Archive for August, 2011

Football: Prem 2011 Week 3

Close Your Eyes If You’re Feeling Squeemish

Very occasionally, just once or twice a year (if you’re lucky), you’ll see a truly horrendous carcrash of a game. A game of two teams so obviously unmatched that it is actually painful to watch. Usually it’s some low level team of hoof merchants coming up against a proper Prem team on top of their game. They emerge blinking into the floodlights of The Big Club and never truly recover. We patronise them by calling it “their cup final”. They leave, tails between their legs, on the back of a 5 or so thumping. But on the whole it’s nothing unexpected.

After a somewhat turgid start, this week the Prem took off with a bloody big bang and we saw not one, but two absolute beatings that didn’t so much put the beatees in their place as slam them down, nail a coffinlid over their heads and bury them six feet under for all time along with their title challenges. Unlike all of last season, this felt like a clear defining moment, a sea change in the footballing gravity of the Prem. After this week Things Will Not Be The Same Again. Ever. The momentum has moved, the pendulum has swung. After this week, it’s the Manchesters for everything.

You know that it’s serious when Spurs can be obliterated 5 – 1 at home by a rampant Man City, not just beaten but utterly defeated in front of their own fans, and everyone can still come out thinking that they were the lucky ones. That this week they had it easy. Because an hour after City packed their bags, Arsenal were being annihilated 8 – 2 by Man U.

Didn’t See That Arsène?

Arsène Wenger built himself a reputation in his early Prem years for not seeing the ugly challenges of Viera and Petit. However, even he must have seen this train wreck of a performance coming. Everyone else did. Even after Arsenal’s impressive performance against Udinese in their Big Cup qualifier, I don’t think anyone actually expected them to get anything other than beaten at Old Trafford. However, I don’t think anyone expected them to get beaten so badly. A team of kids, and second string kids at that, a defence held together by Djourou and featuring a player so bad he would be sold to QPR two days later, a midfield that included a Prem debut for previously unheard of Francis Coquelin and both Arshavin and Rosicky bogging up the park, didn’t bode well, but surely they didn’t deserve this?

Well, actually, yes they did. And it had been coming for a while. Over the summer Man U have taken their Big Cup beating at the hands of Barcelona to heart and reevaluated their entire gameplan. Instead of simply relying on width with the likes of Valencia, they have evolved a side that has both pace and guile as well. Rooney seems rejuvenated, their new kids Cleverly and Welbeck are excellent and they have bought well, adding strength in depth to their squad. And as much as they were on form in the second half of the Charity Shield, against Arsenal they were simply on fire.

If Man U have built from their failures, then Arsenal have simply built on theirs. Failure to invest in the team for the past three years has left them not simply with no plan B, but no team B either. It has been blindingly clear to everyone that Arsenal’s defence has been painfully lacking in both tactical awareness and depth for a long, long time. It was accentuated last year when the excellent Vermaelen was injured in September and his cover consisted of new boys Koscielny and the execrable Squillaci, a player so bad he makes Wenger’s previous defensive purchase look like gold dust. In January, when Vermaelen still hadn’t recovered, Arsenal failed to invest in a new central defender, preferring to trust that somehow Djourou would do something he hadn’t done for the 11 seasons he’s been at the club, namely defend with confidence. The results speak for themselves. After losing the Carling Cup final following their now-legendary defensive cock up, Arsenal went on a Prem run of relegation quality, winning only twice for the rest of the season. Truly this beating has been coming for a long, long time.

It’s clear that while Man U have embraced change, Arsenal have descended into a hellish netherworld of Maoist dogmatism. “Be pragmatic in everything except politics,” declared the once great leader as he drove his country into a decade of devastation. Arsène’s Way seems equally set in stone. Pretty midfield passing, terrifyingly bad defending and occasional goal scoring. When it works, as against Braga at home in last year’s Champions League, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. When it doesn’t, the team falls apart. One can only hope that the effects don’t last as long as Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’.

Everyone in the Prem now knows how to beat Arsenal. There are even two ways of doing it. The first, for teams who aren’t that good, is to defend deep, put 10 men behind the ball and try to bully Arsenal. They will  respond by flouncing around the 18 yard line and fail to score. You can then try to score on the break. The second, for the good teams, is to take the game to them. Again aggressively press them and break with speed and movement, attacking their suicidally high defensive line and beat their defenders for both pace and skill. Good as he is Szczesny will never stop every attack.

