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A positive start to the new Premier League season

August 23, 2012

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A Positive Start to the New Premier League Season

With one round of matches in the new Premier League season now completed, it’s remarkable to hear the knee jerk reaction emanating from the mouths of some supporters and certain members of the media.

Liverpool were soundly beaten by an impressive looking West Bromwich Albion, ironically managed by their former number two Steve Clarke. Already the football forums and sound waves are filled with rumblings of discontent from Liverpool supporters, some who see Brendan Roger’s appointment as a catastrophe for the club and seething at the board for their unfair treatment of King Kenny.

The first boos of the season rang out at the Emirates Stadium from a small section of supporters, as Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Sunderland. Whether the boos were aimed at the board for allowing van Persie and Song to depart, at the team for failing to break down an impressive rearguard action from Sunderland, or perhaps disappointment with the latest selection of prawn sandwiches I have yet to discover.

With ten goals scored in two games in west London, the supporters of both Queens Park Rangers and Norwich are already talking about the long struggle to stay in the Premier League. While both teams had a bad day in the office, the supporters of Fulham and Swansea City supporters were smiling at their great start to the season. It is somewhat relevant to point out that there are another 37 Premier League games still to play and there is no need to press the panic button right now.

Everton who are notoriously slow starters deservedly beat Manchester United thanks to a fine headed goal from Fellaini, who terrorised the United defence. Prior to kick off Manchester United were being touted of as favourites for the Premier League following the addition of Robin van Persie to their ranks. Despite this defeat, nobody dares write off Manchester United, because Sir Alex Ferguson has proven year after year that he knows how to manage his resources better than any other manager.

United’s noisy neighbours and the defending champions, were given a scare by newly promoted Southampton; but Manchester City recovered from a 1-2 deficit to win 3-2. For the home team it was further proof that even when behind they know how to fight back and win. For newly promoted Saints, it was a far better result than they might have expected prior to kick off and a sign that they are unlikely to be overawed now that they are back in the top league.

There was enough evidence in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Tottenham to suggest that both teams are good enough to once again challenge for European places. Newcastle have made one or two astute signings and at the same time have managed to hold onto their stars from last season.

There are one or two questions marks about Tottenham, with Andre Villas-Boas hoping to repair his managerial reputation after his failure at Chelsea and the issue of who will replace Luka Modric should he finally leave London for Madrid.

West Ham supporters will be delighted to have begun the new campaign with three points, while supporters of Aston Villa now under Paul Lambert will be expecting their team to be less boring than they were last season under Alex McLeish and hope not to be dragged into a relegation battle.

Both Reading and Stoke City should be satisfied with a share of the points after their opening fixture. It’s never easy to visit a team who have just been promoted but for much of the game Stoke dominanted. While for Reading scoring that first goal and picking up a first point provide a psychological boost in what promises to be a long and challenging season.

Chelsea were straight out of the blocks against Wigan, scoring twice within the first seven minutes; both goals the result of excellent play by new boy Eden Hazard. At which point Wigan woke up, realizing that the season had actually started and then began to dominate possession, creating a number of half chances, while the Londoners sat back and soaked up the pressure.

Overall not an exciting match, but there were still enough positive signs to suggest that Wigan, if they can wake up on time, will hold their own in the Premier League; while for Roberto di Matteo’s team an evolution is under way which potentially could see them break up the Manchester hegemony.
It may not be the Olympic Games, but Premier League football is back. The first weekend provided plenty of entertainment with 27 goals in 10 games, two sendings off, a manager in trouble for pushing an official and a total of 344,124 paying spectators watching the ten games.

Michael Goldstone is a football lover from beginning to end, and loves nothing better than watching a good match. When not reading about the game, Michael likes to unwind over a good action movie or a nice, challenging game of baccarat online with his mates.

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