EPL Yanks: The weekend action in review
Fulham 0 – 2 Chelsea
Fulham was beaten badly in the SW London Derby match. Carlos Bocanegra played the entire game and Brian McBride came on in the 77th minute as a substitute. Bocanegra sacrificed himself well on several set pieces but Fulham were unable to dent a superior Chelsea side.
Middlesbrough 0 – 1 Blackburn
Brad Friedel kept a clean sheet as Rovers defeated Boro in the Riverside debut of former Real Madrid and England defender Jonathan Woodgate.
Wigan Athletic 1 – 1 Watford
Jay DeMerit went the distance at right back (a new position for him) as Watford secured a very valuable away point. DeMerit played well and had a hand in shutting down several Wigan chances.
Manchester City 2 – 0 West Ham United
Claudio Reyna entered the match in the 81st minute after City had already sewn up the victory. DeMarcus Beasley was an unused sub for the 2nd consecutive match, and interestingly enough when Reyna entered the match, the radio commentators noted he was playing on the left side of midfield, and that Pearce needed a “stopper” to shut down any potential West Ham rally. (Where Beasley would normally play) The clearly demonstrates that Beasley has yet to win the full trust of Manager Stuart Pearce, and while City fans have tried to discard Reyna along with several other veterans of the club, (and anoit Beasley along with several other new signings as the future of the club) he remains an intregal part of the first team. Jonathan Spector is now healthy for West Ham but has yet to crack the first team.
Reading 1 – 1 Manchester United
What a great game this was. Reading fought hard for a draw with heavily favored United. A fantastic game for Bobby Convey whose work rate continues to amaze me (Can you imagine what Landon “life is a beach” Donovan thinks of Convey’s work rate?) Convey drew several fouls from bigger, more imposing United players and also had a hand in creating the opportunity that led to Reading’s penalty goal. As always, Marcus Hannehman was solid in the Reading net.
Newcastle United 1 – 1 Everton
In one of the most entertaining matches of the young EPL season, Tim Howard made several spectacular saves including one on partial yank Giuseppe Rossi late in the match to preserve a draw for the Toffees. This was an excellent result away from home for Everton.
Cory Gibbs remains injured for Charlton but should return by mid November.
Other EPL thoughts:
I was dead wrong on Tottenham. Instead of fighting for the league title as I predicted they are dangerously close to the relegation zone. Jermain DeFoe who is supposed to be an interntation caliber striker has been sulking and Robbie Keane has regressed beyond recognition.
Portsmouth I suspected would be better this season but still I am stunned by how good they have turned out to be. Harry Redknapp continues to be one of the best managers in the game, and the acquisition of Sol Campbell, whom all the big clubs thought was washed up is probably the best inter-EPL transfer of the year thus far.
The other below the radar transfer that has made a huge impact was Everton’s purchase of Andy Johnson from Crystal Palace. Andy Johnson of course wasn’t good enough to play for England in the World Cup, or was it that they just didn’t give him a good enough look? I vote for the latter.
Wayne Rooney may not agree, but David Moyes is one darn good manager.
Manchester United needs to get Wayne Rooney back on track. His arch nemis Christiano Ronaldo can only carry the team for so long. That having been said, Ronaldo is thus far this campaign, the best player in the EPL.
Chelsea doesn’t look as invincible as the past two seasons, but they continue to win which is all that matters.
EPL sides fared especially poorly in this year’s Carling Cup. Five teams were eliminated by lower division sides and two more survived on penalty kicks.
As good a manager as Paul Jewell is, Wigan seems a prime candidate for relegation.
While they have yet to win a match since promotion, Watford seems to have more fight than expected and could stay up if they can pick up a striker or two in the January transfer window.