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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 8: Open Thread

number 8 Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 8: Open Thread

IT IS BACK!

After a long and agonizing two weeks of soccer hell, Premier League football has returned. That two week spell was, for me, excruciating painful. Very few quality matches were on offer. There were far too many storylines that revolved around issues that had nothing to do with football on the pitch. But now we’re back with a full assortment of Premier League matches.

Kicking the action off this morning is Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea in a massive crunch match between Andre Villas Boas and the former team he managed. The fact that the match is being played at White Hart Lane is a bonus especially how vocal the home supporters can be. Let’s hope there’s an early goal in this one to open the match up for a treasure chest of goals.

Thanks to the Champions League matches being played next week, we have six Premier League games to choose from during the 10am-Noon ET timeslot. High-flying West Bromwich Albion will provide a tough test for Manchester City at the Hawthorns. Manchester United should comfortably win at home against Stoke. Liverpool plays Reading at Anfield where the Reds hope to get all three points. Fulham against Aston Villa promises to be an entertaining match at Craven Cottage. West Ham will hope to wipe away the loss against Arsenal by beating Southampton at home. And last but not least, Swansea plays Wigan at the Liberty Stadium. If the Swans want to show people that they’re still a force to be reckoned with this season, today is a must-win for Michael Laudrup’s team against former Swansea gaffer Roberto Martinez.

The late kickoff today is Norwich at home against an Arsenal team that is currently buzzing after their win against West Ham United. If Norwich is to make any mark on its season, today is the day to show us what Chris Hughton’s men can do. This, I predict, will be a much tougher match for Arsenal than most people think.

Before, during and after today’s Premier League matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations below.

Enjoy your Saturday!

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 →

91 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 8: Open Thread

  1. The Gaffer says:

    Brilliant goal by Gary Cahill. Now let’s see what THFC is made of.

    This should be a great game based on the early goal, which will help open the match up.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  2. Sacto Blues says:

    Superb goal for Cahill.

  3. The Gaffer says:

    There’s no doubt that Gareth Bale is an exceptional player, but I think Ian Darke and Steve McManaman are focusing too much on what Bale’s absence is doing to the Tottenham side today. Bale hasn’t been as influential this season as in previous years. Tottenham losing 1-0 right now is not a result of Bale not being in the side.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  4. jtm371 says:

    i think the biggest point of the 1st half is how short the Spurs bench is no creativity no push. what the heck is Gallas doing heading it back to the middle. come on Spurs make it a match in the 2nd half.

  5. dust says:

    Debele injured from the stupid break, bale out for his new baby, FREEZAL AGAIN Unreal. how you get beat above your head in the middle of the goal is beyond me, he touches the bar with room just standing there, the theatrics are a joke.

    Defoe is ineffective, should have passed to Demspey instead of shooting we would be 1-1 now. Huddlestone ISNT good enough.

    I hope ADE come on as well as Andros Townsend on the left for Sigg who is not supposed to be on the left.

  6. jtm371 says:

    is ADE playing the role that Drogba played last year with AVB?

  7. jtm371 says:

    Dust
    i hope you did not wake the house on the goal. go Spurs beat chelski!

  8. dust says:

    DEFOE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sacto Blues says:

    Good comeback by Spurs but Thats a pk.

  10. dust says:

    What did AVB say at half time to inspire the boys like that!!

  11. BA14 says:

    I go have some blood drawn and miss the 2 Spurs goals.

  12. Frill Artist says:

    About time someone took out the wind in Chelsea’s sails.

  13. Sacto Blues says:

    Vertonghen the MOTM so far but Mike Dean has been Spurs MVP so far

  14. Sammy says:

    FINALLY! No more international breaks till the end of the year, actually next year! Kinda wish it were still my holidays though, as that is the time I enjoy soccer the most.

    Congrats Tottenham on the deserved 2 goals. I’m sort of a neutral here so I don’t really bother about the outcome if the match. Just hope to see more goals.

  15. Frill Artist says:

    Stunning goal. GK had no chance.

  16. dust says:

    FREEZAL REALLY!

  17. jtm371 says:

    Gallas MOTM for Chelsea

  18. dust says:

    3 past FREEZAL! HE HAS TO GO

    • gbewing says:

      along with your beloved defenders such as Caulker-blaming Friedal is amatuer hour- 1 of the 4 he had a chance of- he doesn’t command the box well enough but those goals are firmly to Galas Caulker and the over rated Walker

  19. Frill Artist says:

    Shoddy defending from THFC. smh.

