Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday Morning Keeper - EPL Week 7

Liverpool's coach Roy Hodgson reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland in Liverpool, northern England September 25, 2010.REUTERS/Nigel Roddis (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)
All that moisture you saw on the pitch this weekend was not the tears of Liverpool fans, but rather an early season cold front that blew through the UK and made for interesting conditions in most of the matches. With the international break looming, this weekend was an opportunity for teams to leave on a high note to head back to their native lands, or an opportunity to just plain leave.

We start with a multiple choice question for our audience about Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson. If Roy was in the market for a new luxury sports car, which option do you think he could go without:

a) Satellite Radio
b) Navigation System
c) DVD Player
d) Seat Warmers

If you answered d) you would be correct because Roy’s seat is already getting pretty warm after Liverpool’s awful start to this season. Liverpool has been dropping through the tables faster than housing prices are dropping in Florida. We have highlighted it for the last two weeks that if Liverpool wasn’t careful they would move into the bottom three and now its official. We have a bit of a crush on Blackpool, they were our pick for team to follow if you were new to the EPL this year. The Seasiders went down to Liverpool and put up two goals before halftime, only for Liverpool to rally with one goal in the second and numerous shots on goal, but still coming up short. For Blackpool, the win keeps them comfortably in the middle of the pack in 9th place. For Liverpool, the international break is about the only thing that can guarantee them from dropping further in the rankings next week.

The Chelsea v Arsenal match lived up to the hype with the majority of the match played at either end of the pitch with very little wasted time in the middle. The 2-0 win for Chelsea doesn’t reflect the competitive nature of the match, either team could have walked out of there with 3 points. Drogba scored from about 4 rows behind the goal, not sure how he was able to get an angle from there, but that’s why they pay him the big bucks. A second goal was nothing more than a extra point for the GD difference Chelsea has in the unlikely event of a tie at the top at the end of the season.

Manchester City, after beating Chelsea at home last weekend, successfully picked up another 3 points at home with a win over Newcastle. With the match tied 1-1, Adam Johnson came on for Man City in the 72nd minute and did not disappoint. Without even a drop of sweat on his jersey, Johnson scored a great shot from the right side in the 75th minute which ended up being the difference in the match, City winning 2-1. With Manchester United getting just 1 point in a draw with Sunderland (yes, Sunderland) and Arsenal losing to Chelsea, Man City was able to move into second place in the table.

The international break is blessing for teams like Liverpool and Newcastle who have been sliding down the table, but a curse to teams like Everton who finally got some momentum with their first win this weekend. Regardless, the season is still young, Chelsea is still within reach of other teams and no team’s ticket to “relegation-ville” has been punched.

1. Chelsea – 18 pts, +21 GD (5-0-1)
2. Manchester City – 14 pts, +6 GD (4-2-1)
3. Manchester United – 13 pts, +7 GD (3-4-0)
4. Arsenal – 11 pts, +7 GD (3-2-2)
17. Everton – 6 pts, -1 GD (1-3-3)
18. Liverpool – 6 pts, -4 GD (1-3-3)
19. Wolverhampton – 5 pts, -5 GD (1-2-4)
20. West Ham United – 5 pts, -9 GD (1-2-4)


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