Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread


If Fernando Torres can do it, why can’t Andy Carroll?

Newcastle United host Liverpool in the early Sunday kickoff in a match that will see the return of Andy Carroll to the hallowed pitch at St. James’ Park. It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is to Carroll and Enrique from the Geordies. Here are the players who will start the match:

Liverpool starting 11: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Gerrard, Spearing, Shelvey, Suarez, Carroll, Bellamy

Newcastle starting 11: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Gutierrez; Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa; Ba, Cisse.

Later, in the 11am ET/4pm UK kick-off, Tottenham Hotspur hosts Swansea City at White Hart Lane. With Arsenal slipping up yesterday, Spurs has a chance to move back in third position if they can score four unanswered goals against Swansea today. Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers will want his Swansea side to give an impressive performance today after last week’s disappointing loss against a thoroughly deserving Everton side.

Today promises to feature two entertaining games.

Before, during and after today’s Premier League games, post your observations, questions, rants and raves in the comments section below.

28 thoughts on “Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread”

  1. Starting my day with the US Women vs. Japan and then on to two potentially very entertaining EPL matches. Had my latte and scrambled eggs, my cat is on my lap, what else could be better???!!!! Maybe my upcoming afternoon nap after all the soccer….

    1. Sounds like a great day to me! I’ll catch the first half of Newcastle against Liverpool, then I have to go to church and a pool party after that, so by the time I get home tonight, I’ll be catching up by watching the second half of the Newcastle game followed by the 90 minutes of Spurs against Swansea.

      I’m thinking about trying to catch the second half of the Swansea game live at a pub in Boca Raton, but it all depends on Mrs Gaffer and the kids. Decisions, decisions!

      The Gaffer

    1. Nothing is going right for Liverpool in the first half. It’s as if they’ve never played together before. Stray passes, poor crosses, lack of quality, uninspiring.

      The Gaffer

  2. Liverpool is out of control!!! REINA OFF…Dalglish next??? Dalglish may be king as a player, but he seems to have lost his way as a manager. He gives his players undying support even when it is not deserved (Suarez) and, to me, the players seem to be playing without purpose…they seem to think since the king supports them they don’t need to do the work necessary to be successful.

    1. It boggles the mind. They seem to be getting worse by the week. Of course, that’s due to the schedule, injuries, bad reffing, the phase of the moon and that front coming in off the North Sea.

    2. Dalglish hasn’t lost his way as a manager because he never really had it in the first place! No matter who was in charge of Liverpool in their prime in the 70’s and 80’s they would have been hailed a success as a manager because the squad they had at the time was unstoppable. Kenny simply rode on that glory. Yes ok he went to Blackburn and won the Premier League, thanks in no small part to Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton but what did he do after that? We thought with our hearts instead of our heads when we got Kenny back. The fairytale was great in theory but it’s just not playing out in reality and it’s doing nothing but making this club more of an embarrassment by the week.

  3. At this point the only thing that will keep Newcastle out of Europe next year is Liverpool losing to Everton in the Cup Semifinal. 11 points clear of The Reds and 10 points clear of 7th? It’s just unbelievable! If Chelsea and Liverpool both lose in the Cup semis, the early May meeting at Stamford Bridge between Newcastle and Chelsea may well be for the last place in The Europa League. So go Reds? That doesn’t sound right…

  4. Come on, Kenny! Tell us what went wrong today: players too tired of playing too many games? The humidity? That awful pitch at St. James’ Park? And, surely, the Nike ball is just horrendous to play with, almost as bad as the Jabulani?

    Pissed off Liverpool fan here. I know it’s easy to criticize, but this was disgraceful and painful to watch.

    Bunch of neanderthals in the side, starting with the coach. Liverpool’s level of play was best exemplified in the Carling Cup final: this Pool side is on par with a Championship side…

  5. As much as I’m prepared to criticise the Reds, let’s not forget a few key points in today’s game. Simpson cleared the ball off the line with his arm, Cisse’s second goal was offside and they had an awful cheat in Perch who I presume forgot he was live on Sky and had every possible angle of what ‘actually’ happened caught on camera? Ok so Reina should have just let off steam by calling him a **** and a **** instead of moving in on him twice but was there really any need to go down holding your face like that when there was no head to head contact?

    1. Paul,

      You must have graduated with honors from the “King Kenny School of Excuses.” All of these from only one match. Great job!!!

      To me Reina appeared to make contact, but even without contact there certainly was “intent” and that is sufficient for the red card.

      1. You clearly didn’t read my post properly before making supposedly witty statements like that. Did you see me dispute the red card? No I didn’t. I asked whether Perch was justified to play amateur dramatics and go down holding his face like he’d just been butted in the face… The answer to that of course is no he’s not. Go have a look at the replays you’ll see there was clear contact of body for the two moments but the pivotal part – the second – heads didn’t even touch. As much as Pepe should be punished to deter players from making such gestures in future, players like Perch should also be punished for making things a lot worse to the officials than what they actually are. Oscar winning performance.

        1. Peace….obviously, based on the ratings you are not the only one who takes offense to the tone of my post. Mea culpa….

        2. Cisse wasent offside for the second goal Kenny, watch your precious replays. Ben Arfa touched the ball , then playing an onside Cisse. Ben Arfa credited with the assist no?

          Also, contact WAS made from Pepe. He nutted him. Yes Perch started the whole thing as was correctly punished with a yellow. Ref made correct decisions on both plays in question.

          1. Neil,

            When the ball was passed forward Cisse was offside.

            Also, the Reina incident. It’s been reviewed to death on Sky Sports and Match of the Day last night. There’s one camera angle which clearly shows no contact at all. General consensus from everybody was what the hell Reina was thinking – if he was going to simulate a butt he may as well have actually done it seeing as he was seeing red for moving his head in anyway. Cheers for your smart arse comments.

        3. Paul, are you sure Cisse’s second goal was offside? Where did you get that from? You’re the only one so far who has said such a thing. Even the newspapers and commentators didn’t mention it. Maybe you’d like to review it?

          1. There were a few bad decisions made throughout the game. The Simpson handball should have been a penalty seeing as he moved his arm into it – could have even been a red, reducing Newcastle to 10 men and changing the flow of the game somewhat but in that instance I’ll agree the ref couldn’t see so it’s just tough luck.

            With regards to Cisse’s second goal are you seriously telling me that when the ball was played he wasn’t in an offside position? Whether or not there was a slight touch through the middle of the box it ended up with Cisse and the linesman should have flagged it up.

    1. It will. There’s no dispute from anybody. Nice to see the blues still have to rely on our mistakes in order to have a bit of hope 😉

      1. Well the blues didn’t had 100 mil to spend. There’s a genuine and mouthwatering prospect of Liverpool finishing below Everton and even mid table.

        1. And Liverpool deserve to finish below them because they’ve been, quite frankly, s**t! Won’t hear any argument from me there. It’s about time people took the badge and the history out of the equation and realised actually what we have in LFC. Everton plod along nicely but Liverpool are convinced they’re bigger than what they are but unfortunately history can only carry you so far.

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