Premier League 12th August 2017 round up

Liverpool vs Watford (Game Watched by Not Another Football Blog)

Liverpool 3 – 3 Watford

Liverpool’s big name signing in Salah got his first EPL start while Marco Silva only named 1 of the 7 new Watford players in his starting lineup.

The pregame was all about Mo Salah, lots of quotes about how he played as the Kop on the PlayStation, interesting considering he once turned down Liverpool for Chelsea.

 

Halftime and Liverpool look sloppy. Down 2-1 to Watford who have been fantastic, Marco Silva one of the most underrated managers?

Mane scored his first of hopefully many for the season, Tom Cleverly for Watford having a fantastic game. The former Manchester United man made a great run to set up the second goal.

Salah needs to finish his chances.

Well, the second half was just that, Liverpool’s pace showed, Liverpool won a penalty, Firminio calmly put away and the team going up 3-2 with the comeback being on. HOWEVER, fast forward to stoppage time, and we had it, the equalizer. Watford stole a point. A well-deserved point. THE EPL IS BACK BABY! Back and forth eh?

Watford deserved the point, played really well considering they are one of the favorites to go down, Liverpool have to look at this as 2 massive points dropped, Moreno had a solid game from left back and it looks like Klopp has finally figured out what was happening with him last season.

Man Of The Match

Firminio had a goal and did a fantastic job setting up Salah for his goal, certainly a man of the match performance.

Next Up

Liverpool are playing Crystal Palace at home, a game they should comfortably win, while Watford are away to Bournemouth, a game that is going to be an interesting match considering the two clubs will look to get as many points early in the season as they can.

 

Chelsea vs Burnley (Game Watched by NAFB)

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

The biggest surprise in this game was with the lineup Antonio Conte put out, no Morata. The only Chelsea signing to start was Rudiger.

A back and forth start to the game till the 13th minute when Gary Cahill had a moment of madness. Chelsea, a team with a squad depleted, have just lost their captain in the first game of the season. Madness. Chelsea seem to have lost their minds, Fabregas picking up a yellow for mocking the referee. Conte, not wanting to take any risks makes an early substitute, bringing on Christensen for Boga.

Chelsea were rocked by the Gary Cahill red card and it finally hit them in the 24th minute, Sam Vokes with the opener to put Burnley ahead. Chelsea are really struggling here, they have about 35% possession since Cahill’s red card. Burnley are clearly the better team. This feels like Leicester last season when the defending champions lost their first game of the season. Sam Vokes has another! He has put Burnley 3-0 up!! WOW. Chelsea are losing their heads here; David Luiz is coming together with Burnley players now.

At half time, Chelsea have been poor, David Luiz needs to calm down or he may be taking an early shower as well.

luiz sideshow bob

We have the debut we have all been waiting for, Morata is coming on. Chelsea look full of life again and had a penalty shout for a tackle on Rudiger, not much in it but Rudiger is limping, not sure if they can afford to have another defender out. David Luiz has probably been in the refs ears 15 times tonight, shocked that he hasn’t been booked, Chelsea look like they are close to getting their first of the season though.

Morata has a debut goal! 69th minute, a beautiful ball in by Willian and Morata with a fantastic diving header, game on? Christensen has the ball in the back of the net but he’s offside, still 3-1 with 17 or so to go. Azpilicueta has a moment where he grapples with a Burnley player. Oh no, Fabregas gets his second yellow and he is off. Luiz scores the 2nd for Chelsea and Morata gets an assist. He’s had a goal and assist in his 30 or so minutes of game time for Chelsea.

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Chelsea had a rough start to the league and need to do better going forward, starting with their players keeping cooler heads. Hats off to Burnley.

 

Man of the Match

Sam Vokes deserves this award, scored two goals at the Bridge and had a great run out, showed the worst of David Luiz as he was under his skin all evening.

