Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 32: Open Thread

We have seven Premier League matches in store on this, the seventh of April, today. Kicking off gameweek 32 is the early kick-off between Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light. It’s a match between two men who have had aspirations of becoming England manager. O’Neill was allegedly turned down as a prospect for the England manager job a few years ago because of his poor PowerPoint presentation skills. Today’s a chance to show whether he can out-master Harry Redknapp in the department where it really matters — the win column.

At 10am ET/3pm UK time, there are five Premier League matches kicking off at the same time. Chelsea plays Wigan at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool plays Aston Villa at Anfield, West Brom takes on Blackburn at the Hawthorns, Norwich battles Everton at Carrow Road, and — last but not least — Bolton is against Fulham at the Reebok Stadium. Four of those five games have implications on the relegation battle, while three of the games have teams battling for qualification to Europe. Expect fireworks in most of those matches.

Finally today we have the late kick-off between Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. If Terry Connor’s side has any hope of staying in the top flight next season, the club has to get at least a draw out of this match. Even if Wolves get an early goal, we’ve seen so many times this season that they’re unable to keep a solid defense. This one could get ugly.

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

Enjoy your football!

76 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 32: Open Thread”

  1. Highlight of the Sunderland against Tottenham game so far? The half-time behind-the-scenes tour of Stadium of Light by ESPN. Only wish the segment could have been a bit longer. Great stuff.

    The Gaffer

    1. I agree with their comments regarding the pitch. It looked far too dry and as a result the ball really bounced up more than we’re used to seeing. No real excuses though, that game was insufferable.

  2. Stoke v Wolves is the late KO. If any of you like a bet lump on Wolves.

    Stoke reind me of Wigan under Steve Bruce lately, safe since February and reluctant to break a sweat. We’ve got QPR and Bolton in the next few weeks too and I’d use the same tactic if betting on them.

    Anyhow,off out to have a few before KO, at least being the late game allows you to wind a few more down.

    I’m sure you’re all be getting excited about this being the fixture of the day!

  3. God, Tottenham is beginning to become unwatchable recently (the game against Swansea being an exception). Spurs is playing far too conservatively. They’re uninspiring and too flat. It’s almost as if Redknapp is wanting to qualify for the Champions League by playing negatively in order to better his chances of getting the England job.

    I feel sorry for Ian Darke and Steve McManaman having to commentate this one.

    The Gaffer

    1. Gaffer, are you really telling God all this that you said? I hope you aren’t using His name in vain, cos that isn’t right.

    2. I don’t see how brining Lennon, Saha and Defoe, on was Harry being negative, Sunderland were setup today with 5 in midfield for most of the game only upping to 6 in midfield at times, the pitch was not condusive to a passing game. But then Sunderland aren’t exactly a explosive passing team. Spurs dominated posesssion and shots on target,.. Sunderland and the stadium were setup to play for a draw. The penalty call not given for the Sunderland blatant handball was a joke, how he didn’t give that I don’t know, that ref is never any good anyways.

      As for Ian and Steve… I mute it so I don’t have to put up with them…awful comentary not impartial at all, love Liverpool, arsenal or man it’d that’s it, everyone else gets different treatment.

      If ian darke and stevey lad didn’t cover the spurs games ever I would appreciate it, the last 3 they covered have all been scoreless draws. This is inspite of us domminating chelsea and sunderland, liverpool being the exception, i’ll take the point and wait to see us take 3 points on espn3 Against Norwich at home.

    1. And that’s now two for Dempsey today, so far. Liverpool, or any club in the top half, have to move for Dempsey this summer. And Dempsey has to move. He’s by far the greatest American to have ever played in the Premier League. And the way he’s playing, he needs to be playing at a level or two above where he is — on a Champions League team. Guaranteed starts where he goes? No. But the way he’s playing, he could be pushing for a starting slot on a Manchester United or a Liverpool or any club in Europe.

      The Gaffer

      1. do you think he would get lost in the MUFC lineup?i think he said earlier he wanted to play CL football,sad to say going to Lpool might be a sideways move not a step up.

