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Hope Springs Eternal For Big Four Gatecrashers

newcastle united Hope Springs Eternal For Big Four Gatecrashers

The first weekend of the Premier League is over, and what an entertaining weekend it was. Thirty two goals and an average of 3.2 goals per match, and a few surprise results. Who said the Premier League was boring?!

Here are some of the highs and lows from this past weekend, as well as my two cents about the clubs who will hopefully gatecrash the Big Four this season:

Highlights:

  • Aston Villa playing a wonderful brand of football with Ashley Young, Gareth Barry and Gabriel Agbonlahor all putting in a fine performance.
  • Chelsea looks breathtaking and, gulp, exciting to watch, and could have even won the match 6-0 or 7-0.
  • Hull City made a brilliant Premier League debut against a woeful Fulham side.
  • Middlesbrough is the new Brazil, at least for one weekend.
  • Jonas Gutierrez, aka Spiderman, made one of the most impressive Premier League debuts I’ve seen in years. Simply sensational, and it’s such a delight to see a left winger with speed and dribbling ability who is willing to take on defenders.
  • Rodrigo Possebon played well in Manchester United’s midfield and was extremely confident.
  • Villa fans singing Agbonlahor’s name to the tune of Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon.
  • Gretar Steinsson‘s goal for Bolton that was absolutely delightful.
  • Newcastle’s defense looked solid (when was the last time we could say that?). Especially impressive was Fabricio Coloccini.

Lowlights:

  • The pitiful number of away Wigan fans at Upton Park.
  • Stoke’s defending made Derby look like Italy’s back four.
  • Manchester United looked unimaginative for much of their 1-1 draw against Newcastle.

Out of the Big Four, Chelsea was the only team that impressed. Arsenal was wasteful in front of goal (again). Liverpool was absolutely appalling and were only saved by the Fernando Torres wonder strike. Manchester United looked a shadow of themselves and were fortunate to come away with a draw in light of the Vidic foul on Jonas Gutierrez which should have been a penalty in the first half.

Sure, it’s early days so far and players are still a little stale after not playing competitive matches for a few months, but Man United and Liverpool will definitely have to step up their performances quite a bit despite the fact that many players are out due to injury and Olympics duty.

For those of you who are neutral fans of the Premier League, there’s already quite a lot of hope to find some quality attacking sides that will shake up the league this season and give the Big Four a run for their money. So far, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Hull City, Bolton, Newcastle United and Blackburn put in quality performances. Let’s hope this trend continues for the sake of unpredictability which is sorely missing in the Premiership.

What are your thoughts about the opening weekend of the Premier League season? What were your highs and lows? Click the comments link below and share your opinions.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

4 Responses to Hope Springs Eternal For Big Four Gatecrashers

  1. AtlantaPompey says:

    That was painful!!!

    We couldn’t string two passes together. We had Kaboul in midfield, who probably doesn’t know his teammates names yet, and obviously doesn’t know how to pass to them. We had Diop once again showing he shouldn’t be handling the ball that much. We had Kranjcar pull a disappearing act. Sol Campbell out of position for the first goal. Glen Johnson jump all of three inches which allowed the second goal. David James coming off his line way too early and too far for the second and fourth goal. Crouch and Defoe got either terrible or nonexistent service. Slow lazy passes, always second to the ball, dribbling with our head down, no communication warning of double teams, no adjustment to Chelsea essentially playing 5 in the midfield. It’s enough to drive you to drink, and I did. A lot!!!

    Oh, and I don’t like the new away kit. It’s the wrong color blue.

    Somebody please tell me that Chelsea is the best team in the history of the game, they will make everyone look this bad, and that we will bounce back next week against… Oh *#@%^!!! ManU is coming to Fratton Park next Monday?

    I need another beer!!!

  2. Apart from Chelsea, the Big-4 were insipid on this first weekend. They snagged 10 out of 12 points, combined, but two of those victories were by the narrowest of margins.

  3. Caldwell says:

    Steinsson’s goal: not sure I agree with 100% certainty that the goal was a lucky cross. Check out how much he puts his lower body behind that (shot/pass/at any rate a goal). It’s a highly unorthodox position from which to take a shot attempt, granted, but considering how he absolutely whaled on that ball, who knows?

  4. Caldwell says:

    Just one more comment: Wasn’t that a typical Fulham result? Take an early lead only to blow it!

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