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Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 21: Open Thread

mark hughes2 Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 21: Open Thread

Today’s two Premier League matches include high-flying Newcastle United and Arsenal, both against recently promoted sides — QPR and Swansea respectively.

A win for Newcastle and they’ll leapfrog over Liverpool into sixth position in the league. A win for Arsenal and they’ll be just one point behind fourth placed Chelsea. Of course, QPR and Swansea will have something to say about that. We have Mark Hughes in his first game in charge of Queens Park Rangers, while Swansea will be playing in its first Sunday 11am ET/4pm GMT match of the season. Expect rapturous crowds both at St James’ Park in Newcastle and at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. The home support in both matches could be the twelfth man to help spur their teams on.

Plus, we can look forward to seeing Thierry Henry possibly playing again for Arsenal. And whether Swansea’s new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson will make his Premier League debut for the Swans (the player was acquired from Hoffenheim and is a free kick specialist as well as promising attacking midfielder). Swansea’s Josh McEachran isn’t joining the club on loan until tomorrow, so he won’t factor in today’s game.

As always, feel free to post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

35 Responses to Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 21: Open Thread

  1. The Gaffer says:

    Who needs Demba Ba when you have Leon Best? ;)

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • John R says:

      wooo, that was a relief. But im hoping cabaye didnt suffer any serious damage. he got up, and then went back down, so im a bit confused at how serious his injury is. though a creative midfielder being stretchered off is always a nervy sight for newcastle fans. we are missing tiote though. midfield is a bit weak right now.

    • Joe956 says:

      I’ll take Ba for my team and you can have ten Bests. LOL

  2. Why? says:

    I am watching the Newcastle v QPR game. I have firstly just heard what I can only be described as an idiot speak, this idiot is known as Ray Wilkins who just informed the viewers that Chris Foy got the Kompany decision right. It’s his opinion, what’s wrong with that you might say? Well he goes on to say there have been six or seven very similar tackles in the last week so Wilkins the idiot is effectively saying all the other Ref’s all got them wrong and Foy was right as not ONE red card was issued to another player. Can somebody please explain how this man can be correct?

    • John says:

      If you haven’t had it explained to you by now, it’s surely not going to happen here. Over the last week, a lot of people have weighed in on both sides.

      You’ve heard the arguments. You disagree with them, and it’s been noted.

      This is all quite unimaginative and dull.

      • Why? says:

        What’s been explained? That in every game that passes another two as today tackles that are CLEARLY worse than Kompany’s happens without the same outcome. There hasn’t been one argument that anyone with an ounce of sense would agree with on many of these incidents being sendings of most have said lots were worst the VK’s. Today somebody got injured in a challenge that was 1, A lunge and 2, Used excessive force as the player got injured. That’s all the rule book says for the sending off and if 1 & 2 aren’t clear to you in today’s tackle then you’re a liar. The same Ref that sent Kompany off failed to do the same with a worse tackle that took place right in front of him and caused an injury to boot. You don’t have to interpret or see it in a certain way to see it this time it’s clear, only maybe not to total clowns. Maybe you can put a argument forward as to why he did this as in other post you seem to waffle on how a player could get injured now one has you see it all as ‘quite unimaginative and dull‘ tell people why this strict in certain games Ref? didn’t send this player off, and instead of talking utter dross why you’re a ‘player could get hurt’ factor is not it seems applicable when one actually does? You don’t seem to be bothered about the players career any more, why is that?

  3. Why? says:

    Now I have just watched Shaun Derry fly into tackle totally miss the ball and crunch Cabaye’s ankle, the look on Chris Foy’s face is priceless as he knows the cameras are on him but up step Wilkins the idiot who tells us that it a foul and that’s it, nothing more??? In fact he’s telling us that there is nothing wrong with Cabaye and it’s only a yellow!! Wilkins says he should get up and stop making a meal of it. Cabaye has just been stretched off with a suspected broken foot. Foy was in a clear position seen the lunge must have noted the excessive force but chose to ignore it this is of course not inconsistent! Now Bothroyd has just lunged in on Santos goes straight threw the player ‘s legs not even near the ball stubs up and what does Chris ‘not influenced by Rooney’ Foy do? You guessed it yellow card!! Near enough every game this week has embarrassed the FA and Foy.