        1. He could get lost in any top side, but in order for him to move up to the next level, he has to take the chance. He has an eye for goal. And if he works hard enough and gets a chance to perform, then I think he can do it. But he’s not going to get to that level with Fulham. He has to decide whether he wants to play every week for Fulham and do well, or play now and again but be given a chance to move into the next tier of being a professional footballer at a Champions League club such as Man United, Man City or possibly an Arsenal-Chelsea-Newcastle-Spurs-Liverpool who are trying to get into Europe.

          He’s in a position where he can wait until this summer to see where the clubs are, and then have his agent work on a great deal for him and for Fulham.

          The Gaffer

          1. Agreed i hope he makes a move to a big club would love to see how he performs.would you rate him the best American to play in EPL ahead of Howard and Friedel?

            1. I would, but it’s hard to compare a goalkeeper against a striker. Friedel, especially, has had an incredible career at clubs such as Blackburn, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Spurs, but I would argue it’s harder for a striker to establish himself in a Premier League team than a goalkeeper.

              The Gaffer

      2. Dempsey has eclipsed Brian McBride’s goal scoring numbers, but I am not sure that McBride’s accomplishments might be greater since Fulham has a better side around Dempsey….

      3. I’d love to see Deuce at Schalke as a backup/replacement for Raul (plus playing with Jones would be a plus for the USMNT), but I think Die Knappen will be more interested in shopping for a grade-a goalkepper and some depth in defense this off-season.

  4. Sunderland were good value in my opinion, times in the game they played extremely well. Sessengon is one of my favourite players in the EPL at the moment. The way he glides past defenders, and he’s general play is superb!

    1. I have agree. Thought it was a great nil-nil. Great passing- fantastic tackles. The ref was excellent and they players did not lose their rag- although it got a bit edgy at the end. Sunderland were impressive- wonderful execution of their game plan. MON has really put discipline into that squad. Even Cattermole has stopped behaving like a wild animal out on the pitch.

  5. Apparently Arsenal were interested in him before he signed for Wigan. But at the moment I think if Wigan go down he’ll find his way to a mid table team. He hasn’t filled the void N’zogbia left.

  6. Dempsey….and Dempsey, again….Has he done enough to at least warrant a nomination as PFA Footballer of the Year???

  7. Reason #2132 why video TV replay is needed to help referees… Chelsea’s goal against Wigan was clearly offside.

    The Gaffer

    1. Brighter note, pshh. Norwich certainly deserve their place in the table, but man that was some poor marking to allow those goals to them. But hey, if you don’t make the plays then that’s that, so credit to them.

  8. I propose a name change….that it is changed from “a dive” to “a Suarez”!!!!! Does this guy every play a full match without cheating????

  9. Gutted for Wigan! I Valiant performance today, but 2:1 down. I hope they stay up!
    Liverpool, on the other hand, not worth even talking about at this point…

  10. So frustrated. Wigan matched Chelsea all game and got robbed by an absolutely awful referee. Don’t understand why we can’t have someone watching on a monitor reviewing things like that, it would have taken 5 seconds to see it was offside.

  11. A minor complaint, really, but if Rob Stone is going to continue to report on SPL scores he should at least get his team pronunciations right. He butchered “Kilmarnock” twice. He could at least ask Warren or spend a few seconds on the computer.

    1. Regardless of the league, you still have to do your homework and pronounce the club and player names correct!!! No matter what sport….Evidently, Rob Stone doesn’t do his homework. I used to announce games and I always made sure that before each game I verified the pronunciation of every players name. For example, in Illinois there is a town named Milan…when I verified the pronunciation I found they pronounced it “My-lan” not the Italian pronunciation. Go figure….

      1. That’s because they don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. Just like in my state of Connecticut there is a town called Berlin but the people that live there don’t pronounce it like the city in Germany, but most people like the people on the news pronounce it like the city Germany lol.

        1. LOL, there’s plenty of names like that in Illinois. New Berlin is one close to me, as well as Athens, San Jose..all pronounced differently.

      2. Which Italian pronunciation? The Western-Lombard dialect “mi-lan” used by the locals and (most) English speakers or the Standard (Tuscan dialect) Italian “Mi-la-no”? Everybody does this. Not just Americans.

        What’s weird is when we get it half right. Bayern Munich? Why not Bavaria Munchen!? Much less Bayern Munchen like they say in Germany… I mean Alemania… uh, Deutschland.

