Sunday, August 16, 2009

Premiership Lookback – 1st Round of Matches 15/08 & 16/08

9) Chelsea v Hull

Chelsea played reasonably well, should have had an early goal via Drogba. Was a surprise when they fell behind to a pinball like goal. Somehow, Chelsea’s back 4 and keeper have not been that convincing to me since the days of Jose Mourinho. They need to be more solid in defense.

Ancelotti also need to find a better shape to the team’s play. He has lots of expectations on his shoulders and should he not do well, he could face the wrath of the owner and fans who are craving for success in the Premier League and Champions League. However, it is an encouraging start for him.

The shape of the team was not right for me, although you cannot fault them for their work ethic and effort. Do think Ancelotti have to play a single striker. Drogba and Anelka together does not work for me. They have played this formation in the 1st half against Man Utd and it did not work.

For Chelsea, it might be still early but they need to find their shape soon. On paper, Chelsea appear to have the strongest squad. Just look at the likes they have in the reserves.

As for Hull, a good hard working performance, much like the Hull we saw at the start of last season. Unfortunately they came unstuck via a fluke goal right at the end. I do think Hull might struggle to score goals this season. They do not have someone in the team that will consistently score goals for them.

10) Villa v Wigan

Probably the surprise of the weekend here. Most people will be expecting Villa to do well in this game, especially against a Wigan side that has lost manager Steve Bruce and key player Antonio Valencia. Replacement Roberto Martinez was known to play attacking soccer at Swansea and that was what Wigan did in this game.

Although Villa had lots of possession they did not threaten much for me, Martin O Neil needs some signings to freshen the team that over performed last season. Cuellar and Davies are not the strong partnership at the back for a team with ambitions of finishing in the top 4.

O Neil chose to start with youngster Fabian Delph from the start. Sidwell should have started for me, He is the right kind of player to replace Gareth Barry. Very much the forgotten and invisible man in the Premier League after a good season with Reading, Do think his move to Chelsea where he was never going to be in the 1st team stalled his progress.

Rodallega got a great goal for Wigan, one of the goals of the weekend. Will be interesting to see if Wigan can continue to play this brand of soccer and pick up good results. Koumas played well in a decent midfield for me and Bramble has improved so much since his wobbly days at Newcastle. He might now be fulfilling the potential that the late Sir Bobby Robson once saw in him.

As for Villa, they need to really buck up or they could in for a mid table finish this season.

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