Weekend Review: What You Missed (Aug. 13-14)

I try not to read anything beyond factual results for the first month of the English Premier League, because they’re pretty much as worthless as a snood in the Manchester City team store.  And as I write this with the Super Copa in the background, and Ray Hudson shrieking at every attack from either side like a teenage girl at a concert, I find it hard to make any gross generalizations about this weekend’s set of games for fear of sounding like every other sky-is-falling analysis.  Face it.  I live just outside of DC.  The Redskins win one pre-season game and local radio crowns them Super Bowl contenders.  Not how it works.

While Manchester United overcame a De Gea blunder to win at the Hawthorns, all the major title contenders failed to secure anything more than a draw.  Still, I’m left unconvinced.  Arsenal looked like they lacked the tenacity to finish, in a rather uninspiring game with Newcastle that will be remembered more for its antics among Joey Barton’s tirade, Gervinho’s dive, slap and sending off, and Alex Song’s unpunished stomp.  Hardly the 4-4 classic from last year, but no reason to write off Arsenal just yet.  Maybe it was just that Newcastle switched to black with white stripes, instead of white with black.  That could make all the difference.

Liverpool look quite good, and let’s face it, the EPL will be fun when Liverpool are good again.  They managed only a 1-1 draw with Sunderland, who showed signs of being a solid mid-table team last year.  Again, not enough is known of either side to say.  Same goes with Stoke and Chelsea.  Chelsea are going to be finding a new identity under a new manager, and transformed a boring game into an exciting second half, even with no goals.

None of the results really were overly surprising.  I mean, I was just happy watching football again.  But I need to give you something.  So I will acknowledge one of the more gruesome things I’ve seen in football that doesn’t involve a broken bone and a limb unnaturally hanging like a Twizzler.  Well… two things… you decide.

On one hand, we have Raul Meireles, one of the most important players to Liverpool’s successful season, looking like both a prison camp victim and the German guard at the same time.  Seriously, the mohawk looks like the result of shaving not just his hair, but any muscle and facial definition from the side of his head.  He looks like the least threatening neo-Nazi ever.  Then there’s Wigan debutant Adrian Lopez, who either collided heads with someone, or survived a sniper assault.  The makeshift bouffant is not helping his cause either.

I suppose I can use that as a gimmick for at least a few weeks.  I’d love to hear what you have to say.  Manchester City welcome Swansea Monday afternoon, and you’ll hear from me later this week.  Below are some of the top goals from the weekend.  Enjoy.

Click here to see Seb Larsson’s stunning goal for Sunderland (1-1 vs Liverpool).

Click here to see Gary Cahill’s goal for Bolton (4-0 vs QPR).

Click here to see Kevin Doyle’s penalty miss, leading to Stephen Ward’s goal for Wolves (2-1 vs Blackburn).

Click here for Ashley Young’s strike (ruled an own goal) and debut goal for Manchester United (2-1 vs West Brom).

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