Fresh Start: For Some at Least
"Now that the dust has settled and the first goals, cards and controversies have come and probably not quite gone, we can all start confirming our predictions for the weekend and season ahead."
The first round of matches certainly threw up a few surprises. Seven teams won away from home, with Roberto Martinez' Wigan winning at Villa Park; one which many never foresaw and also, add to that, Arsenal's mauling of The Toffies at Goodison.
Perhaps Everton might have delayed their now infamous haka stunt for the prematch build up and had the Arsenal lads watch it instead. Who knows what might have happened.
Well as the proverbial saying goes, "anything can happen in football"—This adage certainly did itself justice this week.
We saw a lackluster yet defensively depleted United pull off a win yet again, against a resilient Birmingham who themselves had a few decent efforts and impressed overall.
Stoke City did as they often did last season at fortress Britannia.
Man City got off to a flier but still looked vulnerable at the back. They already have half as many away wins as they had last season and twice as many fans with bold, perhaps moronic tattoo's as well. Bless their souls.
Twenty-Nine yellow's issued with Phil Dowd handing out six of those in the Tottenham-Liverpool game...perhaps bringing to the front the issue of inconsistency once again.
There were no less than 5 debutants bagging their firsts for their respective clubs, Hunt (Hull), Vermaelen (Arsenal), Adebayor, (Man City), Bassong (Spurs) and Bent (Sunderland)—Who would of seen that coming?
Already we have competitors for goal of the season. Rodallega's strike stands out. Adebayor's was a cracker too (lovely link up play). Assou-Ekotto's rocket my favourite.
Two notable penalty shouts that were waved away. Berbatov's and Voronin's. Yes I know that referees need to be absolutely sure in order to award a penalty, but if he cannot should we not consider using technology to try and eradicate fans feeling cheated?
I personally am of the opinion that technology should be brought in to help with decisions that are potentially match changing, i.e Red Cards, Penalty Shouts, Offside calls that result in goals etc.
The main point I'd like to make to all clubs and their supporters, is that it would only be a fool who looks at the first weeks results and performances and begins to draw conclusions. As so many football fans do.
Each team that won their respective matches should obviously be commended, but too many are already drawing conclusions that are nothing less than short-sighted.
There is no doubt that Spurs impressed and deserved their victory, there is no doubt that United have lost 2 key players but so many are already claiming that they wont be in the hunt. Mark my words, they will be.
All those "Liverpool Fans" who are again calling for Benitez' head and having a go at Lucas, should take of the shutters and begin looking at the bigger picture. Most importantly we should be able to realise that we cannot win every game. Spurs played well and they are a good side and I am sure that on their day they can beat any of the 'big-four'.
It is after all only the first game of the new season, and the fresh start is again underway...United will be satisfied, Chelsea delighted as will Arsenal, and Liverpool will look to put their game behind them and focus on the next fixture.
Well I think if we had had a red card this weekend we would have had it all.
The Ref's are getting their ear fulls, Sammy Lee got his marching orders, Benitez is again pointing out 'facts', Ferguson is now reluctant to dismiss the small club with a small club mentality and claims it would be foolish to do so.
Usual service has resumed and I'm delighted that it has happened in the most part as interestingly as it has.
Much to look forward to.
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