Time For A New Gameplan

It’s interesting that Arsenal are often (well sometimes) referred to as the ‘English Barcelona’ simply because they try to play a predominantly passing game. The truth is that there is as much difference between the two as there is similarity. Not least because for all the players they nurture from their training school, Barcelona buy in talent at an alarming rate. And not just developing talent, but fully formed big time, big money talent. Over the last few years they’ve bought in Villa, Mascherano, Danny Alves, Seydou Kieta (who played more games for them last season than anyone else), Piqué, Abidal, Henry and Yaya Touré to name but a few. That’s over half of their current A team. And that’s not including the €80 million they spent on moving Ibrahimovic from one Milan club to another having decided they didn’t like him after all. And it’s clear Barcelona aren’t afraid to spend big to continually rejuvenate their team. Because this year they strengthened again, adding Fabregas and Alexis Sánchez. Like Real Madrid, Man U, Man City and Liverpool, Barcelona understand that they have to keep spending to ensure continued success. Arsenal, in contrast, are a selling club, having sold some £100 million of players to Barcelona alone over the past decade or so.

Even with this un-Arsenallike spending, the most important difference appears to be a philosophical one. Pep Guardiola states that he has to have a new strategy every season to keep Barcelona at the top. Even in a two horse league where the worst that is going to happen is that they come second to Real Madrid constant rejuvenation is essential. Similarly Man U appear to be if not constantly revolting, at least in a state of perpetual redevelopment. Only Arsenal, once the technical and tactical innovators, seem to be afflicted with a singular, unchanging mindset, a mindset that let’s not forget is now accompanied by relegation form. If it wasn’t so painful to watch it would almost be funny.

Let’s Not Dwell On The Detail Eh…

Oh but let’s. The first goal was symptomatic of Arsenal’s defensive failings. You would have thought that after the Carling Cup, Arsenal defenders would have practiced dealing with balls coming over their shoulders, but apparently not. A deft chip by Anderson over Djourou and Koscielny had them all a-fluster, leaving Welbeck to head the ball over Szczesny in a looping trajectory that recalled both their last defensive catastrophy against Liverpool and Di Natale’s beautifully taken header at Udinese.

Ashley Young then showed everyone what Theo Wallchart should have been doing for the last two years when he came in from the wing and curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area, not once but twice, à la one Thierry Henry.

Not to be outdone Rooney scored two outstanding free kicks, utterly baffling Szczesny. The fact that the second free kick was a carbon copy of the first just added to the humiliation. And he scored a penalty. Still Szczesny can take comfort from the fact that in a week where he has let in 9 goals from open play, he saved the one penalty that really mattered.

It says a lot about the quality of both Young and Rooney’s goals that a super chip from Nani and a typically workmanlike goal from Park Ji-Sung should be almost totally forgettable. As were both Arsenal’s goals from Wallchart and van Persie, who haplessly also missed a penalty. By the end it was almost embarrassing. No, by the end it was beyond embarrassing.

Plus Ça Change Corner

Strange things afoot in the Prem as the Corner gets a little smaller.

  • Lee Cattermole – Booked? Actually no. A full game on the pitch and no yellow card
  • Ryan Shawcross – Booked? Actually no. Still they were playing West Brom
  • Arsenal v Man U – Arsenal have man sent off after Jenkinson gets physical. Yet again the best footballing side in the division has the worst disciplinary record and now the worst defence in the league
  • Amazingly Robert Huth has still not been booked. He is now an impressive 10 yellows and 4 red cards (we’re counting that Song stamp as a straight red) behind Arsenal after only three games. The mind just boggles.

Who said the Prem was predictable?

What About Those Other Games?

Spurs may just consider themselves the luckiest team in North London. If ever there was a crafty way to take a total shafting this was it. Step one, get absolutely creamed by a Man City side that just seems to get more and more authoritative. Admittedly, like Barcelona, they’re not afraid of nicking Arsenal’s top talent just as it comes into fruition. What with taking Clichy and Nasri off the Gunners’ hands that’s upwards of £100 million they’ve paid Arsenal for youth development. No wonder they’re keen to set up their own youth team system. Still they seem happy to be equal opportunity shafters, giving it to Spurs with both barrels by not just beating them on the pitch, but loaning them morale sapper extraordinaire Adebeyor for a season.

