Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks
The Manchester Derby brought out the best in the English Premier League and the worst in soccer fanatics. Manchester United came out on top and it took a momentous free kick from Van Persie to win the game in overtime. Van Persie has made quite a difference at Manchester United and his goal-scoring will enable Manchester United to be champions of the Barclay’s E.P.L.
Manchester City fought back after being down 2-0 and it was their impact player, Yaya Toure, who brought them back. Zabaleta scored the goal that brought Manchester City level. Interestingly, Manchester United scored when Yaya Toure had to leave the field because of an injury.
Manchester City’s manager, Mancini, thought that starting Mario Balotelli could have been his trump card in the critical game but he had to replace the volatile Balotelli with the mercurial Tevez shortly after half time.
Rooney showed the impact nature of his game by scoring the first two goals for Manchester United. When Rooney is off, he can be dreadful but when he is in form, he plays the playmaker-striker position as superbly as any in the game. He has matured as a player and is not that easily ruffled anymore on the pitch.
Liverpool etched out a victory over West Ham on their home grounds. Allerdyce’s tigers at West Ham had Liverpool, devoid of Luis Suarez, on the run. West Ham played their pressure football and looked like winning the game. Unfortunately for West Ham, their impact player in mid-field, Diame pulled a ham-string in the middle of the second half and with that vacuum in mid-field Brandan Rogers’ boys were able to get on top of West Ham. It is an important win for Rogers and should give the young team confidence as they close out the first half of the season. Their defensive mid-field player, Lucas, is back from his injury and should be an impact player going forward for the remainder of the fixtures providing he can avoid re-occurrence of his injury.
Arsenal managed a 2-0 victory over West Brom that started the season blazing but is now running at a lukewarm temperature. Wilshire seems to be coming back into his own and could turn around the fortunes of the declining Arsenal. Arsenal lacks impact players and if Diaby can return and remain uninjured he could be the player who makes a difference. We are a few weeks from the January transfer window and the scrooge-like Arsenal will have to start spending some money to lift its chances of being a serious competitor in the E.P.L. The impact player that will be avidly sought is Falcao of Atletico, the Colombian, who has emerged as a coveted striker and at this juncture, one of the best in the world. Neymar, the Brazilian, does not appear to have any desire to leave the comfort zone of his Brazilian club team, Santos, and to test the turbulent waters of playing in Europe. If Neymar is to be considered one of the great players of the game, he will have to show his mettle in Europe, perhaps after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.