Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 8: Open Thread

Today features three mouthwatering matches in the Premier League. The massive derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolves kicks things off early, which is followed by what should be an interesting game between Arsenal and Sunderland. And then last, but not least, we have Newcastle United versus Tottenham Hotspur. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season that this game would be a battle for fourth position?

You know the drill. Before, during and after the games today, feel free to post your questions, observations, rants or raves in the comments section below.

Thanks in advance for your input.

18 thoughts on “Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 8: Open Thread”

  1. Arsenal are now in Striking distance and above all of the bottom 10 that will struggle with the drop…

    The Baggies pulled out of the drop zone… But I don’t see them staying there… So even at the bottom.

    Huge game for Newcastle. A win today they are solidly a top 4 club. A win for Tottenham puts them in 5th, with a game in hand, maybe 4th if they win by 3… Pretender or contender … put up or shut up. ‘ave it.

    Hate Pardew, and Hate Spuds… hmmm. I’ll go Spurs 1 NUFC 0

  2. Spurs score from penalty against run of play. I think it was their fist shot on goal. And Newcastle are lucky it was not a red card on the top of penalty.

    1. Clearly a penalty, but so frustrating that Lee Probert spent so long to decide. Wasn’t till he had Bale in his ear he pointed to the spot. Enough to set off the home support.

  3. The Newcastle-Spurs game was definitely the game of the weekend. Newcastle are for real in case anyone had any doubts. Either team could have won this one as it became a very open game in the second half. Great to watch. Spurs fans must be wondering why Defoe doesn’t play more minutes as he is absolutely lethal when he has an opening.

    Right now Newcastle and Spurs are definitely favorites to get 4th position. I was not impressed with Liverpool’s display yesterday so I don’t rate them to get anything other than 6th position.

    With City and Chelsea winning yesterday it promises to be a very competitive race for the title.

    1. The amazing thing about Newcastle is how apparent it has become that Andy Carroll was holding them back. As a classic aerial 4-4-2 striker requiring support; Carroll made Newcastle inflexible due to their lack of a true #10 player(occupied by Joey Barton who is more or less a box-box combo midfielder more valuable in a diamond). Now that they don’t have an out and out striker/support striker to key in on they can attack from anywhere in their formation. Gutierrez gets more space because he simply isn’t coming in to the 30 yard zone and hoofing it into the center. Tiote is allowed to roam; but has the speed to spark the counter. Ba and Leon Best have worked well both dropping deep to pick up the ball and allowing Gutierrez and Obertan to overlap switching the formation attack at will. Coloccini and Ryan Taylor are both capable of coming up to support the wings while Coloccini has done well to almost switch the formation to a 3-5-2; simply overwhelming the midfield when Newcastle falls behind.

  4. I agree that Newcastle are for real and will be in the mix for a European spot. Spurs will be be frustarted that they didn’t win as they had some chances to put the game away. I still see Spurs getting 4th as no other team has as much quality as they have and they have been playing well since their poor start.

    I also agree that Liverpool haven’t impressed me at all this season despite spending loads on players. Liverpool will probably get a Eoropa League spot as they don’t have any European fixtures to deal with.

    Right now I have to say that Manchester City look like they have what it takes to win the title. If City can go to Old Trafford and get a result next weekend I would make them favorites to win the title. Chelsea are also in the mix but for me they rank below City and United.

    1. Regarding Spurs.. Isn’t this the Redknapp cycle? Button up the defense.. develop creative midfielders to reach their potential(Modric/Bale); buy a slew of strikers so it doesn’t matter when one is out of form.. Then reach a goal(Champions League) and start regressing. This is 2 season of unparalleled success.. Top 4; followed by a much deeper CL run then could have been anticipated. We saw what happened at Portsmouth; I just question the progression of the team. What are they trying to be? With a guy that was classified as one of the best wingers in the planet(Bale) you’d think this would be a free flowing attacking team with 3 strikers up front trying to literally beat opponents into submission. However, far too often I see Bale and Modric in their own end.. doing their jobs but I feel that perhaps focusing on a defensive midfielder(goodbye Palacios) to allow those guys to focus on the attack would be more productive.

      The one thing about Newcastle.. If they wanted to increase their wage bill by 50% and blow about 75 million in the transfer window they could do it. With the core of their squad they could easily be on par with Chelsea almost instantly.

  5. More Newcastle against Spurs, please!

    Give me a Newcastle against Spurs game any day of the week than a tedious Liverpool against Man United match. At St James’s Park today, both clubs played a very open game. There were plenty of exceptional performances on display, and what a frenetic finish.

    I really enjoyed this one!