And City were impressive. As good as they were against Swansea, here they were even better. Nasri was dominant in a way he never really achieved at Arsenal, complementing the always outstanding Silva and liberating Djeko, who only scored the four goals, politely allowing new boy Sergio Aguero to nab the other one. Spurs looked like children who’d had all their sweets stolen.

All of which kind of put the rest of the Prem into the shade. Liverpool had a very comfortable win over former pace setters, now relegation hopefuls, Bolton. This time they seem to have learnt their lesson and they started with Suarez, who gives them an edge even the Manchesters would envy. And while everyone seems convinced they paid over the odds for all their new boys, Henderson, Downing and Adam, the trio seem to be showing up more and more. Downing was, get this, impressive, while both Henderson and Adam scored. Bolton were uninventive in the extreme.

Chelsea might have beaten Narrich, but they were far from imperious. It seems almost like dredging through prehistory to recall that this time last year they were on fire and odds on to win the Prem at a canter. Then they had their weird Ray Wilkins moment and things haven’t been the same. Villas-Boas has his work cut out to give this lot their mojo back. Narrich look like they had better enjoy their time in the Prem, because they aren’t going to be staying for long.

Of the other new boys, QPR were comfortably beaten by Wigan, which doesn’t mean Wigan were particularly good. That ‘Pass it to Tarabt’ tactic that won QPR the Championship just isn’t going to play in the Prem. Swansea just about scraped a draw with Man U Old Boys, who once again were poor. Steve Bruce has only brought in 10 new players and they still look awful. It’s hard to admit, but £24 million to sell Darren Bent seems like a bit of a mistake.

Not that Darren was especially dangerous over the weekend as Villa and Wolves played out a dire nil-nil draw. Villa haven’t replaced Young and Downing in midfield, even if Agbonlahor looks to have found his spirit again. Like a clod-hopping defender crossing the halfway line, Wolves have recognised that two wins on the trot was a bit of a heady brew and have resumed normal service. Blackburn and Everton shared three penalties between them. It says something for the quality of the match that only one was scored.

West Brom might have thought that what with Stoke having to play their Europa League ties over the week, they might be a bit tired and easy meat. Sadly not true, although Stoke were far from their best, they had enough to just beat West Brom. Cue more facial wiping from Uncle Wroy.

Finally, Newcastle seem to be adjusting to life without Carroll, Nolan and Barton better than Carroll or Nolan are to their lives with Liverpool and West Ham. They beat a Zamora-less Fulham rather easily.

Let’s Take A Break

Please. Normally the September International Break is the curse of Arsenal, it disrupts their season and usually results in at least one key player being injured for the entire season (see van Persie and Vermaelen especially). This year it can’t come quickly enough. They’d happily settle for not seeing Djourou again one imagines.

Next stop two Engerland Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Archive for August, 2011

Palace Tweets 2011-08-28

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Archive for August, 2011

Football: Prem 2011 Week 2

When Will The Quality Start Flowing?

Unlike last season, where it seemed that despite its obvious affluence the Prem had actually shed players of genuine quality and was a worse offering than in the 2009-10 season, this season looks as if the Prem has actually brought in some class. And while the loss of Fabregas to La Liga is obviously a bad thing (for the Prem, if not for Fab himself), the arrival of Sergio Aguero and Juan Mata should more than make up for it.

However, despite the apparent influx of quality, the season has started in slothful form. After two weeks-worth of fixtures, there’s been precious little quality or even enjoyable football on offer. Sure there’s been laughs a-plenty as the Arsenal comedy defence managed to bookend a truly terrible six months for the Gunners, but there’s only been one genuinely watchable match as Man City ploughed their way through Swansea.

This week’s round of matches failed to live up to that promise, with few moments of genuine class and nothing to suggest that this year’s Prem is anything other than Man U’s to lose (and they’ll have to implode pretty spectacularly to do that).

Plus Ça Change Corner

Some things just don’t change. And Week 2 of the Prem just showed them off.

