Monday Morning Manager

Who wrote this match report?
It is that momentum and motion that Arsenal lack now. At [City], they pressured the home side, but everything stalled at the [City] 18-yard box. Hleb, [Rosicky], [van Persie], and [Henry] would all line up or clump together trying to pass the ball through the massed [City] defense.
Of course it was the Manager, one year ago. While some of the names have changed (as did the location), Arsenal's performance didn't. In fact it has gotten worse. Last year, "Often it was left to the fullback, Cole or Lauren, to try and get behind the defense without the ball." This year, Eboue and Hoyte's inexperience robbed them of even that threat. They had no width, and no depth. Citeh were lucky to have gotten the goal, and lucky to keep the lead when van Persie struck the post. But Arsenal need a plan B for league matches. Especially road matches. The Manager doesn't trust Arsenal on the road. Not yet. That being said, Thierry Henry is never a bad pick - 14pts from 3 shots on goal plus assorted points.

Across North London, Spurs early season struggles (against teams of Premiership quality) continue. Another 2-nil loss. Another below par performance, especially after Kilbane had been dismissed. They should be fantasy gold, but they can't put it together. Lennon is so fast, and so skillful on the ball. But he'll run into the defender nine times out of ten. Berbatov looks a good buy as he stays involved in the game, dropping into midfield and holding up possesion. Keane drops FURTHER into midfield and that seems to be taking him away from possible points, even though he is taking kicks.

And speaking of kicks, let's hope Reading are on the traning pitch right now practicing their set pieces. hopefully they've realized that SHORT CORNERS NEVER WORK! Get Shorey some of them "successful cross" points!

While none of the promoted teams are being over-run this season (see, Sunderland 2005-2006), none of them seem to have enough to win yet. Opening day results not-withstanding. Maybe it will come in time, but it would better come sooner rather than later. The "established" Premiership teams that were expected to struggle like Portsmouth, Charlton, and Fulham have shown enough to win. Unless the new teams come up with the same character soon, they may be cut adrift at the foot of the table.

Speaking of clubs on the up, are Juan Pablo Angel and Bobby Zamora your must have strikers for this season? Both are cheap and are producing. More than can be said for the likes of Shevchenko, et al. A lot of big name strikers transfered to the Premiership this season, and so far, it's Zamora, Bent, Angel, Rooney, and hell, Francis... the familiar faces doing the damage.

Perhaps Kuyt can change that. He looked good on his debut and seemed to click well with Bellamy. But with all this players on Liverpool's squad this season, will anyone, save perhaps Stevie G, get a regular game? Fantasy manager's beware.

The best part of Ryan Giggs' goal? The Manager would have to say it was Watford's outfield player (sorry, didn't catch who it was) just LEVELING their keeper as he chased the play.

And now , just as we're getting into the groove of a new season... the international break. Well, before the Manager ducks out, one more game as Portsmouth look to continue their good start to the season at Boro. The Manager will be hoping for Matt Taylor to continue his run in midfield and will be looking for points from him.

Good luck to all. May all your qualifiers be friendly, and all your friendlies qualify.

The Manager