Kieran Davies looks back on seven days of dragon’s roaring, tigers growling, and prescription drugs for Roy.
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In another fantastic week of Premier League action the performance of the week has to go to new boys Cardiff City. It was the ultimate David vs Goliath encounter that makes this league so great. Malky’s squad was built at a fraction of the cost of the glitzy Manchester City outfit yet they showed a passion that money just can’t buy, a togetherness they sometimes crave. It’s sad that all the focus is on an ‘under-performing Man City team’ rather than the achievement of the Welsh side but this is always the case when such an upset is witnessed. One thing’s for sure if Cardiff can put performances like this in every time they play at home, they should live to fight another day when this season is over.
Elsewhere, the pick of this week’s fixtures on paper was Man Utd vs Chelsea. Roy Hodgson afterwards described this ‘as the best game of the season so far’. This should throw a lot of concerns up for all England fans. Either Roy is on a medicated cocktail prescribed by the F.A. that has some serious hallucinogenic side effects or this man needs sectioning. As if trying to turn Liverpool into Fulham wasn’t enough of a sign, this is surely the final nail in his sanity coffin. This game was so boring it made the occasional dribble of paint, rolling down a freshly painted wall whist drying seem like quite a rush. Another United not wetting the ‘sexy football’ appetite of their fans at the moment is Newcastle who drew 0-0 at home with Sam Allardyce’s irons. The fact they still 50,000 fans each home game is only overshadowed by the amazement that Shola Ameobi is still getting first team football at a Premiership level.
The Tigers’ growl was too much for Chris Hughton’s Norwich as Bruce’s men claimed a first Premier League win. Baggies fans will be pleased with the point they picked up at Everton with Ben Foster to thank for a lot of good work on the day. After losing at home on the opening day, a lot of questions were being asked of their Premier League credentials so this sort of steely performance is as good as a win to them at the moment. Palace thought they had done enough to pick up a win at Mark Hughes’s Stoke but a quickfire double from the home side sunk Ian Holloway’s men. Let’s hope the F.A.’s recent sanctions imposed on Holloway don’t gag his post match rants which are worth the entrance fee or Sky subscription on their own. In fact if anyone with any decision making power at Sky is reading, a facility to ‘press the red button now’ to see Di Canio and Holloway discuss the week’s news would be a ratings winner! Talking of which, the fiery Italian’s side showed a much more gritty performance at Southampton and came away with a creditable point. Since their re-introduction to the top flight the saints have made St Mary’s a tough place to go.
AVB’s new look Spurs won comfortably at home against Swansea. I say comfortably now as they scored that one goal but for the majority of the game they struggled to convert chances. Prior to Soldado’s second successive penalty conversion they were at risk of a rather unjust ‘smash and grab’ from Laudrup’s men. They will find juggling European commitments and league matches a new conundrum to deal with this year so Swan’s fans will be hoping the strength and depth of their squad stands up to this. Liverpool, the only other team other than Spurs with a 100% record, won at Villa Park and managed to keep an in form Christian Benteke quiet whilst creating enough chances at the other end to win the game at a canter. Daniel Sturridge has really started the season as he finished the last one and looks a real danger for any side he faces. Arsenal had a surprisingly routine win at Craven Cottage a ground they have struggled at in the past. Two first half goals put them in an unassailable lead and silenced some of Arsene’s critic for another week at least.
We’re getting closer and closer to that better late than never, closing of the transfer window. There’s a lot of clubs with holes they need to plug before this slams shut. Premium prices will need to be charged as if there is any time to replace the outgoing player prices will rocket the closer it gets to Jim White’s countdown. This day really is his Christmas as he makes even the canteen lady turning up at the training ground for work, sound as interesting as a Lionel Messi medical. If you read the papers you will find some of the craziest stories linking your club to some of the most unrealistic transfers you wonder whether this is fresh out of the minds of inmates of G wing in Broadmoor and whether the original draft was written in human faeces. The fact of the matter is if you get an A-Z of world footballers and randomly stick a pin in the book, there’s as much chance of them joining your club as the snippets of ‘transfer gossip’ we will be bombarded with between now and August 31st. All you can do is find the comedy in the circus of media speculation and sit back and enjoy watching your friends erupt to news and gossip speculating about their club and if you look close enough you can spot the fickle nature of a football fan. Willian after all was all but a Liverpool signing to then 48 hours later being the Tottenham star taking a medical to finally pulling on the top of Chelsea. There’s no guarantees in this game we love, your football team is your religion, their ground your temple and the people who work there are just the hired help. Let’s not forget that and for every Fernando Torres there is a Luis Suarez, and for every Luis Suarez there is a……….. Well we’ll see but you get the idea.