As the pantomime villain Joey Barton tweets and grapples his way into our thoughts, Kun Aguero gives Manchester City fans a glimpse of the future and David De Gea lets slip not only club record signing Shane Long’s first ever Premier League goal but muchmore.
It’s been an interesting although arguably less than vintage opening few days for the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League but what can we expect this time round?
Goals. And lots of them. There are a host a contenders for top goalscorer this season with Manchester City boasting three if not four candidates including last season’s joint top goal scorer and ex-Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez, his international team mate Kun Aguero, the ever impressive Eden Dzeko and possibly although unlikely Mario Balotelli. Having operated with a single striker in 2010/11 City boss Roberto Mancini has a selection headache of the highest order with the aforementioned striking options but whoever he selects City are sure to score goals.
£38million man Aguero has started brightly as he single-handedly dismantled new-comers Swansea scoring a brace and setting up another. The Argentine looked lively, explosive and hungry as he displayed his predatory skills by tapping home from close range, his desire and creativity to set up David Silva and then his pure class to smash home from 25 yards. Although we’ve only had one match against arguable one of the weaker sides in the Premier League to assess his potential, Aguero’s first exchanges in England look positive.
Aguero aside, Eden Dzeko has made a reassuring start to the season having netted against Manchester United in the Community Shield and again against Swansea on Monday night. Before Aguero arrived I was sure that the big Bosnian would shine this season and although starting opportunities may be restricted after the latest big-money signing I would tip Dzeko to fire in the region of 15 goals.
As City rise to prominence, ever closer to securing their first ever Premier League title Arsenal seem to crumble a little more with every passing minute of this transfer window. I’m sure Arsenal will fall even shorter of the mark this time round as Samir Nasri looks set to follow international team mate Gael Clichy and club captain Cesc Fabregas out of the club and who would blame them?
I for one am sick of hearing Arsenal fans slam the man they’ve idolised for so long for joining Barcelona.. The way I see it is that he has moved from a club who will be extremely lucky to finish the season with Champions League football in 2012/13 to his boyhood club who consistently win trophies both domestically and in Europe. Arsenal simply can’t match up to Barcelona in any department and the sooner Arsenal fans appreciate the time Cesc has devoted to their club and the passion he has shown the better.
Having spent relatively big one would suspect that Liverpool will improve on the result they achieved against a strengthened Sunderland side including the underrated and impressive Wes Brown (watch out for him this season) and potent goal threat Seb Larsson who is sure to notch up numerous assists. Suarez impresses more with every outing and will top Liverpool’s goal scoring charts for years to come, pair that with Carroll who will hit 10-15 goals and I would tip Liverpool to be back in the Champions League in no time, replacing the fallen Gunners.
Onto the somewhat less glamorous but hardly less notable side of Premier League life – the promoted three. Swansea and Q.P.R have given us an insight into how their seasons may unfold. Yes I know it’s very early days and maybe I’m being harsh but one can’t help but to spotlight their opening day inadequacies as Rangers and Swansea conceded no less than four goals.
Norwich’s blushes were spared by way of fortune as they lined up against Wigan who having lost their best player in Charles N’Zogbia to Aston Villa will also struggle to maintain Premier League football. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of defensive errors on the opening day of the season and this must stop if clubs wish to succeed, especially new Manchester United’ goalkeeper David De Gea’s error against West Bromwich Albion.
If you missed it (excuse the pun David), United’s young goalkeeper gifted West Brom with an equaliser after a tame shot from Long crept under his body. It was then down to Ashley Young to spare De Gea’s blushes as he drove into the West Brom penalty box, fired across goal with the unfortunate Steven Reid applying the finishing touch to gift United all three points.
Many pundits have been quick to defend the Spaniard tipping him to bounce back from this shaky performance and I would have to agree. His distribution is if not superior to Edwin Van Der Sar at least equal and although he doesn’t look comfortable on crosses his shot stopping impresses.
Lack of confidence on your Manchester United debut? David De Gea maybe but Ashley Young, I think not. Along with Rooney Ashley Young was a constant thorn in West Brom and more so Steven Reid side as in his usual fashion he wriggled his way round Albion’s penalty box probing until the very last, 82 minute to be precise – he is after all a Manchester United player!
Young took many of the plaudits on opening day and deservedly so having set up Rooney for United’s opener and for his part in the winning goal. But Wayne Rooney already looks in fifth and the pair appear set to entertain and dismantle anything that dares stand in their path to Premier League glory. At an early glance who can look beyond United to maintain their stance as Premier League Champions?
Chelsea? Hard to judge against Stoke City who are an ever improving and difficult Premier League outfit to beat but with few additions and a seemly similar style of play Chelsea seem not to have improved on last season’s squad or style. More can be said of Fernando Torres who showed glimpses of his old self as he seems to have regained fitness, hunger, and belief and should he stay fit Chelsea have a chance to regain their Premier League title.
To summarise I predict a plentiful amount of goals scored by a selection of the above mentioned bodies with the title staying put in Old Trafford but with City pushing United mighty close.
I suspect that Arsenal will fail to finish in the top four and that Liverpool will gate crash Champions League football for 2012/13 instead.