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Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 18: Open Thread

swansea city fan Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 18: Open Thread

For Swansea City today, it’s their biggest match of the season versus the best team in England, Manchester United. For United, it’s a chance to maintain the six point lead at the top of the table. The Swans have beaten Arsenal, drawn Chelsea and lost to Manchester City 1-0, so the Welsh team’s record against the top four is almost immaculate. Can they maintain their excellent record today?

In team news, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans come in to the United side for Chris Smalling and Rio Ferdinand. I’ve been very critical of Jonny “Liability” Evans, so it’ll be interesting to see if I have to eat my own words today if the Northern Irishman puts in a stellar performance.

For Swansea, manager Michael Laudrup has made two changes. Michel Vorm comes in for Gerhard Tremmel. Vorm has been injured for a few months now, and this is his first game back between the goalposts. Also, Kemy Agustien replaces Ki Sung-Yueng, which I’m ecstatic about. I love Agustien’s grit in midfield, where he’s often a tough defensive midfielder to get past. And when he moves forward, he’s so creative with his passes, splitting open defenses, which is exactly what the Swans needs today if they want to provide Michu with service.

In the other match today, Chelsea plays Aston Villa. The Blues have an opportunity to move into third place in the table with a win. Aston Villa, who resoundingly beat Liverpool last week, will be very confident going into this match with a hard-working side that Paul Lambert has expertly crafted.

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

Have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy your football!

This entry was posted in Aston Villa, Chelsea, Leagues: EPL, Manchester United, Swansea City. Bookmark the permalink.

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 →

34 Responses to Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 18: Open Thread

  1. jtm371 says:

    Good luck to the Swans would make a nice Christmas present for the Gaffer.

  2. The Gaffer says:

    Very disrespectful main topic for FOX Soccer to open their segment with today for the Swansea-Manchester United coverage. They focused on how important it is for Manchester United to get a good goal difference this year.

    Yes, it’s important, but it’s disrespectful to the opponent to dismiss their chances by raising fan’s expectations that this is going to be a high scoring win for United before a ball is even kicked. Poor form by Rob Stone and Warren Barton.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  3. The Gaffer says:

    Jonny Evans does it again. He flopped down as if he had been shot when he came into contact with Michu. He did a similar thing earlier in the season when he got Torres red carded against Chelsea. What a cheat.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  4. jtm371 says:

    hate to say it i told you.

  5. The Gaffer says:

    WOOHOO!

    AGUSTIEN to Routledge to De Guzman to Michu on the rebound. Thoroughly well-deserved goal.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  6. jtm371 says:

    Swans are much brighter and a step ahead of UTD could sneak a second goal by halftime.

  7. Guy says:

    I know it’s easier said than done, but I’d be pressing Jones’s side a bit more. Swans aren’t even going near him.

  8. The Gaffer says:

    No respect once again from Warren Barton for Swansea City. Immediately after the halftime whistle, there goes Barton talking about how Patrice Evra and De Gea were to blame for the Swansea goal. Give more credit to the Swans for a well-worked goal.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  9. The Gaffer says:

    FOX Soccer may as well call themselves ‘Man Utd Soccer’ this morning. Sure, most of the viewers are United fans, but come on, give some discussion points to Swansea. It seems that Eric Wynalda is the only one on FOX Soccer who talks up the Swans.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • Dust says:

      LoL.. I would add Chelski to that list they love them some Chelski bias too…

      The rubbish that stations pundits were talking about avb at the start of the season was absolutely ridiculous… With Barton saying he knows it is gonna be CFC 2.0 and he can see how upset the players are how avb has no man management skills… Only for him to be proved completely wrong with the players saying how great he was… Barton reads the sun and repeats it is all.

      IMO Barton’s lack of education means he doesnt have the ability to translate any of his experience into anything meaningful, he is too busy trying to project his accent, (a real London “barra” boy) being from less than 2 miles from where grew up in islington it’s annoying to me.

      He tends to mock any manager that is more cerebral spiting clichės more than anyone else on the set, and gets them wrong alot if the time.
      I also remember Barton not being very good either…

      Stone is just a complete joke and not really worth any effort writing about.

      • Sacto Blues says:

        It could also be that teams like Manure or Chelsea are always the featured game on FSC so the pundits only really know or comment on Chelsea or Citeh and not Spurs, Villa, or Swans.

