Editor’s note: World Soccer Talk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer kicks off a brand-new weekly column that’ll delve deeper into many of his insights from the past weekend of world football. Look for his column every Monday.
The Football League kicked off its 125th season on Friday and the sentiment of the matches was well displayed by the league. A lot of people knock English Football’s willingness to take foreign money and allow rampant foreign ownership, but this weekend once again showed nobody has the time honored traditions, nor the traveling support throughout the professional game, that England does.
It is just one weekend and I am not Owen Coyle’s biggest fan, but his free-flowing attacking style seems to fit this current Wigan Athletic team very well. I felt that Coyle’s tactics at Burnley and Bolton showed a degree of naivety and I always felt he benefited from favorable press coverage because of his personality. When Dave Whelan selected Coyle to replace Roberto Martinez after the Spaniard’s move to Everton, I was shocked. But perhaps Coyle is the right fit for this specific set of players. Wigan maintained a lot of quality after the drop and should be one of the favorites to back go up to the Premier League regardless of who manages them.
It was especially good to see how lively Leon Best was coming off the bench for Blackburn Rovers in the 1-1 draw at Pride Park against Derby. Best was a great hope for the Republic of Ireland and I felt that when he linked up with Newcastle, the sky was the limit for him. Unfortunately, injuries and other factors limited his effectiveness but yesterday’s dynamic performance was a good sign of a recovery that Blackburn can benefit from.
Joey Barton played well for Queens Park Rangers. But I don’t want to spend too much time on him until we know who will actually be with the club after the transfer window shuts. Harry Redknapp has lots of decisions to make about his side. They have a lot of excess baggage that needs to be shed but can also help them for a few games in August in the Championship. One good sign was the return of Alejandro Faurlin, who — for my money — was the best player in the Championship in 2010-11. Faurlin was quickly discarded by Redknapp when he took over last December and the Argentine spent an unhappy few months on loan in Serie A before returning to QPR following relegation. Faurlin is the type of tested Championship player QPR needs more of instead of Premier League rejects and high wage earners.