        Which isn’t to say a name like Kilmarnock shouldn’t be said correctly (I believe it’s “Killie”). It’s not like there’s a common American-English pronunciation of it (let’s not get into Edinburgh or Glasgow).

  12. only robb pebble could make chris miles look good.nice move FSC that is why your pre and post match show sucks.

  13. To The Gaffer, I asked you a question above in reply to one of your questions, in case you’re not aware. So I’d appreciate if you’d read it and reply me.


        1. I did my best to say it politically correct….

          “Politically Correct “

          Something that is supposed to limit insult, but has become extremely over-emphasized by the left-wing half of the world to the point where it looses it’s purpose.
          A way that we speak in America so we don’t offend whining pussies.

          1. The funny thing about your comment is that I am from that left half of the world (although I hope not too far), but find your last sentence hilarious and your PC definition spot on. Back to the EPL……

            Dalglish must GO! 😉

        1. this is his site he can say and do whatever the hell he wants.if you don’t like it go away and find a site that suits your interests.we are here to talk EPL football not religion or politics or anything other than football.i am trying to be nice because it is already Easter somewhere in the world.stick to football or get the hell out.ENJOY!

          1. Okay, guys, I didn’t mean to offend any of you at all so I apologise if I caused you all to be angry. It’s not that I really intended to bring up something other than football into this discussion, it’s because I was surprised by The Gaffer’s disrespectful use of God’s name, especially since I thought he had said in last Sunday’s open thrread that he was a church-goer. Correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I think that since The Gaffer himself brought in the idea of the usage of God’s name which in itself has nothing to do with football, it isn’t wrong to respond to that.

            Anyway, I DO love this site very much and i’m an EPL fan, in fact i’m even obsessed with the EPL. It was just this one incident that made me perplexed. So it’s not true that I don’t like the site.

            I hope you all, including Gaffer, will understand me on this.

          2. Oh JTM by the way i’m just curious.if you say that we’re not here to talk about religion then why did you say “Happy Easter”? Isn’t that a religious greeting since Easter is a religious festival?

            Sorry I know many of you are annoyed by my posts but I hope you all can help me by cooperating with this discussion, so I can understand how to give constructive views in future.


          3. Andrew, please let it go. The topic is football, not the language we use to discuss it. If I want religion I’ll get out my “Rules of Soccer”.

          4. Okay I’ll be willing to let it go but provided you understand what it was that made me so annoyed from the start. You might think its only a small matter that’s not related to football, but things like this may be offensive, especially to some Christians.

            Even if we are here to discuss football, we must still be civil and not post in an offensive manner, even if it’s your own blog or site.

            I don’t have problems letting this matter go. But I really want you all to understand how I feel about this

  14. I gave up all American sports one year ago when this sport became a passion. People that know me considered that a pretty big deal & some are saying its a midlife crisis that I’ve altered my weekend habits and that I just don’t give a rats azz about teams I followed my entire life. Being a noob in this sport has taken allot of time so I can catch up and will eventually be able to talk intelligently about the sport. As much as I don’t miss the major American sports, I gotta say they have their act together way more than the EPL when it comes to the management of the sport by the league offices. The FA is a joke. In a life time of watching the American sports, the sum total of major screw ups in three major sports, do not equal the amount of major screw ups there has been in the EPL this season. I know the fear about replay is the commercials that would be played while calls are being reviewed. I also agree that one of this sports greatest appeals is that we get 45 minutes plus commercial free, then halftime, then another 45 minutes. I don’t want this to change either. But there has to be another alternative for getting justice for teams like Wigan today & Fulham last Monday.

    1. Why? It rarely affects the top 6 teams which is all the league and most armchair fans are bothered about.

      1. Cynic. 😉

        Since you were there in person, what did you think of yesterday’s match? Shaky or a good grind it out 3 points?

  15. @IanCransonsKnees I would like to see true equity like the NFL has. A team can go from worst to first in three years. Soccernomics makes the argument that fans prefer the dominance of a few select clubs but I don’t buy into that theory. I’m in favor of anything that levels the playing field for all 20 clubs. Better offiiciating and a salary cap are two ways to help achieve that.

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