        • Dust says:

          Any team featured should have the same effort and reasonable perspective. It is laziness on fox’s part.

          Their coverage is more ragtop based than anything insightful or meaningful even when about Man U or chelski.

          The station name is fox soccer but perhaps foc mufccfclfc soccer would be more appropriate.

          Really looking forward to them not having the prem anymore…. I really hope NBC don’t make the mistake of hiring any of the fox team, either research, graphics, producers or on air personnel.

          I don’t think it’s limited to fox..

          I’ve made an effort to listen to other American BPL coverage and general football shows like on espn & Sirius, and I have to say, NBC should stay well clear of the men in blazers too…

          They are so horrible, the counter attack show is still poor but not as poor as the other productions, Ray Houghton is insufferable too.

          BeIn using Kay Murrey formerly of Real Madrid tv is a very good move for la Liga coverage, but the BPL coverage in the us is very poor right now and I find myself Looking to the uk all the time for media be it sky, bbc, aljazera, espn uk or talk sport.

  10. Guy says:

    Did the commentator just say, “The next goal just might be decisive.”? Well, thanks for that one! ;-)

  11. Guy says:

    Scholes even had to laugh at himself. :-)

  12. The Gaffer says:

    A well-deserved point for Swansea. They just couldn’t keep possession in the second half, and put in a strong defensive performance like they did last week against Spurs (except for the one mistake from the free kick).

    Poor performance by the referee today. Didn’t give play advantage enough, and called too many niggly fouls.

    I thought Ashley Williams was within his rights to make a last ditch clearance to clear the ball in the box (since the referee hadn’t blown his whistle yet). I don’t think he intentionally tried to smack the ball into RVP’s head.

    Very proud of Swansea’s performance today.

    Analysis by Stone and Barton was weak today. On a couple of occasions when they analyzed Swansea they talked about how strong their home performances have been this season at home.

    But the Swans have been better away from home this season than at home (in my opinion). The Swans beat Arsenal, QPR and Newcastle away so far this season. Their only wins at home this season have been against Wigan, West Ham and West Brom. Sorry, but FOX Soccer needs to do their homework before they start spouting their opinions.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      I’m just glad it wasn’t Ryan Shawcross that made that clearance. The media over here would have been calling for the death penalty to be introduced if it was. Given Ashley William’s plays for Swansea and they tap it around nicely it’ll all blow over by Tuesday. That said if it was an Arsenal player you’d done it to there’d be a witch hunt going on against William’s and Swansea for years.

  13. Guy says:

    How long before Chelsea fans start singing, “Ohhh Rafa Ben-i-tez”? ;-)

  14. Justin says:

    What a through performance by Chelsea today. Absolutely fantastic.

    I guess Aston Villa didn’t take too kindly to my ambitious predictions for them earlier in the week :)

  15. Sacto Blues says:

    Brilliant display by Chelsea. Great to see Super Frank get a striking goal on his 500th appearance. David Luiz continues to impress playing the DM role.

  16. Frill Artist says:

    Gaffer, you hypocrite. As much as I dislike Fox Soccer, how can you talk about Fox Soccer being biased when your thread is biased? Take the log out of your own eye before trying to take the speck out of their own eye.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Frill, I’m not saying they’re biased. I’m saying that they’re unbalanced. They’re too quick to jump on the top four bandwagon at the detriment of doing adequate research or trying to be impartial.

      Their analysis was swayed heavily in the favor of Manchester United instead of trying to be more fair and balanced.

      Another point is that most people know who read this blog that I’m a Swansea fan. I try to remain impartial as best as I can, but the last time I checked neither Rob Stone nor Warren Barton are Manchester United fans, so they should be more impartial.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  17. Steven says:

    The problem with Fox Soccer is that they always pump up the top-tier teams. When one of these teams plays well offensively it’s beacause they are so good that the opposition cannot do anything about it. But when one of the other teams plays well offensively it’s because the defense switched off or were poor in allowing it to happen. Swansea’s give and go that resulted in the goal was worthy of praise yet Barton and company thought it was poor defending. Do they even watch the games or just look at the highlights and comment.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Steven, I completely agree. The brilliant pass by Wayne Routledge into the path of Jonathan De Guzman who was able to find space in the penalty area should have been mentioned by the FOX Soccer crew. They watch many of the games, but I can tell they hardly watch Swansea or other “lesser” teams in the Premier League that much.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

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