Thank the Lord, the Premier League is back, and what a first couple of months it’s been! Forget that horrible week where our ‘beloved’ National team saw off the high-flying Malta and Slovenia, it’s all about the (I’ll never say this again) EPL! I’ve only just stopped calling it the Carling Premiership, but we won’t get into that…
Hasn’t it been great, though; free-flowing football, red cards, manager sacking, shock results, basically everything we dreamed about during those long summer weeks. And yes, I’m sure like me during the off-season, you tuned in to watch the most boring pre-season game in history, was it the Lidl Cup, or possibly the Skoda Championship? Who cares, ‘proper football’ is back.
Now, turning my hand to punditry (if Owen Hargreaves – a man who knows more about operations than football – is allowed to do it, I certainly can) as I share three thoughts on the season so far…
Manchester United are not the all-conquering power of European football… yet
I thought I would start with a good moan to get us underway. Why on earth is the team from the red side of Manchester getting press like they have the league in the bag? Has anyone been watching their blue neighbours? The most difficult game United have faced to date is Stoke away (the same fixture Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 victory) , and they only got a point from that!
Don’t get me wrong, United certainly look 10 times better than last season, and Mr Mourinho, looks to have the spark back in his stomach. But that doesn’t get away from the fact the Red Devils haven’t played any title challengers yet. Judge this team after they’ve played a top four side, not when they’re putting four past West Ham United (no offence Winston Reid).
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 21 September 2017
For me it’s mainly lazy journalism and lazy punditry. The reincarnation of Man United is clearly an interesting story, but this team are being talked about like they have already won the game’s top honours (no, the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League don’t fit that bill). Maybe I’m being harsh, only time will tell.
Roy returns to club management after England nightmare
What an utterly awful start to the season Crystal Palace have had. Full of hope and optimism in July, fast-forward two months and they have the man at the helm who couldn’t conquer Iceland.
Now enough has been said about poor old FDB, so I won’t discuss that debacle, but Roy is such an interesting appointment. Strangely, I think it’s good to see him back (and no, it’s not just because I want to see some funny memes)! He’ll do a good job at Palace, he’ll get them organised and they’ll start picking up points. The frightening thought for all Eagles fans is their next two fixtures, Man United (a) and Chelsea (h). They could potentially lose their first eight games without scoring one goal! Will it be too late?
One year since Roy Hodgson spotted himself on the big screen… pic.twitter.com/gtb0yHyOQz
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) June 27, 2017
I also can’t move on without a mention to Off the Pitch’s very own Dan Tyler who has a very strange obsession with a certain Christian Benteke… Don’t ask! Dan has refused to take the big Belgian out of his fantasy team and is very much suffering the consequences!
Every week the ex-Liverpool flop has spearheaded Dan’s attack. You would think zero Premier League goals in five would be enough for him to be axed, but the boss is certain he will come good.
Sussex by the sea and in the Premier League
As Off the Pitch Media is based down in ‘sunny’ Brighton, it wouldn’t be right not to mention the Seagulls’ first visit to the Premier League. Although, neither myself or Dan support Brighton, it is fantastic for the City to see them reach the top flight.
The Sussex Coast side have made a solid start to the season, but I do fear for them. The fact they didn’t manage to bag an out-and-out striker before Deadline Day will really cost them. It puts a lot of pressure on the wingers and Pascal Gross to provide the quality needed to survive.
But, on a positive note, the defensive partnership of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk looks very solid, and the club is absolutely bouncing. If the players watch this video before every game, I think they could get into Europe – think Ipswich Town 2001 – inspirational stuff!
Well, there you have it. Off the Pitch Media’s debut blog post. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on Dan’s obsession with the striking prowess of Benteke and anything else of equal importance as the weeks roll by.
Hope you are loving the Carling Premiership as much as I am.