Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 3 in the BPL: Traveling Down Route One

US Highway 1 - Florida
Photo by Dougtone on Flickr

o We're hoping Sam Allardyce drove along Route One to get to Upton Park on Saturday, because that's the same path that his football team took as they laid waste to Fulham with a comprehensive 3-nil victory on Saturday. Direct and dangerous, the Hammers used newly signed forward and former Liverpool whipping boy Andy Carroll to his best advantage, outleaping and outmuscling a Fulham defense that looked surprisingly sluggish and confused. If he was slumping in his seat last week, Big Sam must have been parading around like a peacock after this one -- even the second half introduction of Dimitar Berbatov did little to sway the course of the contest. It's too early to tell, of course, but if this weekend was a sign of things to come for Fulham, look out below.

o Another game, another draw snatched from the jaws of victory for Andre Villas-Boas and Spurs this weekend. He can change personnel and systems, but AVB can't change the fact he hasn't had a League win in quite some time. There are lots of new names to integrate into the squad, and the feeling around here is that it may take a fair bit of time for this newlook Spurs' squad -- replete with Dembele, Dempsey, Sigurdsson and Lloris -- to find their footing. Let's hope Daniel Levy displays some patience as the new Manager's seat on the sidelines begins to warm up.

o For the first time in a long time, I think Liverpool may be headed in the right direction under new head man Brendan Rodgers, despite their 2-nil loss to Arsenal this weekend. The Scousers looked smooth and flowing in the midfield Sunday, combining lots of movement off the ball with dangerous interplay between the squad's many accomplished midfielders. Once they have adapted fully to Rodger's way of playing, Liverpool will lack only one thing: a true center forward, rather than a racist diving cheat who can't seem to find the net on a regular basis.

o Luis Suarez plays as if he's never seen a clear chance on goal that he didn't think he could easily put well over the bar.

o BTW, can someone please tell me why Pepe Reina is considered a world class goalkeeper?  Talk about double standards.... Reina's Sunday howler gave the Gooners their second goal of the afternoon and all we could think about was this: imagine the reaction in the British tabloids if David De Gea had done that?!

o On a weekend in which we saw plenty of strikers miss open headers -- Olivier Giroud comes to mind -- how is it that Michu needed only the slightest of openings to bury his fourth goal of the season against Sunderland on Safurday?  The Spaniard is proving to be the buy of the season, at least for the early going, and Manager Michael Laudrup can only hope that his midfielder's strong start to the campaign can help the Swans through a tough time now that Neil Taylor is out with a broken ankle and Chico Flores is lost to suspension.

o With two goals in the final five minutes of play, including the game winner, it's no contest for our player of the Week award.  And while this is the first time Robin Van Persie has won it in a Manchester United kit, we definitely have the feeling it won't be the last.

o He can sign who he wants, but he can't buy a win. What odds Sparky to be the first Manager handed his walking papers this season?

o Wigan's Franco DiSanto is very quietly becoming one of the hottest strikers in the League. With five goals in his last eight games -- divided by a summer vacation, of course -- the Argentine is a big reason Wigan may not have to leave their relegation battle down to the last weekend this season.

This is farlieonfootie for September 4.

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