises of course that AVB had something to say about the physical nature of the Potters.
Again, Stoke too look like a tough prospect that should last the course of the season. Especially at the Britannia, but if Chelsea can't win there on a mild Sunday afternoon...

For those who are curious by the way, teams with scheduled midweek evening away fixtures at the Britannia:

31/10 Newcastle
28/11 Blackburn

Just the two, until games are moved due to weather or European competition. Presumably Blackburn are best built to deal with that wet and windy November evening, unless they go signing some Hollywood player in their mid-thirties. Raul rejected a move to Rovers after their 2-1 home defeat to Wolves. Not hard to comprehend, really. Venky's are trying to show more ambition than Man City but have got a long way to go yet. Clearly Samba and Nelson are two massive players to be missing together on the opening day, so alarm bells may be premature, but Blackburn would be best advised to focus on securing their Premiership status. If they have this money to spend offering contracts to Ronaldinho and the rest, why not sign a couple of proven and reliable attacking/creative players, rather than aged superstars with perhaps 1-2 seasons left in them?

Manchester United were a little more impressive than most of their rivals, themselves fielding a younger side. It's the cusp of a new generation, but it was new signing Ashley Young, now a relatively experienced player, who broke the deadlock with a tremendous run and drilled cross, which fortuitously deflected in. The main question for them hangs over the creativity in central midfield, with a lack of quality and consistensy in stark contrast to the riches they have on the wings. Young, Nani, Valencia, Park... how strange that former wideman Giggs may be relied upon at the ripe old age of 37 to move the ball to his modern replacements. Time will tell, but a steady three points should be good enough for Sir Alex. Few would bet against them at this early stage.

Tomorrow I will be looking at perhaps their new closest rivals Man City, as well as all the newly promoted clubs. For now, though, back on my feet.
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  1. Wow, I'm not really into football myself, but I have respect for people with burning passions, like you :)

  2. It's funny I can't stand to watch soccer, but I enjoy playing it and playing the video games of it. I became addicted to Winning Eleven 9.