Next Up

Chelsea are going up against Spurs at Wembley on the 20th of August, they had better hope for a better run out then as Spurs will not be kind and come out guns blazing. Chelsea will be missing Cahill and Fabregas through suspension. Burnley will face West Brom at home, riding high on their performance versus Chelsea.

 

Everton vs Stoke

Everton 1 – 0 Stoke

He’s back, Wayne Rooney has come back home and is in the lineup for their first game of the season. Micheal Keane makes his first start for Everton and is going to be a big player for them this season. 5 of Everton’s new signings made their debut in this game for Everton.

Wayne Rooney, top goal scorer for England, top goal scorer for Manchester United, and now he has scored on his return to Everton. The Toffees are going to be very happy with this, a solid 1-0 win at home to start the season.

Man of the Match

Wayne Rooney had a fantastic outing, no question about it, he will love the fact that he scored at his first game back. He now has 300 Goals and Assists in the Premier League throughout his career.

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Next Up

Everton don’t play again till the 22nd of August in a massive game away to Manchester City, going to be a tough game for them away from home, while Stoke have Arsenal visiting them on the 20th of August, a game that will be tricky for them.

 

 

Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield Town

Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Zaha, Benteke and Loftus-Cheek started up front for Crystal Palace while Huddersfield got their first taste of the Premier League.

Huddersfield playing their first top flight game got the go-ahead goal in the 24th minute, it was in fact an own goal by Joel Ward. OH MY GOD they have one more!! Huddersfield have 2! And this time it’s one of their own, Steve Mounie got the second. Frank de Boer is not going to be happy, this is not how he wanted his first game in charge to go! Mounie gets a second and that’s game, 3-0 Huddersfield. They will be very pleased with this result, their first win in the Premier League.

Man of the Match

Steve Mounie had 2 goals on the day and secured the three points. Great game all around by everyone on the terriers.

Next Up

Palace are away to Liverpool on the 19th of August, they will want to put on a show like Watford and try and get points, Huddersfield are home to fellow newly promoted side Newcastle United on the 20th of August.

 

Southampton vs Swansea

Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea

The Saints were without their main man, Virgil van Dijk as he’s out injured and dealing with speculation regarding his future and potential transfer to Liverpool.

Not much happened in the first half, a yellow card for Redmond and Romeu of Southampton. The second half was slow as well, final score a 0-0 draw. Southampton had 29 shots on goal in the game, just 2 of which were on target. That is something that needs to change going forward or they will struggle. Not a lot of teams will allow them to take 29 shots.

Man of the Match

Fabianski faced 29 shots, only 2 of which were on target and walked away with a clean sheet.

Next Up

Southampton play West Ham at home on the 19th of August, they will be looking to get at least a point from that game. Swansea will host Manchester United, that game will be a tough game for the Swans.

 

West Brom vs Bournemouth

West Brom 1 – 0 Bournemouth

No surprises with the line ups here, Joshua King starts up front for Bournemouth, the third highest goal scorer in the year 2017 in the Premier League, only behind Lukaku and Harry Kane. Can he keep his form going?

West Brom got the early lead, their new signing, Hegazi, scored from a set piece in the 31st minute. Tony Pulis will be happy about that.

 

Man of the Match

Hegazi is the man of the match, got a goal in the EPL debut from defense and kept the clean sheet.

Next Up

West Brom play Burnley away, they will be coming in after a solid performance at Chelsea, who will be without Gary Cahill after his red card. Bournemouth play Watford at home, another team that will be looking to carry their good form from the game against Liverpool.

 

 

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester City

Brighton 0 – 2 Manchester City

Other than Danillo playing at left wing back in a 3-5-2 for City, neither line up included any surprises. The Citizens rolled into Brighton hoping for a win, a big win.

