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EPL Yanks: The weekend action in review

Fulham 0 – 2 Chelsea

Fulham was beaten badly in the SW London Derby match. Carlos Bocanegra played the entire game and Brian McBride came on in the 77th minute as a substitute. Bocanegra sacrificed himself well on several set pieces but Fulham were unable to dent a superior Chelsea side.

Middlesbrough 0 – 1 Blackburn

Brad Friedel kept a clean sheet as Rovers defeated Boro in the Riverside debut of former Real Madrid and England defender Jonathan Woodgate.

Wigan Athletic 1 – 1 Watford

Jay DeMerit went the distance at right back (a new position for him) as Watford secured a very valuable away point. DeMerit played well and had a hand in shutting down several Wigan chances.

Manchester City 2 – 0 West Ham United

Claudio Reyna entered the match in the 81st minute after City had already sewn up the victory. DeMarcus Beasley was an unused sub for the 2nd consecutive match, and interestingly enough when Reyna entered the match, the radio commentators noted he was playing on the left side of midfield, and that Pearce needed a “stopper” to shut down any potential West Ham rally. (Where Beasley would normally play) The clearly demonstrates that Beasley has yet to win the full trust of Manager Stuart Pearce, and while City fans have tried to discard Reyna along with several other veterans of the club, (and anoit Beasley along with several other new signings as the future of the club) he remains an intregal part of the first team. Jonathan Spector is now healthy for West Ham but has yet to crack the first team.

Reading 1 – 1 Manchester United

What a great game this was. Reading fought hard for a draw with heavily favored United. A fantastic game for Bobby Convey whose work rate continues to amaze me (Can you imagine what Landon “life is a beach” Donovan thinks of Convey’s work rate?) Convey drew several fouls from bigger, more imposing United players and also had a hand in creating the opportunity that led to Reading’s penalty goal. As always, Marcus Hannehman was solid in the Reading net.

Newcastle United 1 – 1 Everton

In one of the most entertaining matches of the young EPL season, Tim Howard made several spectacular saves including one on partial yank Giuseppe Rossi late in the match to preserve a draw for the Toffees. This was an excellent result away from home for Everton.

Cory Gibbs remains injured for Charlton but should return by mid November.

Other EPL thoughts:

I was dead wrong on Tottenham. Instead of fighting for the league title as I predicted they are dangerously close to the relegation zone. Jermain DeFoe who is supposed to be an interntation caliber striker has been sulking and Robbie Keane has regressed beyond recognition.

Portsmouth I suspected would be better this season but still I am stunned by how good they have turned out to be. Harry Redknapp continues to be one of the best managers in the game, and the acquisition of Sol Campbell, whom all the big clubs thought was washed up is probably the best inter-EPL transfer of the year thus far.

The other below the radar transfer that has made a huge impact was Everton’s purchase of Andy Johnson from Crystal Palace. Andy Johnson of course wasn’t good enough to play for England in the World Cup, or was it that they just didn’t give him a good enough look? I vote for the latter.

Wayne Rooney may not agree, but David Moyes is one darn good manager.

Manchester United needs to get Wayne Rooney back on track. His arch nemis Christiano Ronaldo can only carry the team for so long. That having been said, Ronaldo is thus far this campaign, the best player in the EPL.

Chelsea doesn’t look as invincible as the past two seasons, but they continue to win which is all that matters.

EPL sides fared especially poorly in this year’s Carling Cup. Five teams were eliminated by lower division sides and two more survived on penalty kicks.

As good a manager as Paul Jewell is, Wigan seems a prime candidate for relegation.

While they have yet to win a match since promotion, Watford seems to have more fight than expected and could stay up if they can pick up a striker or two in the January transfer window.

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  1. Kartik

    September 27, 2006 at 10:12 am

    I am reading that Beasley was beat out by the kid Ishmael Miller for the starting left side winger. Is that true?

    Yes, and no. Miller set up the first Samaras goal and played well giving way to Reyna in the 81 st minute. But this week Stuart Pearce said that Miller needs to do more to hold off Beasley and that DeMarcus was brought in to start so Miller needs to be exceptional to keep Beasley on the bench. Miller is a local kid who came up through Man City’s academy so Pearce may feel the need to play him while his job is hanging in the balance, because the supporters are ready to kill Pearce… me. I spend enough time on Man City Supporter sites and trading emails with the supporters club.

  2. Kartik

    September 27, 2006 at 10:09 am

    One wonders if France should have brought Saha in the final against Italy. He could have made a difference.

    Saha got yellow cards against Brazil and Portugal and had to sit out of the final.

