Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 26: Open Thread

Photo by adifferentorder.

After an exhilarating round of mid-week matches in the Premier League, our favorite day of the week returns with a busy schedule of Saturday matches.

I may be proven wrong on this one, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the early kickoff between Stoke City and Sunderland will turn into a goalfest. If I’m wrong, there seven more matches Saturday to see goals including Manchester City against West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United versus Arsenal, Wolves against Manchester United, the Lancashire derby between Wigan and Blackburn, Tottenham vs Bolton Wanderers, Everton against Blackpool and, last but not least, Aston Villa versus Fulham.

As always, feel free to share your observations, questions and rants in the comments section below before, during or after the matches.

60 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 26: Open Thread”

  1. 5 man back for Sunderland today, I suppose they saw the success Liverpool had against Stoke with it. Anyone think this will become a trend against predominantly 4-4-2 teams?

  2. problem with fox soccer tv every week now.
    once again trying to get on doesnt recognize my email and log in.

  3. Stoke and Sunderland did not disappoint. What a great match for the American audience on ESPN. It didn’t have the appeal on paper of a Man U or Chelsea, but that was an exciting match to watch. Thankfully it didn’t end in a draw.

  4. What a finish! That’s Huth’s 7th goal of the season.. Carew played great today. Freaking Gyan.. knock my country out of the world cup score 3 goals in 2 games against my EPL team. Stoke on 33 points, 9 points off relegation, top half.

  5. This is now the second weekend this year where foxsoccer TV is providing a crappy product. It’s so blurry I can barely tell what’s happening in more than one of the games.

  6. Found a dodgy illegal feed with far superior quality to FS tv.
    Ive just cancelled my fs tv subscription.
    Its a disgrace to struggle with this every week.
    Couldnt get on till they emailed me a new password. Dont know why they change it?
    Not worth the aggro. I’ll listen to bbc radio or find an illegal feed when were on fs tv.

  7. Couldnt get on to FS tv with out them giving me a new pasword today.
    Dont know why it needed to change. SO once again missed the first 10 minutes. Then the quality is horrible.
    Dont know how many weeks in a row now woth an issue.
    Found a dodgy illegal feed with far superior quality.
    Just cancelled my fs tv subscription.
    Not worth the aggro. Ill listen to bbc radio or find a dodgy feed when were on fs tv.

  8. is once again dropping the ball. That’s two weeks in a row. They’re going from bad to worse. Send them emails telling them so in the hope they’ll do something about it.

  9. Why is Stoke City v Sund not showing up in the replay tab on espn3? I thought they made epl games available for replay. And looking ahead on their schedule the epl games are live only. Since when? Thanks a lot espn! Now if we don’t catch the game live we miss out altogether.

  10. F**k! Everytime fstv freezes somebody scores in the Blackpool Everton match. Missed both of Blackpools goals because the feed keeps freezing

  11. Why isnt Tim Cahill a starter for Everton? He used to play every single game but why dont they play him up front with Saha? He is way more consistent and probably better all round

    1. Cahill just got back from the Asian Cup and he isn’t 100% healthy. He’s got a thigh strain and something with his ankle. When he’s healthy, he’ll definitely be starting again.

      1. Thanks very much mattjg, thats exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately for Blackpool, Everton didn’t even need Tim Cahill today.

  12. Newcastle v Arsenal is damn exciting right now! Is the Devil’s Barcode going to pull off the comeback? The Gunners are a man down for at least 10 more minutes.

    1. Pitiful display after Diaby’s red card. Defense just folded. I blame Wenger for not strengthening the back line when he had the opportunity to. Dowd calls every foul against Arsenal. Carding them at will. Disgusting!

  13. 4-4 Newcastle ties it up down 4 in the second half to the Gunners. Arsenal is soft. They are too soft to win the title or anything else for that matter. Wenger is soft, Fabregas is a diver, and until they embrace the fact that you need some steel in your lineup they will never overcome the Chelseas, the Uniteds, and they are going to struggle against the cash fueled death star that is Man City. I can count on one hand the number of tackles attempted by Arsenal in this half, with the lead.. and two of them were in the box for penalties. Nolan just missed the winner.

