Rob and Wayne’s Slightly Late EPL Preview!By: Rob | November 7th, 2008
So here we are – albeit slightly later than usual, ready to tackle the weeks big talking points. There’s a big game between Arsenal and Manchester United this week – and Wayne doesn’t like the look of Arsene Wenger’s side at the minute. He also gets to have a rant at him. Meanwhile, I surprise myself in taking joy in Spurs winning, and predict a close game at the Emirates. Who will be right? Let us know in the comments. Or when the result comes in laugh at us. We don’t mind really.
First things first – What was the highlight of last week’s games?
Wayne - Two really, I loved seeing Stoke beating Arsenal. Purely because because Arsene clearly cannot take defeat. That boy’s such a bad loser it sickens me..Quite simply, Stoke were better than the Arse on the day. He talks about ‘deliberate tackles’. It infuriates me when he says the tackle on Eduardo was deliberate, anyone can see it was accidental. Paranoid. Aside from that, Spurs’ result was great. It was brilliant to see all bottom 3 clubs on the day win all their matches last weekend. Spurs held on against Liverpool and if it wasn’t for some great goalkeeping by Gomes (say what??!?!?!) they’d have been gone. But they hung on, got a result and fair play to them…
Rob - For sure Spurs. I think Liverpool have ridden their luck a bit this season, so to see Spurs who have been having an awful season pre-Redknapp get the result was a symbol of this season’s brilliant unpredictability.
A bad week for English sides in the CL this week – Arsenal managed only a draw with Fener, United a draw at Celtic, Liverpool scraped a draw against Atletico and Chelsea lost to Roma. Do you see it having an effect on the weekend?
Wayne – No, the EPL sides rarely show any hangover from the CL, Utd had a half-arsed team out for at least 45 mins against Celtic and still drew. They should be fine. As far as ‘Pool goes, as long as they have Torres back, they should be sorted, simple as….Chelsea got raped in the butthole by Roma during the week but I can see them beating Blackburn. Arsenal lacked firepower against Fenerbahce and against most other sides in the EPL I’d say they’d be grand but the fact they’re playing Man Utd I think they’ll suffer, pure and simple…
Rob – I think it’ll be a weekend that really seperates the men from the boys – if you want to be championship contenders you have to be able to use a defeat or a draw positively the following week, all four sides need to show they can do that this weekend. Pretty sure Chelsea will. United I would usually say so but they do have a tricky fixture. Liverpool and Arsenal, the jury is still out on.
Are Spurs really fixed? Will they carry on their form against Man City?
Wayne – If it was at the Lane I’d be inclined to say yay, but it’s at Eastlands so I’m gonna say nay. Spurs are looking great but City are a force at home. I could see Spurs knicking one, they are from London after all, but I see a City win, sorry Spurs fans…
Rob - I’m gonna predict a score draw. City have been absolutely impossible to predict this season though, so who knows. But while I don’t think Spurs are all better, I think they should have enough now to see them through to Janruary when Redknapp can make the side his own at least.
Big game this week – Arsenal against Man United, how do you see it going?Wayne – Utd win, simple as, after Arsenal’s capitulation at Stoke it shows they have no balls. Arsene complains that everyone else is cheating but he has boys whereas everyone else has men. If I was 25 and kicked the shit out of 17 year olds every Saturday it’d be weird but this is pro-football so he should get his shit together and try and stop his habit of 10 years+, in other words, spend SOME MONEY!!!
Man Utd win. By 3 goals or more, I see a mauling on the cards…
Rob - If both squads were fully fit I would be thinking, what a game! But Arsenal look a bit ravaged. Its quite an interesting battle, I think, because both sides are a bit off the pace, and have to an extent underperformed this season. Just because of the injuries at the Emirates I think United might take it. I’m not quite as confident in that as Wayne is though.
Arsene Wenger has spent most of the week arguing with Tony Pulis, whats your take on the “Stoke play too rough” stuff?-Wayne As I’ve said above, I think that Arsene needs to maybe put an extra pair of shinguards on the boys. Everyone knows Arsenal try to play ‘walk-it-in’ football and frankly, the only way to stop them is to tackle them. If you get away with it then fair play to you (it’s an Irish term, it’s not literal..) But seriously, Arsene’s been complaining for too long about the physicality of modern football, if he had it his way it’d be a non-contact sport. Bullshit. He only thinks about his team and not football in general. Stoke play as ‘rough’ as anyone and if Arsenal can’t deal with that then big deal…
Rob - They do play very very different styles, and unfortunatly Stoke represent that very British tradition of “Earning your right to play” and all that kind of thing. When Arsenal are in full flow they are absolutely beautiful to watch, so its hard not to sympathise with them, i think, when you see the downside of that, which is just to kick the hell out of them. Having said that, Wenger needs to instill in his young players that Brazillian winning mentality rather than a kid that sulks down the park when he’s fouled kind of mentality.
Is it fair to say both Arsenal and Man United have underperformed a bit this season?Wayne - It’s hard to say, because Utd always start slowly and many predicted Arsenal to do badly this year. So I would say Arsenal have underperformed, purely based on earlier Arsenal teams. Whereas I always expected Utd to start slowly..Arsenal drew at Sunderland and lost at Fulam and at home to Hull AFC. So with those results in mind it’d be easy to say that they have underperformed but given the age and stature of their side I’d say it’s not too much of a surprise..So no, neither have really underperformed..
Rob - I think they both have underperformed. After last season – where Arsenal looked like they’d win the league untill that game with Birmingham, and United nicking it from them when they capitulated, there was a thought at the start of the season that they’d be the teams to beat. I don’t know that anyone expected Chelsea to click so quickly so brilliantly, or Liverpool to suddenly be a top 2 team out of nowhere. Neither has looked like league winners just yet.
Fantasy Football Pick This Week?
Wayne - Either Ronaldo or Lampard. Both of them are topping the charts. I would say Ronaldo simply ‘cos I love him but because Chelsea’re playing Blckburn I’ll say Lamps, fat bastard that he is…
Rob - I still don’t have Ronaldo on account of him being really expensive. I’ll say Luka Modric. He’s really starting to shine.