1. WRONG CALLS BY REFEREES HAVE TO STOP: Errors are part of life and are generally inevitable. However, certain profession gives room for little or no error(s) due to the consequence or fallout from any error. Refereeing is one of those professions. A game can be won, lost or drawn due to bad calls and as such, a lot of effort has been channeled into reducing to bearest minimum or possibly eliminating the margin of error in officiating. The English FA must pay rapt attention and react swiftly to the growing spate of wrong offside calls in the league.
Bournemouth lost a point and Manchester United lost two to wrong offside calls. Tendering an apology or punishing erring match officials will do nothing or little to fix the damage because the last time I checked, the three points Benteke’s “wrongly allowed goal” earned Liverpool still stands and Manchester United got just a single point from their game against Newcastle despite Rooney’s legit goal that was again wrongly disallowed.
These things may look insignificant or ‘little’ now but later on in hindsight, it may turn out to be the reason why a team fail to survive or win the title. This is the EPL, a league where every point, every goal counts.
2. CHELSEA’S PROBLEMS ARE FAR FROM OVER: Chelsea finally grabbed their first win of the season and scores goals aplenty but their problems are far from over as the awful defending and uninspiring play still remains. The 3-2 win against West Brom brings their total number of conceded goals to SEVEN with just three games into the season. A clear show of porous and poor defending – which is something Mourinho is very critical of.
John Terry continues to show his lack of pace and on top of that, committed a foul that reminds everyone of when Arsenal used to have Djourou at the heart of their defence, Ivanovic continues his woeful performance on the right where he is consistently turned inside out by anyone called a winger and Zouma looks like a ticking bomb with his perpetual lack of focus and unwise decisions in crucial areas. Cesar Azpilicueta remains the only defender that has put in a decent performance over the course of three games.
In the middle, the combination of Matic and Fabregas no longer yields desired result with Fabregas doing more to assist the opponents than his own team by regularly giving away possession and misplacing passes. The attack looks sharper with the inclusion of Pedro – who has hit the ground running but all the loopholes in the midfield and defence must be fixed if Chelsea are nurturing any dream of winning laurels this season.
Lastly, a free tip for Chelsea’s marketing team – Ivanovic will do well as Vine’s brand ambassador. He contributes more videos than anyone these days.
3. MANCHESTER CITY ARE THE TEAM TO BEAT: Maximum 9 points from three games played, 8 goals scored and none conceded – Manchester City are on a roll and they would take some stopping. With a much improved opposition in Everton (due respect to West Brom and Chelsea), Manchester City showed that their emphatic wins have more to do with their immense quality and tenacity than the level or quality of opposition.
A sturdy defence led by Kompany, a very creative and dominating midfield with Silva at the helms of affairs and a lethal strike force led by Sergio Aguero plus a very rich bench thanks to good signings, City are already looking like the team to beat.
4. MANCHESTER UNITED NEED TO SCORE: While the blue side of Manchester is bright and noisy from the shout of goals and victories, the other side isn’t all that good. Manchester United are still unable to score goals despite dominating games and overwhelming opponents.
Wayne Rooney is not finding the striking role easy and with every game, he increases the worry that Manchester United may need to look elsewhere for a striker. Newcastle’s barren draw is United’s third league game and they have only managed 2 goals – an own goal and deflected shot.
100 percent ball possession and passes completed does not win games, goals is what does. Manchester United will have to start scoring soon or find themselves in real trouble.
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