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Week 4 Roundup + Lack Of Respect

Wednesday 14th September 2011
After this week's offering from the Premier League, I have started to realise that for a very general overview of the action, I could have just used a template for the first four match weeks. Something along the lines of; The Manchester sides are very exciting, Chelsea are unconvincing, What happened to the old Arsenal we (mostly) loved? and everyone else needs to up their game and stop missing penalities.

What I'm trying to say is it has all been a bit too familiar so far. Ofcourse there is more to tell but I still feel the main points get summed up a little too nicely in that template. Negativity aside, this has probably been my favourite weekend so far. I was going to say how pleased I was at the lack of 0-0s but that got spoiled (thanks a lot QPR and Newcastle).

Firstly, the results for the predictions and updated table. After my massive defeat last time out, I got a very narrow win (8-7) against Iain to up my average. Even though I got my best score yet, I was more pleased to get my first specific prediction right, that Wayne Rooney would score a hat-trick at Bolton. This did wonders for my confidence and more importantly so, for my Fantasy Football team. Here is how the prediction table stands so far:

Dan Wood - 13

Iain Dennison - 7

Me - 6 (average)

Ste Dinnage - 3

On with the football. At the Etihad Stadium, a pasting I predicted, a pasting I almost got. City created enough chances to win the game with a cricket score but (mainly due to Lescott) many of them went off target. I wasn't entirely sure that Aguero would settle straight away, like many South Americans in the Premier League but I was very very wrong about that. His finishing is superb and what I liked most about his third goal was that, even on a hat-trick, he still looked for a pass to a better position first. He even seems to enjoy being at City, something a lot of their strikers could learn from him.

Speaking of happiness, what an awful penalty that was by Tevez. I'd like to have seen Al Habsi go the other way just to see how Tevez would have celebrated it. I fully agree with him being stripped of the captaincy. If you don't love the club, how can you be captain? Also how can you be getting a weekly pay cheque of more than what some people will see in a life time and still be complaining. Carlos, if you are unhappy, keep your mouth shut. You wave the right to "not be settled" when you earn that much.

Actually, about City's riches, I always feel like a lone voice in this but I don't necessarily see them as a bad thing. I'm not happy with how they got the money so undeservedly but it had to happen to one side. I would much rather see a top six than a top four. It makes the league much more interesting when two sides capable of winning the league don't even qualify for the Champions League (yes, Spurs are capable of winning the league).

I know I have barely mentioned Wigan but that's because I said in my last post that there is not point judging them from this game, next week at Everton will be a much bigger test for Martinez's side.

Going back to City's wealth, I think it has helped United. It must be horrible seeing your rivals spending so much money that they become your main challenger for the title. Ofcourse I do realise that United have also spent more than most clubs can dream of spending but they have had years of success prior to this. I would quite like to see this season as just a two horse race. It would be very entertaining but only on the condition that it was for one season only. I don't want the Premier League to turn into La Liga. What's that? Barcelona and Real Madrid finished as the top two again? Oh, you do surprise.

As I have said before, it is nice to see United ripping teams to shreds rather than just edging past them and barely deserving a win (yes offense meant at Chelsea). What was all the fuss about maybe dropping De Gea before the game? You don't spend that much money on a keeper to blood him in slowly. He needs to be thrown in at the deep end. He is still better than the other United keepers so they just need to accept that for a few months he will still make the odd mistake but will come out stronger from it. Again, not a great deal to say on Bolton, other than try to move on and forget about this game.

From what Match of the Day showed, it looked like a good performance from Liverpool but Stoke managed to defend their way to victory. Tevez, take note from Walters, that is how you take a penalty. Two things really annoyed me about Liverpool in this game, Suarez and King Kenny. Suarez is such a talented player and like Aguero, had no settling in period, just started performing straight away but he is such a disgusting player, he is no role model in his attutude. Every game, he is mouthing off to the officials for not getting decisions his way, what's more annoying is that he dives for a lot of them. It made me feel sick when his cross hit Upson's chest and then went onto his arm (never hand-ball) and then Suarez furiously ran over to the linesman and screamed in his face. The person he should be learning respect from, King Kenny? Whining about decisions not going Liverpool's way, not just in this game but in all four matches. I suppose he forgets about the two offside goals against Arsenal. Kenny, you lost because you were not good enoguh to win (or draw) the game, end of discussion.

The most interesting event at the Stadium of Light occured before the ball had even been kicked. I assumed that Gyan would be staying at Sunderland, at least until January, but I guess that just shows how little he cares for the club. No matter what he says, everyone knows the real reason he has gone to play in the United Arab Emirates. He was their record signing, big things were expected of him. It is the fans I feel most sorry for. It must be one thing to see a player use your team as a stepping stone to a bigger club but it is another to see them go to a team that most people have never heard of. It feels like he missed out on a move to a big side so when the opportunity to get more money came along, Gyan didn't care where it was, just as long as it wasn't Sunderland.

Dealing with the game, I expect a lot from both of these sides but neither has done anything to convince me yet. I was very pleased to see Sturridge start. He did so well at Bolton, it would have been a shame for him to go back to Chelsea just to warm the bench. His goal was very inventive and very...cheeky. And for his goal, I am pleased to announce that the Cheeky award has now gone to Daniel Sturridge. Congratulations.

Another side that is failing to impress me is Villa but I can also see that my bias against them could be clouding my judgement. Still, my hatred of Villa had no impact on making it obvious that it was two points dropped by Everton. On the protest by some of the Everton fans before that game, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. My beloved Birmingham (and others) are in a much worse situation. At first I thought that the fans needed a little perspective and realise that while they weren't spending money, it could be a lot worse. They do have a strong side after all. Then it came to me that it wasn't so much the current state of the club, more what might happen if things continue along the same path. I would love to hear from Everton fans on this.

There isn't a great deal to say on the other five games so I will just blast through them now. At least Arsenal won but it was far from easy for them. It must have been nice for the them to witness a goal keeping mistake that benefitted them and didn't cost them a trophy (har de har har). Swansea's next three games are West Brom, Chelsea and Stoke, sides not known for conceding goals. When will Swansea score?

It was a good win for Spurs but Wolves did look string during the game. They got caught in possession a few too many times though. Bit of a dirty game at Carrow Road. No idea how the referee missed the elbow on Vaughan, the slow motion replays didn't do that one justice for how much force was in it. Two very good goals at Craven Cottage. Personally, I preffered Zamora's finish to Rochaina's because it was much more composure but take nothing away from the Blackburn man.

I haven't seen any highlights for QPR and Newcastle yet but from the sounds of it, sounds like QPR should have won it. It also sounding like Wright-Phillips had a cracking game, which I am pleased to hear, I've always liked him but never thought he was good enough to be at City or Chelsea.

Sorry for the lack of detail in those last few games but I found it a real struggle to write down anything of interest while watching Match of the Day 2. I will be back on Friday with some predictions and a new guest to challenge. See you then.

Ole1208
Oliver Friend
23 year old Psychology graduate from The University of Hull. Massive England fan and supporter of Birmingham City at club level. Currently spending a lot of time going to watch North Ferriby United in the Conference North. Also try to keep up with the major European leagues. Follow on Twitter: @ole1208

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