  3. The Three Lions

    September 27, 2006 at 9:57 am

    I am reading that Beasley was beat out by the kid Ishmael Miller for the starting left side winger. Is that true?

  4. The Three Lions

    September 27, 2006 at 9:52 am

    Note also well Ruud is playing for Real Madrid. The ego of Fergie is his downfall. No doubt.

  5. The Three Lions

    September 27, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Good work, Kartik! Everton could sneak into a top four place and return to the champions league. Current form notwithstanding, my feel is that Arsenal does not have enough to finish in the top four this season. Prior to the start of the PRemeirship you though Spurs would sneak into the top 4. Obviously that will not happen, but Everton could be the team that sneaks in.

    Manchester United is not terribly good either. Ronaldo and Saha are almost entirely responsible for the victories they have achieved. One wonders if France should have brought Saha in the final against Italy. He could have made a difference.

  6. USA2010

    September 26, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Ryan Nelsen had an operation on his hamstring to correct the nagging injury which has kept him out of action so far this season.

    He is scheduled to return for Blackburn around Christmas.

  7. DC United Fan

    September 26, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Speaking of the EPL how is Ryan Nelson doing? Has he made an impact for his new club?

  8. USA2010

    September 26, 2006 at 1:23 am

    “Anyone who has ever done anything for our national team in the last 10 years was developed by MLS.”

    “Stewart, Keller and Reyna all started their careers in Europe BEFORE MLS was formed.”

    You have conceded the point to yourself.

  9. sams army

    September 25, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    Stewart, Keller and Reyna all started their careers in Europe BEFORE MLS was formed. Can you give me any other examples, or are you just going to concede the point to me?

    MLS is almost as good as the EPL. Your perceptions are formed by an elite media that has an intense bias against US Soccer.

    Sunil Gulati is with theese snobs since he likes to hang around with Europeans at Cocktail Parties. They make him feel important.

  10. USA2010

    September 25, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    sams army said… “Anyone who has ever done anything for our national team in the last 10 years was developed by MLS. You can quote me on that. “

    The only time I would bother to quote you is to illustrate the comments of a fool.

    Captain Claudio Reyna, Earnie Stewart, and Kasey Keller weren’t developed by MLS. I would argue that they’ve contributed quite a bit to USA Soccer in the last ten years.

    Remember it was you who was once arguing that Keller was one of the top GK in the world.

    You’ve got some issues Sams. Why don’t you formulate some firm opinions and insight before you join the conversations here?

    Oh, and stop posting that eveyone is a Eurosnob (whatever that means). WE GET YOUR POINT SO STOP REPEATING IT!

  11. Kartik

    September 25, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    Sams is busted!

    Peter Crouch, I think Rafa’s decision to shuffle lineups every match is costing the Reds dearly.

    I would like to see a Kuyt/Crouch partnership up top and Jamie Carragher on the bench for good!

  12. Harvey

    September 25, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Great job calling out Sams, USA 2010. ow we can get back to some real talk on this website. I am pleased by Convey and dissapointed that Beasley cannot seem to get things righted at Man City. But Beasley had two options…..come home to MLS, aka the easy road charted by his buddy landycakes or try and tough it out for a big club in a midfield battle. He made the right choice and hopefully Reyna can push him to be a leader for the future.

  13. sams army

    September 25, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    I feel into a trap right after the world cup in listening to all the critics. When i took a step back i realized that it was europe that failed our team not MLS. Anyone who has ever done anything for our national team in the last 10 years was developed by MLS. You can quote me on that.

  14. sams army

    September 25, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    USA 2010

    your article said nothing about the quality play and who stood out in the league. I want some real MLS anaylsis but all you guys give is talk about how great Europe is.

  15. USA2010

    September 25, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    Anyone who is not aware that Sams Army is a complete fraud need only read some quotes copied directly from his/her posts right after USA was eliminated from the WC

    “We don’t have enough of our top players competing abroad in top leagues of for top teams in those leagues. MLS has been great to build from but the league develops players that never improve beyond a certain point.”

    “No doubt that some of our guys need experience in Europe to improve.”

  16. USA2010

    September 25, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    Sams Army,

    I posted a MLS Review article and it got three comments – none from you.


    I’m rather sick of your nonsensical whining

  17. Hat Trick Peter Crouch

    September 25, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Andy Johnson, I agree Kartik did not get a fair look from Sven. I am most dissapointed he has gone to Everton and is the best attacking player on Merseyside.

    What are your thoughts on Liverpool? Rafa seems to be juggling the squad more than he normally does. Do you believe that is a bad sign?

  18. Sams Army

    September 25, 2006 at 11:56 am

    I wish you’d put this sort of effort into watching MLS and tracking the players and teams. This is no longer an American website but a British one.

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