Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 13: Open Thread

I’m really looking forward to watching today’s games. There’s quite an assortment of intriguing fixtures kicking off with the early match between Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers. Tony Pulis’s side is suffering. Looking at the form table for the last six games in the Premier League, only Wigan Athletic have a worse record than the Potters. With Blackburn, meanwhile, they’ve got the third worst record in the form table. Both teams are obviously desperate for a win today, which should make it a blood-and-thunder match.

Then we have six Premier League matches to choose from at 10am ET/3pm GMT. Most eyes will be on Manchester United taking on Newcastle United at Old Trafford, but there’ll also be keen interest in Chelsea against Wolves (Andre Villas-Boas’s side must win that win, or will they?), West Brom against Tottenham (a win for the Lilywhites at the Hawthorns will send another message to the top four that Spurs are serious), Norwich against QPR (the battle of two of the promoted sides), Bolton against Everton (which Bolton will show up?) and, last but not least, Sunderland against Wigan (a battle between two teams near the foot of the table).

The final match of the day is Arsenal against Fulham. This should be a straightforward win for Arsenal, but at some point this season Martin Jol’s side will need to wake up and mount a challenge. They’re fifth from bottom and can’t keep losing games.

For today’s Premier League matches — either before, during or after — add your questions, comments, observations, rants and raves in the comments section below. Spoilers allowed.

47 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 13: Open Thread”

  1. This Stoke against Blackburn match, so far, is reminding me of LA Galaxy vs Houston. Very little creativity and the ball played in the air quite a bit (more so by Stoke).

    The Gaffer

    1. Blackburn has to fix their defensive issues. Two of the three goals today were defensive errors. The scoreline makes it sound like Stoke City were brilliant today. It was more a case of Rovers gifting Stoke some great chances.

      The Gaffer

  2. Coloccini out today, along with Tiote. Hopes for points fading fast. The sooner Stoke and Blackburn are out of the league the better, it’s like watching Bolton 1st team play Bolton reserves simultaneously managed by Gary Megson.

      1. Thank god for that. There were reports he had back problems from the Chronicle and Journal, but without him we would have lost without a dobut. Absolutely unreal result for us, massive confidence boost ahead of Chelsea with Tiote back!


  3. 8 to 30 in the PL and Championship. There is little difference in quality. Stoke v Blackburn could well be a Championship match. In fact, I’ve seen better in the next group down.

    1. I agree about the bottom six sides in the Premier League — that they’d have a tough time in the Championship based on their current form. But no way would teams 8 through 14 would have problems.

      The Gaffer

  4. Braved through the Stoke/Blackburn game on ESPN3. Thinking of filing a claim against these two sides for intentional infliction of emotional distress. This was ugly, unwatchable; Sunday league games all around the world could offer better quality than that…the day Stoke is out of the Premier League will be a great day for football(there’s no saving B’burn at this point).

    1. Stoke are not playing to their abilities. This was an ugly win that they had to get under their belts to push on. Once they get more comfortable and confident, the enterprising play by Etherington and Pennant will return to make Stoke more attractive.

      The Gaffer

      1. Stoke are only rubbish because they can’t hack playing in Europe as well as a full PL season. You knew today’s game would be – a) a Stoke win and b) crap – before it even kicked off today!

    2. I suppose Ivan’s POV is to be expected given he’s an Arsenal fan. That’s fine, but the vitriol it’s spat out with gets my goat.

      I couldn’t give a toss to be honest whether you love or loathe us, the difference is you don’t have to watch us. If you hate it so much why do you bother? Admittedly both sides were poor today, but as has been said the tem and fans will take it just to try and get back on an even keel.

      Here’s the thing Ivan given that it took us 23 years and two relegations to get back into the top flight of English football we couldn’t care less how we play, we just want to stay there and progress. We haven’t sucked from the Premier League teat for the twenty years and benefitted from all the money that the muppets from SKY and elsewhere have poured into it. Given all the wanking you lot did over all the teams who play ‘properly’ who came up with us afterwards where’s the credit for us managing to stay up and improve year after year, dicking Arsenal a few times along the way?

