mercredi 14 septembre 2011


It has come as no shock to us all as the above named players have all started the season on  such a high note scoring some spectacular goals and powering their respective teams to the top of the Premier league table with Manchester United only on top having scored more goals than their noisy neighbors. Wayne Rooney has undoubtedly hit the same  form that saw him move to Old Trafford from Everton and saying his off to a great start is more of an understatement. Having opened his account for this season by scoring against West Bromwich Albion , Wayne has been instrumental  in all four wins that has seen United maintain an 100% start to the season. A sizzling form that has seen him score back to back hat-tricks. His presence so commanding on the pitch that defenders are left in their wake when he decides to make one of his surging runs into the penalty box. His ability to switch play easily with Nani waiting on the wings has made the United attack more lethal than ever. Everyone seems to have forgotten his poor run of form last season that saw him almost quitting Old Trafford earlier on in the season. We are just three games into the season and Rooney has already found the back of the net eight times this season and I am sure we are yet to see the best from him. Chicharito has also taken off from where he left off last season opening his account for the season with two great goals last weekend away at Bolton. Hernandez never seizes to impress when he gets the opportunity. After suffering a mild concussion in pre-season that saw him ruled out  for the first three games , Chicharito has certainly resumed his goal scoring duties that won the won the heart of the United fans making him a fan favorite. Chicharito’s sharpness in the penalty box is out of this world. Movements so breathtaking that even his team mates are left in awe. With Nani and Ashley young producing some amazing crosses, Hernandez is almost certain to find the back of the net every match with his good eye, electrifying runs and fantastic movements in the penalty box that could cause headaches for any goalkeeper and defense in the premier league. Hernandez is definitely going to be right up there fighting for the top goal scorer award at the end of the season next year.
KUN AGUERO, the wonder kid from Athletico Madrid has set the premier league alight making his mark almost instantly in his debut bagging  a brace and scoring against Tottenham Hotspur  then the hat-trick against Wigan Athletic last weekend. Manchester City have definitely found the new jewel in Aguero.  His seamless transition into the Man. City squad has seen him gelling well with team mates Nasri and David Silva who do well to feed him perfect passes . Aguero possesses great movements as well and has proven to be quit  a finisher himself. I see him competing with the likes of Rooney and Hernandez for the top goal scorer award come May next year.  Lets not forget the prolific Bosnian, Edin Dzeko who also seems to have stepped out of the shadows and show us the goal scoring form that saw Roberto Mancini digging deep to sign him from Wolfsburg earlier this year. He found it quite difficult settling into the team and the premier league last season but this season is totally different. With two stunning goals against their arch rivals in the Community Shield, the Bosnian has gone on to score some fantastic goals for his club hitting four away at White Hart Lane. Dzeko ‘s form has been impressive thus  far and I think his  goal scoring form is going to run through  the entire season. It’s not going to be an easy season for either side as both teams possess top drawer strikers and midfielders. The season is still early and it would be difficult to rule out other regular contenders such as Daren Bent, Didier Drogba and perhaps Van Persie. Berbatov all of a sudden looks like history as Hernandez has obviously condemned him to the Bench. A player that won the joint top goal scorer with Tevez last season, it’s unbelievable that he has been pushed far back down the pecking order of strikers at Old Trafford.  I don’t see him repeating that perfect goal scoring form last season because of his limited playing time.
Overall i think the season is going to be as unpredictable as ever with a lot of breathtaking goals from strikers across the league. We can all wait in great anticipation and watch the season unfold in style.



