Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 37: Open Thread

Photo by illarterate

After yesterday’s incredible day in the Premier League (how about that wonderful Blackpool against Bolton match, just for one?), we have five more matches on deck today featuring:

  • Chelsea vs Newcastle, 8:30am ET
  • Birmingham v Fulham, 11am ET
  • Liverpool v Tottenham, 11am ET
  • Wigan v West Ham, 11am ET
  • Arsenal v Aston Villa, 11am ET

The biggest match for me is Wigan against West Ham United. The Hammers must get all three points to have any hope of staying up this season. A draw or a loss and they’ll be relegated. Even a win might not be enough depending on results next Sunday (West Ham have the worst goal difference in the league along with Wigan). For Wigan, a win will give them a chance of beating the drop but even then it’s not guaranteed. Expect a nervy game to start that has the potential of end-to-end action and plenty of goals.

At Anfield, the game between Liverpool and Tottenham will help decide who will finish in fifth position in the league and thus qualify for next season’s Europa League. Arsenal will want to win to help narrow the gap against Chelsea. The Blues are at home in the early kick-off against Newcastle. And Birmingham needs a win to guarantee Premier League football next season. Fulham, meanwhile, will want to put in a better performance than their thrashing against Liverpool last Monday.

Whatever happens today will have big implications on the 2010-11 Premier League season!

Before, during or after any of the matches today, use the comments thread below to post your rants, raves, questions or observations. We’ve only got 180 minutes of Premier League football remaining for most teams, so let’s make the most of it!

34 thoughts on “Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 37: Open Thread”

  1. Bad draw for Chelsea. Expect much change at Chelsea. Torres once again showed that he is not worth even 20 million pounds. Not sure where they go from here.

    Newcastle look good enough to stay in the EPL for some time provided their useless owner sells the club. He won’t spend so it will be interesting to see what happens at Newcastle.

  2. West Ham seem to have a home match in greater Manchester….

    Chim chiminey
    Chim chiminey
    Chim chim cher-oo!
    We are those bastards in claret and blue

  3. Quick random question: Does the team that wins the EPL Championship keep the trophy? Or do they follow the same rules as the UEFA Champions League?

    I would assume that if the Premier League does not allow them to keep the trophy, each team would probably commission a replica. Anyone know how that works?


  4. Thank you, FSC, for not showing Wigan-WHU, 2:2 w/ 20 mins to go…time and again you show your stunning incompetence when it comes to football…

    1. Hold on a second, didn’t FSC show the Liverpool vs. Spurs match?

      Why would anyone show Wigan vs. West Ham over Liverpool vs. Spurs (especially when the LFC VS. Spurs match has European qualification ramifications)?

      1. Watched them both simultaneously. FSC made a terrible, terrible decision. Relegation battles are always going to be better than two teams dueling it out for a shot at 5th.

        1. 1. The winner of that duel gets to play in Europe.

          2. Liverpool and Spurs have more supporters than Wigan and West Ham. FSC is in the business of making money. More viewers equals more money.

          1. If you want to crack the top four, you do not want to play in Europa.

            Maybe FSC needed to have the Spurs-Pool viewers, but they absolutely needed to have Wigan-West Ham on Plus, if nothing else

          2. Matt, that is absolute rubbish.

            By your logic, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United should not be in the top four year after year because they are busy playing in Europe.

            Being in the Europa League does not prevent a side from qualifying for Europe and thinking so is complete nonsense.

          3. Matt’s actually got a bit of an argument to make. Fulham were a better side last year compared to two years ago, and no one could possibly argue otherwise. Yet they finished further down the table. Additionally, Liverpool were struggling early this year (yes Hodgson, Torres, and the lack of Suarez and Carroll played a big part), as well as Aston Villa’s poor early form in 09/10 compared to 08/09 when they pushed the top four for quite a period of the season.

            The common denominator: The Europa League. Honestly, sides like Spurs and Liverpool who have UCL aspirations should treat it just like the Carling Cup until you get to the Round of 16.

            I watched Spurs-Liverpool on the big screen this morning and i started streaming west ham wigan when it became a 1 goal game in the second half. I am still sitting here now watching it again. It was that good.

            Hopefully FSC learned from their mistake this week and puts it right next week, by putting Wolves-Blackburn front and center. It is sure to be an absolute cracker.

          4. By the way, both of them knew they would be in “Europe” before they kicked off today. It’ll be 5th and 6th with Birmingham City by virtue of the light blues winning yesterday. So it was literally just for the number, not premier league football for another year.

          5. Outgunned,

            Correlation is not causation.

            Outside of the simple fact that playing in Europe means you need to have a deeper side, the fact is playing in Europe does not automatically mean you will perform poorly in the league.

            How different is playing in the Europa League than playing in the Champions League?

