Quickfire EPL Season Review Part 1


United ended the season in triumph.

So another Premier League season has come to a close, and it was one of the most closely contested in recent years. The quality may not have been the best – at least not at the top – but a pretty epic relegation battle has nevertheless seen three decent sides condemned to the Championship. So how will each team look back on this season? For a full account, you’d have to ask a fan of each club, but here’s a quickfire review of how I see the top ten – the bottom half follows later.

1. Manchester United (P38, W23, D11, L4, F78, A37, Pts80)
Well, a season in which you end up as champions can only really be called a success, but it will have hurt to end by being outclassed by Barca at Wembley and United weren’t as imperious as you’d expect of the leagye winners this season, so Sir Alex will know that he has a busy summer ahead of him if United are to improve and ensure they can remain on top next season.

Click through for the rest of the top ten…


Mixed Feelings: Farewell to Pienaar


Thank god he's gone?

So Steven Pienaar has signed for Tottenham Hotspur for £2.5 million. As an Everton fan, I’m obviously disappointed. Pienaar was voted the club’s player of the season last season (although in my opinion Leighton Baines should have just pipped him to that accolade) and in his time at the club, he has been a consistently top performer for us, but he’s also always played with great passion and commitment: to the fans, it looked like he wanted to play for the club.

Now that he’s rejected a contract offer from Everton, signed for another club, and a direct rival at that, we can be quite sure that he no longer feels that way. It’s disappointing therefore, but there are positives to it as well – even despite the transfer fee, let’s face it, £2.5m is a snip for a player of his quality. Ultimately though, it could well be a plus for Everton that Pienaar has left the club – to find out, let’s look at the pros and cons.

Click through for the full article…

Premiership Conclusions


You might well say it’s a bit early to be drawing conclusions from this weekend’s Premier League action given that there’s still plenty of fixtures to be played tomorrow and Monday, but I think we can safely say that Saturday’s action both on and off the pitch has given us plenty to be discuss to be going on with. Plus, tomorrow is likely to be both my last day with an internet connection for some while and very busy, so there’s no time like the present.

To business at hand then and as I said yesterday, this season’s Premier League action is proving to be nigh on impossible to predict. We’ve now had two weekends full of surprise results and the established order that has developed over so many years seems to be quickly unravelling. It’s hard to know what to make of it at times but I think at least some conclusions can be cautiously made.

Click through to find out what they are…

Are the ‘big four’ crumbling?


Chelsea's defence undone for a third time by Everton: are they crumbling?

Last week Manchester City came from behind to beat Chelsea by two goals to one and many a football pundit saw that as proof that, despite all the draws and flattering to deceive, the Eastlands Billionaires could be a real threat to the ‘big four’ this season. Thus, after Everton’s injury-decimated side also matched Chelsea with a 3-3 draw yesterday, the same logic could be used to suggest that my beloved Toffees too, could realistically hope to breach the big four this season.

Such logic is clearly flawed though, because even as an Evertonian I’m realistic enough to know that we pose no threat to the Champions League spots and City’s inability to beat Bolton yesterday has seemingly confirmed that they too lack the necessary consistency to ‘break’ the top four. However, I still think we may see an unfamiliar team near the summit of the Premier League this season, considering Chelsea’s recent stutters alongside those of the other ‘big four’ clubs, it could be argued that they are not as untouchable as they have been in recent seasons.

Click through for the full article…

You know what? Fuck the Carling Cup.

Gosling & Fellaini looking worse for wear, even after equalising.

Gosling & Fellaini looked worse for wear, even after equalising.

Author’s note: consider this a follow up to my earlier post, ‘Who wants to win the Carling Cup?

I was lucky enough to be inside the Westpac Stadium in Wellington to witness Wellington Phoenix’s 6-0 demolition of previous A-League pace-setters Gold Coast United yesterday evening, but unfortunately that only served as a brief – albeit very welcome – relief from a fairly desperate couple of days for me in terms of football as Everton’s unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end as a severely depleted squad was hammered in Benfica before losing out to Bolton last yesterday.

In fact, it’s after a few days such as this that Everton, with an already small squad stretched seemingly beyond breaking point by a huge injury list and the stresses of European competition, need a good week’s rest to regroup, nurse some players back to fitness and bounce back for the test against Villa next weekend. Unfortunately though, before the players can put their feet up they must play their third match in six days when they face Tottenham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. You have to ask then, who let that happen?

Click through to find out…

Cheer Up Davey: It’s not quite the end of the world.


Cheer up Davey, its not the end of the world.

Cheer up Davey, it's not the end of the world.

Firstly, apologies for my slightly slack posting recently – I’ve been compiling an application to a postgrad journalism course and it’s been a lot of work. Gone are the days of just filling in a form you know, but I’m nearly there with it now so will be returning to regular posts ASAP (don’t mention exams though, yeah?).

Secondly, today’s post is as much for my own benefit as for yours. There are few things that can make me thoroughly enjoy the prospect of getting out of bed before six o’clock on a Friday morning, but one of them is the prospect of watching Everton playing in Europe. As those of you who’ve seen the score (which, for reasons of self-preservation I won’t repeat) will know, it wasn’t really worth it. Such a defeat is always demoralising and makes you feel like the world has just ended.

Click through to find out why, happily, it hasn’t…

Premiership Conclusions


Premiership Conclusions
Well we’ve now had two rounds of Premier League fixtures and gosh, hasn’t it been interesting!? It’s fair to say there have been some major shocks already, so what have you made of the season so far? What are your first impressions? I’m going to give my two cents worth with three conclusions below, but please leave a comment and let me know what your reaction to the start of the ’09/’10 season has been.

1. Expect the Unexpected
I suppose the best and most obvious place to start today has to be with the raft of shock results that have already hit us this season. If you’d told me before the beginning of the season that Man Utd and Liverpool would lose to Burnley and Spurs, or that Arsenal would hammer Everton, that Wigan would beat Villa and then lose to Wolves I’d probably have said… well, I guess I’d have sat back and felt a bit smug.

Click through to find out why, and read two more Conclusions…