The downward spiral of Torres’s  form pops up almost every week and soccer pundits around the world seize the opportunity to criticize and highlight the once highly rated strikers disastrous form at Chelsea. It’s true they say ‘’Form Temporary, Class Permanent’’ but Torres’s temporary poor form has lingered on a bit too long. Every top player hits a run of bad form once in a while but it is their ability to emerge from it quicker and stronger that makes them the champions that they are. Wayne Rooney endured an even more traumatizing and career threatening episode earlier last season after his dalliances with a prostitute was made public, with his marriage on the line but that chapter seems to be so distant now after he quickly got his act together and rediscovered his form. We can’t forget that not too long ago, Fernando Torres was flying for Liverpool and spear heading attacks an Anfield with style and grace. From stunning runs into the penalty box and perfect shooting  abilities, to his superior aerial presence. It’s impossible that he has forgotten how to score and create chances overnight so what seems to be the problem?
I think the circumstances surrounding his transfer from Liverpool shook his confidence a bit which was expected considering the rivalry between both clubs but one would have expected him to have shrugged off the criticisms pouring in from the Liverpool fans and reclaimed his place in the echelons of top premier league strikers . He still looks clueless on the pitch and just can’t hold the ball and dazzle like he once did. The huge price tag seems to have overwhelmed him and he’s beginning to doubt his abilities to live up to the bill. His poor run of form has gone on to manifest itself even when he’s playing for his country Spain which has seen him drop down the pecking order with Pedro and David Villa all stepping up and getting the job done. The one man who would be baffled more than all of us already are is Roman Abromavich  who spared no cost in signing the highly rated striker to his team, probably to help push for the premier league title last season. Although he hasn’t publicly displayed any disappointments in his expensive new toy, it’s obvious he’s absolutely livid with the striker’s lack of goals  in over seven months scoring just one last season.
What I think is happening is that the Chelsea players haven’t really accepted Fernando Torres into the team with rumors about a rift between him and Didier Drogba rife, so intense that both players hardly maintain eye contact at the training grounds. How can a team score and win matches when their top two strikers are not in each others’ good books? There’s a fine line between healthy competitive rivalry and plain rivalry and until both players learn to work with each other, Chelsea are going to struggle to hit the goal scoring form that we know they possess.
With New Coach Adre Villas-Boas now at the helm of affairs, Torres is going to have to work harder if he wants to  enjoy more playing time. The emergence of  Daniel Sturridge and new boy MATA surely doesn’t help his situation. Who would have imagined Torres being left out on the bench  for Sturridge in a crunch away match against Sunderland? This highlights the low point of his form at the moment. Daniel Sturridge has always been a fighter and  his determination is what what I admire. After a successful loan spell at Bolton, it’s come as no shock to me that he’s back in the senior squad fighting for a place and scoring goals which is the most important. Mata has also scored twice already which heaps a load of pressure on  EL NINO. I still believe he has got what it takes to lead the Chelsea attack alongside Drogba but the more he delays in rediscovering his form the worse the situation might get with the unsympathetic Villas Boas looking to impress his new and ruthless employer real fast!. He has to totally ignore what everyone’s saying and come back with a  bang. His confidence is at an all time low and a run of goals in two or three games consecutively should see EL-Nino back to his former self. if not, he’s just going to be pushed further down the pecking order and eventually sold off and trust me, no team is going to want to pay above 15 million pounds for his services with his form so poor.

lundi 12 septembre 2011

Manchester City - Contenders or Pretenders?

