Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Too Early For Conclusions?

We're only five games into the new English Premier League season and a lot of people are already drawing conclusions to what they've seen. As predicted, Manchester City have had a pretty good start with flawless victories so far. Pep has them playing a brand of football we've haven't seen a City team play before and it is quite pleasing to watch, they certainly are the team to beat. Surprisingly we find Everton at second position, most of their fans are quite happy but one has to realise they've haven't had the most difficult fixture list to contend with seeing that only Spurs were their real tough game from the lot. Speaking of Spurs, they're not doing too badly but the surprise package so far has to be Liverpool.

As a supporter of the team, seeing that fixture list before the season started, I would have been happy with 8 points after the first five games but after three trips to London and remaining unbeaten from them with an emphatic victory against the current league champions at home, one has to start wondering if this team can maintain their form throughout the season. We know Liverpool are prone to blow hot and cold, as shown against Burnley which saw them lose 2-0 away from home but the games thereafter showed some promise. 

The team that was making all the noise preseason seemed to have quietened down after three straight defeats, which one might that be? Manchester United of course, now this post isn't meant to poke fun at the rivals but merely state observations of what could be going wrong in the team. Now as much as we mock them for spending so much money on Paul Pogba, secretly we all wished our teams could splash some cash on a world class player like that and cause mass hysteria in the football transfer window. It's what makes the game more exciting, unfortunately it does add pressure to the player, with such a high price tag he will be doing his utmost to prove his price but that can cost them dearly as we saw with Andy Carroll when he made the switch to Liverpool, granted the price was no where near Pogba's, it was a record for a British player and he always tried to do more than what he was capable of during games which subsequently saw him reduced to sitting on the bench. I think Jose needs to sit him down and tell him to just relax and play his normal game, and not expect him to go out there and score hattricks every game. 

Now for the elephant in the room, well troll in the room, aka Shrek. As much as most of us love to hate Wayne Rooney, he is a quality player. After Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand left the fray, it was up to Rooney to be the English stalwart of the team and credit to him he has done a fantastic job but the thing we all need to realise is that players get old and while they do remain fit, aspects of their game gets affected. They're not as a sharp as they once were, not as quick and their radar goes a bit off every now and then. When Gerrard left Liverpool it was a bittersweet moment because we knew we were losing an asset to the team but he knew he wasn't good enough to make the first eleven any more and he didn't see himself as a player who came off the bench to help the team. I feel the same is happening to Wayne at United. He wants to start every game but can he? Jose wanted Rooney for his Chelsea team 4 years ago and now that he finally has him, he wants to play him in the role he envisaged for him but Jose needs to realise Wayne isn't that same player anymore. The defeat against Watford saw Rooney making some dreadful passes, the last thing he will want is the Old Trafford faithful turning against him for playing badly. I think it's time Wayne realised he isn't that same player and either leave the club or settle for a place on the bench before he damages his good reputation with the supporters. 

Maybe I'm wrong though? Maybe Jose has a plan and he's just waiting for the whole team to click into gear. As I said, we're only five games in so to draw conclusions now would be premature and stupid but from what I've seen so far, this what it seems like but we still have 33 games to go and it's going to be an interesting few months leading up to the December period and we're surely in for a treat. 

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