    • The Gaffer says:

      On the international feed, we had David Pleat who gave his comments about the collision with Cabaye. Pleat said, at first, that Cabaye rode the tackle and that he shouldn’t – in other words – fake it because once the medical staff came on to give him attention then he would have to leave the field and wouldn’t be able to take the free kick. Pleat changed his tune after he saw that Cabaye was, in fact, injured.

      Foy’s decision to red card Kompany has now resulted in every tackle and foul being under massive scrutiny. The game’s gone mad.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  4. John R says:

    pleat is driving me nuts in this game. i cant stand it when he is the commentator. i am a biased NUFC (and i did think it strange at first when cabaye got up and then went back down), but he just calls out players for faking things, when some of them have been fouled hard and are injured.

    • The Gaffer says:

      David Pleat is a mixed bag. You can almost guarantee each game that he’s going to brag about signing a player for one of the clubs mentioned. But now and again he does have some good tactical observations to make. But he’s definitely an old school commentator in terms of how he likes to see the game played (doesn’t like to see players diving, doesn’t like managers rushing out of their technical area, etc). Overall, I like him. But I agree he can be quite annoying at times.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • John R says:

        you are right, he can. but then he can also talk about referee’s shirt color that awkwardly leads into how referees are honorable people calling the game the best they can.

  5. jtm371 says:

    The Gaffer
    I think the sun will shine on your Swans today with a 2/1 win looking forward to the match.Enjoy

  6. Why? says:

    That’s right gaffer and to stop that Foy only had to say I made a mistake which he clearly did. I tell you now the game has not gone mad, Foy was influenced in a sending off. Every week the same tackles go by with no problem and mostly always have but people are trying to justify the Kompany’s sending off. Which means they are looking at every challenge closely only to see many worse than Kompany’s not even get a yellow this makes the FA etc look like the hypocrites they are game after game. Most these tackles I don‘t think were even near reds but when people talk such rubbish about the Kompany one they have backed themselves into a corner, Derry‘s challenge was a clear as day red by the rules of serious foul play, the lunge is there so is the excessive force as Cabaye has gone off injured, you can also add to that he actually heavily caught the player with his studs, was nowhere near the ball and was very late and yet Foy cannot see a difference between this and Kompany How can that be?. What more does Foy need to happen?

  7. The Gaffer says:

    More of the same drivel from QPR. Let’s see what Mark Hughes can do in training this week to get this team turned around. Right now, they’re playing like a relegated side.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  8. The Gaffer says:

    Good first 45 minutes by Swansea against Arsenal. So far, Nathan Dyer is playing far better than Theo Walcott. If Dyer keeps on playing like this, he deserves at least an England call-up.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  9. jtm371 says:

    does Wenger have gas?just wondering

  10. The Gaffer says:

    So proud of the way Swansea played against Arsenal today. They thoroughly deserved the victory. It wasn’t so much Arsenal not playing well as it was Swansea playing to the best of their abilities as a team of hard-working footballers who never give up.

    Congratulations!

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  11. James says:

    Well done Swansea! They “out-Arsenaled” Arsenal. Watching this game made up for watching yesterday’s crap football that was Liverpool vs Stoke. Swansea showed you don’t need to buy big-name players to be successful.

    I hope Swansea keep all these players during the transfer window because with this squad they will definitely stay up. Well done again Swasea.

  12. jtm371 says:

    The Gaffer
    Well done your Swans played well.5 mins in i thought maybe not.hope you enjoy your choice of a adult beverage enjoy the rest of your day.

  13. Ian says:

    Gaffer whats you opinion on the penalty awarded to swans? Just saw replay and looks like there wasn’t much contact on dyer. Great result for swans!