  20. dust says:

    FREEZAL positioning is terrible, Lloris would have stopped the cahill strike, and the 1st mata goal

    • jtm371 says:

      i know you have no time for Freidel but you have to agree Gallas has been awful.

    • The Gaffer says:

      No way would any goalkeeper in the world would have stopped Juan Mata’s first goal. Friedel’s positioning was fine. Mata snuck it into the corner.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • dust says:

        And what are you basing that off? all your years coaching goal keepers? Being beaten in the middle of the goal above your head from a shot more than 12 yards out is a joke, goal keeping 101, as is positioning.on the second goal.

      • dust says:

        But then again you did say Bale wasnt missed by spurs on the left, he hasnt been that good this year LOL

        • gbewing says:

          Dust you are not the official voice of Spurs fans or all that is soccer -your extreme bias makes your comments less likely to be taken seriously

          • dust says:

            Ha Ha

            I have never claimed or even attempted to be an official anything, and what Bias? I’m also not trying to be credible with anyone, what I am doing is voicing my opinion about my club of over 30 years through the lens of someone that has been exposed to a varying level of coaching and players of the game from professional to amateur (all which have fundamentals that are the same).

            Think what you want.

            I don’t care who you or anyone anyone else blames, all i do is post perspective.

            Perhaps you can be the official “you don’t speak for all of us official?”

            (a position not really needed as its pretty obvious I only speak for me)

            lol

  21. dust says:

    We are missing Dembele and Bale for sure

  22. Sammy says:

    Wow, so many goals indeed. My wish is coming true. Nice 2 goals by Mata. Interesting that the TV camera keeps showing AVB.

  23. dust says:

    See cech made the save with getting down and walkers was a smash!

  24. Frill Artist says:

    Absolute raping of the coys. My God.

  25. dust says:

    What is the point of freidal in the goal if he lets the ball accross the box like that

    He is PAST it

    4 Goals, 1 on the defense really the rest poor goalkeeping

    • gbewing says:

      here’s a notion give some credit to Chelsea’s attacking players, they’re pretty good to might be the best in league as a unit- they could have had 6 (Spurs could of had 4 themselves) if Torres actually completes a wide open delivery a few times

  26. jtm371 says:

    nice comeback win for Chelsea well deserved 3 points big wins on the road.

  27. Sacto Blues says:

    Who played Sturridge onside ?

  28. dust says:

    Cech made some great saves, Kept Chelsea in it…

    We move on and with a different goal keeper i hope

    • The Gaffer says:

      You can’t blame Friedel for that defeat. The blame needs to be pointed at poor defensive mistakes by Kyle Walker and William Gallas.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • dust says:

        From a fans perspective, sure its easy to blame the defensive players.

        Yes there were Defensive errors but one’s that a keeper is supposed to negate. There is a reason you play with a goal keeper and he can use his hands in the entire 18 yard box, he is supposed to be the general back there.

        He freezes on his line, look at the last goal, he didnt even try, he stood there, he didnt close anything down.

        If he was right behind the defenders on mata’s first goal then sure but he wasn’t, Cech was more obscured and the shot was far more powerful but cech got down for walkers.

        Again yes there is some fault in the defensive ranks with Gallas at the head of that, but make no mistake in that dressing room the coaching staff know that 3 of those 4 were on the keeper.

      • dust says:

        Freezal is 41… 41 his reactions are not good enough, it was the same for the late goals against West Brom and Norwich.

        Poor positioning and poor reactions

        • The Gaffer says:

          William Gallas is 35… 35 his reactions are not good enough.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • dust says:

            Sure, at 35 I would go with that too.. but, he cant use his hands either, (Although he may try on occasion).

            Strangely Im not as upset at the loss as I thought I would be.

            I think after seeing the starting lineup my expectations were reset for a draw and even with the lead, I have Zero Confidence in the Keeper.

            CFC have to much firepower to use a 41 yr old. or 35 yr old, but Kabul is out and Dawson would have been even worse than gallas.

            • The Gaffer says:

              Dust, you may have zero confidence in Brad Friedel, but the scoreline would have been the same today with Lloris between the goalposts. Gallas can be blamed for 2-3 of the goals, and Walker’s poor defending resulted in the fourth goal.

              Cheers,
              The Gaffer

          • dust says:

            7 BPL starts and ZERO clean sheets. You are wrong even about the walker incident, sure he shouldn’t have lost the ball and stayed down but there was 25 yards at an acute angle to go and 3 other defenders & a keeper who is supposed to close down angles and use his hands, he did neither.

            Perhaps If G Neville put together a video on it you would take it as gospel.

