B -BALOTELLI, “Super” Mario – Without a doubt, one of the most talented young players’ in the Premier League, with bags of talent. Unfortunately, his consistency when he gets a continous run of games in the City team is often over shadowed by his controversial temperament and behaviour – both on the pitch and off it, from throwing darts at youth team players, provoking fans – Manchester City versus Aston Villa – along with crashing expensive cars and now, leaving his team-mates quaking in fear after volunteering to plan City’s team Christmas night out! You will often find me referring to any stupid act carried out by a footballer as an act of Mario Balotelli-esque status.
C – CONTROVERSY – From poor refereeing decisions in big derby’s – Jack Rodwell’s dismissal against Liverpool for a perfectly legal tackle on Luis Suarez – to opening day red cards’ – Gervinho versus Newcastle, we love it! It’s what keeps us intrigued with the league and simply, the League wouldn’t be the same without it.
D – DISAPPOINTMENT, early season – A majority of fans will have been disappointed with the early season form of their teams. With Arsenal and Bolton fans probably the most gutted, along with Blackburn fans – who experienced talk of Ronaldinho and David Beckham arriving at Ewood Park via the money of an Indian Chicken farm.. really! before, inevitably we found out that it was complete and utter nonsense. Bolton fans saw an opening day victory preceed with six straight defeats and ended up propping up the League with Blackburn. With Arsenal’s darlings – Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri – departing before the start of the season, it signalled a miserable and long season for the Gunners.
E – EMBLEM, unjustified kissing of – There are probably around a handful of players who are geniunely permitted to kiss the emblem of the club they play for. This has been quite an issue being spoken of recently and evoked my memory after seeing Steven Gerrard (a.k.a Mr.Liverpool) kissing the Liverpool emblem following scoring against Manchester United – he is perfectly entitled to, yet there are many players who will snog their club’s badge before jumping on the money bandwagon and repeating this several times.
F – FERNANDO Torres – He has been under intense media scrutiny of late and the talk of everyone following his “my nan could have scored that” miss. You know the one! It must be incredibly difficult for him with the pressure on his shoulders, and even then, when he does score; it is often overshadowed by a moment of madness, with his lunge in the Swansea game misting his good finish in the game, but that is just how the media report it. Personally I feel slightly sorry for him, he obviously has talent just seems he isn’t in the mindset to exemplify it. Then again you have to laugh at how bad that miss against Manchester United was, .
G – GOALS GALORE – Match of the Day has been highly gripping entertainment so far this season, with games like the notorious 8 – 2 thumping of Arsenal by Manchester United and City’s 5-1 demolition of Tottenham and Fulham’s 6-0 beating of QPR just a selection of the high scoring games we have seen so far this season and making the two Alan’s analysis bearable, just about.
H – HANGOVER, European Style – Both Stoke and Fulham are questionably suffering European Hangovers following the demands of the Qualifying rounds of the Europa League – Stoke have a record of two defeats, one late win, and two draws in the Premier League matches immediately after a European game. Fulham have an almost identical record – suffering two defeats, two draws – one against Manchester City – and one win.
I – INTERESTING, managerial performances – Two men who deserve particular praise are Alan Pardew and Alex McLeish – the latter of whom had to earn the respect of Aston Villa supporters having moved from Birmingham City following a very controversial decision – which was ultimately right – by Randy Lerner. Pardew has worked his magic and got the Toon into the top 4 following eight games undefeated – a feat only achieved by the two Manchester Clubs this season. Pardew has also had to deal with the loss of their three main players last season; Joey Barton, Jose Enrique and Andy Carroll, but by replacing them with classy Frenchman Yohann Cabaye, former Internazionale full-back Davide Santon, 21 and Manchester United reject Gabriel Obertan he has restored a priceless team spirit that saw them come back from twice down against Tottenham to earn a draw and keep their undefeated record intact. Good to see Newcastle restoring some sanity and respect following the close season palava.
J – JOBCENTRE – Where a few managers could be heading if the form of their teams doesn’t pick up sooner or later…
K – KENNY, King – The Scot has revived Liverpool back to the force they once were via over a £100 million investment in new players and restored faith in the current squad to have the luxury of a high quality rotatable squad with the depth rivalling the two Mancunian teams. His frank and hilariously straight and obvious answers on Match of the Day also provide top class entertainment.
L – LOAN stars – Behind the fantastic early season form of Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly is the one thing that they have in common; being loaned out last season to gain Premier League experience. As we gawp at the statistic that at this point in the season, young Daniel Sturridge has scored more than Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka combined. If he keeps this form up, there is no reason why Capello should ignore Sturridge and take England’s tempramental “Golden Boy” Wayne Rooney. Welbeck is another youngster on fire this season, having established a good domestic partnership with Rooney. Sunderland, Bolton and Wigan should all take credit for these youngsters fast development, resulting in cementing their places in two of the European Elite teams. Will Dedryk Boyata – currently on loan at Bolton – emerge as a fixture in City’s defence next season?
M – MANCHESTER – The City of Dominance in English football has prevailed once again in the early season, with City perched just above United on goal difference as they go head to head this coming weekend in what is the most important game of the season to date – it should be fascinating with the array of talent on display. Sir Alex has already started the mind games by saying in his post match interview against Liverpool – by deliberately missing out Manchester City from the list;
” We’ve faced all the big teams, really, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.”
