Overreacting to the Start of the 2012-13 Premier League Season: All 20 Clubs Reviewed
Authors Note: The following article is an attempt to shine a light on some of the more ridiculous things that are being said about the teams involved in this season’s Premier League. They are not based on fact, but rather the ridiculousness that is bandied about in the media, on Twitter, blogs, etc. They are opinions and should be treated as such. Please discuss amongst yourselves in the comment section below.
Two games does not a season make, but two games is more than enough time for fans and pundits to overreact to teams performances. So let’s see what fate awaits for the teams of the EPL after the opening 2 (and in one case 3) games of the season. I present to you, Overreaction Theatre.
Arsenal are vying to become the first team in EPL history to record 38 clean sheets in a season. It also appears they’re trying to become the first team to not score a goal in an entire season. After two god awful games against Sunderland and Stoke, this seems to be an entirely logical conclusion to how their season will go. The 38 points Arsenal will inevitably collect this season will see them in a relegation scrap, but I think it’s safe to say with the teams below them, Arsenal will not be relegated this season.
Remember when Aston Villa was good? This is not that Villa. They are awful. Losing to equally awful West Ham opening week before the spanking Everton gave them this weekend all but confirms what everybody already knows. Paul Lambert has made a terrible mistake leaving Carrow Road. I’m sure the Canaries will welcome him back with open arms after he makes a daring escape from the grasp of Randy Lerner in the middle of a cold December night. It should be noted Alex McLeish is still on Lerner’s speed dial.
Eden Hazard is the best player in the Premier League. Torching Wigan, Reading and Newcastle in the span of 6 days has all but confirmed this. It’s safe to say he’ll shatter any assist and penalty winning record that stands by the end of October. Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard are grateful for this since they will be neck and neck with Branislav Ivanovic for the Golden Boot this season. A tally of 114 points is entirely reasonable to expect from this team. Anything less is a disappointment and Roberto Di Matteo should be fired if he doesn’t achieve it.
I remember the good old days when Everton were terrible at the beginning of the season and then didn’t lose from February on. David Moyes has decided that to join the ranks of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, he needs to change this. And change it he has. Everton are the only team that seems capable of giving Chelsea a run for their money. Since both teams are destined to be tied with 114 points, Steven Pienaar is going to have to score a few more screamers to compete with Chelsea’s 100+ goals they’ll probably score this season. Also, Marouane Fellaini is finally living up to the epicness of his afro and unibrow, and is on a mission to physically destroy any man who tries to mark him this season.
People who play Fulham must beware. If they’re losing a match, they will shank your best player (You stay away from Eden Hazard). They appear to have the ability to whip up on the bad sides in the league, but the top teams will continue to give them trouble (unless the shankings start earlier than they did against Man United). This team clearly doesn’t need Clint Dempsey, so they’ll be content to lock him away in the basement of Craven Cottage.
Poor Liverpool, even when they do it right, they do it wrong. Didn’t they realize the last manager to lose his first two games for the team was Bill Shankly?! All Martin Skrtel had to do was give Tevez one more assist and it would have set them off into a new Golden Era. Instead they’ve doomed Brendan Rodgers to become the next Roy Hodgson. If Luis Suarez can keep hitting free kicks like that all season at least this team will be watchable (unlike Arsenal). But hey, they tied the champions! That’s something! Right? Guys?
If you’re a struggling heart surgeon, I suggest moving to the blue half of Manchester, where this team is on a mission to give every single one of their fans at least 38 cardiac arrests this season. But this is all a part of Roberto Mancini’s plan. God forbid this team puts any sort of expectation on themselves. Also, David Silva is steadily getting worse and worse. Expect him to be in full ‘Torres when he moved to Chelsea’ mode by mid-September.
Shrek hasn’t had the best of weeks. He get’s dropped for Robin van Persie, only to come on at the end against Fulham and get his leg nearly amputated at the hip. But now that RVP is there, they certainly won’t miss him for the next month. Especially since RVP has such a fantastic medical history. There’s no way he won’t join him in the infirmary. Oh and Vidic is back, so there’s that. But without his handler next to him he’s just going to roam around the back line scoring own goals for fun. Congrats to De Gea too for avoiding the Valdes.
WHY CAN’T TEAM DEMBA SCORE AT THE SAME TIME! It’s like they plan this in advance. One Demba scores, the other one disappears. I want nothing more than for the two of them to score 10 goals each against QPR. But it seems like this is but a pipe dream. I’m sure Demba Ba will score 15 by February and then drop off the map so Papiss Demba Cisse can score 15 by the end of the season. The two of you killing fantasy teams everywhere. Stop It. Also I can’t wait for Alan Pardew to get into a fist fight with Howard Webb one day. Mark my words this will happen.
