Reina Shows He's Played In England Too Long, Newcastle Remind Us They Were Promoted

17 August 2010

Liverpool's Jose Reina looks dejected after scoring an own goal and the first for Arsenal. (Credit Image: © Action Images/
Now that I have had a chance to catch up on the matches from England on Sunday and Monday, here are my thoughts as the games transpired.

1) If Arsenal could ever learn to pass it out wide, instead of trying to break down the center of the park, they would be much better off. What's even worse in my mind is that they have the talent to incorporate plenty more wide play into their attack, yet they rarely seem capable of doing it. Liverpool were more than happy to allow them to come towards the middle of the park and snuff out their passes as they inched closer to the top of the eighteen. The irony to all of this is that Arsenal's only goal came from a wide cross. That leads to...

2) Pepe Reina may have made the biggest goal keeping gaffe in the first week of the season. Sure, Scott Carson had a couple of bad ones against Chelsea on Saturday, but his wall did him no favors. The Liverpool keeper, however, picked the worst possible moment to screw up. Even worse, he not only had the ball in his hands, he then delivered a bad beach volleyball bump into the back of the net. If anything, Robert Green may no longer be the butt of many fans jokes. If Pepe Reina could find someone else in Spain to form a pairing, they may have a shot at a medal in the Rio Olympics.

3) Before people ask why I didn't broach this subject, Joe Cole deserved to be sent off. I don't care what your name is, you cannot lunge from 3-5 yards away and then go for the scissors tackle for added effect. Have Liverpool fans forgotten Peter Crouch's tackle in the Carling Cup semi-finals against Chelsea that got him sent off? The tackles were pretty much the same in nature.

4) Wayne Rooney is pressing in the worst possible way right now, and it's not helping him at all in finding the back of the net. However, Manchester United's next three opponents maybe his best chance to break his games without a goal streak. It starts where United have had trouble of late, and ends where Wayne Rooney became etched into our minds.

5) Make no mistake about it, I'm glad Newcastle United are back in the Premier League. Yet, if there is one thing that people may have forgotten about in basking in the glory of their return, it's the fact this is pretty much the same team that went down. What's worse is this team is two years older and the only new faces are either new to the Premier League, or experiencing the top flight for the very first time.
It showed when their only good chance came from an unmarked six yard header in the tenth minute that went roughly twelve yards wide. Two of the three Manchester United goals came from cheap giveaways inside their own defensive third. Jonas Gutierrez may as well have been a Jonas Brother on Monday. While Steve Harper was left on an island for all three goals, he didn't exactly do anything to try and save them. Hell, when Berbatov has his best game in Manchester United red, it says all you need to know about how weak these Magpies are.

6) To not mention Ryan Giggs scoring in every year of the Premier League would be a crime. Well done sir. This was the year I thought he wouldn't get one. All I can say to that is how naive am I?


toddmintz August 17, 2010 at 1:08 AM  

First of all, there were many goalkeeping blunders this weekend such as Blackpool game vs Wigan., Tim Howard gaffe was the biggest blunder of the weekend. Actually Newcastle has familiar vets but roughly 5 starters today that did not play much with Newcastle 2 years ago or were not there at all. Arsenal will go out wide on flanks when Theo Walcott plays and he always looks dangerous. Funny how no one forgets Joey Barton he keeps getting booed. Then again I would have laughed at him for the little impact he had on the game. Newcastle it was about damge control. Far as Rooney who may not be 100 percent, or has the goalscoring touch but who cares? he had great match and his passing was great setting up couple goals. He clearly was trying nd succeeded to make Berbatov look good.......I am glad now Berby not sold.

Johnathan Starling August 17, 2010 at 1:26 AM  


While Howard's gaffe was bad, a goal keeper putting the ball into his own net makes it worse by proxy.

Newcastle have plenty of familiar faces that were there two years ago. To say otherwise is naive.

Even when Theo is out there, they don't go wide enough. Furthermore, Theo is simply not an effective wide man. To say he's a dangerous wide man is just comical.

To say Rooney had a great game is dumb. There's no other way to put it. He did one thing right in 90 minutes, and that was being running confusion for the second goal. If he isn't 100 percent, he needs to be sat.

As for Berbatov, I wouldn't be getting too excited just yet. As for Barton...Joey who?

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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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