Weathering the Premier League

by Dave Redden

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Dave’s weekly rant

Having seen three premier league games this weekend one thing that struck me is the amount of times players failed to weight a pass properly on the slick or sodden field that accompanies English football in November. I also noticed that the bulk of the offenders are foreign including Spaniards, Argentines, Brazilians and the odd Irishman (naming no names here, you fill in the blanks).

My thought process regarding this problem is simple. Possibly everyone is used to fairly nice, dry, if not sunny season this deep into the year in their home country and, as such, are not used to the way a sodden field holds the ball up or the way a slick field will put a touch extra zip on a hard ball across the floor. Obviously this does not include the Irishman, he’s just crap anyway (again, no names but he plays for the Magpies and has DD as his initials). Either way and whatever the reason, if they want to continue to earn their salt in England they’d better get used to the weather pronto!

While I am nitpicking a touch another thing that seems to have slipped into English football is the question of club loyalty. I remember the days when players would find their home, often with the club that was willing to take a chance and bring them into the professional ranks, and stay with them, even staying on as coaches or advisors after their playing career ended. Anyone remember Terry Payne of Hereford United?

I understand that football is more of a business than it ever was in the good old days but some players only want to line their pockets and will do almost anything to move up the ladder. Fair enough, you say, we are a capitalist state after all. Aye, true, but please don’t switch teams more often than you do your underwear then swear undying loyalty to your new team. What’s got you fired up about all this, Dave? I’ll tell you what’s got me fired up ~ players who haven’t been in England five minutes, score a goal and look like they are 20 year veterans of the team, kissing their club badge, popping their shirt off their chest, pointing at the fans like they know them personally and all the other little nuances these converts carry with them. Then, lo and behold, the transfer window opens, the self-appointed Loyalist is off to greener pastures and the cycle starts all over again. Cynical of me? Maybe, but I like to see professionalism and, in my mind at least, a part of that is showing a little loyalty certain times.

Let’s get back to the league today though. Aston Villa are so fortunate to have had the start that they had, otherwise their recent performances would have them languishing in the basement. The same can be said of Hull, the only difference being that they have mainly still kept a high level of performance but the results haven’t gone their way. Bolton took three points from Hull and jumped from 19th to 10th at the end of the day, a similar event happened to Fulham after their 2-1 defeat of Newcastle. The way the league is shaping up at the moment a win can take you from the relegation zone to knocking on the door of Europe and vice versa, but I alluded to all that last week in my writings. Has anyone else noticed that only five of the twenty clubs have a positive goal difference?

At this point in time I have no idea who will make the drop but one team that I would be willing to put money on is West Bromwich Albion. Currently languishing at the foot of the table they haven’t won a league game since October 4th against Fulham and have only taken one point from a possible fifteen, having scored just three goals in those five games but having shipped fourteen. Not the form of a safe team. I think we will all have a better idea of our relegation candidates in about a month or so.

Thanks for your time this week, bloggers, and don’t forget to buy a war veteran a drink this Remembrance Sunday. Cheers!

Any basketball fans should check out Dave’s brilliant book High school basketball in Fayette County.

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  • Darren

    did you actually see the Weather in England today? It was almost a Monsoon, I actually got caught playing golf in it!

    The thing that really really bugs me is when players won’t or can’t use both feet, I mean they get paid over 20 grand per week, and that’s just the lower teams!

    Damien Duff did get an assist, although I must admit since he left Chelsea he has been total shite, what happened to the player that used to terrorize defenders with his mazzy runs?

    I’ve said this so many time in this blog but Villa are way to inconsistent, check out this blog,, since this was published they haven’t won a game, a few people even said they have a better squad then Arsenal, I mean come on, get real!!

    It’s exciting though, win 2 games and you go from bottom to 8th…

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