Sunday, August 16, 2009

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

6) Blackburn v Man City

A great start for Man City and Mark Huges at Ewood. A great start to te game with a great finish from Adebayor although I think Warnock should have done better for Blackburn in the build up to the goal. From that point onwards, it was always going to be tough for Blackburn.

Man City showed lots of steel in defense and that is surprising. Toure and the denfense played well, especially in the 1st half and the early parts of the second when Blackburn were really pressing for the equalizer. Much like Chelsea, I do think the shape to Man City wasn’t great. Maybe it takes time for the team to gel. For now, I think Barry does not fit in well into the 4-4-2 that Huges is playing,

Bellamy had a great game and he is the one player that showed the fight and endeavor that City really need if they are to do well. Given had a great game in goal too. Overall, Bridge, Richards and Toure all did well.

A great 2nd goal from Ireland too, Coolness personified. Lots of encouraging signs for Huges and if the team continues to work really hard for each other and maintain the hunger, they will surprise.

As for Blackburn, they showed lots of fight, not surprising for a team managed by Big Sam. They will pick up enough points this season and will be mid table material if they continue to keep up the energy.

7) Fulham v Portsmouth

No surprise here in this game with Fulham winning. My pick for the weekend was Fulham and West Ham actually.

Hodgson did really well with a thin Fulham squad last season. They will do well to replicate their finish last season and qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Fulham played with very much the same side and I do think they need some signings as well to add some depth. If rumors are to be believed and they get get Damien Duff from Newcastle, that could be a really good signing to take some weight off the aging shoulders o Danny Murphy.

For Fulham, they will be hard to beat and I am sure we could see them turning a few decent sides over at Craven Cottage. All credit to Roy Hodgson, a manger with vast experience and a terrific CV.

As for Portsmouth, I do think they will struggle big time this season with all the uncertainty in the background. They could still go into administration and be relegated from the Premier League. The only decent player they had in the team was Kranjcar and maybe the aging David James. The others look Championship material to me, They did not threaten enough for me in this game.

The only fact that may save them from relegation is the fact that there could be 3 worse off teams. We could see a scrap down there with teams like Wolves, Burnley, Birmingham and Hull.

8) Stoke City v Burnley

A good start for Stoke this season, unlike last season when they lost 3-1 at the Reebok on the opening day.

No surprise how Stoke got their goals; both goals coming from aerial bombardments. Stoke could be hard to break down, much like last season. With the quality they have, I do think they will stay in the League. Expect another good season from James Beattie, the signing fo the transfer window last season. If they can get a few more players in before the window closes, that will be great,

Burnley on the other hand, will struggle this season. Owen Coyle’s team was famed for their hard work and getting into their oppositions last season. They accounted for both Arsenal and Chelsea in cup competitions last season.

However, in the Premier League over 38 games, I am afraid they will come up short. The fact that most people are expecting them to be relegated will be great as that will mean they can play without fans over expecting.

If they are to survive, they had to win games like this one or at least get a result. Their next games are against Man Utd and Everton and you will not expect them to get anything from those games. A championship squad with no standouts, they could be the whipping boys.

For Burnley fans, just do enjoy your limelight in the Premier League.

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