  14. The Shaker says:

    Fantastic result for the Swans and what an entertaining second half. I thought Rangel was immense and Sinclair, Graham and of course Dyer had great games. It would be great to see Swansea and Norwich stay up this year as they both play very entertaining football – I think both teams have only lost once in their last 6 games which is a fantastic achievement at a time of the season when strength in depth within a squad is so important

  15. tim says:

    Not a bad performance from Arsenal I thought. We did create some chances but they weren’t enough clear-cut, threatening ones. Swansea City played a great game today and so I give them credit for it. The one player from their team I really admire is Leon “Little” Brtion. He was the midfield engine of the Swans at only 5”4′, his passing is immaculate and his vision is great. He’s the one that kept the possession going and letting players like Sinclair and Dyer and Graham make their runs into the box. I’m surprised he’s still playing at Swansea at this stage and wasn’t snatched up by a more established Premier League or even Championship side. After all, he did play in all four divisions of English football, if I’m correct. Perhaps his growth would have been stunted if he’d gone too early to a bigger side..idk. Arsenal should find central defenders from somewhere, ANYWHERE! Our defense let us down again. Playing Graham onside for his goal. The penalty conceded. On the Dyer goal, the defense completely fell apart. We’re having to put our faith in this defense. Should we be worried? IDK.

    • Todd says:

      I thought Arsenal’s performance was pretty uninspired, to be honest. Why Wenger continues to play Arshavin over Ox, I’ll never know. That little Russian has become the face of utter failure. They were missing Arteta’s presence in the holding midfield too. That, coupled with a cheapskate owner refusing to buy, an injury-ridden defense, and sub-par afternoons from Walcott and Rambo, and we’d probably of lost to anyone today.

      Hats off to Swansea, love the way they play the game, but it was always Arsenal’s to lose.

  16. MG says:

    Hats off to Swansea. Add world class players and they’d win the league. That’s how incredible their sense of team unity and team spirit is.

    Dismal performance from Arsenal.. Score the first 5 minutes, get outplayed for the next 85..

  17. The Shaker says:

    Just seen an interesting stat on SkySports News about the best pass completion rates in Europe. Barcelona are obviously top, Bayern Munich are second and Swansea are in sixth place!!!

  18. brn442 says:

    Whoever directed the Arsenal Swansea match should be fired, their camera selection was annoying.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I noticed that there were a couple of moments late in the game where the camera zoomed in on off-the-field shots while the game was still in motion, which was incredibly annoying. The last time I saw that happen was on David Beckham’s first MLS game where the camera kept on zooming in on him sitting on the sidelines, while the game continued. Very annoying on both counts!

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  19. Dave says:

    Come on Gaffer, Swans deserved the win but you can’t believe Dyer wasn’t diving. Yes we all know it’s part of the game but with replays etc we should at least call player out when they do it. Look I don’t take anything away from Swansea they played brilliantly but that was a dive if I’ve ever seen one. Look:

    http://arseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/penalty.jpg

    • The Gaffer says:

      Sorry Dave, but taking a still from the incident (and, at that, from an Arsenal blog) isn’t going to convince me that what I saw was not a penalty. It was most definitely a penalty. Ramsey stuck his leg out, which caught Nathan Dyer. The referee had a good view of it, and if the referee had not called a penalty, that would have been a ridiculous decision.

      It was a good call by the referee. Only Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal blogs are saying otherwise.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Jack Tomczuk says:

        It was a dive but Ramsey was stupid to stick his leg in. There were other defenders around Dyer, so there was no reason to put a leg in from behind. Ramsey really had another awful peformance yesterday. When Wilshere finally returns, I hope Aaron takes a seat on the bench.

        Swansea deserved to win the match. They played like Arsenal, but they were better because of their team unity of work rate. Swansea’s players were always putting pressure on us every time we had the ball. Once Swansea got the ball, most of the Arsenal players just lightly jogged around like Walcott, Benayoun, etc.

        As for Arshavin, I hope he never again pulls on the Arsenal shirt. He’s absolutely useless, but, unfortnately, he must stay in the squad because we know his replacement, if he leaves, will be some youth player.

      • MG says:

        He’s not refuting it was a penalty (because Ramsey DID clip him, but Dyer could have easily stayed standing), only that Dyer dived. It may be clutching at straws but it’s the truth.

        Regardless of all of that, Swansea utterly outplayed Arsenal and they do deserve much praise for their magnanimous performance.

  20. Joe956 says:

    I’m watching Man City play the Wigan Women. Not too impressed with City, seems if a city can buy a World Cup squad they could do better against such a lousy bunch. They best watch out for next time they play Tottenham and they are no Wigan! Go Spurs!

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