Well we are off to another electrifying Barclays Premier league season and as everyone suspected the two Manchester clubs are locked at the top of the table with Manchester United enjoying first spot(almost by default) thanks to goal superiority. Manchester City are undoubtedly relishing their best start to the season in decades with back to back wins and some great team work with new signings Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri adding the quality upfront that Man. City have been craving for seasons. Surely, Roberto Mancini must be looking ahead of the season hopefully with his expensively assembled team already eyeing the quadruple,which is achievable but certainly not an easy feat. We have seen teams starting strong and aiming for all there is to win and have ended up with nothing so staying focused and taking a game at a time is key.The season is still a long way to go and with the unpredictable nature of the English Premier league, we all have to sit back and watch it play out. The Issue with Chelsea last season is a vivid example of how quickly things can turn around in a club especially with other contenders constantly snapping at your heels waiting for them you to slip. At one point, one could have sworn that Chelsea were going to defend their title rather comfortably after a flying start to the season but then, for reasons best known to the team, their form plummeted drastically which saw teams like Sunderland going to Stamford Bridge and walking off with all three points as well as Arsenal thrashing them at the Emirates. I still think Manchester City have got strength in depth to mount a fierce title challenge on all fronts with talismanic and tricky David Silva already finding his mojo and entertaining fans with his smart movements and quick feet abilities.I have always admired David Silva's style of play, way before he signed for Manchester City. He was equally impressive at Valencia and possesses great passing and attacking qualities. Personally, i think David Silva can play at the same level of Barcelona's Xavi and Iniesta .He handles the ball superbly, and chances he creates are fantastic. At the moment, David Silva is the heartbeat of the Manchester City mid-field and he combines amazingly well with Yaya Toure.  With the wealth of players at Roberto Mancini's disposal, he really has no excuse this time if he fails to win a major trophy this season. Both fans and team are evidently eager to wiping the dust off their scanty trophy cabinet and filling them with the glitter of both domestic and European trophies. Another FA or Carling cup trophy would simply not be good enough and the Sheiks might just drop the axe and send Mancini packing if he fails to deliver this season. He (Mancini)  know's it, the fans know it, the players know it too!! The only problem right now at Manchester City is at the defence.They concede a lot albeit having a top drawer goal keeper  in Joe Hart. Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards would have to step up their game and do more to protect Hart. I still think that despite Manchester City's strong and confident start to the season, they would be no match for their neighbors across the street who seem to have got it all together and matching their prolific goal scoring capabilities boot for boot. United boost of a good if not the best attacking squad in the premiership with the emergence of younger lads into the senior team. Yet again, Sir Alex Ferguson proves to be the master of team rotation and the unearthing of youth talent. With Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly enjoying successful loan spells at Sunderland and Wigan respectively, it's come as no surprise that they both have settled into the Senior squad nicely. Phil Jones and Ashley Young have also proven to be the buy of the season from a United point of view and their inclusion has given Manchester United a wide variety of attacking options and an extra steel at the defense with Chris Smalling, and Johny Evans both coming of age. It's unbelievable how easily Ashley Young and Phil Jones have adapted to the United style of play and  are already masterminding some great wins for the team. I have always admired Ashley Young's style of  play at Aston Villa and was not surprised when Ferguson went in for him. With his attacking ingenuity, he's sure to terrorize any defense and cause  major troubles from the wings. He also seems to have a great partnership with Wayne Rooney which is not shocking really since Rooney can play with almost anyone without  problems.. Chicharito a typical example..Carefully, Alex Ferguson has amassed an incredible amount of talent in his new,improved and evolved young side and  even more amazing star studded bench options with Park Ji-Sung, Giggs, Owen, Carrick, Fletcher, Berbatov, Macheda and the injured Welbeck and Cleverly all sitting games out. These players would easily pass for important first team players in any top four teams in leagues across Europe yet there they are, all waiting patiently, waiting for their turn to step up and prove themselves to the master of the game, Sir Alex Ferguson. The rest of the league can only look on in envy and pray for better years to come.
The title race is going to come down to the two Manchester Clubs in my opinion, (and i believe a lot of people would agree) and we are all waiting anxiously for the derby matches between the two teams which to some extent, is going to determine where the title goes. I cant see Chelsea challenging this season with their persistent troubles finding the back of the net,  and the misfiring Torres still not quiet yet back to his former self.( I am going to write a whole new story on Fernando Torres in my next blog and the possible reasons why he just cant settle in at Chelsea so check back in next week for it). They have however made a great signing in Juan Mata who  has gelled well with the Chelsea Philosophy of play and already spear heading attacks ( a role Fernando Torres should have been championing by now) and the young Daniel Sturridge proving why he deserves the nod ahead of Torres by scoring that incredible goal over the weekend at the Stadium of Light. Raul Mereiles is another good dead-line day signing and i still cant understand why liverpool would even think of selling such a player, a player who dazzled and scored some important goals for the club last season. I definitely see Chelsea finishing in the top 5 bracket that is if they find a solution to their poor goal scoring record real fast!.. Liverpool might also challenge and could go as far as the top three position if they can just win some pretty normal games and stop surprising us all with their on and off attitude which we saw a lot of last season. They have got some good attacking options as well with Luis Suarez already finding the back of the net and new boys Henderson and Charlie Adam also making their mark in front of the home fans. Liverpool have always had consistency issues and they seem to have problems with winning back to back. Kenny Dalglish would have to solve his defensive problems if he wants to bring Champions league football back to Anfield. Arsenal and Tottenham, in my opinion do not stand a chance in it with a prayer. It's true Arsenal is in a rebuiding phase but i still think Arsene Wenger's last minute panic signings are not going to make much of a difference. Their poor display against Swansea is evidence that the squad needs much more than Arteta , Metersacker and Benayoun to turn their situation around. They are going to need a lot of time to settle in and play the Arsenal way before any positive results could be manifested which might be a little too late to mount a meaningful tittle challenge.
These are my personal assessments and i still stand by my take that it's going to go down to the wire between the two Manchester Clubs in a season that promises to be entertaining, intriguing and unpredictable. Maybe some teams might turn things around quicker and prove me wrong but until i see some super fast changes in the situations of these clubs, none of them are going to be able to stand up to the superiority of both Manchester clubs in this enthralling seasons competition.