Continuing where we left of from before, about this summer being confusing, it seems to me, it perfectly reflects my life. But moving on from life to more important things.
Martin Jol’s a good manager. I guess the fact that he is not English, and that rather unceremonious exit from Tottenham has somehow plummeted his brand. Even after losing two of his key players, Fulham sits in a European berth. Berbatov has rejoined him and even though they might slip a few positions, and how much ever an ambitious expectation for the season is established for the sake of the fans, we all know, that the primary target is not struggling in the bottom half of the league, and ending up somewhere in mid-table, and well if Europe does come calling, who could possibly say no to some quid. Remember that final anyone?
Manchester City has been a surprise. With a squad to challenge again for top honors even before the season began, there was tinkering in the final day. But the attitude seems to surprise me. The first day win, seemed to suggest that the grit to defend the title was there. But subsequent travails, mind you with a missing Aguero, have not born enough fruit. Serious gambles in Europe, and non-conversion of leads into wins, is asking serious questions of the will to go ahead in Europe. Of course we also have to mention the effects of the Group Of Death.
Of all the luck that AVB didn’t have in Chelsea, and Tottenham didn’t have in getting through to the Champions League, it all seems to be turning around in the last couple of games. He prized two players heading to Liverpool, and even though the start has been sluggish, there seems to be a turn in the tide. Defoe, whose future had been heavily speculated, seems to have found the answer for his manager. The one thing to remember is that they have yet to play a big team. That will be a true test of the squad marshaled by AVB. But somehow I feel AVB is secretly waiting for it. Especially against the Londoners. Especially against a former employer he took digs at.
Even though Alan Pardew’s surprising revolution seems to have slowed down a little bit, they might seem to sit where they will eventually end up. But having said that when they did hit a patch, they always had the Senegalese and one Ben Arfa to come up with wonder performances to surprise a few of the top drawers. A win against Tottenham held high promise and a good draw with Chelsea means that they collected 4 out of 6 out of the top four opposition. If form stays they will climb up but the question is will this Northern Revolution be good enough to bring Champions League football next season to St. James…sorry Sports Direct Arena.
West Ham. Sam Allardyce is a less glorified Roy Hodgson. Some old school football with all of a war’s physicality. They will be drilled at the back. The crosses will be floated. They will be fighting relegation. This momentary high is because none of the biggies have graced Upton Park, and the roads have led to no place special. Big Andy might give them a flicker of hope, but big Andy lay on a big nursing table.