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Slow on the draw: Week One oddities

269949486 5d92945188 Slow on the draw: Week One odditiesWhat a start to the Premier League season… for precisely half of the Premier League clubs. For the other half, it has not been good at all. The reason? Every single game this weekend has ended in a positive result for someone, i.e. there have been no draws.

This fact alone is not necessarily positive: If there were 10 home wins out of 10 it would be a major cause for concern – “Is the Premier League too predictable? Is home advantage too much of an advantage?” would be ringing from the rooftops of the cynics looking for something to moan about – but that is of no relevance whatsoever: Six of the ten games this weekend were away wins, and with two of the top four being at home, five of the non-big four games were away wins – whichever way you look at it, it’s a big positive.

Of course there are mitigating circumstances, three of the away wins – West Ham at Wolves, Fulham at Portsmouth and Man City at Blackburn – were very winnable for the away teams involved, but even that leaves 2 away wins to one home win. Search high and low, you will not find a disproving fact. The away teams have won this weekend.

Maybe this weekend is just a trend within itself – Mido himself is proof that spectacular starts on the first day of the season mean little – but maybe this is a precursor to an attacking ethos from middling teams away from home, more attacking games between middling clubs, and a more attacking league overall. Followed by goals, drama and, in short, fun. Am I getting a little carried away? Probably, but let’s just hope that the days of “playing for a draw” at Villa Park, The Reebok Stadium or Fratton Park are carried away with me.

“Big Three” Slow To Start

There are only three teams who can win the Premier League title, apparently. The general consensus being that one of Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea will win the title because of:

a) Their variety of matchwinners: Three out of their 39 outfield players scored this weekend. Five players scored for Arsenal alone.

b) Their watertight defences: Chelsea conceded at home. To Hull. Liverpool conceded two goals – directly or indirectly – to set pieces, and both were avoidable. United’s back four – Fabio (a left back – *thanks Joel, lazy blogging*, at right back), John O’Shea (Captain for the day. Don’t get me started…), Jonny Evans (talented, but still quite raw, and quite unfit) and Patrice Evra – was at best shambolic defensively (Evra apart) and worst atrocious. In short, all three seem there for the taking at the moment.

Arsenal, Man City, Spurs and the other “also rans” behind The Omnipotent Triumvirate will get their chance. It’s now. Take the crown before the giants wake up, or be glancing worriedly down towards the Europa League for the rest of the season.

(N.B. My dear friend/chance acquaintance (delete where appropriate) David Critchley has a new football blog at his fingertips. Please follow him, because you’re all that he has - davecritchley.blogspot.com )

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10 Responses to Slow on the draw: Week One oddities

  1. Joel says:

    First off, I’ll state that I’m a Man. Utd. fan. Considering that we were only playing with 1 regular from the starting back five, I thought they did alright. Birmingham only had a couple of clear chances: 1 cleared off the line and 1 save by Foster. Also, while Fabio is a left-sided player, he’s actually right-footed. Please check your facts next time.

  2. Tyson says:

    I think you are a bit unfair in your judgement with the big three.

    Manchester United had Van Der Sar, Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown(for most of the match) missing.

    Taken into context the last 2 times United have played Birmingham City it was exactly the same score at 1-0 both times. In effect they performed no worse against the same team.

    Chelsea on the other hand are under brand new leadership it is going to take them time to acclimatize as Ancelotti gets the hang of things so I expect them to produce bursts of excellence but overall at times have issues.

    When Liverpool last played Tottenham they pretty much tore them to shreds with 3 goals past their keeper. Xabi Alonso was instrumental in putting the ball into the feet of Gerrard and Torres and now hes gone so obviously the goal count was going to drop.

    Aside from being practically incapable of scoring goals Liverpool didn’t defend so badly I think. Their offensive is dead and flat with Alonso though so I think Liverpool are in for more pain.

  3. hmmm says:

    ” If there were 10 home wins out of 10 it would be a major cause for concern”

    I think that could be a candidate for overstatement of the year.

  4. ish says:

    arsenal played really well, liverpool struggled in the middle of the park something many were expecting. ManU struggled to break down the defense but did so anyway. Same applied to chelsea who missed alot of chances and the hull goal was pretty freaky, deflected off mikel, bounced wierdly away from every1 expect for hunt who smashed it in. Freak starts are common but i find that the best performers over the last 3-5 seasons have been those slow starters. Arsenal started off wonderfully 2 seasons ago only to fall flat on their arse.

  5. forweg says:

    Hahaha, Hull’s goal was “freaky” but Chelsea’s second wasn’t?

  6. Sanj says:

    I love how you mention that Liverpool’s conceded goals were ‘avoidable,’ but United’s defense was ‘shambolic’ at best and ‘atrocious’ at worst. Both of our first choice centre backs and keeper were injured and we had a left back playing at right back. You had your first choice centre backs playing and probably their best work was slamming their heads into each other. Bassong’s goal was essentially a free header with absolutely horrendous defending- in addition to the fact that Spurs played your team off the park. We also conceded zero goals. You conceded two. How you came to the conclusion that your defensive errors were ‘avoidable’ and United’s makeshift defense was ‘atrocious’ is beyond me. Oh, nevermind, you’re a typical Liverpool supporter.

    • Sanj, despite appearances, Scallon is a Man Utd fan. I’m a mate of his, and I agree, Utd’s defence wasn’t “atrocious,” we were average. But just thought I’d say that he does support Man Utd, and I’d like to add, credit to Birmingham, who played very well. I thought it was an ok start this weekend, but if we had been away from home, as we are on wednesday, I’d be a bit more worried about the defence, even if it is Burnley.

      And yeah, I am the “chance acquaintance.” This is clearly shameless self-promotion, but if you lot want a slightly more jokey, biased view which will please your brain-boxes. head on over. tbh, its probably not very good, (look at me, trying to be self-depricating in order to avoid the inevitable dismantling of my little blog…aww), so yeah, click the link on scallons blog.

  7. btw, this blog i did was a bit long, the others will be shorter, its just been a long week.

  8. Sanj says:

    My mistake, Scallon. Dave, thank you for pointing that out. But my original point still stands, there were a few shaky moments, but overall Birmingham really only had two clear chances. Like you said though, fair play to Birmingham, they did show up to play. However, we are notorious for starting slow, hopefully the plethora of injuries to the defense won’t cost us valuable points.

  9. Lyle says:

    Liverpools defeat at Tottenham reminds a bit of Arsenal’s defeat at Fulham last season. Those boys can’t win anything if that’s who are this season.

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