The first half didn’t produce any goals for us viewers, with Jesus picking up the only Yellow card of the half. There was a long stoppage in play as Isaiah Brown went down injured and received some treatment. City were most certainly getting nervous by the 65th minute considering they hadn’t scored yet, Pep sent Leroy Sane on for Danillo, an attacking switch. The move paid off as City got their first goal of the campaign through Aguero, and shortly after they got a second through an unfortunate own goal by Lewis Dunk. New boys Bernado Silva, Kyle Walker, Danillo and Ederson all featured in the match up and it was a decent run out, although people expected a more one sided game.

 

Man of the Match

I don’t think Aguero did enough in a game where City had a whooping 78.1% possession, they got of 14 shots and only converted 2. Therefore I am going to say that right wing back Kyle Walker was my man of the match, he put in a solid shift in both attacking and defensive thirds of the pitch.

 

Next Up

City don’t play again till the 22nd of August when they host Everton, should be a tricky game but I think City might sneak out of the game with a win. Brighton have the daunting task of playing at Leicester who will be looking to get their first win after an unfortunate draw against Arsenal.

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He’s staying he’s leaving he’s staying he’s leaving

Coutinho has ‘officially’ handed in his transfer request. I said officially in quotes because there’s been no official announcement from the Kop saying he’s leaving or that he’s sent in a request

What we do know is that The Fenway group, the owners, released a statement saying that Coutinho WILL be a Liverpool player come the end of this season.

Philippe Coutinho not leaving statement.PNG

 

Liverpool obviously cannot let Coutinho leave, however, if he puts in a request he must be allowed to leave. Liverpool have already had issues with transfers this window when they were accused of tapping up Southampton captain, Virgil van Dijk. Probably the main reason they haven’t got him yet.

I feel like football players and clubs alike have lost their respect for transfers and player contracts. We have the following clubs and their fan bases moaning about players being tapped up and forced to leave

  1. Barcelona

Barca famously sign players without consulting the club, they went and got Suarez and Neymar, the latter being the second shadiest transfer of all time. Currently they have been trying to get Coutinho to force his way out of Liverpool before their first game of The new season.

Luis-Suarez-unveiling-at-Barcelona.jpg

  1. PSG

PSG have also used a few ‘interesting’ tactics, the La Liga, like the rest of the world, would like to know how they funded the 220 million they had Neymar pay Barcelona to get his contract released.

neymar psg.jpg

  1. Liverpool

Yes, the club that has been tapped up by Barcelona is notorious for tapping up players themselves, just ask any Southampton fan. This window they have been threatened with a ban and are trying to still sign Southampton captain Virgil van dijk.

van dijk off to liverpool.jpg

  1. Real Madrid

Madrid have previously been given a transfer ban (that was reduced) due to sketchy dealings with underage players and their signings

both madrid transfer bans.jpg

  1. Atletico Madrid

Los Rojiblancos are in the middle of serving a transfer ban due to the same reason as real Madrid and are one of the sketchier clubs bringing players in.

It really is upsetting to see players forcing their way out and the value of contracts need to be appreciated. To counter that, we can’t have clubs forcing players out either but they do try to give players an option as to where they are going.

If Coutinho does leave, Liverpool need the distraction of the transfer to end as soon as possible because they cannot let it impact their next few games. They also need to use this money smartly and sign up a few or some big-name players to help them. Liverpool need to hang onto their man or they will not get their club into the Champions League next season or even push for the title this year.

 

As always guys, don’t forget to drop a like, hit the subscribe button and post a comment, I will get back to each and every one of you!

Jamie Vardy was having a party… but hand of Ozil?

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City. 

Vardy Party.jpg

Yes you read that right, Jamie Vardy IS having a party. No it isn’t the 2015/2016 Premier League season. Arsenal came out firing (haha puns), Lacazette headed in a goal within 2 minutes of his Premier League debut (boy he will be glad to get that one off his back).

