Association Football: Early Season Report 2012-13
Last season ended with a bang: Manchester City winning the Premiership with two injury-time goals. But their rivals are plotting their downfall. Please read on.
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English: Graph charting the finishing league positions of Manchester City and Manchester United within the Football League pyramid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ending to last season’s English Premiership still takes some believing. Manchester City were 2-1 down to QPR after 91 minutes played. Then in the 92nd minute Dzeko produced a bullet-header-equaliser from a corner. Surely too little too late.
As City attacked, QPR cleared their lines and Wright-Philips took the ball down QPR’s right wing. He lost it. City throw-in. Somehow the ball was worked into the centre of QPR’s 18 yard line. Balotelli had to stretch and just help the ball forward. Then Aguero pounced on it, dribbled neatly and scored!
Suddenly Aguero was running, waving his shirt over his head! I waited for that horrible offside decision or similar excuse to deny them. No, he was still running. “He’s done it!” I yelled to Mum (who was watching telly with me).
For the record former Arsenal player Paul Merson went berserk in the Sky Sports studio. He said there were, “Love bites and everything!” as the City players celebrated. Meanwhile Rooney, Ferguson and the rest of Manchester United stood bemused as the news reached them at Sunderland. Priceless.
But what now?
Since then, of course, Manchester United have signed the great Dutch striker Van Persie from Arsenal. He single handedly beat poor old Southampton with a late hat-trick the other day. A great signing. They also acquired the fine Japanese player Kagawa. Overall they’ve strengthened so much they could afford to get rid of Berbatov to Fulham. Berbatov got a raw deal there after being top scorer the year before last and dropped from favour like a block of stone.
Where does this put Rooney? Many months ago I wrote a joke blog saying Manchester United were letting him go! Well that blog might yet come true?
Incidentally there is much rumour about the wonderful Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid. Plus of course further speculation that Man U manager Ferguson might be after him too. Just imagine Ronaldo and Van Persie together. Mouth-watering. Ferguson has also been linked with young Brazilian ace Neymar, but that has quietened down now.
Anyhow, Manchester United have started this new season okay. They started with an opening defeat at the industrious Everton, but are back on track. City have made a similar start, being held at Liverpool. To be fair City have signed some decent players too, notably young midfielder Rodwell from Everton.
Chelsea of course lost Drogba to China at the end of last season. That makes Torres the main man, and at times he has scored well. I like the look of their young new Belgian signing Hazard. Aside: what with Hazard, Kompany, Fellaini, Vermaelen etc. Belgium must be a decent side! But yes, Chelsea are progressing nicely (if we forget their 4-1 humiliation in the Super Cup by Atletico Madrid). Bottom line is that Chelsea are top of the Premiership with three wins out of three.
On the other hand both Spurs and Liverpool look in the doldrums. Liverpool’s board has apologised for not getting an adequate replacement for the outgoing target-man, Andy Carroll. Spurs have replaced their enigmatic manager Harry Redknapp with the frankly unsuccessful Chelsea-reject Andre Villas-Boas. Letting the influential player Modric go was not great either.
Nice to see that Swansea are still passing and doing well, in spite of last year’s manager Brendan Rogers going to Liverpool. On the other hand team that do look vulnerable (sorry Steve) are Aston Villa.
I mentioned European Super Cup Winners Atletico Madrid: well Barcelona are top of La Liga right now with three wins from three (like Chelsea). Barca’s big rivals Real Madrid have won 1, drawn 1, lost 1. Real did take the Spanish Super Cup from Barca, but for Barca I’d like to think that was a blip. Well done Spain in taking that Euro Crown during the summer months. Their 4-0 Final win over a skilful Italy was most emphatic. So too was England’s World Cup Qualification win over Moldova last Friday (5-0). But it’s back to league action this coming weekend. The plot thickens.