10 Things We Learned From the Premier League this weekendBy: Rob | August 16th, 2010
1. Ian Holloway would like to be taken seriously.
Sky and the BBC must have been rubbing their hands together as the Ian Holloway led Blackpool had a dream start against Wigan. Holloway has been known for many seasons as a wonderfully out there quote machine, but his post match interview was somewhat morose as he was determined not to play up to his mad as a hatter image. Which comes across as even madder, obviously.
2. Blackpool will not be whipping boys
Probably. Wigan won’t be their sternest test, but to win any game away from home by that kind of scoreline is something to celebrate, especially if you are newly promoted. Time will tell if they can keep it up – its Arsenal next.
3. Chelsea have no sense of Romance.
Blackpool were top of the Premier League for just a couple of hours, as Chelsea outright refused to let the seasiders have their moment by sticking goal after goal past West Brom. Come on lads, it won’t mean that much at the end of the season, and surely it’d be nice to see Blackpool top for just one weekend? No?
4. Joe Hart > The Rest of the Premier League Goalkeepers.
Roberto Mancini had to make a call between Joe Hart and Shay Given, and boy did he make the right choice. Joe Hart single handedly kept Spurs out and earned his side a 1-1 draw, while Given will probably be on his way out of the club, at the very least on loan. Elsewhere, Scott Carson had an absolute nightmare in the West Brom goal, gifting an early goal to the Champions, Pepe Reina scored a last minute own goal to gift Arsenal a point, Chris Kirkland was awful and overall Rob Green, Manuel Almunia and Tim Howard failed to impress.
5. Joe Cole is not as good as Messi, but he is as good as Andrei Arshavin
Oh how we laughed when Steven Gerrard announced Joe Cole was as good as Leo Messi. But he did have roughly the same impact on Liverpool’s opening day of the season match with Arsenal as Andrei Arshavin. Joe Cole never really did anything of value, and was sent off just before the break, leaving his side with 10 men. Not that you could tell, watching the game, as it still appeared pretty even. Possibly because Andrei Arshavin was trying to even things up by not bothering to turn up.
6. Sam Allardyce knows his football.
Big Sam proved he’s lost nothing of his knowledge of the game after claiming “the goal” as the best bit of his team’s weekend win against Everton.
7. For Villa there is Life after Martin O’Neill
Far from the ragged side torn apart by a manager’s exit that we might have expected, Villa instead decimated West Ham, showing absolutely no hangover from their manager’s surprise walkout. Even James Milner put in a great performance.
8. Fans are ncier than they used to be.
Villa fans applauded probably exiting James Milner as he was substituted in Villa’s game with West Ham, and wantaway Midfielder Javier Mascherano was given the same treatment by Liverpool fans. What happened to shouting abuse at exiting footballers?
9. My Predictions Really Are Fallible.
I got just three of nine predictions right. Which means either this league is wonderfully unpredictable, or I am rubbish at predicting things. Take your pick.
10. Fantasy Football is harder than it looks.
Ethan from the West Brom Blog spent most of the weekend complaining that Chelsea’s medical staff had lied about the fitness of the likes of Drogba and Cech, not because they battered his side on the pitch, but because he dropped them from his fantasy team.
A full fantasy football update after the last game of the weekend is played this evening, and also, you can now follow me on Twitter, and its actually me not some spambot, though I will probably spam you with links to things as well. Its @EPLOffside