Monday, 17 August 2009

Premier League Tops and Flops

Sports - Football - Premier League - Picks of the Weekend

The 2009-2010 season kicked off with a couple of surprises, a collection of beautiful goals, Arsenal topping both lists:

Top Game: Everton 1-6 Arsenal - I still cannot believe the score when I read and see it now, unfeasible for anyone to have predicted that one right! Goals, goals, goals and beauties they all were, every football fan's phantasy - apart from Evertonians of course.

Top Team: Arsenal will be the side with the biggest smiles on their faces, laughing back nice and loud at all of their critics who predicted doom and gloom for the young side, after they had lost their main players Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure in the transfer window. Again, all the goals were quality and joyful to watch - unless you are a Toffee.

Top Player: Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas defied all his doubters and shone as provider and scorer in the 6-1 romping of Everton at Goodison Park. Many thought he will be the next player to leave the club for a nice lump of cash, but he proved he wants and is worth the shirt and arm band, for keeps.

Top Goal: There are many goals to choose from, most of them from Arsenal, one beauty after another. But my vote goes to Hugo Rodallega's wonderful 25-yard volley over Brad Friedel. Wigan stunned many with a shiny dominant display, Aston Villa especially.

Top Save: There have been a number top-draw saves, but Pepe Reina and Man Utd's Ben Foster lead the list for me. They took most of the breath away and made the heart stop for that split-second of thought and uncertainty, if the ball has gone in or not, on a couple of occasions. Liverpool could have been thrashed by three or four goals, if Pepe would not have made those crucial stops, from sublime to subliminal, denying Robbie Keane to score against his former side and get his sweet revenge.

Flop Game: For the first time, the Premier League has seen the season start without any draws, every game and crowd enjoying/cursing goals, so, no complaints here.

Flop Team: Everton could not have feared or even dreamt up a worse start to a season, a nightmare-disintegration it was. It is their worst home defeat since 1980, say no more. They cannot keep on blaming it on the Joleon Lescott-fiasco, will he stay or will he go. There are eleven players per side and none of them turned up for the Toffees on Saturday.

Flop Player: Jamie Carragher was a shadow of his usual solid self, leaving Sebastien Bassong free to head in Luka Modric's spot-on free kick. He took a knock early in the game when he collided with Martin Skrtel, who required stitches and was taken off eventually. That could explain him being off the pace and less able to cope and cover but cannot be an excuse or make up for his side's sorry display and deserved defeat against a refreshing and promising Tottenham side.

Flop Goal: Stephen Jordan put the ball into the net from a trademark Rory Delap throw-in, could not have been more perfect connection-goal - if only it was not his own net. Those are the moments you just want the ground to swallow you... Stoke 2-0 Burnley...

Flop Manager: Rafael Benitez has been ranting once again, this time against the referee for not giving the away side more than one penalty. He seemed to have forgotten his team were shambles for most of the match and were well and truly and fairly beaten. With all the ifs and buts about the penalties, Tottenham could have had three or four goals anyway if it were not for Pepe, but Rafa obviously forgot or missed that. Think before you rant Rafa!

My Predictions - Actual Results
Aston Villa 1:0 Wigan - 0:2
Blackburn 1:1 Man City - 0:2
Bolton 0:0 Sunderland - 0:1
Chelsea 1:0 Hull City - 2:1
Everton 1:1 Arsenal - 1:6
Man Utd 2:0 Birmingham - 1:0
Portsmouth 0:1 Fulham - 0:1
Stoke City 1:1 Burnley - 2:0
Tottenham 1:2 Liverpool - 2:1
Wolves 0:1 West Ham - 0:2

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