N – NEVER say die attitude – It’s an attribute that all teams who are vying for the championship need to have. The most obvious team who have this attitude are Manchester United. In the Liverpool game they kept plugging away after they went behind to prevail with a draw via the instinctive reactions of fans favourite Javier Hernandez – quite possibly Ferguson’s best find of the century and in the FC Basel game, a 90th minute equaliser from Ashley Young saved United’s blushes – I highly doubt another British team would have had the ability to find the determination to push for an equaliser. Chelsea seem to be quietly plugging away and may be deriving some of this attitude under Andre Villas Boas though.
O – OVER-RATED – This one is really annoying me, who is Ross Barkley? Can anyone care to enlighten me as to who this “Superkid” is? Infact, drop the “Superkid” superlative, a “Superkid” is someone who is proven at the highest level. Neymar is a “Superkid”, already representing Brazil at National team level at the tender age of 19. Just because Barkley got a man of the match does not mean he should be the centre of attention of £20 million plus bids’ from Manchester United and Chelsea like the media are reporting. The over-rating of young players’ can only be detrimental to their progression as negative publicity may follow from their “below standard development” having been blown out of all proportions of their ability.
P – PRESSURE – The word is familiar to many this season. No-one more than Arsene Wenger, with crushing defeats and very little activity in the transfer markets before deadline day of Summer, his tenure has never been under so much Pressure from the media and fans. Steve Bruce must also be sweating under the collar, with big pressure around his team following a spending spree using the money from Jordan Henderson’s pricey move to Liverpool, unfortunately, they haven’t won in a month and that is their only win this season to date.
Q – QUALITY, influx of– This season has seen the arrival of some players that ooze class, to add to the Spanish contingency in the Premier League, Juan Manuel Mata has flew into Chelsea’s starting line up, David De Gea’s controversial incoming at Old Trafford and Sergio Aguero’s welcomed arrival at the Etihad Stadium have further enhanced the quality of the Premier League
R – REVITALISED, players who’ve been – Most notably Gabriel Agbonlahor, who has been on fire this season, the jet-heeled striker has been on top form, such we haven’t seen since Martin O’Neil’s reign at Villa Park. It seems that a home nations manager is the solution to getting Agbonlahor playing at his peak (England take note!) and should he keep this form up he will be competing with Sturridge, Welbeck and Bent for a starting place at the Euro’s. Shaun Wright-Phillips seems to also be revitalised following his long winded term at Manchester City and getting a new lease of life at QPR.
S – SAGAS – No early season would be the same without one, but we’ve been lucky enough to be graced with two! The long and twisting, almost mystifing Carlos Tevez (above) affair sees no end as he is soon to be called before a disciplinary board following his “apparent” refusal to go on as a substitute at Munich. Then the preceding summer saga of little Croatian Luka Modric and his battle of the powers with Daniel Levy also made back page news.
T – TITLE contenders – It’s difficult to see any other teams other than Manchester City and United and Chelsea pushing for the title, Liverpool may be the dark horse – but they all have one thing in common, depth in their squad which other teams cannot afford. On the other hand; will Newcastle emulate Wengers Champions of 2004 and be the Invincibles?..
U – UNSETTLING rumours – It’s also never too early for the journos’s to predict who is moving in January. There seems to be strong whispers that Robin Van Persie, Arsenals captain and Mr.Incredible might be on the move – to – not other than Manchester City. I mean really? I know Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez are inevitably not going to play for the club again but even then; Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and an array of wingers are already berthed at City. It appears no transfer window will ever be complete from now on without “Manchester City want to buy everyone” rumours. Arsenal may as well agree to become a feeder club to City with the one way conveyer belt of players ditching North London for the bright lights and £100,000+ weekly cheques of Manchester..
V – VILLAS-BOAS, Andre – Probably Roman Abramovich’s third biggest risk take following the purchases of Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres respectively. Looks to be paying off following some big wins of late. Appears as one cool customer despite being in the depths of Abramovich’s ruthlessness, yet he might just be the man to emerge as a Champions League winner with the Blues – sooner or later..
W – WAYNE ROONEY – England’s footballing darling has frustrated fans once again, with a three match ban resulting in the exclusion of the first three games of Euro 2012 meaning he might not play at all if he does go. Yet, Rooney is in superb domestic form with United – though benched for the Liverpool game as he tries to come to terms with the ridiculous, petulant kick that ended hopes of him playing in England’s first game in Poland/Ukraine.
X – X-Factor, The – On early signs, this season has got it; the Premier League just get more competitive, tense and nervous every year.
Y – YOUTH Along with the Loan Stars that have literally shone this season, a number of other youths have also propelled onto the Premier League stage, Aston Villa midfielders MarcAlbrighton and Barry Bannan, Blackburn striker David Goodwillie, Manchester United defender Phil Jones and Emmanuel Frimpong have all been key in their teams seasons so far this season.
Z – Zzzz 0-0 games, lack of – Eight of the Premier League games so far this season have been 0-0 draws, of the eighty two (I believe) games that have been played so far, that’s just under 10% of all the games. 90% of games have had goals, an excellent sign.
Written by Kieran Buxton
Follow me @keeezaa