First Impression on the sides after Weekend OneBy: Rob | August 17th, 2008
The first weekend of Premier League football is now finished, and the season is well underway. Everybody has now played, so here are how I’m feeling about the twenty after 90 minutes of football. It shouldn’t have changed that much since my predictions from all the teams, should it?
Arsenal kicked off the season, beating west brom 1-0. Samir Nasri got a debut goal, and Arsenal, though thier passing is often beautiful to watch, they still sometimes lack a little cutting edge. However, they obviously still have Cesc Fábregas to come back, which is going to massive for them. West Brom held thier own well, for a newly promoted side playing one of the best teams in the league. They themselves have a little flair, and I think they’ll be okay.
Stoke meanwhile, might not be. They suffered a 3-0 defeat against a very unfancied Bolton side, and looked unimpressive. Long ball football might have got them out of the Championship, but not sure its going to cut the mustard here. Not that Bolton did any different mind, but they have years of experience.
The third newly promoted side was Hull, through the playoffs, and they picked up a huge win albeit against a Fulham side lacking in imagination. Considering people were talking about them doing a Derby, maybe they’ll do a Reading, though its early days. Fulham meanwhile are going to have to improve, if Roy Hodgeson wants to keep his job and Fulham in the top league.
Hodgeson’s former employers Blackburn took part in the best game of the weekend, beating Everton 3-2 due to a last minute goal from Andre Ooijer. The goal was controversial, but its a big result for a team still recovering from the loss of a quality manager. Everton will need to regroup and perhaps reinforce, but they should have had a draw.
Meanwhile, Mark Hughes new club Manchester City suffered a drubbing at the hands of Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor – who I said needed a big season - got a hatrick. Not good news for City who with Thaskin now without any money and a fugitive of the law, are in real trouble.
Suprs suffered a defeat against Boro, which came as a surprise. They stuck Berbatov on the bench, presumably to prove they could live without him, but the side didn’t come alive untill he got on the pitch. Modric and Santos hinted but never really lived up to thier promise. Still plenty of time though.
West Ham beat Wigan 2-1, although it might have been a draw if Fifa’s favourite striker would have grabbed a last minute chance. Or one of the other many chances. Dean Ashton looked like a man with a point to prove, which is good news for Don Fabio, although the West Ham injury curse hit again.
Fernanado Torres got just one chance on goal, and he took it, as Liverpool won at Sunderland 1-0. Keane and Torres both played, but got in each others way and clearly have not clicked yet. Its not too bad a result from Sunderland though, can give them a little confidence.
The Champions played today and managed a 1-1 draw against Newcastle. Clearly they are missing CR7 as well as Carlos Tevez who bailed them out so many times late on last season. The latter was away due to a family brevement. United looked a little toothless up front, but credit to the Newcastle defence, after a slightly shaky start, they held thier own, and made sure there wasn’t a repeat of last years result.
Last, but most certainly not least, were Chelsea. Portsmouth were merely spectators as Chelsea ran the game throughout. Unlike the Jose/Grant days, Scolari’s boys kept the ball on the ground often, played nice through balls to Anelka, and looked more like Arsenal or Barcelona than Chelsea. Deco was the star man, the pocket sized midfielder bossed the midfield and other than some stray tackles which really he should have picked up a yellow for, his passing and vision were great to watch. He capped his performance with a fantastic goal.
Portsmouth never got a look in, and the promising Crouch/Defoe partnership only came into effect for one chance in the game. They gave up at have time really though.
So there you have it. You can’t read too much into the first day – United didn’t get a win in the first three games last season rememeber – but it has to be said that Chelsea looked mighty impressive. United could do with Ronaldo back, stat. At the bottom, Hull look better than expected, Stoke look to be in trouble, and West Brom might be ok. Time will tell though, it really is a marathon and not a sprint.