5 things we’ve learnt from the Premier League.
1. Man Utd aren’t as good as everybody thinks they are.
Manchester United have gone from unbeaten, almost guaranteed Premiership Champions to losing against relegatation threatened Wolves, Europa League threatened Chelsea and, the consistently inconsistent Liverpool, who prepared for this mighty victory by losing 3-1 to Avram Grant’s West Ham, no less.
In all these games, more specifically the last two, Utd have dominated posession, created more chances and yet still ended up on the losing side. Fergusons side lack a certain spark when Nani and Berbatov are not on the scoresheet, and where in previous seasons they have turned to Rooney, Tevez and the mercurial Ronaldo in aid of goals, they now appear to lack the fantastical element that has usually been a hallmark in Ferguson’s sides. Still expect United to lift the title come May, but just as much down to Arsenal typically disastrous capitulation and Man City’s points gap as the red devils ability.
2. Forget forwards, Tottenham need a new defender
Tottenham’s game against Wolves was, as the suprisingly intuitive Chris Coleman put it, “a great advert for the Premier League”
but it was also 90 minute nutshell for Spurs, who showed both sides of the swashbuckling Londoners style, the pace, guile and flair shown by Modric, Bale, and Lennon matched by Hutton, Gallas and Dawson’s lack of compusure in defence. The Spurs backline is the only reason why Redknapp’s outfit are not challenging for the title, and a team hoping to compete with the likes of Utd, Chelski and Arsenal should shipping 3 against Wolves, or Blackpool. Fact. If Spurs want to guarantee a top 4 place then they need a world class centre half.
3. Arsenal are(probably) not going to win the Premier League
Arsenals failure to win at home against Sunderland following their disastrous loss in the Carling Cup final proves all the cliches that Arsene Wegner has tried to deny since 2005. Since the “Invincibles” and the loss of Viera and Henry, Arsenal have lacked the drive to go on turn a good position into a trophy time, and time again. The quality is undoubtedly there, the likes of Fabregas, Van Persie and Nasri would walk into most teams, and the victory and against Barcelona proved the Gunners quality, but Arsenal lack the conviction, the grit, and the simple “oomph” that Chelsea have bought and Man Utd built an institution on. The football is wonderful, the players are great, but unless Wenger recognises that the psychological aspect to title winning is as important as the physical one, then Arsenal’s cupless run will continue.
4.Good football dosen’t always result in wins, but Wolves don’t deserve to be relegated.
Wolves won a point today against the leaky London ship that is Tottenham, and many neutrals would say(myself included) that the Wanderers did not deserve to draw, as the goal that was, then wasn’t, should have indeed been a goal and Spurs full back Alan Hutton should not have really been on the pitch after his penalty conceding foul in the second half. By rights it should have ended 4-3, with Totts having 10 men leaving the pitch after an hour and a half. Wolves have beaten Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, and got very unlucky against Tottenham. It is not the form of 2nd from bottom, in any league, but Wolves have diluted these wonderful victories by losses to West Ham and Wigan, which are the teams you need to beat to stay up. However a team with a better record against the top 4 than Man City by rights should not be struggling for points, and if Wolves get relegated this year, then Mick Macarthy can hold his head up high, knowing that on some level, he should be competing for a Champions League place.
5. Mancini made a mistake buying Dzeko
Manchester City narrowly won out against Wigan,with David Silva scoring the most fortunate goal of the year, having the Eastlands pitch and ali al habsi, Wigan’s goalkeeper’s complete inability to do his job properly to thank. But the last few performances by the diminutive Spanish Winger, combined with the mercurial Tevez and occasional genius Balotelli, proves that City don’t really need another striker, especially one that will expect first team football. With Tevez you have 25 goals a season, and with David Silva you have the service. What City seem to need is another attacking midfielder cum winger, that does Silvas job either side of Tevez, that would be comfortable in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, Mancini’s usual tactical strategies. If Tevez plays, which he invariably does, then Dzeko cant fit in, maybe Dzekos purchase was ill advised.