  14. I really didn’t think Birmingham and Wigan could be topped, but this did it. We’ll be feeling the impact of this one for a long time.

    Diaby will be absolutely crucified. He’ll be cast as ten times the villain Gallas was for his B’ham outburst. It was a bad decision, but I hate it for him. He’ll take way more criticism than he deserves.

    Joey Barton will no doubt be cast as a master of head games, which is probably more disgusting to me.

    1. you have to credit to barton for keeping a level head and not attacking back. He has been a target for people all season in hopes of him acting out. He is showing some serious maturity in not getting in Diaby’s face and escalating things

      1. Barton’s challenge was cynical and wreckless and he knew Diaby was in trouble once he reacted so there was no point in “attacking back”. You want to give Barton credit for effective use of the “dark arts” go ahead but for maturity? Sorry fella.

  15. Credit to Newcastle for taking their chances but Phil Dowd had a terrible game.

    Barton had 2 reckless tackles and didn’t even get called for a foul. The 2nd penalty was non existent and the foul for the 4th goal was a clear dive.

    It’s frustrating when the ref is clearly trying to help the home side to make a game of it.

    1. You really have to preface everything about this match by saying Arsenal never should have let the lead slip away no matter what Phil Dowd did, but putting that aside, I truly don’t understand what he could have seen for the second penalty.

      And Barton, my God. Those two tackles of his would have made Vince Lombardi proud, and somehow it’s everyone else getting booked?

  16. Did today really happen in the Premier League?
    Still annoyed that the anti-footballers of Stoke somehow managed to win (I don’t think I have despised a team in the Prem as much as I despise Stoke).
    But Arse and with Arsene will never win a trophey in my lifetime. Don’t get my wrong; an instant classic it was, but, God Almighty, what a team of losers…
    Apparently Tottenham, Everton, and Wigan were all crazy crazy games…and the big game is awaiting tomorrow…wow, just wow…

    1. I’d love to jump on the anti-Arsenal bandwagon but, “Arse and with Arsene will never win a trophey in my lifetime”?

      Were you born after May 21, 2005?

      1. I doubt Ivan was born after May 21 2005 but I’m sure he must of have jumped on the Arsenal bandwagon after that date. As for Wenger not liking the witch hunt against Fabregas he didn’t seem to have a problem with leading his own witch hunts against Tyalor and Shawcross.

        1. Wenger’s come across as a real idiot in this whole Fabregas incident. I think it’s fairly obvious that Fabregas is an arrogant prick (albeit a great player). There have been too many accusations thrown at him for none of them to be true.

    2. You can’t trash Arsenal and Stoke in the same post Ivan. Stoke came back and won that game on pure grit and determination despite being outclassed by Gyan and the Sunderland midfield. Arsenal’s problem is that they are incapable of recognizing the positive attributes of a team like Stoke. It’s easy to win when you’ve got all the class, quality, and depth on your side. It’s harder to win when your engine room consists of Rory Delap and Dean Whitehead and your down a goal twice in the wind/rain and find a way to grind out a win.

      1. I am going to backtrack a bit on my Arsenal comments. Phil Dowd was horrendous today; Barton’s tackle on Diaby was brutal and many players would have “lost it” just like him. The 2nd Newcastle penalty was non-existent; the disallowed goal by RVP in stoppage time was one of those very close calls that, if the players are even, the call should go in the striker’s favor.
        That beings said (and I am a Liverpool fan), it must be sickening for Arse fans that the team keeps making the same mistakes season after season, drop points in games in which they should have comfortably won, and just plain choke, time and again. Squilacci, Koscielny, these guys are true misunderstandings. The sooner Vermaelen comes back, the better…
        Stoke…don’t get me started on Stoke. Their coach got rid of the only footballer on their team, Tuncai, and has surrounded himself with “who’s who” of the most talentless players in the league; has Rory DeLap tried his luck in handball yet? Has Shawcross tried MMA? And yet, they still manage to somehow win and maintain their status in the league…unbelievable…
        Entertaining morning, though, that’s for sure…and now Wolves lead on Manchester United…it is turning to be the most entertaining week in the Premier League this season…w/ Torres to go v. Liverpool tomorrow.

