Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chattering Away

photo by Denzil~via PhotoRee

EPL Week Three Thoughts and Notes

o ESPN2 goal count, after the dreadful Wolves - Villa game Saturday morning in the States: 270-plus minutes of action so far this season, with one goal scored by the offense -- and that a garbage goal in stoppage time. I can't wait to see which game they have in store for us next week....

o Although Norwich looked every bit like a Championship side against Chelsea in the first 15 minutes of Saturday's action, by the 20 minute mark it was the Canaries who were beginning to ask the questions.  Jose Bosingwa was the only player in blue looking the least bit lively on the attack, as Chelsea appeared slow and either uninterested in or incapable of moving forward in a quick and coordinated manner.  Didier Drogba and Fat Frank Lampard's most notable first half plays involved free kicks that contributed to the growing mass of "space junk" orbiting the earth.

o On the other side of the ball, Chelsea's back line looked 'fragile' to say the least. Slow and creaky, Chelsea were exposed by a Canaries team that I had dismissed as none-too-speedy.  And if the media have been hard on young David De Gea, the response to Hilario's performance in between the sticks should be some serious howls of derision.  

o Once again, it was the referee coming to Chelsea's aid at the Bridge to hand the Blues a second win.  After a long pause due to a horrific injury to Didier Drogba, referee Mike Jones blew the whistle for a penalty -- he got that part right -- but then reached for his red card to send off Norwich 'keeper John Ruddy for denying Ramires a 'clear goalscoring opportunity.'  This despite the fact the ball was overhit by Ramires, and was rapidly heading away from him when he was tripped.  So, as if trying desperately to keep up with Arsenal, the men in yellow once again found themselves with only ten men on the pitch.  And despite going a man down, Norwich still had opportunities to equalize in regulation, but was ultimately unable get the job done.

o Luis Suarez is Liverpool this season.  You can talk all you want about Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll, but the team looked flat and insipid last week without the Uruguayan on the pitch.  His movement is extremely good, and he's the kind of player who turns up just where the defene least expects it.

o Too bad Suarez is also a cheating diver.  His constant whinging on the pitch, hands raised in an everlasting appeal to the referees, really takes away from his skill level.  

o No doubt Scousers everywhere will be celebrating Title #19 after their comfortable win over an absolutely shambolic Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.  But let's wait for the 'other' reds to play someone worth beating before we get too worked up about their title chances, okay?

o By the way, Andy Carroll is awfully expensive to come off the bench and be terrible, isn't he?  It must be karma that the Moneyball guys spent most of their their overpriced, ill-gotten Spanish gains on the Englishman.  

This is farlieonfootie for August 28.

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