A soccer game runs for 90 minutes. Each half can be distinct from the other and the game is not over until the referee blows the final whistle. Newly promoted Southampton were on the verge of snatching a victory from the mighty Manchester United when they wilted and Van Persie blossomed.
Van Persie, the twenty-nine year old Dutchman, had a spectacular season last year leading the EPL with 27 goals. Previously, he had been plagued with injuries and missed a number of games. Being in and out of the line-up prevented him from displaying his scoring capabilities. He kept Arsenal in the top four last year and he has continued his torrid scoring pace in his move to Manchester United. Van Persie on Sunday missed a penalty but ended superlatively with a ‘hat-trick’ and a victory for his new team.
Arsenal broke their ducks against Liverpool as they scored on two breakaways to leave the new Liverpool coach winless at the start of 2012-2013 season. Podolski has wasted no time fitting into the style of the Premier League. He opened the scoring and will be a formidable attacking force for Arsenal this season. The French striker, Giroud, is still feeling his way. The reconstructed and thus far durable Diaby is approaching fine form and should bolster Arsenal’s mid-field bereft of Alex Song. Rather surprisingly, the traditional porous Arsenal defense has not given up a goal. The defense is playing as a unit and not ball watching. The unit thus far looks formidable against set pieces. Despite the loss of five top players in two years, Arsenal is still showing its resilience.
The EPL needs to come up with a transfer system that is less chaotic. To have a transfer system spilling over after the season has begun, makes for great drama but poor planning. One can understand the January transfer market but the August 31st deadline is much too disruptive. It takes time to integrate newly-acquired players into a system. For the players themselves, especially those with families, they must feel like slaves being sold on the auction block.