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Introducing The Balls.ie Premier League Crisis Table: Week 1.
Every week on Balls.ie we are going to rank the level of crisis that Premier League clubs are determined to be in based on the knee jerk reactions of the media.
This week the entire Premier League could have been judged to be in crisis in comparison to the noble Olympian spirit that we had witnessed in the weeks preceding football’s big opening day.
Footballers, they’re overpaid, arrogant and untrustworthy.
Olympians, they’re humble, hard working and not at all full of drugs.
Numerous writers pondered whether or not viewers would return to watch football as they pined for more modern pentathlon and dressage action. They did however and they witnessed a crisis packed weekend of football.
The season only being one game old didn’t stop The Sun plunging Liverpool into crisis. Rodger’s Liverpool revolution has already been crushed, his signings Joe Allen and Fabio Borini are already flops and it doesn’t get any easier as they face Man City on Sunday.
The reality however is that the season is only one game old. Brendan Rodgers is a new manager who wants to play a style of football that will take time to install. Personally, I think that he will be given the time that he needs to succeed and the knives that media already seem to be sharpening for him will not produce any blood.
Arsenal are the perennial crisis club, despite being a perennial Champions League club. They sold Robin van Persie, top goalscorer last season, club captain and all round good guy. They also sold Alex Song, supplier of numerous assists to van Persie and purveyor of numerous crazy hair styles (Arsenal’s quota of crazy hair styles is in a serious crisis with the loss of Song. Frimpong and Sagna really need to step up).
They have brought in 3 new players. Lukas Podolski, not the player he was 3 years ago according to various journalists despite coming off his most prolific Bundesliga season ever in terms of goal scoring. Olivier Giroud, an ungainly but handsome French man who has never had shot on target in his entire 26 minute Premier League career. Santi Cazorla, a poor mans Cesc Fabregas (with 46 caps for Spain) according to John Richardson on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement.
Arsenal are going to finish 3rd or 4th. Anyone who does not know this has not been watching football for the last 6 years.
The main reason that Spurs is perceived as being in crisis is due to Andre Villas-Boas, the anti-darling of the media and that he replaced media darling Harry Redknapp. Harry was affable and good for a quote. Andre Villas-Boas is viewed as being aloof, he gives nothing away. Also, the lack of forwards at Spurs is a glaring weakness, coupled with the highly likely sale of Luka Modric, there are dark days ahead at White Hart Lane.
Big losses for QPR and Norwich put them at 4th and 5th in the crisis table. Norwich are already favourites for the drop. They’ll both be suffering from second season syndrome by next week.
The tightening of purse strings and lack of major signings puts Aston Villa at 6th. Their team on Saturday was populated with so many unknown young players that journalists must have been scrambling to Wikipedia. They’ve also got a good young manager in place though who has the tough task of purging the club of Alex McLeish’s negative tactics.
Wigan are another perennial crisis club. It’s just that nobody really cares enough for them to be ranked higher than 7th. This is their 8th consecutive season in the Premier League but still virtually everyone predicts them to go down.
Man City had a lucky escape against Southampton having to come from 1-2 down to win 3-2 but the main reason that there is a sniff of crisis about the Eastlands is the injury to Sergio Aguero. If he was out for a significant period of time then City would be down to the bare bones with only Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Emanuelle Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz as forward options.
Man Utd were poor against Everton. Wayne Rooney looked off the pace. Robin van Persie looked weighed down by the little boy inside him carrying his considerably increased wages. It was great for Alex Ferguson to be able to bring RVP off the bench but it wasn’t great to be playing Michael Carrick at centre back. Marouane Fellaini absolutely bullied the Man Utd midfield.
They are nowhere near being in crisis and will be title challengers but their team needed investment and but it wasn’t in a player like van Persie.