Thursday, October 2, 2008

EPL this Month

The month of September is over, and the season has only just begun. But this being the EPL, teams has already started to move and the league table is beginning to take shape.

Top Teams this Month
Chelsea- New manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has turned Chelsea into an attacking team faster than even I thought he would. With Deco in the middle, Chelsea has a true playmaker and things look good at Stamford Bridge. The loss of Micheal Essien is a big blow but Chelsea has a big enough, good enough squad to play through the injuries.

Liverpool- Manager Rafael Benitez must be thanking his lucky stars that he managed to get Fernando Torres. Torres is the reason Liverpool is at joint top of the EPL thus far. This is a good thing because it seems that Benitez got it wrong in the transfer market again. Robbie Keane looks like a bust to me, but as long as Fernando Torres keeps scoring, Liverpool will have a chance at the title.

Hull City- After 5 games, Hull City is sixth in the EPL? Hull City has had a dream start to their first EPL season and boss Phil Brown is the reason for it. Phil Brown has a side that is difficult to beat, full of spirit, and unafraid of the other teams. How many sides had beaten Arsenal at the Emirates? One, which was West Ham, Hull City was just the second. They keep this up and Hull may still be in the EPL next season. Who would have bet on that?

Surprise Team this month
Man City- After firing Sven-Goran Eriksson and hiring Mark Hughes, things look bad for Man City. Suddenly, Thaksin Shinawatra sold the club to the Abu Dhabi United Group, big money flow into the club, they signed Robinho, and they are the team everyone wants to beat. Just another month in Man City where the only certainty is uncertainty.

Disappointing Teams this month
Manchester United – Man Utd may have won the battle to keep Cristiano Ronaldo, but they have been struggling thus far in the EPL. I will be the devil’s advocate here and say this, “I think Dimitar Berbatov may be a bad buy for them.” Berbatov is a great player with silky skills and a great touch, but I think he does not fit into the style of play Man Utd has. Sir Alex Ferguson want a willing runner upfront who will run into the channels and create open space for his midfielders to run into. That is not Dimitar Berbatov. Unless Berbatov changes his style of play, Man Utd will have a problem upfront.

Tottenham Hotspur- Tottenham supporters must be wondering what the hell is going on with their team. After winning the Carling Cup, Spurs fans would have to be forgiven for thinking this is the season for them to push into the top tier of the EPL. Things have not turned out that way. Juande Ramos has to face a problem most managers faced when they are winning; bigger teams will poach your top players. 11 players left the club since the Carling Cup win with 7 new players coming in. His top 2 strikers, Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane, both forced Spurs to sell them and the team now looked weak upfront. However I think if Spurs keep their cool and give Ramos time, things will get better. He has signed a couple of very good players and it is still a good squad. Give him time and things will get better.

Newcastle- I’m not a Newcastle fan so I may have a more unemotional view of things. I have to say this, “Why are the fans turning on Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley?” I can understand why they are unhappy with the departure of former manager Kevin Keegan, but Mike Ashley is true fan of Newcastle who has done good things for the club. Would they prefer their club to be in the hands of some Nigerian consortium who no one has ever heard of? Besides, it’s not like they got a bad deal on James Milner. The player wanted to go to Aston Villa anyway! How is that Mike Ashley’s or Dennis Wise’s fault? Sometimes, football fans are just crazy.

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