However, Arsenal’s lead didn’t last too long, Shinji Okazaki equalized with a header of his own in the 5th minute. Arsenal had to deal with the old school Sunday League-esq through balls to Vardy before he finally broke through and got his goal in the 29th minute. #VardyParty

 

Arsenal looked woeful, 40 minutes in and around 3000 people had already tweeted Wenger Out on the social media platform. Wenger out is still trending in India (where I am based). As things stand we have around 42 thousand tweets regarding Wenger.

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Stoppage time and we finally see what this Arsenal team can do, I said this in my season preview post, Kolasinac is a massive player for them, just look at this composure to set up Danny Welbeck for his first goal of the season.

The second half began with more of the same back and forth, until the 56th minute with a Jamie Vardy goal yet again. At this point the Wenger Out camp was in full voice, booing every misplaced pass and letting their frustration be known. Rob Holding, having a game to forget was subbed off, showing how weak the Arsenal squad really is, they have the following players in defense- Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Yes, 3 wing backs and the Ox. Not a single center back on the pitch. However, the double change brought on Oliver Giroud and Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal had officially thrown caution to the wind. They pushed and pushed, and Aaron Ramsey had it in the 83rd Minute from Xhaka, albeit a slight suspicion of hand ball in the build up to the goal. Less than 2 minutes from then, Giroud scored from a Xhaka corner and got the lead back. WOW. The comeback was complete. #WengerIn? Ozil running down every ball at the end of the game, even with the offside flag up shows his intent and that he wants to still play at the Emirates. The game had more back and forth than a political election cycle, each team deserved a point but at the end Arsenal came out on top. Obviously, there was controversy, Ozil had seemed to use his hand in the build up to the last Arsenal goal and could be debated.

 

At the end of it all, Arsenal need to do better, they need defensive reinforcement, they need backup. Xhaka and Kolasinac are going to be big players this season for the Gunners. To say they deserved the victory would be a massive stretch, 70% possession but Leicester needed just the 30% to expose Arsenal’s back line.

Leicester should be pleased with their performance, they were most certainly hard done by and should have had at least a point out of this game. Vardy scoring two in the first game of the season, away to Arsenal is massive news for Craig Shakespeare as he is going to need that man to be on top of his game if he wants to avoid the sack. Leicester’s new signing, Harry Maguire had a solid outing as well picking up one assist.

Man of The Match

Even though he ended up on the loosing side, my Man of the Match has to be Jamie Vardy, two goals in his first game of the season, solid performance. I also think Xhaka deserves a special shout out for a fantastic shift in the second half, getting himself 2 assists.

Next game

Arsenal are away to Stoke next on the 19th of August, a game that traditionally is tough for the Gunners, with 3 wins, a loss and a draw in their last 5 meetings, I do expect Arsenal to win that game, however, it remains to be seen if they make it difficult for themselves or not.

Leicester City

The Foxes are home to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion on the 19th of August, a game that is their first ever head 2 head game in the Premier League, Brighton are going to have a tough time with that fixture and I see Leicester winning their first game of the season against them.

 

As always, I hope you enjoyed, feel free to drop a comment, a follow and a like!

 

 

 

The Premier League 2017/2018

antonio conte.JPG

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2017/2018 season is just a few hours away. After a long summer, the curtain was effectively raised last weekend when Arsenal took on Chelsea at The New Wembley in London for the Community Shield. A pre-season friendly for the team the goes home empty handed, a major trophy for the team that wins. Arsenal had a good come from behind win on penalties while Chelsea need to sort out who takes penalties for them (I’m looking at you Courtois…) Yes. Antoinio Conte, the man holding the Premier League trophy in that photo right above this text, had his GOALKEEPER take the second penalty in the shootout that debuted the new ABBA system of kicking. Pedro got sent off, while Willian got a yellow card for diving. Kolasinac scored the equalizer off the bench and this may not be the last time we see him score from left back (Fantasy players pick him up!)