It seems like everyone wants Chris Hughton to be a successful Premier League manager. I haven’t really seen people pull for a guy to succeed so much. Unfortunately for as nice as he is, he is not a good Premier League manager. With the Canadian Sensation (and Laurence McKenna’s favorite) Simeon Jackson leading the team in scoring, there are some lean times ahead for the Canaries. Grant Holt will coast along until the team unveils their new manager Paul Lambert in December and he inevitably gets the team playing to what they were last season.
Queens Park Rangers:
I haven’t been this confident about a team coming in last place since Derby County was in the League. This team is an absolute dumpster fire. After getting annihilated by Swansea opening week, they had to rely on the temporary blindness of a referee to level against Norwich. While relying on the gaffes of Premier League referee’s suits this team, it’s not a recipe for success. Djibril Cisse will fall off the deep end and lead the league in red cards and attempted choke slams. Mark Hughes will jump ship for the ultimate Posh club by January and help Peterborough finish in the bottom half of the Championship.
If it weren’t for Jussi Jääskeläinen, Adam Federici would be the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League. which is a shame because Reading have a decent enough team and a good manager. Hopefully Anton Zingarevich will use some of those millions to either buy a capable keeper or have a third post installed in goal at the Madejski. A quick note to the broadcasters of Reading games, there needs to be more cut aways of Yekaterina Domankova. I’m certainly not tuning into these games to watch Reading play.
The Saints! Are Marching In! Unfortunately for Southampton they’ve marched to losses against Man City (respectable) and Wigan (outside of March-May not acceptable). I’m not sure what Nigel Adkins is doing messing with the lineup that got him so much success in the Championship, but he needs to stop. This is a team that can score goals since they have the new Grant Holt (Rickie Lambert). If Adkins keeps tinkering with the team he might tinker them out of the Premier League. Also where were all the Southampton fans on Saturday? It’s your first home game back in the EPL and you’re going to watch cricket? Unacceptable. If that’s how you’re going to be then it’s back to the Championship with you.
Tony Pulis got his annual jollies from Arsene Wenger on Sunday. There’s nothing that brings me more joy than seeing the fans jumping up and down mocking Wenger. But this whole booing Aaron Ramsey thing has got to stop. You have a bad team that relies on Peter Crouch for success. Pulis has pushed his luck the past few years in the league and this is probably going to be the season where teams start getting the better of Stoke.
Adam Johnson! Steven Fletcher! Martin O’Neill is saving the day! If only this team could get the drainage on their pitch worked out. After running up against the staunch defense that is Arsenal, we haven’t seen a second game from Sunderland, but I think it’s safe to say that Steven Fletcher is not the answer. I can’t wait to watch the plethora of crosses that come flying in only for Frazier Campbell to be out jumped by every center back in the Premier League.
How about them Swans. If I’ve learned anything from this team it’s that they’re going to absolutely destroy every team from London this season. Michael Laudrup is doing his best to continue the readymade system that has been put in place for him and this team is going to score goals. Lots and Lots of goals. If they finish outside the Top 6 this year it will be a major shock and disappointment will once again flow through Wales.
AVB is up to his old tricks again. He sabotaged Chelsea last season and now he’s out to sabotage Tottenham. Adebayor, Dos Santos and Defoe is clearly a strike force that doesn’t have to be upgraded. I mean the goals have been flowing for Spurs this year (2 in 2 games) so there’s no need to bring in another striker. Plus they stole Jan Vertonghen away from Arsenal! If anything that constitutes a successful season there. But in all seriousness AVB has only won 3 of his last 14 EPL games and if that run continues (it will) then he’ll be lucky to see February this season. It’s Juande Ramos all over again.
West Bromwich Albion:
Four points from two games against teams that finished in the Top 10 last season is a great start for West Brom. Sure they beat a Liverpool side struggling to adapt to a new system and had to wait 90 minutes before Tottenham decided they didn’t know how to clear a ball to get those points. But life is good at West Brom. Shane Long’s awful first touch and penalty taking skills can be overlooked when you have Odemwingie and Lukaku behind him. Plus they’re guaranteed to be in the highlight reels at the end of the season thanks to Zoltan Gera. Mid table finish here we come!
West Ham United:
There are a lot of adjectives that can describe West Ham and their defense. None of those adjectives are positive. Despite his feverish attempts to recreate the Bolton squad he had, Big Sam has failed to realize that those players have gotten progressively worse with age. Eventually he will sink so low in his seat on the pitch that he’ll just be laying on the floor as Man City score their 7th goal in 25 minutes. But there’s hope! Emile Heskey is still available! That’ll really get the offense going.
Wigan bounced back from their annual early season beating at the hands of Chelsea and beat Southampton. This bodes well for Roberto Martinez because now he can afford to drop that fixture when they play later in the season. It seems Martinez is a glutton for punishment, coming back season after season to the same thing over and over again. Arouna Kone is the best signing of any of the relegation scrappers made. Maybe, just maybe, Wigan will be in 17th instead of in the relegation zone this year when Wigan ultimately get hot again in March thanks to his contributions.