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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Premiership Week 2 and the Battle of London

This weekend Spurs look the strongest, and that includes the Chelsea v Arsenal match today. While Man Utd carved out their single goal win against Aston Villa, Spurs have scored twice in each game and kepted their sheet clean. Paul Robinson was MOTM. With Sven Goran Eriksson watching in the stands, he chose a good game to help get over the midweek 2nd half fiasco that represented an England performance and further allegations he is in liaison with Faria Alam, the Delilah to Eriksson's Samson. He saw Robinson produce some good saves that kepted Spurs in the lead and Jermaine Defoe get into space, shift past Southgate and hit another effort from some 25-30 yards that left Shwarzer no chance. Yep, the Swede saw what Defoe can do and finally what he (Eriksson) should have done with him.

Being that Man Utd kicked off earliest, Eriksson could have found himself there first, surely a private jet laid on by the FA could have gotten him to White Hart Lane in time. Rooney and Ferdinand in action, Gareth Barry in the left side role, and perhaps Paul Scholes threatening Villa almost with every attack. In need somewhat of a holding central midfielder, Eriksson could have had a word with Scholes. Maybe.

Blackburn's game brought the Lancashire side their first win, at home too, and two superb goals to boot from Morten Gamst Pedersen, but Kerimoglu Tugay's was on a par with Rooney's against Newcastle last season. Niclas Jensen on the line didn't look to get in the way. Fulham let go of two key players in Edwin Van der Sar and Andy Cole. Cole helped City with yet another finish that is paying off his arrival. If Darius Vassell were to get better, he and Cole could be a good partnership. David James was a much better self, he could have folded but he has that kind of swagger about him that keeps him going, and again the question comes about players playing better for club than for country, at the moment at least.

Charlton and West Brom look very impressive at the moment. Darren Bent adds to his tally in two games and his test is yet to come after coming through two promoted sides. Wigan began as the league's whipping boys but so far they have conceded only two, which is as good a start as it could be, they need a win to settle themselves now. West Brom could have succumbed to Man City's bombardment but for Chris Kirkland but they did well enough to damage Portsmouth, who seem to have an odd away kit colour coordination. At one point it looked as if Lauren Robert had socks down with no shin-pads! The Frenchman consolated with another left foot finish from a freekick.

Liverpool were not as they were in pre-season and it gives me enough to think about going into the Sofia qualifier. Gerrard is out with a calf strain, as far as Rafael Benitez is concerned, so it will be up to Xabi Alonso, Dieter Hamann and Mohamed Sissoko to give a key performance on Tuesday. At Anfield, Liverpool enjoy most of the possession but Sunderland came back at us on occasions that shouldn't have happened to European Champions. Alonso finished off a freekick that looked very nice, albeit Kelvin Davies got a touch to it. Andy Welsh for Sunderland was sent off, which is questionable. Luis Garcia and Julio Arca went for a ball, Garcia got it, Arca tugged his shirt and Garcia spun, flailing a right arm which didn't connect. Welsh then came in on Garcia with a bodycheck and sticking out his left leg on the Spaniard. The leg could be interpreted as violent conduct, but in the discretion of the game Welsh should have had a booking.

Another sending off, another which involved Jermaine Jenas within a week. Through on goal, he had Paul Konchesky steaming beside him and who did well to catch up, the former Charlton man dived in excellently and got the ball to deny Jenas. Dermont Gallagher blew for a freekick but wasnt clear as to the severity of the tackle. In consulting the linesman, he sent off Konchesky. In both this case and that of Andy Welsh, and any other sending off, the red card is not to be downgraded unless mistaken identity occurred or the official understands, either through his own recollection or on advice from another official, he has made an error and can rectify it before restarting play.

The FA still have to answer for Jenas last week, which should still stand, and unfortunately the two from yesterday will stand, which shouldn't. West Ham have clearly been the better of the promoted teams, 4 pts out of 6 and a clean sheet against a good team with 10 men.

A word on Chelsea v Arsenal. Not possible with one word. Chelsea aiming to retain the title, have to impress under a boss who strives for excellence, insists on 100% and clearly isn't taking anything less unless it involves a win. Disgruntled players are quieted down and remorseful. Arjen Robben is yet another player who seems unhappy with the rotation, which could find him making way for Shaun Wright-Phillips if he is not careful. The manager can at any time look for someone to replace anyone out of order or out of performance.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal began as expected, as needed, with a win. While Chelsea just about gained theirs, Arsenal cracked on without Patrick Vieira, a name that will reverberate around Highbury (for this season at least) if gaps are seen in the play that warrant concern. Leadership of Thierry Henry is crucial, experience of he and Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg is essential and the younger members playing with energy aid the Gunners' approach into this game. If Chelsea play two upfront with Drogba, it can be problems for Arsenal. Kolo Toure looks to take no prisoners, Phillippe Senderos takes his lead from Toure, Ashley Cole nips in if needed. Chelsea could well engage the flanks often to keep Lauren and Cole away from central defence, allowing Lampard and Drogba and one other to infiltrate.

Key to this game will be Arsenal's attack on Chelsea's third. Engaging the Chelsea defence often enough obviously keeps the pressure of the Arsenal back four, but also serves to chip at Chelsea's chink of armour. Break Chelsea within the first 10 or 15mins could make a difference.



Blogger Kim Stian Ervik said...

Gunner swill win if the drop Bergkamp from starting line up.

8/21/2005 12:04 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elite Football Talk? Hardly! Your English is certainly not 'Elite' anyway.

Your page header should read 'this forum is proud to open its views...' not 'this forum are proud to open their views' - forum is singular.

And then in your article you mentioned that Spurs 'kepted' their sheet clean, Robinson producing good saves that 'kepted' Spurs in the lead...' - what wonderful abuse of the English language.

The word you're looking for is 'kept'.

You may think these observations pedantic, but hey - you're the ones claiming to be the 'Elite Football Talkers'!

8/21/2005 12:04 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

The header states six of us came together and formed a forum. This forum is coming from the six of us, therefore plural. Hence the world 'are'. We 'are' proud to open this forum to the world wide web.

Secondly, the word 'kepted' is a simple mistake when I meant 'kept'. You understood what I meant, that is crucial otherwise I would have a problem with my English.

Thirdly, throughout the articles written on this site, particularly those written by myself, there has been some insight and great responses thereafter on football issues. You choose one simple mistake to highlight that we, or I, do not produce 'elite football talk'?

And crucially, the header states: 'The aim is simple and perfect: to produce elite football talk.' We do not hail to be 100% correct in grammar and spelling with hot exclusives before the press gets to know. We are students who love the game, not humanoid encyclopaedias.

If you felt, within football, I was wrong, or your opinion differed to my own, then you're free to state so. Others have and I stood correct. But you're right, you are being pedantic.

By the way, having been in the UK for seven years, for a South American, I think my English is quite decent!

Now let's talk football.


8/21/2005 2:47 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Sorry, 'correct' is meant to be read 'corrected'!! There I go again!

8/21/2005 2:47 pm

Blogger SKG said...

Well said Redsman. Comments posted to our articles have been a mix of good and bad but the one posted relating to spelling mistakes is plain stupid. A message to that anonymous person - don't bother posting any further comments on our site unless they are productive!

8/21/2005 3:09 pm


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