An unorthodox view of the Premier League
Ever wondered what Manchester United would be without Ferguson, Fergie time, brilliant comebacks and bad refereeing decisions? Well their ‘Man-chests’ would be facing down, not up. This week ,they have again proved themselves to be the comeback kings, the wizards of scraping victories, the emperors of fighting back and what not.
Did somebody say Javier Hernandez -‘the little pea’ Chicharito has lost his golden form of his first season? Well, stuff your mouth, my friend; because he has started scoring off his feet, his forehead, the back of his head, when it’s offside, while sitting on the grass and the latest being off a defender’s back. Defenders beware, none of you are safe. He is not a ‘little pea’ anymore, he is the ‘big pea’, a thorn in the back of defenders.
Manchester City also seem to be building their reputation in the comeback arena. Edin Dzeko seems to be their super-sub. Makes you wonder what would happen in the Manchester Derby- maybe City could also take away the title of ‘ Comeback Kings’ from United, just like they prised away the Premiership from them in last minute last season.
Alex Ferguson seems to be of the opinion that United do not depend on Robin Van Persie too much. Well, if that is the case, without him United would now surely be 4th or 5th in the standings. The saviour of Arsenal has now become the saviour of Manchester United along with Wayne Rooney. As much as Mr. van Persie loves the back of the net, the woodwork seems to be in love with him as well.
He has hit the woodwork 4 times this season, more than any other player. Undoubtedly, he is the X-factor in this United team. Only time would tell whether he would become ‘The One’ who brings Manchester United more trophies with his brilliance and talent. Wayne Rooney seems to have developed into Wayne Rooney version 2.0: The Attacking Midfielder. Attack-wise, all is well at the Theatre of Dreams.
But all is not not well off the field. Nani seems to have forgotten football. His tricks, his goal scoring and brilliance seem to have deserted him. He is now as inconsistent as the post of Chelsea manager. Another reason to worry for Mr. Ferguson is the state of his defence. Nemanja Vidic seems to be stuck to his bed. Ferdinand and Evra seems to be on the path of becoming the past of Manchester United. Jones, Buttner and Smalling are hailed as the future of Manchester United, but can somebody point to me the ‘present’ of Manchester’s defence?
Come to think of it, none of the Premier League teams seem to be doing very good defensively. The famed ‘bus’ of Chelsea seems to be having a punctured tire. Arsenal and Manchester City have also started to leak goals pretty effectively. If this trend goes on, all the teams from England would be packing their bags from the Champions League pretty soon.
I have a feeling that Roberto Mancini and Roberto Di Matteo, the two Robertos of English football, have an imaginary gun down their throats. One mistake and well, they would be metaphorically fired with the guns of their billionaire owners. If money could have bought trophies and brought more fans for the club, the owners would have done so. But luckily, that is not the case.
As long as the ‘ Arsenal School of Footballers for Money’ produce bright and talented footballers, Barcelona and Manchester City would buy them. Kolo Toure and Samir Nasri have successfully warmed the benches of Manchester City, while Adebayor has now left to warm-up the benches of the Spurs.
Manchester City, over the past few years, have made it a habit of buying players at high costs and then using them to warm their benches. Money has gone to their heads. With the financial restrictions that would be in place in the next few years, all the billionaire owners would have to put a full stop somewhere in their transfer antics. But all the high-profile transfers have not gone bad. Eden Hazard has been no hazard, he is a revelation along with young Oscar. But then Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair seem to be the newly signed bench-warmers for City.
Elsewhere, Arsenal seems to be struggling to get into high gear. Olivier Giroud is still adapting to English football but the signs are pretty good, considering his brace against Fulham. Lukas Podolski seems to have good games every now and again but then disappears in others- probably bored of running behind a ball for ninety minutes. Wilshere is back and back with a bang, grabbing a red card in his second match. But then it was against Manchester United- if you know what I mean.
The problem with Arsenal is that they lack that killer touch that could finish off a match for them. This weekend against Fulham, Mikael Arteta ended up missing a penalty in the last minute of injury time, leaving Arsene Wenger furious. We all know, Ferguson has his hairdryer. Wonder what Mr. Wenger has up his sleeve.
Liverpool on the other hand, seems to hanging onto whatever Suarez offers them. Without him, they would probably be in the bottom two. He has the same number of goals as Van Persie, but instead of getting a name as a prolific goalscorer, almost everybody end up viewing him as a cheat and diver. Can’t blame them Mr. Suarez, they have seen your antics for Uruguay and Liverpool. And lately, he keeps asking why everyone treats him so. Poor guy.
One thing I don’t understand is how Tottenham Hotspur buys Hugo Lloris for 12 million pounds and end up finding comfort in keeping a 41 year-old Brad Friedel in front of goal. No doubt, Brad Friedel is a world-class keeper but then keeping a talented young French international goalkeeper in the sidelines doesn’t seem like a good idea. It is the kind of a thing a Manchester City would do but why Tottenham Hotspur? If they don’t play him frequently, he is going to pack his bags to more inviting shores, where teams would appreciate his worth. He wouldn’t have dreamt that he would be playing second fiddle to a 41 year-old.