English Premiership

SIX things learnt from Week 2

2014-08-26 12:31
English Premiership logo (File)

Cape Town - Only four teams have managed to win both their opening English Premiership games, but the league could soon turn into a two-horse race with Manchester City and Chelsea as dominant as ever.

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Here are six things to be learnt from Week 2:

1. Young English players can thrive in the EPL

Not every single English player has to be bought for an “arm and a leg” (read Luke Shaw, Jack Rodwell, Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll) and play under the burden of the exorbitant price tag.

Spurs’ new signing Eric Dier, a former England youth international, was brought in for just £4 million. The young defender has now scored 2 goals in 2 games and is looking like he could be bargain of the transfer window.

It won’t be long until the British press force a wide range of tags on him from “world beater” to “the next ‘so and so’”, I’m optimistic that Dier will keep his feet on the ground and continue his wonderful progress.

But Dier proves that young English footballers can play and thrive in the world's toughest league.

2. Crystal Palace are going down

Sack the manager who kept you up last season they said. It’ll be fine they said.

Well, it’s not fine.

Tony Pulis is gone and along with him goes the Eagles hopes of staying up.

After a spirited display against Arsenal last week, I expected more from Palace against West Ham, who have their own struggles to stay up. They were dreadful and provided little to no evidence that they will be amongst the 20 sides taking part in the English Premiership next season.

3. Branislav Ivanovic is good, really, really good!

Branislav Ivanovic was all over the park on Saturday and not in a David Luiz World Cup semi-final kind of way. It was one of the best displays I’ve seen by any player in the EPL for a long time.

Rock solid at the back and making incredible runs down the right flank meant Leicester City were always vulnerable.

He set up the first goal after dribbling two defenders inside the Foxes box before crossing to Diego Costa and just a few minutes later he was denied a goal from a powerful header.

A simply outrageous performance by a player at the top of his game.

4. Who does Louis van Gaal think he is?

In week one, the United boss played Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Nani and Javier Hernandez.

In week two, he starting Tom Cleverly as the holding midfielder and later saw Chris Smalling limp off  injured and replaced by Micheal Keane.

If van Gaal had watched more than five minutes of last year’s English Premiership then he would no NONE of these players have the quality to get the Red Devils back to the top of the English game.

United’s massive failures in the transfer market look set to cost them any chance they may have had in challenging for a Champions League spot.

Who does Louis van Gaal think he is? David Moyes?

5. City are the team to beat this year, not Chelsea

All the pre-season talk was about Chelsea and how their transfer market activity meant that they will be the team to beat. How unfair on City?

Week two of the EPL showed fans of the league that writing off City’s title credentials would be unwise.

Any team that can dismantle Liverpool and in the manner the Sky Blues did it in, deserve plenty respect.

6. Liverpool (already) miss Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez has hardly been gone but he is already being missed by Liverpool. 31 goals in one season simply cannot be replaced.

I’m not suggesting Liverpool would've matched Manchester City as the Reds slumped to a 3-1 defeat but Luis Suarez’s quality was definitely missed.

the Reds had four more chances than their hosts on the night but failed to capitilise in the way Suarez did last season.

Will Mario Balotelli prove to be a like for like replacement? I doubt it. Suarez is one of a kind. 

Read more on:    english premiership  |  soccer

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22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
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