  • Lee Cattermole – Booked (still hasn’t learned how and when to attempt a tackle)
  • Ryan Shawcross – Booked (still thinks that holding and obstruction are a normal part of football)
  • Arsenal v Liverpool – Arsenal have man sent off after Frimpong gets physical. Yet again the best footballing side in the division has the worst disciplinary record.
  • Amazingly Robert Huth has still not been booked. He is now an impressive 7 yellows and 3 red cards (we’re counting that Song stamp as a straight red) behind Arsenal after only two games.


The supposed ‘Big’ match of the weekend, Arsenal at home to Liverpool Red Sox, failed to provide any of the anticipated fireworks. Arsenal, shorn of some dozen players through suspensions, injury, uselessness and transfers to Barcelona, were unusually tentative, not unsurprising for a team that looked very much like their typical Carling Cup side. Still, Liverpool were more than a match for them in terms of low quality, having started without Champion Cheat Dirty Suarez, and look a very average side without their star player. The match finally came to life when Arsenal’s midfield handgrenade, Frimpong, finally exploded into a studs-up challenge that simply demanded a red card, and the team then conspired to head in an own goal when third/fourth/final choice fullback Miguel’s clearance looped off Ramsey’s back over Szczesny into the net. It was every bit as comedy a moment as the Szczesny/Koscielney snafu in the Carling Cup final and hopefully bookends a truly useless six months for Arsenal. Still, with their Big Cup qualifier to play on Wednesday, Arsenal have bigger fish to fry in a season that is, once again, all about rebuilding. Liverpool, by contrast, still look a few players away from genuine competitors.

Possibly the best match of the weekend, if you can call it best (or indeed if you can call it a weekend when it was played on Monday evening), was Man U‘s victory over Spurs. While Man U started with the same side that had rescued the Charity Shield, they displayed little of the midfield flair that characterised the final. True Spurs were far worse than Man City, but United seemed relatively ponderous in their gameplay. That said, their second goal, a great flowing move upfield followed by a cheeky backheel in the box from Welbeck to set up Anderson was the best move of the weekend. Spurs look a striker (or two) and a midfield away from seriously challenging for fourth.

Man City were vaguely entertaining, in a way that only those who are both sure of winning and capable of shipping goals at any point in a match can be. They took on surprise Prem leaders Bolton, who only led because they were the first team to play QPR, and were given more of a game than most suspected. City’s defence, their undoubted strength, was done over twice with surprising ease, while their attack looked a little jaded, if you can be jaded only two weeks into the season. Still, nothing that a quick purchase or ten can’t solve. Silva was, once again, by far the most influential player on the pitch, ruling the midfield and scoring again.

Chelsea struggled to make sense of themselves against West Brom, who went hurridly off-script by scoring in the fourth minute. Villas-Boas doesn’t seem to have figured out his best team yet, while Torres, The Drog and Anelka (along with pretty much the rest of the squad) are still trying to find their form. Still they had enough nous to defeat West Brom.

Wolves are craftily sneaking up on the inside. They’ve played two and won two and must wish they could stop the season now and get off. It simply can’t get any better than this. Unless, of course, they win against Villa on Saturday, which would make it three out of three and a beating on their closest rivals. They did over a poor Fulham side, who one again are proving that without Zamora they are pitifully toothless.

Villa, meanwhile, displayed uncharacteristic attacking flair against Blackburn, who look ready for the end of the season and relegation already. If this carries on McLeish may actually have a future in Prem management after all.

The biggest let down was Man U Old Boys‘ loss at home to Newcastle. Not least because this was a great match last season. MUOB as we must now call Sunderland, haven’t quite managed to bottle that Man U never say die spirit despite purchasing all their surplus players over the summer. Newcastle still haven’t really got a coherent side together and seem to be essentially Joey Barton plus ten. Still they had the luck and they rode it.

Contrary to expectations all three promoted teams did well this week. The defensively inept QPR proved too strong for the attackingly incapable Everton, Swansea had a muted first home game against Wigan, which did them slightly more credit than it did the visitors, while Narrich held out against a Stoke side who aren’t nearly as effective on the road as they are at home.

Archive for August, 2011

Palace Tweets 2011-08-21

  • I just finished a 1.66 km run with a pace of 9'14"/km and a time of 15:22 with Nike+ GPS. #nikeplus #

Archive for August, 2011

Football: Prem 2011 Week 1

A Change In The Air?