            If anything, playing in the Champions League against higher quality sides should have a bigger impact. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool (in the past) have shown that is not the case.

            Sides are given a sufficient amount of time to recover from midweek matches. If anything, playing in Europe just exposes sides that lack depth.

          6. You are absolutely right. It exposes teams who aren’t very deep (ie anyone not Chelsea, United, and maybe Arsenal). So why in the hell would you want to stretch yourself thin for a tournament that clubs like Spurs and liverpool (and City last year) see as a consolation prize. The financial and intangible implications of progressing in the Champions League dwarfs the benefits of making it deep in the Europa league.

            If you have read the rest of the thread, you can see why this match paled in comparison to Wigan v West Ham. Hopefully we can at least agree on this.

  5. As a Liverpool supporter I am pretty disappointed today but, I would be A LOT more disappointed if I was a Gunner. It looks like Citeh will overtake them for third.

  6. Lights out for West Ham. How can they not hold on to a 2-0 lead in a must-win game? They deserve to go down.

    Poor performance by Liverpool. Spurs may have done them a favor because I don’t think Liverpool would improve if they had to play both in the EL and try to get back into the top 4. Next week’s results could still change things.

    Arsenal may be the team that drops out of the top 4 next season. What a poor performance by them today. They could end up 4th depending on City’s results on Tuesday and Sunday. Maybe this will convince Wenger that he has to spend and bring in some veteran players.

    Birmingham might be in trouble if things don’t go their way next week. Bad loss at home to Fulham.

  7. What a game between Wigan and West ham. That’s the type of game you want to see when everthing is on the line. Shame to FSC for not showing it. I’m glad I have It was way better than the Liverpool – Spurs game. Was watching both games simultaneously for a while but ended up watching the Wigan – West Ham game alone as the other game wasn’t that promising. Just as Torres isn’t worth 50 million pounds I don’t think Andy carroll is worth anywhere close to 35 million pounds. He could be a liability to Liverpool from mwhat I’ve seen of him so far.

  8. Going to be an excellent last day of the year. I don’t mind pulling against United only one day of the year again (I was pulling hard for Hull two years ago on the last day and was welcoming a defeat if it meant they would stay up. I feel the same about Blackpool this year. And it’s not like it’s really United’s last game…)

    Is it too early to start speculating who West Ham will lose as a result of dropping? One I would bet the house on is Demba Ba. Way too good for the championship.

  9. Liverpool stank today and need to imrove immensely if they have any chance of getting back into the top 4. I agree Carroll is not very good and his touch is poor. I don’t see him as Liverpool’s answer for a top striker.

    Spurs are definitely better than Liverpool and deserve being in 5th. They have a very decent squad and all they need is a couple more quality signings including a decent striker and they’ll be back in the top 4. They have a better chance of getting into the top 4 than Liverpool.

    Arsenal will need a total rethink this summer if they are to progress or even stay in the top 4. We know City will get better as they ahve the money to bring in quality players.

  10. West Ham must be one of the most talented teams to go down. However, they deserve to be relegated not just on today’s performance but their entire season’s performance. Blackpool is the team I’d like to stay up because they have palyed some terrific soccer at times. I’m hoping they beat United next week which won’t be easy and other results go their way so they can stay in the EPL.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Birmingham go down. They don’t excite me with their soccer. Next week will be interesting.

  11. Well that game just typifies the season… Bright moments showered with darkness, and indifference. Great open game the last twenty minutes… each team had their chances. Wigan pulled it out. Good to them, and was odd seeing them invade the pitch, thought they had all gone home.

    West Ham will re tool, and will be back. Without the likes of bloated contracts, and hopefully Avram Grant. If you saw the match today, a plane flew over the DW with one of this flying billboards… It read ” Avram Grant, Millwall legend.”

  12. I saw the Liverpool – Spurs game and wish I they had shown the Wigan – West Ham game. FSC sucks!

    Liverpool showed why they are still quite a way from being back in the fold among the top tier of the EPL. Andy Carroll has no pace and does not possess any skill in holding the ball or beating defenders. I know he has come back from injury but I have yet to see him prove he deserves being a 35 million pound striker. If Liverpool are going to rely on him next season as their number one striker I think they’re going to be in trouble. darren bent is twice the player he is and cost less. Paying 35 million for someone who has potential but who isn’t the finished product is just nuts.

    Spurs are only a couple of quality forwards away from challenging for the CL and the title. As long as they don’t lose their core players I can see them benefiting from this season’s experience in the CL and their domestic run.

    Arsenal need a total rethink and unless Wenger stops being stubborn they could be the team that misses out on the CL next season.

  13. Agree that Andy Carroll is too slow and sluggish to be an effective striker for a top EPL team. Then again, Liverpool are no longer a top EPL team.

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