    The Gaffer

  6. it’s funny how in England, teams play good, attractive football against teams they have no rivalry with, but when it comes to playing local derbies or fierce rivalries, football goes out the window and the two teams resort to soul-sapping, negative, attrition football. fans are always expecting a great game and every team they are treated to an ugly encounter. I’ve only seen this problem in England and the UK in general. In Scotland, Rangers and Celtic play good football against teams they’ve no rivalry with, but when they play each other, there is never a match that passes without incident. I’ve seen many Real Madrid and Barcelona matches, and neither of the two teams is afraid of losing to each other by playing their brand of football. That’s why all the best players in the world went to La Liga. Zidane, Figo, Messi, Ronaldo, because they wanted to play good football. That’s why Ronaldo left Manchester United because he had enough of players being nasty and physical with him and had enough. He played for 6 years at a club like Manchester United as a platform to move to a MUCH MUCH bigger club Real Madrid. Same with David Beckham, although with Beckham it didn’t work out. Clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan are the top dogs and Manchester United and Liverpool should be lucky they even belong in the same class as these clubs, because that’s as far as they’ll ever get to tasting the successes of these top-quality European teams.

  7. Podcast topics: There really isn’t a podcast topics thread anymore. Is there any thoughts to discussion of goals for each of these clubs. The next month is going to include 2 CL matches for the four(4) English clubs; Carling Cup Round of 16 matches(all four CL participants); 2 Europa League matches(Stoke will have to play both Carling Cup and Europa League).. and four EPL games.

    As far as I can tell:
    1. Man City: Appears to be ready to punt on their CL aspirations and will be going for the EPL title; I’m real curious to see what they will field for the Carling Cup.
    2. Man United: Focused on the Champions League after a rough start; looking to secure group stage; then refocus on the EPL post January
    3. Chelsea: We know Roman wants the CL title; and he probably wants everything else too.. I expect strong sides in all EPL, CL, and Carling Cup matches
    4. Arsenal: Not a bad start in the Champions League; I expect a juniors side for the Carling Cup.. I have no idea what they will do.
    5. Spurs: Should get through Europa League group without breaking a sweat; I expect mostly reserves.. out of the CC; waiting for EPL focus
    6. Stoke: On the surface appearing to be fighting all battles.. A win at home against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday will give them 7 points in 3 games and probably line them up to go through to Europa Group; Carling Cup home tie against Liverpool week after;
    7. Fulham: Have looked exhausted at times; squad depth issues. How far do they want to go in Europe?

    These next four weeks could decide the goals for most of these teams for the rest of the season. Just wanted some feedback.

  8. Yes, give me a Newcastle vs Spurs game each week and I’ll be happy. That’s what we soccer fans want to see. Hats off to both clubs for playing such entertaining soccer. This is the reason why Spurs and Newcastle will be in the mix for that 4th position in the league.

    Teams like Stoke and Liverpool will fight it out for that 6th position as neither has really impresed that much. Liverpool in particular have been average when they should have been fighting for the title given the money they spent on bringing in new players.

  9. I wouldn’t count out Liverpool just yet for that 4th spot. I do agree that they have been very disappointing but with no European football to play they can concentrate on the league and with their players getting more rest than Spurs they might just nick it from them but they will have to start winning. I do think Newcastle will be the team to get into the Europa League provided they don’t suffer much injuries.

  10. was watching some of the LA Galaxy-Chivas match and MY GOD, it was an awful match. Even Beckham couldn’t save this match, both teams just kept passing the ball to eachother without any chances on goal. And at one time, you saw 6 players chasing the ball in midfield, FFS. In the PL, you press on your opponents, but you don’t push 6 players on one side of the field and leave a gap open for wingers or fullbacks on the other side! crappy tactical awareness. no wonder even americans don’t take MLS seriously. players couldn’t get to the end of crosses that would’ve been a piece of cake in the PL. I would rather watch a Premier League match on TV than go to a live match when I’ll be watching a sh*tty game with sh*tty, talentess, useless, garbage players, and managers who are only fit to polish the shoes of great managers like Sir Alex, Arsene Wenger, King Kenny if they’d been born and raised across the pond. they wouldn’t even be good enough to manage a primary school side, ffs! when beckham goes, and henry goes, so will the quality and glamour of MLS. Come back to Highbury, Henry! you can still do a job for us. we’ll sign you in the January transfer window or you can play for us on loan. i think in the future, only the top four leagues in Europe will be the only football leagues left in the world because those will be the only ones ppl give a damn about. and champions league ofcourse. and the championship, Leagues One and Two in England. So basically, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands will be the only leagues left in the world. Portuguese league won’t cut it because their quality isn’t good. So the six countries will be the only ones where top flight leagues exist. i’m being honest here.

  11. I think that Liverpool is still a team that needs to settle. Gerrard is just coming back. How he will fit in is still to be determined. Kenny has a lot of options, and I’m still not sure that he knows his choice 11 yet. And I don’t think they’ve gelled at a cohesive unit yet.

    I’m very happy for Newcastle that they are doing so well. I’ve always considered them my second team, after Liverpool. And while I would love nothing more than for them to finish top 4 (not at the expensive of Liverpool though), I just don’t think that they have the depth to extend this run over a season. Best of luck to them, though.

    1. It remains to be seen, though there is a history of clubs fabulously overachieving in the first half only to drop off significantly towards season end.

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