So it’s all over and now it’s rearing to go again. Prem 2011 kicks off before August is even half way decent, with almost a month of the Transfer Window still to go and with many of us not having even got off on holiday, let alone got back. After last year, which really felt like the end of an era with teams basically knuckling down and trying to ‘grin and bear’ their way through the season, there’s something of a freshness to this season.

The big clubs have all ‘manned up’ in every sense of the words. They’ve recruited either the top young players from the mid-table teams (see Man U’s moves for Ashley Young and Phil Jones, or Liverpool’s overspend on Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam) or brought in top talent from abroad (see Chelsea’s move for Villas-Boas and Man City’s move for Sergio Aguero), thereby increasing the gap between the top three and the rest of the Prem and, hopefully, closing the gulf that exists between the Prem and Barcelona. Even now, it looks like being a three horse (Man U, Man City and Chelsea) race for the title, with one of a second tier (Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs) rounding out the Big Four and providing a few interesting title challenging moments before they fade in February. The rest are already fighting for mid-table mediocrity or relegation, with little hope for anything other than a decent cup run to keep them excited.

What’s New Pussycat?

Still, it feels fresh. Certainly fresher than it did last year. Based on their Charity Shield performance, Man U look to have massively improved, while City still look powerful until they get to the final third. Man U’s gamble that Cleverly, Welbeck and Young will cover for the loss or decline of Scholes and Giggs looks to be a decent one, while City’s purchase of Aguero should liven things up a little bit. Chelsea have made Villas-Boas their big transfer (to complement the arrival of Torres in January) and it will be interesting to see if he can get things firing again.

Down among the second string, Liverpool have simply gone mad, bought anyone who was British and are now trying to force them into a coherent team. Their journey this season should be exciting, if unsuccessful. They’ve got a bargain in Dirty Suarez, have massively overpaid for Carroll, Henderson and Downing and could have a Junior Xabi Alonso in Charlie Adam. All bar Henderson look promising, and while they’ll need time to gel, Liverpool haven’t got anything else to worry about this season.

Having lost half their midfield already, Arsenal are fast becoming the elite teams’ favourite feeder club (with Adebeyor, Touré and Clichy, that’s almost £50 million from Man City alone in three years). This season they are either imploding or rebuilding depending on how optimistic you feel. They face a tough, tough season. So far Wenger’s additions to the squad all reek of potential without experience (Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho have zero minutes Premier League experience between them) or are equally raw graduates from the Academy team (Frimpong and Miyaichi), another dose of ‘jam tomorrow’ for the fans. None seem to address the critical flaws that exist in the team’s defence or bring in the experience or mental toughness needed to complement the team’s skills or even boost supporter morale. It says a lot about Arsenal’s outlook that Man U can spend £17 million on Jones, who will realistically be their fourth choice central defender, and Liverpool can spend £20 million on Henderson, who is essentially their choice of replacement for Steven Gerrard, while Arsenal haven’t spent that much on anyone, ever. Still a team whose spine consists of Szczesny, Vermaelen, Wilshire, Ramsey and van Persie should be strong enough to challenge for something.

Spurs, meanwhile, have also been quiet in the markets, shipping off some of their flabby underbelly (£3.5 million for Robbie Keane to LA Galaxy is excellent business), while trying desperately to stop Chelsea taking Luka Modric. Their problem this season will be goals. The addition of Van der Vaart last season upset the balance of the side and while he was successful, the tactical shift he introduced crippled Defoe, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko. They either need to adapt to accommodate both or buy a new, more effective striker.

All the rest of the teams have either been pillaged or are struggling to keep up. Aston Villa, the top teams’ second favourite feeder club, must hate the Transfer Window. In the last three years they’ve lost Barry, Milner, Young and Downing – the best part of two midfields – to teams above them. Getting rid of Carew and hiring McLeish as your manager doesn’t really compensate. Having loaned in Welbeck last season, former Man U defender Steve Bruce seems determined to make Sunderland into Man U Old Boys by bringing in Wes Brown and O’Shea. It’s interesting because it feels like both a step down for the pair and a step up for Sunderland.

Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est La Meme Chose

Some things just don’t change. And Week 1 of the Prem just showed them off.