Now, why you all are here, the prediction. It is really close to impossible to predict the EPL table and I’m gonna admit that. Due to how tight the table usually is between 10th and 17th I am only gonna predict the top 7, bottom 5 and who will be the surprise package and the first 3 managers to get the sack. *I’m making these predictions before the season starts, there’s still potential for transfers to be made so things could dramatically change in the next 3 weeks*

Bottom 5

16th. Burnley

Everyone is predicting that The Clarets are going down, I honestly think they might pull through. They hung on to Tom Heaton as their goalie and that will play a part in their survival this season, loosing Gray and Keane was massive, but they will manage to pull through.

17th. Crystal Palace

I think Crystal Palace will do just enough to stay up, this could come down to the last few games of the season but they aren’t going down, they will struggle but not as much as the three teams bellow them.

18th. Swansea

I think this is a slam dunk pick, the swans have been on the cusp of relegation, and now the Sigurdsson may be on the move, they don’t have enough going forwards, Llorente is old and injured, I don’t think they will make it.

19th. Brighton and Hove Albion

Every year people predict the team coming up to go right back down, I think Brighton aren’t going to do too well in the Premier League, they haven’t done enough in the transfer market and will struggle to adapt to life in the top flight.

20th. Huddersfield Town

That’s right, I’m predicting that Huddersfield are also going right back down, they are probably the weakest team in the EPL this season and won’t last too long with the big boys. Made it to the EPL through the Playoffs and it shall be a long season. Lets not forget, they were tipped to go down last year, but they somehow managed to sneak into the playoffs.

 

The Top 7

Now, this is going to raise a few eyebrows here and there, some people will undoubtedly be offended by this and raise questions, but this is an unbiased opinion based on the clubs squads as off the 11th of August 2017. I also think this is going to be one tight season, the top 7 will probably be at most 10/15 points apart.

7th. Chelsea (1st last season)

I don’t think that Chelsea have the depth to compete in the EPL and Champions League. The holders have one of the smallest squads, they keep loaning out players and are being linked with Danny Drinkwater… I honestly do not think Drinkwater is a decent replacement for Matic, in fact, the only reason they want Drinkwater is because he meets their Homegrown requirement. As of now they only have 3 strikers in their squad, one of which (Costa) is on strike and wants to leave. Morata hasn’t been proven in the EPL and could struggle, Conte has already come out and said that Morata isn’t ready to play his system yet… Last season they had the beautiful bonus of playing just the EPL and having only one game a week, that helped them considerably in their bid for the title. All that being said, I think they will do well in Europe.

6th. Everton (7th last season)

The Toffees are an interesting pick, a couple of weeks ago I had them finishing in the top 4, but right now, they haven’t used the ‘Lukaku’ money. They have splashed the cash and brought in unbelievable talent. Keane, Pickford, Klaasen, Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney to name a few. I feel that they need another striker and they could finish further up the table, Goodison Park is a tough place to play at for away teams and this could be the year Everton break into the top 6 (maybe top 4). They could also be dark horses in the Europa League, I think they will make a deep run.

5th. Arsenal (5th last season)

Oh Arsenal… the team was known for finishing 4th but I don’t think that’s going to be the case anymore. Sanchez wants to head out, they have issues all over the place, but yet they have made one of the best transfers of the window with Kolasinac coming in. Lacazette is going to score goals, but will it be enough? I don’t think so, I think that Wenger is going to put his eggs in the Europa League basket and try and get back in the UCL that way. If Alexis leaves, I see Arsenal struggling. One thing I can promise all you readers, Arsenal Fan TV is going to have rants all season. Watch out for DT and Troopz.

https://www.youtube.com/user/arsenalfanstv

 

Now, the Champions League spots

4th. Spurs (2nd last season)