      We could stay up, we could go down. If we got relegated I have to be honest I wouldn’t miss the Premier League. It’s all about money, the players and officials act like knobheads, the journalists are generally sanctimonious, self rightous twats who know nothing about anyone outside the top 6. You end up talking to people who ‘support’ Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea who have never set foot in the stadium and have zero connection with the community that the club is based in. Yet they still feel the need to talk down to you because you dare to have some backbone and identity, following your local team whilst they make zero effort beyond watching the box and buying the shirt. Proper fans.

      Stick to watching the ballet at The Emirates Ivan, the peace and quiet you’ll get there is probably more appropriate for somebody so averse to blood and thunder.

  5. I heartily disagree with the comments about Stoke City. While Stoke do not play the same style of game that everyone is calling the beautiful game (a passing, possession based game), that is not the only way to play football. Stoke have a style of play that is mostly lost in the English game, and that is an English style. While it is not the most pleasing on the eye, it is a nice change of pace from every team out there trying to emulate Barca and failing miserably while doing it. The Stoke/Blackburn game was a snore, but so was Chelsea/Liverpool last week, and this coming from a Chelsea die-hard. Just because you (the general you, not specifically targeted at anyone) may not find the style compelling, does not mean that it 1) isn’t effective at maintaining a side at upper mid-table and 2) deserves to not play in the Prem.

    1. I agree about everything you said except that the Chelsea against Liverpool game last week wasn’t boring. It was one of those riveting matches where you didn’t know who was going to win it throughout the match.

      The Gaffer

      1. It was far from riveting! The only riveting bit came 3 minutes from the end when we got the winner and had to hold on. Apart from that it was fairly dull and that comes from a red scouser!

  6. Wow, Chicharito again “scoring” with an unnamed part of his body from the 6-yard box. His limitations as a player are becoming transparent in his first full season for Manure. He scores phantom goals from the 6-yard box, but, he is constantly offside, he never assists/contributes anything positive to the side, his first touch is attrocious. Hope Newcaste can bounce back.

    1. A missed handball in the box, Rooney engaging in common assault against Coloccini and Hernandez competing for diver of the year? I’d say if anyone was a sham it was Fergie for complaining more of our players didn’t get sent off.

      Shame the referee won’t get another premier league game this season for having the gonads to give some decisions to the visiting team.

  7. Can someone pull the stats? I think this was the first penalty called against Manu at Old Trafford in approximately 122 years. And it was arguable a bad call; Rio get the ball first, and it was right in front of the linesman, too. Now, we have to wait another century before we see a new penalty against Manu at Old Trafford…

  8. Anyone else having trouble with today? Trying to watch Norwich v QPR and the stream has been mediocre at best (very little 2.4 Mbps streaming) and a lot of pausing. Tested my connection, well about 10 Mbps. About to unsubscribe.

  9. Didn’t see the game so don’t know how we looked over the first 75+ minutes but from what I just saw on FSC we had more than enough chances to win the game. You can’t miss chances like that and expect to win the game. 2 points dropped now hopefully Liverpool will do us a favor tomorrow.

    1. Nothing worse for us tomorrow! Beat a Manc side for the points and in the process help the other (worst) Manc side close the gap! Couldn’t think of anything worse to be honest!!! 😉

  10. Newcastle’s penalty goal wasnt deserved, but Chicharito’s goal was just as lucky. After Newcastle went man down, they did an incredible job fending off that pressure.

  11. Fox Match Day indicated that Gunners are seriously going after Goetze. While that sounds great, I would think a solid backup for RVP would be the priority.

      1. The Fox report was more current than this. I can’t say it was more credible though. There is no link it was a talking head. He also said Dortmund manager to switch to Bayern.