  • Lee Cattermole – Booked (still hasn’t learned how and when to attempt a tackle)
  • Ryan Shawcross – Booked (still thinks that holding and obstruction are a normal part of football)
  • Arsenal v Newcastle – Arsenal have man sent off after Barton gets physical with them. Barton naturally stays on the pitch
  • Plucky new boys get tasty pasting from Prem top table – hello to QPR and Swansea

Those Games

Despite all this movement, the first week’s games bar one were almost unremittingly dire. Most teams look weeks from full fitness and showed little or no invention. Spurs and Everton will be glad their match was postponed.

Stoke‘s game against Chelsea was probably the pick of the stinkers. It’s no wonder people hate Stoke’s football as it mainly seems to be a mix of holding, obstruction, blatant fouling and long throw set pieces. Admittedly, manager Pulis is trying to put in a little wingplay here and there, but fundamentally his gameplan is football at its worst. I’m astonished that Huth didn’t get sent off for his persistent fouling (he didn’t even get carded). The game essentially went, Chelsea attack, threaten to score but don’t, Stoke foul their way to Chelsea’s half hoping for some set piece action or a throw-in. Repulsive.

Newcastle‘s match with Arsenal wasn’t any better. Newcastle seem to be living on violence and anger alone, while Arsenal appear either incapable of learning anything or are simply incompetent. It was clear the moment the fixture was announced that the dynamic of the match would be Newcastle getting into Arsenal’s face in the hope of provoking them. Arsenal should simply have bounced the ball around like Barcelona for a few minutes and taken the sting out of the game. Instead they seem to have gleefully grabbed the opportunity to mess themselves up with both hands and collected a sending off and five yellow cards without registering a single serious shot on target. It speaks of limited on-pitch leadership. Newcastle without Nolan and Carroll are a worse side than the one that was promoted last season.

Wigan and Norwich taught us nothing about their teams other than they will be there or thereabouts when the relegation dogfight comes a-calling. Liverpool just about cancelled out Sunderland (or was it the other way around). Both looked to be desperately trying to bed in their new boys with mixed results. Bar Dirty Suarez, Liverpool look to be an average side, while Sunderland seem to aspire to that level. Fulham and Villa gave a great taster for what the mid-table struggle will be all about and it wasn’t a pretty sight (although way prettier than Stoke v Chelsea).

Blackburn haven’t really built on the wreckage of the squad they ended last season with and it showed. Wolves, who have done a minor bit of refacing work, came and stole the points. Although neither side looked like they would be making anything like a serious challenge.

Still it wasn’t all tedium. QPR were given a lovely welcome to the Prem with a 4 – 0 thrashing by Bolton. And the scoreline by no means flatters Wanderers. QPR’s defence was catastrophic and their go-to guy, Tarabt, was played out of the game. They’ve got a lot to do if they’re not going to be relegated by February. Frankly they’ve got a lot to do before they can realistically hope to get a draw. Bolton will be happy to have got their first away win for six months.

Which just leaves the Manchesters. Man U weren’t up to the level they were in the Charity Shield, which was understandable if sad, even if new goalkeeper de Gea did his best to make it 2 fuckups out of 2 in the matches he’s played. West Brom without their key striker Odemwinge were fundamentally toothless and lucky to get away with a 2 – 1 defeat.

Best match of the week by a country mile was Man City v Swansea. Not simply because it was a 4 – 0 drubbing, but because Swansea played well, took the game to City and were pretty comfortable in the first half. And while they may have been caned, Swansea’s defeat is in no way comparable to that of QPR. Their keeper, Vorm, was outstanding (and at £1.5 million has a case for being the best bargain transfer of the season) and Swansea were essentially good in the first half. However, in the second half City took control of the midfield, with Ya-Ya Toure and Silva being totally dominant, confined Swansea to their own half and brought on their new boy Sergio Aguero.

I’m not sure what it is with South American attackers, but there’s something about Dirty Suarez, Tevez and Aguero that seems infinitely superior to other strikers. They seem to be busy all the time, but in a positive, exciting, direct way rather than the pointless ball chasing we saw from Joe Cole on his Liverpool debut. Aguero on his debut was simply sensational, scoring two and setting up Silva for his goal with a pass rescued from halfway over the goalline that recalled Zola’s best assist for Chelsea. He didn’t stop moving and causing chaos until the end of the game. If he carries on like this, £35 million is going to look like the best transfer deal Man City have ever pulled off. And he could easily be the star of the Prem by the end of the season.





Archive for August, 2011

Palace Tweets 2011-08-14