I’ve gotta say that it’s so nice to have the Barclay English Premier League back again. Not only am I back to watching hours of great soccer (literally) but it also gets me up out of bed before noon on the weekends. My mom would be proud.
The week 1 games certainly didn’t disappoint. You had Obafemi Martins’ bicycle kick, Arsenal’s last minute goal heroics against Fulham, Steven Gerrards’ unstoppable 87th minute free kick and an impressive Manchester City performance to give Coach Sven Goran Eriksson his first EPL victory.
But let’s give it up to the promoted sides, Sunderland, Birmingham City and Derby County.
First, Roy Keane’s debut couldn’t have been more glorious. Late substitute Michael Chopra scored the injury time winner to hand underwhelming Tottenham an embarrassing but deserved 1-0 loss. I’m telling you, there’s something about Keano that makes people want to play for him. I think they’re on their way being the Reading of this year.
Birmingham City held their own but ultimately fell to the mighty Chelsea, 3-2. And if it wasn’t for some shoddy goaltending by City’s Colin Doyle, they may have stolen a point out of his one.
It’s was nice to see former “next best thing” Chelsea prospect Mikael Forssel finally playing fit and scoring goals for Birmingham and he’s off to a great start as he headed in the match’s opening goal.
Birmingham midfielder Oliver Kapo also looks like a player to keep an eye on this season. His impressive strike that tied the game 2-2 was something to behold. He’ll get a lot of playing time so he might be a deadly darkhorse pick for all you fantasy footie players out there.
Let’s also not forget Derby County, whose dramatic late game equalizer earned them a point against Portsmouth.
A lot of people are picking Portsmouth to be the surprise team of the year, and who might even score a 4rth place Champions League spot. Well, after this week, the Portsmouth bandwagon may have officially been derailed. Tell me, who’s getting goals on this team?
The biggest blow this weekend was, of course, Wayne Rooney suffering a hairline fracture in his left foot that’ll keep him out of the lineup for 2 months. This is Rooney’s third broken foot in four years. You’ll remember that he first cracked his left one back in 2004’s European Cup and last year almost missed the World Cup after banging up his right foot late in the ’06 Premier season. I can’t recall a player that has had such fragile feet.
This sets up the much anticipated debut of Carlos Tevez, who plays much the same way as Rooney does. But will Carlito need a few games to get used to his new teammates? He didn’t get his first goal with West Ham until March. The International Herald tribune published an article today urging Sir Alex Ferguson to bring back Ruud Van Nistelrooy from from Real Madrid. After this weekend’s draw against inferior Reading, is Manchester United in serious trouble?