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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 4: Open Thread

number 4 Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 4: Open Thread

It’s back! After a lengthy two week delay, the Premier League returns to rescue us from the boredom of international break. But alas, a lot of the focus today will be on the silly handshake between John Terry/Ashley Cole and Anton Ferdinand. Although Ferdinand is supposedly going to refuse the handshake, I wish Anton would just shake their hands so we can move on and put this whole episode behind us.

Kicking off today’s action in the Premier League (7:45am ET/12:45pm BST) is Norwich City against West Ham. Unfortunately for viewers in the United States, the game has been moved from ESPN2 to ESPN3.com. But the match should be worth watching as we’ll get a chance to see if Chris Hughton has had a chance to boost the morale of his players at Carrow Road to beat a Hammers side that is still smarting from their victory against Fulham a fortnight ago.

At 10am ET/3pm BST today, we have a total of six matches to choose from — including a rare treat of Manchester United and Manchester City playing in separate games at the traditional kick-off time. United plays at home against Wigan, Manchester City plays away at Stoke, while QPR takes on Chelsea at home. In the other matches, Arsenal is at home against Southampton. Swansea travel to Aston Villa, and Fulham plays West Brom at Craven Cottage (in what should be a very open and entertaining match).

This is certainly going to be one of those Saturdays where it’ll be tough to figure out which games to watch since there are so many good ones! Or we’ll be doing a lot of flipping channels back-and-forth.

Last but not least, Sunderland takes on Liverpool at the Stadium of Light in the late kick-off (12:30pm ET/5:30pm BST).

Before, during and after today’s matches, 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 →

71 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 4: Open Thread

  1. Trickybrkn says:

    Why is West Ham v Norwich on WatchESPN?and not ESPN2

  2. iancransonsknees says:

    Cracking day for it here, sunny – around 22c. Looking forward to seeing Adam, Nzonzi and hopefully Owen. I’ll take a boring point against Man City though. Looks like Mancini might pick up a fine for his pre-match comments regarding strong refereeing. It’s a sell out today I think.

    Here’s a trivia question for you all, which 3 clubs in Europe currently have a winner of the Ballon d’or playing for them? Be interested to see how many of you get the right answer, I’m sure you’re all more knowledgeable about European football than me.

  3. Alex Wolcott says:

    Entertaining stuff at Carrow Road so far. Good venue, interesting contrast in styles. Definitely worth getting up early for.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I agree. West Ham already looks much better than they did at the beginning of the season. The only worry I have about West Ham is their woeful defense.

      Cheers,

      The Gaffer

  4. John Terry/Ashley Cole hand shaking issue is making me very curious to watch Chelsea vs. QPR match. I’m looking forward the main event. Hopefully today’s game will be a fun to watch. Thanks

  5. iancransonsknees says:

    Right then, off out down to the ground. Will report back after. Have a good’un.

  6. CTBlues says:

    Wow the stands were packed at St. Johnstone for the match vs Celtic.

  7. PaulF says:

    who’s genius idea was it to have Arsenal, Man UTD, City, Chelsea play around the same time??

  8. Alex Wolcott says:

    Tantalizing last few minutes for Norwich there. I like both of those clubs but the Canaries really needed 3 points out of that one. Alright then! Time to get into the zone! I hope cransons is not correct in his prediction of a point for those Potters. But credit to them of course if they can do it.

  9. Jake says:

    Fox Soccer Plus free preview is not in effect for me on U-Verse, anyone else experiencing this problem?

    Is it supposed to take effect once the first game starts??

  10. CTBlues says:

    The only reason these handshakes are so “controversial” is because the media wont shut up about it.

  11. Paul says:

    what a dive.

  12. Andrei says:

    Looks like O.G. is a really good signing for Arsenal this season.

  13. BA14 says:

    Van Persie looks like a younger version of Mitt Romney.

  14. Paul says:

    Anton is very stupid. By snubbing Terry and Cole, he is making them gain sympathy from the public. He’s winning the battle but losing the war.