            How did cech get down so fast for walkers shot that was completely obscured until 12 yards out?

            Again its easy to say its the defense and look at initial errors but using Freezal negates the 1 position that doesn’t need to be static and can use his hands.

  29. Peter says:

    Great game, great result. But Spurs were always threatening in the second half, so credit to them. Great news for Chelsea is that, as the the former heroes move on, Mata is emerging as a real clutch player.

  30. dust says:

    Cech played well, making several key saves from Defoe, Sig, Walker. Gallas was not at his best but you can see the defense’s frustration with freidal.

  31. Andrei says:

    Chelsea just have more quality in the squad and they executed better in the key moments. Spurs have decent team but after losing Modric they simply don’t players of Mata and Hazard caliber.

    United should be worried how Chelsea go about their business. Chelsea are still a bit soft on the back but they are showing signs of champion.

  32. Why? says:

    What has Mancini seen in Balotelli’s last appearances that makes him want to start him?

  33. Sammy says:

    Come on Stoke, West Brom and Reading!

  34. Andrei says:

    What a goal by Wayne Rooney

  35. dust says:

    be great to see stoke pull of the win at OT!
    C’mon Stoke!

  36. jtm371 says:

    Rooney MOTM for both sides!

  37. Andrei says:

    Rooney is on hat-trick.

  38. Why? says:

    Who are these idiots commentating on fox soccer plus?

  39. dust says:

    LOL Trevor Francisis a moron

  40. dust says:

    LFC beating Reading… did jason wear the tshirt?

  41. Sammy says:

    My word…Man U are just scary

  42. Matt says:

    DAMN YOU HART!!!!

  43. Why? says:

    DZEKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Sammy says:

    Heartbreak for West Brom :((( Why oh why…

  45. Why? says:

    Well deserved win for the Champions should have had a pen yet again it wasn’t given we don’t have the refs but we sure got the players!!

  46. BA14 says:

    Thanks Rob Stone for telling us Man City scored their second goal on TV before it happened while I was watching the match on my Ipad. Dummy. It was about a 10 second or so delay but it ruined it.

  47. Andrei says:

    Looks like this week will separate the men from the boys…

  48. mark says:

    I wonder how Fergie is going to defend Rio Ferdinand (and will he fine him)for defying his manager and not wearing the Kick OUT Racism T-shirt that all EPL players were asked to wear today. Fergie blasted Jason Roberts who had stated earlier in the week that he wouldn’t comply.

  49. old33 says:

    Don’t know if it’s related, but in Western Mass, I now have FSC in HD. Channel 924.

  50. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Grant Holt, League Two striker for Shrewsbury scores against the magnificent Arsenal 2011/13 defence

  51. Matt says:

    With Xfinity/Comcast being awful (don’t ask…the ladyfriend wanted to sign-up), FSC is unwatchable. How is Fox Soccer 2Go? I’ve had MLB.TV over the past few years, so watching games on an iPad, Roku, etc isn’t totally foreign to me, but I didn’t know if FS2G was still having the initial issues.

    • Peter says:

      I use 2Go to catch the matches I want to see that aren’t on Fox Soccer or ESPN. There’s often a glitch at least once a game but I consider it pretty indispensable, especially for those midweek Champions League matches. I stick the iPad behind some photos of the wife and kids and keep the volume very low so co-workers passing by my office door are none the wiser.

  52. Mufc77 says:

    Good win today for utd. We played some great football at times. While its disappointing to concede two goals stoke had a decent amount of luck with both goals so its not THAT bad.

    Rooney just starting to hit top form and is still the most important player on the team. The game against the Russian rent boys next week has all the makings of a brilliant game.

  53. Scrumper says:

    Tottenham were woeful – no shape, static midfield, ragged defence. Many times a Spurs player had the ball only to look up and discover he had no one in space. This happened to Vertonghen and cost Spurs two goals. Each time he gave the ball away upfield then stood around complaining while Chelsea countered through the huge hole he left and scored. Gallas, Dempsey, Huddlestone were all slow. Sandro was erratic and Sigurdsson is turning out to be a poor signing as he simply doesn’t have the quality. Lennon was their best player yet he didn’t see enough of the ball. Why bring Adebayor on with only 17 mins to go? The attack had faltered a long time before that.

    Tottenham desperately need Parker back to energise midfield and why Dawson is sitting on the bench when the defence is being run ragged is beyond me. They definitely missed Bale and his late exclusion from the team may have created some of the shape confusion. Nonetheless, there were a lot of frustrated players out there, which has more than a passing similarity to Chelsea under Boas.

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