        1. Sickening is a good word for it. At this point I really just wait for it to come. About this time every year Arsenal has a comfortable lead no one should ever blow, gets hit by an injury, suffers some tough luck with the ref, and is never the same thereafter.

          The only good news is I don’t *THINK* it can get any worse, but I didn’t think it could get any worse than Wigan last season.

  17. Arsenal deserves a ton of criticism for their defense, but that second penalty was from a non-existent foul.

    As for Diaby, if you can’t overreact and defend your teammates when you’re up 4-0, when can you? Barton was making some pretty harsh tackles. Shame on Arsenal for not keeping the lead, but I don’t think Diaby should be vilified.

    1. I agree. The first time Diaby and Barton tangled, it was when Barton had flown in recklessly on Arshavin. The second time the foul was on Diaby himself. I think Abou wasn’t going to wait to see what the third encounter would be.

      Again, somehow Barton escapes even a caution?

  18. Un-f*&king-believable. Abou-Goddamned-dipshit-Diaby needs to take the first train out of the U.K. Talk about a self-centered idiot! And Arsene–how’s that non-active transfer window feeling now, with Djourou going out injured? Can’t really play with one quality center back, can you? What the hell good is all that profit if you can’t buy the final piece or two to challenge for the title? Starting to feel like the Arsenal board is content with top 4, and that City actually wants to win it all.

  19. Diaby absolutely should be vilified! This isn’t hockey! You’re 5 points back of first and with a 4-0 lead, and you let the other team drag you into a physical altercation? That’s what Toon WANTED! Dumb and dumber. That is amateurish play to lose your head and not think of how much you have to lose in the big picture.

    1. I think it’s a catch-22. Arsenal has been criticized for being soft. Think of how they were knocked for not being tougher against Stoke after Aaron Ramsey’s injury. Now, Diaby refuses to be soft. All Arsenal had to do was not give up 3 goals (Phil Dowd seemed to be intent on handing Newcastle one) and Diaby isn’t even a story.

  20. Wolves up 2-1 on Man U 67 minutes in. If Wolves hold on, this is probably the craziest day I can ever recall in the Premier League. Maybe even if they don’t…

  21. Wolves did it!

    As bad a day as it was, Gooners can at least take solace in that they remain the only Invincibles in Premier League history.

  22. Today is the day Arsenal will remember as the day they discovered they are not made of stuff that champions are made of. Even with 10 men they should never have allowed Newcastle to score 4 goals to tie it. Worse for Arsenal is that this will be a huge psychological blow for them. Their belief that they can mount a credible title challenge has been shattered.

    Fabregas is not a captain that can rally his troops. Arsenal has no leaders.

    With United losing, Arsenal will be sick that they couldn’t take advantage.

    To really make this a crazy weekend, maybe Liverpool will beat Chelsea with a last minute Torres own goal from a Gerard corner :) .

    1. Today is the day Arsenal will remember as the day they discovered they are not made of stuff that champions are made of

      You mean one of several days on which Arsenal have realized that lesson. Seriously, this happens about 4 or 5 times a season- Arsenal suffer embarrassing loss to a weaker team, and realize they just don’t have the mental toughness of champions.

  23. I liked the Daily Mail headline: “Beatables.” I guess you can’t play like crap game after game and win ’em all. Why Giggs got a contract extension I’ll never know. What was his pass accuracy ratio? 10%?

  24. WOW..what a Saturday… Everton.. Newcastle..Wolves..Stoke… if this is not the most exciting league in the world.. I dont know what is.. the Premiership is the most balanced championship out there.. it doesnt get any better than this… and we still have Liverpool v Chelsea..yet to come.. Superbowl what???????????? not even close mate…


    1. Those of us in The Colonies lucky enough to have Fox Soccer Plus were treated to even more excitement…Niko Kranjcar’s second half stoppage time goal that gave the Spurs a 2-1 victory over Bolton.

      I don’t believe that there has been a more exciting Saturday all season.

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