  15. Alex Wolcott says:

    Wow, Maicon is looking like a beast coming up from right back. That looks like it is going to add something pretty major to the attack.

    Embarrassment of riches, I know, But I well remember Uwe Rosler as City’s biggest scoring threat. Nothing against Uwe Rosler, but it is still kind of crazy to me even after the the last several years to see all that firepower out there.

    Well anyway let’s hope it’s not a third consecutive 1-1 Away at Stoke!

  16. jtm371 says:

    P Scholes scores in his 700th game for MUFC bravo for a class act.

  17. CTBlues says:

    Chelsea wont send anybody forward to support the attack.

  18. CTBlues says:

    Stay classy QPR supporters.

  19. Andrei says:

    When did FA make the rule that it is legal to elbow Mario Balotelli?

  20. BA14 says:

    Torres gets subbed and heads straight down the tunnel…what the hell is his problem?

  21. BA14 says:

    Michael Owen on late.

  22. Alex Wolcott says:

    Wow and wow. Props to Stoke for that spectacular escape.

    • iancransonsknees says:

      Bricking myself in extra time Alex, that ball seemed to hang and hang. There’ll be some cracking photos of the crowd behind the goal watching that.

  23. Sammy says:

    Great matches in general, especially the gunners against saints one which produced so many goals. The last minute clearance by Stoke was just epic! I hope to see more of such games on future weekends.

  24. iancransonsknees says:

    Just back, decent match and Mancini benefited from the ‘strong’ refereeing he asked for.

    Toure was awesome first half but seemed disinterested in the second. Balotelli was his usual petulant self. Sinclair for Johnson looks a pointlessttransfer and I wasn’t surprised to see him subbed. Always thought City would score from that free kick, poor defending from the Potters.

    Nzonzi looks to fit us like a glove, a vast improvement over some of our past midfielders, he’ll be a firm favourite if he replicates that form. Adam gave us a bit more mobility but we’ll need to

    use two out and out wingers to benefit Owen I feel. Wish I’d had money on Owen coming o

    n in the 89th minute, I tested umpteen people saying that’s when he’d come on.

    Fantastic clearance from Shawcross at the end and the save from Begovic preceding this was equally as good, proper chest pounding stuff

    I’ll take that point, we’re starting to evolve nicely and if the new signings find their feet we’ll give someone a thinking in the coming weeks.

  25. iancransonsknees says:

    Cheating diving bastard.p

  26. iancransonsknees says:

    Suarez. Although why should we be surprised?

  27. iancransonsknees says:

    Not sure if you’ll know who Mark Walter’s is but that’s who Sterling is playing like. I can’t wait to see Allen and Henderson start together in a midfield pair that cost £30m but is only actually worth £10m.

    Borini £10m! Have FSG got money to burn?

  28. Paul says:

    Sterling is so good, i wonder if Rodgers is thinking about making him a false nine. He wants to play tiki taka, why not go all the way?

  29. iancransonsknees says:

    The Gaffer can tell you all about Rogers away strategy, it rivals Pulis for lack of points. Worst start since 1911 for Liverpool. Impressed by Sterling though.

  30. dust says:

    82 million pounds on 2 attacking players and no goals against QPR. Malouda treated like a kid (and not by AVB) Torres stomps off down the tunnel.. Di Matteo is wrecking chelsea…ahhhhh ;)

    Be a shame to see chelsea fall apart…

    • Sacto Blues says:

      ” We know what we are ..We know what we arrrre .. European Champions ..we know what we are ..” Who do Spurs have this week in Champions League ? Oh wait .. I’m sorry Dust bowl but RDM is Legend.

      • dust says:

        LOL we will see, clearly he is the greatest manager in chelsea history, he took at team that was completely destroyed and ripped to pieces, ( :p ) The tactics he used to to get Messi to miss that penalty and then again for Robben to miss were sheer genius… I cant understand why he was fired form West Brom or why Abromovich didn’t give him the gig as soon as they won the champions league, especially after what can only be described as some of the most incredible football ever, they didn’t ride their luck at all, they dominated every game and demonstrated they were true champions, not cowering lucky b******s.

