Premier League Reviews Matchday 1 Batch 1

18 August 2008

Just my quick opinions on the other games from this past weekend.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion: In what looked like a replay of so many Arsenal games last season, Arsenal controlled the game against West Bromwich Albion, but were unable to put them away, only getting a 1-0 result.

Samri Nasri's play today stood out to me as he looked comfortable on the ball all day long. However it was Arsenal's dire finishing that kept West Brom in this contest. West Brom did themselves no favors as they were way too forgiving until the last twenty-five minutes when they started making a push for an equalizer. However their best chance came five minutes into the second half.

Still though, this game shows Arsenal has the same work to do from last season, finishing their opponents off when they have the chance to. West Brom scarred Almunia a couple of times and while not worthy to share the spoils, could have still stolen the most unlikeliest of points.

Hull City v Fulham
: Paul Konchesky's error nine minutes from time gave Caleb Folan the game winner as Hull City defeats Fulham in their first game in the top flight.

Credit has to be given to Phil Brown for not going defensive and being attack minded in his substitutions. Halmosi, Folan and Fagan all added to the work that Marcio Geovanni did and while they had to defend in a few stretches of the game, did so well with the lone exception of Seol Ki-Hyeon's goal eight minutes in.

Fulham looked really disjointed for most of the game and their finishing looked even worse. Simon Davies had a chance to give Fulham a 2-0 lead and missed a sitter while Zoltan Gera had the perfect opportunity to give Fulham the lead again to start the second half, but timed his shot badly the result being way wide of the near post. The midfield didn't seem to link with anyone for stretches of the game, their passing poor.

Hull City took advantage of the mistakes Fulham had at the back, and when you are at the top flight, things like closing down an on rushing attacker, properly handling back passes and not giving up on a play will go a long way in giving you a chance at staying up.

Everton v Blackburn
: Andre Ooijer's rebound finish gives Blackburn a late 3-2 victory in a sloppy game at Goodison Park.

Everton in the first half had no right to be in this game. Blackburn threw wave upon wave of pressure on the Everton back line and they simply weren't able to cope. Was it because of Jack Rodwell? It doesn't matter. Blackburn were simply that good in the first forty-five and it took a little Paul Robinson stupidity to keep them in the game.

In fact, the only reason Everton were in this game was because of the ineptness of Paul Robinson. Ignoring the near post on a free kick late in the first half, getting caught out too close to the near post after the hour, but it was the mental focus that cost Everton here. You simply cannot allow a goal less than 2 minutes after taking the lead and how Roque Santa Cruz was all alone with Tim Howard I'll never know. The story of this game is finished chances, not those just missed.

Were the Everton subs ready for the tussle of the Premier League, probably not and ended up a hindrance than a help.

Blackburn looked solid in the attack, but surprisingly bad at the back. It goes to show the difference in having a good keeper keeping them organized than one who is really mediocre at best.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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