Monday, August 15, 2011

EPL: Play Ball

By Bagga Wilks

The English riots have subsided. Some sociologists would argue that growing inequality in the United Kingdom was the cause of the gang violence and damage to property. In the English Premier League, we do have inequality but that has not necessarily diminished the competitive nature of the League.

Manchester United began the new season with a bang. They beat West Brom 2-1 in a tightly-fought match which further raised questions about the successor to Van de Saar. De Gea looks shaky and the next couple of games will determine if he has the mettle to be a top class goalkeeper in the rugged EPL.

What would have been gratifying to Sir Alex is the versatility of his newly-assembled aggregation. Vidic and Ferdinand had to limp off injured but Phil Jones and Johnny Evans filled in ably. The pistons up front displayed their creative ferocity with deft passing, running off the ball, passing into spaces and kicking with great defiance. They have served notice on defences. The aggregation of Nani, Young, Rooney, Anderson, Welbeck and Cleverly will prove their uncontainability as the 2011-12 season continues to unfold.

Arsenal encountered Newcastle in their season opener and the unsurprising result was a scoreless draw. Both Arsenal and Newcastle are clubs on the descendancy. Arsenal will still be able to play attractive soccer but they will not be able to compete at the highest level, not with the loss of Fabregas and the pending loss of Nasri. Nasri is not convinced that Arsenal is committed to winning trophies. The club merely wants to be in the mix. The play-off for the Champions League against Udinese should tell us much about Arsenal’s fall from grace or their ability to continue competing with top tier teams.

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