        LOL… and 82 million pounds well spent…RDM done by xmas.

        • Sacto Blues says:

          Not to mention Mata’s goal in the 2nd half in the semi’s against Spurs or where you like other Spurs ” supporters ” that left en masse and missed it ? I think you have your manager wrong its AVB gone by Xmas not top of the league manager RDM. The harder you work the luckier you get just ask Shamrock Rovers.

          • dust says:

            We will see, no more rub for you Chelski fans, theres only so much rub in the universe and you’ve used up your quota for the next decade. Chicken entrails, voodoo and ouija boards are now needed, I hear sales sky rocketed in west london last year and we saw the end results…what happened today at QPR? you use up all this seasons supply of candles and straw dolls on the Reading game?

  31. Mc pew says:

    Rodgers is out of his depth. After the destruction Dalglish loosed upon the club FSG should have signed a more experienced and recognized manager to right the sinking ship. Instead they got Rodgers, who is more concerned about implementing his system when what the team really needs is some stability. Rodgers is Liverpool’s manager about two seasons too soon. He’s AVB at Chelsea part two. But Liverpool will limp along until the winter window, sign someone who will save their season, and claim it was all part of the plan. Amateur hour at Anfield.

    It’s really saying something when the best player on the team for the past couple of games is a 17 year old child. I feel sorry for you lot. What a joke.

  32. jtm371 says:

    very sad just read at Football365 anti LFC Hillsborough chants at old trafford. why can’t people be better then that.after getting official acknowledgment of a 23 year cover up grow the F-ing up. i’m sure next week we will get those plus Munich chants.reflects very poorly on English Football fans.it is always a few who ruin it for the majority.

    • Guy says:

      On the mark, jtm. Unfortunately, “You can’t fix stupid.”

    • iancransonsknees says:

      It reflects very poorly on Manchester United fans, and if there are Munich chants next week it’ll reflect very poorly on Liverpool fans. It’s got nothing to do with the rest of us so don’t tar us all with the same brush.

      • jtm371 says:

        that is why i said a few ruin it for the majority.i know that 95% of the fans go to the matches root for their side and have a good time and go home and cause no trouble, but the 5% of idiots get the headlines.

      • Yespage says:

        Flat out hooliganism. What would possess people to be that ridiculously stupid?! Chanting about tragedies is … well… we all know what that is.

  33. dust says:

    It’s not a justification, but the chants started about the Heysel Stadium Disaster which was because of LFC hooliganism, the indefinite ban by UEFA on all english clubs put back English football by 10-15 years. I think a lot of people forget the effect it had– being told NO european football ever again really pissed off clubs and fans, stirring up a lot of resentment towards the LFC fans.

    Again its NOT a justification in any way to sing the songs about Hillsborough.

    Even in todays game players from the around the world want to play at clubs that play european football …scratch that..champions league, the UCL is what players want, I don’t think its right but it’s the way of the world.

    Spurs had wont the UEFA cup just 4 years earlier (1981) and finished 3rd at the end of the 84/85 season and were looking to make more runs at winning a european competition, buying players like Ossie Ardilles, Chris Waddle, Paul Allen, joining an already strong squad including players like Glen Hoddle, Tony Gavlin, Clive Allen, Mark Falco, Ray Clemence..then in that May Boom! Heysel and then in June UEFA gives all english clubs an Indefinite ban…

    As a side in the 86 to 87 season Spurs finished 3rd again, with Clive Allen scoring 33 league goals and 49 goals in all competitions that season..with no european football available…

    Anyways as a passionate 11 year old going to WHL, l’ll never forget the conversations I would have with my family to and from games, at the dinner table and in the playground, wrestling with and trying to understand why because of one set of stupid fans how my Spurs were being denied the potential of having that squad play in European football.

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