The Rakes of Mallow's Voice of the Supporters

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hello World

Hey all,

My name is Eric Owens, I'm a junior at ND and Tim has allowed me to contribute to this blog. I thank him for the opportunity to share some of my soccer thoughts with you, the reader. Though I do love Notre Dame and soccer, truthfully I have not been very involved in combining these two loves and attending ND soccer games, men's or women's. I have been to a few, but I look forward to attending many more in the coming season. That said, I am an avid soccer follower, most notably of the EPL. My favorite team is from the blue half of Merseyside- Everton. I try my best to watch the MLS but I am just not closely connected to any one team to follow the MLS like I do the EPL. Without further adieu, here is my take on the first three match weeks in the EPL.

You can't talk about the start of the EPL without mentioning the champions. Chelsea have looked absolutely stellar to begin this season. 3 games, 14 goals, 0 goals against. The mercurial Nicolas Anelka has been in fine form and has been irresistible partnering with Drogba. Flourent Malouda has been great for the Blues too, and it really is difficult to see any team challenging the aging Londoners this season if they can continue this form.

Going down the table, I have been impressed thus far with Arsenal new boy Maroune Chamakh. His movement has been very intelligent, but I would say I don't think he is quite clinical enough in front of goal. Of course Theo Walcott has been brilliant for the Gunners thus far, but Wegner is going to have some serious decisions to make about where to deploy the talented Englishman if Chamakh cannot convert enough chances up top.

Man U is a tough team to read right now. Roo Roo is in terrible form, his terrible World Cup still haunting him every time he takes the pitch. The former Everton star is an integral part of Man U's success as witnessed last season. Dimitar Berbatov, however, has been very impressive for the Red Devils so far. Could this be the season that he finally breaks out and scores 20+ goals? No one questions his talent level, but his partnership with Rooney has never quite seemed to pan out quite like Sir Alex would like. Scholes has been phenomenal for them. It's been great to see him boss the midfield like he used to all the time in the late 90s. If he can continue the rich vein of form he is in, Sir Alex will certainly have some personnel headaches.

On the other side of Manchester, the Citizens have been a bit hit or miss. A 1-0 loss to Sunderland following a very convincing win over Liverpool has seen Mancini catch a lot of grief for his starting 11. Carlos Tevez did miss an open goal against Sunderland, and Micah Richards clumsy foul in the 87th minute more or less gifted Sunderland 3 points they most certainly did not deserve. If this loss is but a minor blip, then City can very well challenge the top four and are my favorites to secure a Champions League spot. Two players that NEED to stay in the side despite heavy competition are Joe Hart and Adam Johnson. Hart, finally given his chance at City after a very impressive loan spell at Birmingham last season, fully deserves to be the England No 1. Quite a talented young goal keeper (and good looking if I do say so myself). Adam Johnson's left foot and style of play is very similar to Lionel Messi. He loves playing from the flanks, cutting inside and challenging defenders, meanwhile opening up space on the outside for fullbacks to make forward supporting runs. Quality quality player.

Sorry reader, I am writing way too much right now. And if I were to continue down the table and reach Everton, which would take another 13 painful overviews as it pains me how poor Everton are playing. Not to mention I could right an essay about how much Everton suck right now. We will save that for a later day. Hope you enjoyed it, and I certainly do not blame you if you are not reading this right now. Too long I know. Thank you again Tim for the opportunity. See you all again soon.

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