Friday, September 29, 2006

Here are a few of the things I'm thinking about at the moment

As September comes to a close I thought I’d share some thoughts…

In the English Premier League, I’ve been surprised by a few developments. Mainly, what’s wrong with Spurs? We knew their defense would be suspect with King’s injury but it is their offensive woes that have been most surprising. Obviously the big signing Berbatov got hurt before he had time to settle but it seems like the loss of Carrick in the midfield has really led to a loss of focus. Davids remains The Pit Bull in terms of pressuring opponents but gives the ball away far too often and does not employ the keen passing sense that Carrick was known for. And neither Keene nor Defoe has really gotten off the mark. Speaking of Carrick, he’s been a big bust so far. Again, it’s gotta be a question of getting used to things but unlike Berbatov he didn’t move from another league. I’m willing to give Carrick the benefit of the doubt for a bit longer but he’s really got to prove his worth, and fast. I think that hefty pricetag is weighing on him. One player I don’t worry about finding his form is Wayne Rooney. It’s just a matter of time before he’s back to his best.

Over in East London Hammers’ fans must be wondering if they are in some sort of bizarre nightmare. Just weeks ago Alan Pardew had his lads firing on all cylinders and playing some attractive, attacking football. Bobby Zamora was lighting things up and Reo-Coker was being named in the same breath as Gerrard and Lampard. Enter Los Dos Argentinos. It’s the perfect example of how important team chemistry is to success. These two are obviously top internationals that any club team in the world would love to have. But they’ve really thrown West Ham for a loop. All the flow is gone, the chemistry up in smoke and some of the Upton Park faithful are beginning to wish for a return to the way it used to be.

Over on the other side of town, Chelsea is experiencing their own type of unease. Sure they’re top of the table, but teams know they can be beat and that loss to Boro has had massive repercussions. As long as Drogba continues to show top form they’ll be fine, but there are plenty of other clubs that can play (or at least think they can play) with the Blues at this point – something that has not been the case the last few years. You get the feeling that the race will be tight at the top well into the winter months.

Here’s something I thought I’d never say: I miss Juventus. I miss rooting against them. I miss cursing them. Simply, I miss their presence in Serie A. It seems like a fake division now. The only regular aspect of play in Italy these days is Inter’s lack of direction, ambition, and stability. Nothing new there. Why, oh why, did they sign Ibra? He’s simply a mess and only makes a negative impact.

OK, that’s it for now. I just wanted to get some ideas off my chest and I finally found the time to do it. I’ve got many more but I’ll save them for next week. Oh, and congrats to the Chicago Fire on their U.S. Open Cup triumph. Way to stick it to the AssGalaxy! -Sanford


Anonymous said...

finally. your own words!


pedro - lisbon

Anonymous said...

Miss Juve? Can't you take pleasure in the impending collapse of Fiat and the entire Italian economy? In the EPL Reading's early form is notable as well. It's nice to see a team come up, keep all of their players, play their game and have it all work. Mid-table finish at best, but still it's nice to see the anti-Chelski (or West Ham for topical relevancy) do well.

The Editor said...

Oh, there is some pleasure involved, not doubt. I just never really knew how much pleasure I got from plotting their downfall. Now that they've fallen down, I think I'm a bit lost.

Anonymous said...

Calling Carrick a bust is silly...the one game ManU lost this season he didn't start. Calling O'Shea a bust, however...

What exactly are the 'massive repercussions' from the Boro game you speak of? Chelsea have won 6 games straight since then...if, as you say, teams now know how to beat them, they're not showing it. Boro beat them last season too, but the rest of the league didn't seem to learn much from it.

I miss the Old Lady, too.

The Editor said...

I repeat: Carrick has been a bust so far. For the price they paid he has yet to solve their midfield weaknesses. If they didn't buy him to do that then I guess he's not been a bust so far. And if he ain't starting (the reason for not starting hardly matters) he ain't helping.

The loss by Chelsea this early in the season has given all the other teams confidence. They are giving up goals, unlike last year. Massive repercussions? They're not running away with the league. The wins they've stacked up recently have been far less cut and dry than in the last two years.

Oh, and Villa just nicked a point.

Anonymous said...

I#ve turned into this blog occasionally through the link on Handbags and quite enjoyed it. I think the guy#s only expressing an opinion! isn#t that what makes soccer/sport great - exchanging views?

I happen to agree with him (Anonymous). Sorry!

Carrick#s start wasn#t outstanding, but he#s not that type of player, and he was injured. Certainly not a bust. MU#s weakness is the lack of an enforcer. That#s why they want Hargreaves. Carrick is better next to that type of player. And he was excellent against Benefica.

Same with Chelsea. Saying losing to Boro has had massive repercussions is way over the top. And how could Chelsea run away with the league after only 6 games?

That#s just my opinion. This blog has a nice style but it#d be nice if were also a place where people could exchange different views , even views that differ from the editor.


boris said...

Ok someone is using my name (boris) in vain -

Editor - keep the commentary going. I do think Carrick will work out - it's more a question of whether he's worth what they paid, and he's clearly not the answer to all their questions (an enforcer being key).

Another question for Chelsea is Shevchenko - people are complaining about his lack of goals - but having watched him - he makes a huge impact on the game and is a top quality player. he has a great ability to hold the ball, attract defenders and either distribute to the subsequently open target or create a chance on goal. He just needs a few goals and then watch out. I don't think it's an accident that Drogba is doing so well since Sheva came along.

Hopefully we will have a real race for the title this year.

Oh - and the refereeing in the Chelsea game was horrid - cost Villa at least the opening goal and arguably a lot more (why didn't Makelele get a red card for mauling Angel when he was clear of the last defender?). This is a game Chelsea would've easily won last year - and now they struggled at home to Villa - not the same chemistry - Lampard is not close to his old self.

the real Boris

Anonymous said...

ManU top - Carrick a bust?

Chelsea 2nd - Massive repercussions?

boris said...

All of Man U's wins have been against bottom 10 teams. The only 2 teams they have played in the top 10 were Reading (tie) and Arsenal at home (loss) - these guys have hardly been tested. To their credit they've gotten points they should get - but have really only been challenged once and lost at home to a struggling Arsenal.

Chelsea dropped 3 points at home all last yr. They've already dropped 4 points at home against middling opponents.

Anonymous said...

Geoff, war seems to have broken out on your blog.

Maybe you've been a touch harsh on old Carrick. I've just watched him against Newcastle and he looked pretty good. But worth £18 mil? Perhaps not.

Chelsea don't look quite as solid, that's true. Personally I'd say the repercussions stem from new players and a change of formation. Or was it going down to the MLS All Stars?

Totally agree with you Boris [the 2nd]: Sheva looked good. Thu considering the formation, he was essentially playing Ballack's role. What happens when he returns? Not so sure about your stats tho... Che have only dropped 2pts at home.


The Editor said...

Sorry Boris #1 - I thought we were exchanging different views. And your view is just as valid as mine - no worries! And how did we get two Boris'? Bori?