  12. Rooney’s kick on Coloccini was eerily similar to the one in England v. Montenegro. Should’ve been a straight sending off as well.

    Both teams scored lucky goals. The home side wasted great chances and lost two points at the end, although part of it was due to valiant defending by Newcastle with 10-men.

    De Gea and Krul both made great saves. Two young, promising goalkeepers they are.

    1. Big difference between Rooney’s actions in both games. Against Montenegro, he viciously kicked out at the back of the Montenegro’s leg. Against Coloccini, he was kicking at the ball which was on the ground tangled up with the Argentine.

      The Gaffer

  13. Fulham are actually having a go at Arsenal which is good to see. Jol has picked an attacking side which may just allow them to get something from this game. Good game so far and it’s only a matter of time before soemone scores.

  14. a team that was not long ago sponsored by AIG was drawn to a team sponsored by Northern Rock and that also with 10 men. Had Jonas Guitierrez stayed on the pitch, Newcastle would’ve comfortably drawn the game instead of enduring tension and anxiety at the edge of their own penalty area in the last 10 minutes or so. United were an average team against Newcastle United when NUFC had XI men on the pitch. Tim Krul=MAN OF THE MATCH. thumps up if you agree. I thought Colicinni and Cabaye were great as well. Danny Gunthrie was a little wreckless in conceding that free-kick towards the end. Overall, NUFC did well enough to fight together as a team and showed a bit of adventure in the first half by keeping good possession of the ball. They controlled midfield many teams. Giggs had an off-game in midfield and so did Carrick. United have some serious midfield woes, because none of their CM pairings are working out. Anderson-Fletcher, Carrick-Anderson, Carrick-Giggs.When you let NUFC control 45% possession in the first half at Old Trafford, something isn’t right and Sir Alex knows that. But I’m happy. As long as City don’t slip up against Liverpool tomorrow, then they’ll widen the gap at the top of the table.

  15. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass Fulham score. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass Arsenal score. 1-1 Final score, yawn. Played out in front of 60,000 individual splendidly silent statues.

  16. Hey, does anyone notice the 6 point gap that’s opened up between the 7th and 8th placed teams??? Check out the league table. We’ve gone from the Big Four to the Sky Six, so people think it’s become more competitive, but it hasn’t become any less stratified. And even back when you had the Big Four, in reality, it was only Chelsea and Manchester United that were the Top Two fighting it out for the league. Liverpool came close in second place in 2008-2009, but over that span, the Premier League was also a two-horse race, something that the EPL fans don’t want to acknowledge. Let’s see how the Sky Six fare over the next 5 years at least. Will we see only City and United fight, or will Chelsea come back? Will Liverpool become more serious title challengers next year? What about Arsenal and Spurs?? Unless we get more than 3 genuine challengers and the gap between these six and the other fourteen teams is not so wide, then the Premier League can call itself ‘most competitive league in the world’.

    1. To be fair, though, Everton has a game in hand and Aston Villa hasn’t played this weekend, so let’s see what the gap looks like after tomorrow’s games (and to keep in mind Everton has a game in hand).

      The Gaffer

      1. Also Everton’s had a fairly rough run of scheduling the past 6 fixtures or so (not counting todays, of course). The only game they shouldn’t be favored in until February is at the Emirates.

  17. It was infuriating how many chances didn’t materialize for Arsenal. ManU had the same situation, but they had a man advantage. Arsenal’s hot streak had to end eventually. They have done a nice job recovering from the crisis. A draw isn’t the end of the world. Fullam took a point from city as well (no one else has.)

    At the beginning of the season, I was on the fence of who my club would be. There was a post here this week about new fans having a hard time with this decesion since we weren’t born with a team like most Americans are with the NFL. It was the battering Arsenal took from the media and many of their own fans that caused me to pledge allegence to Wenger and the Gunners. It’s been rewarding watching them emerge fom all that doom and gloom.

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