Arguably the most anticipated Premier League season of all time is finally here with us. EPL is back- especially because of the second coming of ‘The Special One’ to Stamford Bridge.
After the euphoria, the teams were ready to battle it out in the opening fixtures and with no mouth-watering fixture on the bill, the top guns (not before Man City game) recorded routine wins except Arsenal (I don’t know whether to still consider them top gun).
The opening day is a time for optimism and ab initio fans expect improvement in their teams’ previous league positions or point tally. Debut appearances cannot be left untraced; the most notable is The Goal Line Technology (GLT) by HawkEye System.
I introduce to you the 5 things we learnt from day one of the EPL season;
1. SPENDING VS ARSENE WENGER – Why won’t Wenger’s side be booed off at full time? With chants for the Frenchman to improve his squad before the close of the transfer window. He came out to apologize saying “What hurts me is to disappoint people who love the club, I’m sorry”. Ironically, Arsene Wenger’s record signing this summer is free agent French U-20 champion Yaya Sanogo even though he has over £ 70 million to splash.
With Jack Wilshere seeming ‘new signing’, Arsenal still lacked the composure and agility in midfield not to mention the fragile defense imperatively when Koscienly was sent off (only Patrick Viera-8 and Martin Keown-6 have more red cards than him) and Sagna forced off during their 3-1 defeat at home to the Villains. Ramsey at the heart of defence?
The last time Arsenal lost on the opening day of the season was 2000/01 when they finished 2nd behind Manchester United……….will history repeat itself? Fingers crossed.
But as a poster behind the manager in the stands read – Spend! Spend!! Spend!!! Wenger.
Next Two games – 1. Fenarbache 2. Fulham
2. NO.1 DEBUTANT GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY (GLT) – The Barclays Premier League’s new Goal Decision System was successfully used for the first time this weekend after having a quite day in the office during the traditional curtain raiser between Manchester United and Championship side Wigan Athletic, the first ‘clearance’ for the debutant – Hawkeye came in the Arsenal – Aston Villa match. Fabian Delph’s shot came off the post and rolled along the line before Ivanovic’s bullet header against Hull city Tigers which was correctly called ‘NO GOAL’ by the system. I think the GLT leaves no room for the long raging arguments out of the beautiful game, however; with its accuracy and at this rate it will surely be a success.
3. DEBUTANTS SHOWING THEIR WORTH – The debutants’ day began with Mignolet, Liverpool’s signing from Sunderland, saving the day for Brendan Rodgers and the KOPs with a last minute delicate save from 12 yards (Jonathan Walters) after former Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge put them ahead with the 1st goal of the PL season against Stoke city. Aspas looked promising too. The PL is underway in typically dramatic fashion, with goals aplenty across all the centers. Norwich’s record-signing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (RVW-£8.5million) wasn’t left out of the goals; scoring a powerful header to secure a point for Chris Hughton’s side at home to Everton (2-2 final score). Tottenham insist ‘No Gareth Bale No problem’ as club record signing Soldado put the only goal of their match against Crystal palace from the penalty spot past Speroni in the 50th minute. He was the most impressive of the other two debutants (Paulinho and Chadli). Cardiff city’s Medel and Caulker couldn’t come to the party but Wilfred Bony (club record signing for Swansea) and Allan McGregor had memorable debuts – the former scored a consolation in their 4-1 loss to the defending champs and the latter saved a Frank Lampard penalty en route to Hull City Tiger’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea. Wenger this is what money can get you.
4. WAYNE ROONEY NOT FEELING AT ‘HOME’ – Rooney’s home from the opening day victory at the Liberty Stadium seems to be far away from Old Trafford. He surely has to step up because Welbeck and RVP were sheer class in that game. However, coming on for the last 20 minutes and still grab two assists…Moyes must be reiterating “this is why I’m not selling you”
The fact that he didn’t celebrate any of the two goals he assisted speaks volume even when the United faithful chanted his name and many also applauded him. His body language says it all. End of the road I feel for Rooney with Chelsea on Red-alert. Moyes set him free.
5. NOT ROLLER-COASTER GROUND- NEWLY PROMOTED!! – It’s a new dawn, a new beginning the new EPL boys or men. A more herculean task is ahead of Cardiff City, Hull City Tigers and another London contingent Crystal Palace.
Cardiff City lost the 1st match in the Premier League since 1962 thanks to goals from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan at Upton Park. They did not manage a single shot on target. That alone is a sign that they are not at the top flight level yet and have to step up if they are to avoid relegation.
At Selhurt Park, Crystal Palace welcomed Tottenham with the likes of Paulinho,Chadli, Soldado in the ranks. They started the game on a very good note to be fair to them prompting their fans to unveil one of the scariest banners but Spurs exerted the superiority after the 1st quarter of the game. Soldado troubled their back four with his movement and delightfully dispatched the penalty to win the game after the inexperienced Dean Moxey’s handball incident.
Ian Holloway can minimize the jibe at match officials and concentrate on improving his below par squad if Palace is to stay up come May.
The Tigers are in town. Jose Mourinho second stint in charge of Chelsea started with the hosting of Hull City Tigers. The tigers couldn’t match the fluidity and beaming attack of their host and returned empty-handed shipping in 2 goals in a comprehensive and incident-packed match. In spite of their much improved 2nd half display with the introduction of Tom Huddlestone and Jack Livermore which gives reason for optimism because that’s the kind of game plan they need if they are to avoid the drop but that cannot end the special one’s now 61-game unbeaten home record in the English top flight.