02 September, 2008

Gameweek 3 – No Caps, No Trainers

With Manchester United losing out to Zenit St. Petersberg in the little-seen UEFA Super Cup on Friday night, the stage was set for the two big boys with 100% records, Chelsea and Liverpool, to already open a bit of a gap ahead of the current Premier League champions. Alas though, it wasn’t to be, as both teams stuttered against tough opposition on Sunday, with Chelsea being held 1 – 1 at home by a much improved Spurs side, and Liverpool’s trip to Villa Park ending goalless in yet another thoroughly dull display by Rafa Benitez’s men.

Arsenal however finally got going for the year, brushing aside a Newcastle side who seemed to have made decent progress in the build up to this season. Clearly backroom tensions were on peoples’ minds however, and the Toon really failed to ever get a foot in the game. Portsmouth and West Ham also finally realised that the season had started, producing impressive performances against Everton and Blackburn respectively after a couple of pretty flat opening games. Manchester City meanwhile celebrated the return of the prodigal son (SWP) with a comprehensive win over Sunderland raising expectations to fever pitch levels even before the debut of a certain Brazilian wonder-kid in a fortnight’s time.

The three newly-promoted teams had somewhat mixed results this weekend. West Brom earned their first point of the season in a plucky display at Bolton that ended goalless, while a battling 10-man Stoke side looked set to get a valuable point away at the Riverside stadium before Tuncay broke the offside trap with five minutes on the clock to sink the Potters. Finally then to the KC Stadium, where Hull were looking to build on their promising undefeated start to the season against Wigan

Game of the Week – Hull vs Wigan

A consummate show of intent by Steve Bruce’s men here, and on the back of their opening three games, I think Wigan might surprise a few people this season. Not only are they big and awkward to play against, but in Valencia and Palacios they have two of the most gifted footballers in the league outside of the top 4. As for Hull, well what can you say, they have to put this behind them and bounce back immediately in their next game otherwise it could all be downhill from here…

Player of the Week – David James

The man once-called Calamity put in another great shift for his side and earned yet another clean sheet for his impressive resume. Pompey on the whole were pretty great generally, but a couple of big saves at crucial moments from DJ kept them on the front foot.

Goal of the Weekend – Jermain Defoe

In a weekend which saw quite a few deft chips, this stood out head and shoulders above the rest, recalling Philip Albert and even the great Eric Cantona. Not bad for a prematurely-ejaculating dwarf.

Nearest Lampard Came to Contributing…er…of the Week

Super Frank wasn’t his usual dominating self for once this weekend, struggling to find his feet in a packed midfield at Stamford Bridge. When he did finally get involved however, the poor lad was so confused that he forgot which way he was going, and duly fed through a delightfully-weighted through-ball for Spurs’ Darren Bent to bang in the equaliser.

Comeback of the Week – Shaun Wright-Phillips

So he only played an hour but still managed to bag two goals. What does that tell you Shauny? Never should’ve sold out and gone to Chelsea in the first place right? Even though now his career will never be what it could’ve been, unfortunately his bank balance would probably still argue otherwise.

So three weeks down and already we have an international break for a couple of weeks. No team has managed a 100% record, and no-one has flopped out with zero points, but there are still a couple of sides languishing without a win. Out of the newly promoted teams it’s looking like, against all the odds apparently, Stoke City might be the best equipped to deal with the mammoth step-up to the top flight, while at the business end of the table, the big boys are already staking their claim for superiority.

Was Alfonso Alves’ cracking free-kick better than little Defoe’s flukey chip? Did David James just get lucky ten times against Everton? Do you just fundamentally think we’re a rubbish website? Well tell us! Stamp your opinions, and also nominations for Team of the Week, in the comments box below…


Mushi Mushi said...

Since no-one has yet taken up your invitation to comment, I'm prepared to state that I fundamentally think you're a rubbish website.

(Not really)

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