As of this moment, Spurs are the only club in the EPL to not make a SINGLE signing. They have sold their best right back to a direct rival (Kyle Walker to City) and are going to play this season at The New Wembley. Oh Daniel Levy what are you doing? Go buy someone mate. I know you need the funds to build the new stadium but do you really want to become the next Arsenal? Builds a new stadium, doesn’t sign anyone, stuck in a rut. Kane is probably going to bang a few goals in, Alli is gonna light it up, but who’s gonna score if Kane gets injured? Son is not a striker, he can play there but he’s no Harry Kane. Clubs are going to roll into Wembley thinking, wow we are playing at Wembley, they are going to play their hearts out. This is gonna be a long season for both halves of North London. With regards to the Champions League, they have to make it to the knockouts, I don’t see Alli and Kane sticking around if they don’t.

3rd. Liverpool (4th last season)

Now, Liverpool could honestly slide down a few spots on this list and finish as low as 6th, but I think they are going to just be better than the two teams behind them, and miles ahead of Chelsea/Everton. They will struggle to bag goals but their defense is looking better this year. If Coutinho leaves, I think they will struggle to make the top 4. They also are my pick to drop down to the Europa League, it could happen in the next 15 days if they don’t win their Playoff versus Hoffenheim.

2nd. Manchester City (3rd last season)

Now, there are a whole bunch of arguments putting United 2nd, City 1st but hear me out. City have solidified their defense, brought in Bernado Silva who will be massive provided he can adapt. They fixed their goalkeeper with Ederson breaking the world record for a goal keeper, brought in the best English right back, brought in Mendy, but didn’t buy anyone in case Vincent Kompany gets injured. He missed 22 of Manchester City’s games last season due to injury. Who’s going to be the commander of that back 4 if he’s out? Yaya Toure is aging, he struggled to get game time last season and will continue to this year. Pep needs to get a central midfielder that can defend, KdB and co are all attackers, they have no support coming back. Gabriel Jesus is going to score a lot of goals, but it isn’t going to be enough. Hopefully he can stay fit along with Aguero. I do think that City are looking good for the champions league semi-finals, as long as they don’t draw a heavy hitter in the groups or early knockouts.

1st. Manchester United (6th last season)

Second Season Magic. Jose has won the league in his second season with every club he has managed. This year will be no different. Manchester United needed the following, Defensive reinforcement, a holding midfielder and a new goal threat. Their signings so far, Lindelof, Matic and Lukaku. They have ticked every box. This year, by signing Matic they will free up Pogba and allow him to play his natural game. Watch out for Pogba and Lukaku this season, Mkhitaryan is going to play a key role as well. If they bring in another key player, they could run away with the league this season. They have the easiest start to the league, they don’t play a potential top 7 team in their first 4 games, and a title rival till Mid-October. I see them doing well in the league, probably the quarter finals of the Champions League, again, provided they don’t draw a Madrid or Munich early.

 

The surprise package, as you have probably already noticed is going to be Everton. I think they have it in them to do a job this year and they will be up there.

The Sack.

1st. Conte (Chelsea)

In the past, Conte has walked away himself due to lack of transfers, this season may be no different, he’s complained about how he hasn’t brought in players, he was not happy that Matic went to a title rival and he could be the first one gone.

2nd. Wagner (Huddersfield)

I’ve said this before, I don’t think they are going to do well in the EPL, I think they will struggle and Wagner’s head is going to hit the chopping block.

3rd. Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)

I personally believe that Newcastle are going to do well this season, but, they will go on a poor run of form at some point. The reason I think Rafa is going to get the sack is because of Mike Ashley, the man is crazy and will sack the manager if he thinks the team isn’t getting results. Roman Abramovich 2.0

 

There we have it. My EPL 2017/2018 season prediction. Feel free to drop a comment and follow me! Don’t forget to tweet at me and I’ll answer all the questions you may have!

Welcome to my first Blog Post EVER!

Hi Guys, Welcome to Not Another Football Blog! Here I will be talking about all things football, covering the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League and various international events. Over time I will try and cover other major events from other sports as well.

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