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Controversial penalty, goalkeeping howlers and a shock!!

Posted by Daniel Stone on August 20, 2007

chelseapenalty.jpgThis past weekend was dubbed as the biggest of the season so far and my god it didn’t disappoint. These are the major talking points of the third week into the 2007/2008 Premiership season:

  • Everybody seems to be hounding Rob Styles (the referee that took charge of Liverpool – Chelsea yesterday) but I for one, as a neutral, thought penalty as soon as I saw the incident live on TV. Having seen the replay I now know it definitely wasn’t a penalty. As we know the referee doesn’t have the option of looking at the replay (YET) but considering his position on the pitch when the incident happened he should have made the right decision. However, being a referee in the top flight these days must be the hardest job on earth!! He has since been dropped for next weekend due to his frailties. The game finished 1 all and Chelsea will be the happier of the two with the outcome. Liverpool will be delighted Fernando Torres got on the score sheet on his home debut. Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea

  • Manchester City provided the shock of the weekend, somehow beating rivals Manchester United with a long range effort from Brazilian Geovanni. I say somehow due to the pressure Manchester City were under at times. In the end they managed to keep their third clean sheet in a row as well as pick up 9 points from 3 games, shooting to the top of the Premiership. Manchester United have a major game this weekend hosting Tottenham, another defeat could mean the end of their defence of their title. Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United 

  • Arsenal felt aggrieved with the final result against Blackburn considering they were leading for long spells of the match and the manner in which Blackburn equalised, a howler by Jens Lehmann. Blackburn could also point to the fact that Arsenal took the lead through Robin Van Persie via a mistake by Brad Friedel the Blackburn stopper. Arsene Wenger stated after the match that Blackburn were violent (it always is for Arsenal against the northern clubs) but as Mark Hughes rightly says it is just sour grapes from Wenger as Arsenal thought they would come away with the three points. Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal

  • At the other end of the table newcomers Birmingham and Derby find themselves in a spot of bother having only acquired 1 point from their first 3 games and most notably Bolton are in big trouble, having lost each of their first 3 games. With El Hadj Diouf and Nicolas Anelka wanting out before the transfer window closes, Bolton might well be faced with a relegation battle.

 Take note of this past weekend as not many will finish like this one, none of the supposed ‘big four’ picking up 3 points.

Posted in Arsenal, Birmingham City, Blackburn, Bolton, Chelsea, Derby County, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premiership, Tottenham | Leave a Comment »

Relegation dog fight – Wigan and Boro down

Posted by Daniel Stone on August 9, 2007

bororelegated2.jpgThis is Part 3 of this 4 series Premieship predictions. Here you have Part 1 & Part 2 

16th Position – Sunderland 

Roy Keane did a wonderful job for Sunderland last season and I think his grit and determination will be passed on to his players this season enabling them to beat the drop. I think Roy Keane has done well as a manager because he learnt a lot from Sir Alex and I can imagine him getting plenty of advice from his mentor throughout the season. The squad lacks quality for the time being but expect new signings before the transfer window closes.

Key man: Roy Keane 

17th Position – Birmingham City 

In my opinion Birmingham City will beat the drop, but only just. This one could go down to the wire. Steve Bruce has been there before and got relegated so I think he has learnt his lessons. He previously opted to buy experienced players who just seemed to pick up their wage packets. This time Bruce has opted for young, hungry players. His signings have been OK. They go into the season knowing they will be in a dog fight.

Key man: Gary McSheffrey 

18th Position – Middlesbrough 

Now this is a shock but I truly believe Boro will be in big big trouble this year. I think if they keep hold of Yakubu they could beat the drop but if he leaves (and he has stated he wants to leave) or even if he stays unwillingly, Boro will be in the Championship next season. Boro were average last season, and I think Gareth Southgate is too inexperienced to manage a Premiership team at this moment in time. Keeping Jonathan Woodgate fit (difficult task) is also essential for them to stay up.

Key man: Jonathan Woodgate 

19th Position – Wigan 

Loosing Paul Jewel, in my opinion, will result in Wigan getting relegated. Chris Hutchinson has taken over, but I am not convinced. He didn’t last long last time he was in the hot seat at Bradford City. He is also odds on to be the first Premiership manager to get the axe. His signings are very questionable, especially Titus Bramble. Last season they struggled but beat the drop, however, this year they won’t be so lucky.

Key man: Jason Koumas 

20th Position – Derby County It was amazing Derby County came up last season and Billy Jones Davies seems to be a really good manager. Nevertheless they haven’t got much quality and it seems it will be mission impossible to stay up. They are favourites to go down and expect to see them at the bottom as of Christmas time.

Key man: Robert Earnshaw

Posted in Birmingham City, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Premiership, Sunderland, Wigan | 4 Comments »