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The Thursday Throwdown: A to Z

By | 27th August 2009

kenwyne-jonesAnother week is past, and you know what that means: yet another A to Z breakdown of this week in Premier League action. Here we go…

A is for Abou Diaby. The underrated Arsenal midfielder grabbed a brace on Saturday as he led Arsenal to yet another early season romp. It came at a good time, too, as Cesc Fabregas hobbled off at halftime through injury. Diaby stepped up and showed Arsenal fans what he’s made of.

B is for Burnley. Could I have chosen anything else for this spot? Burnley enjoyed one of the biggest weeks in club history as they not only defeated Manchester United last Wednesday, but they followed that up with yet another upset as they beat Everton. Well done, lads.

C is for Champions League. Arsenal got the ball rolling for English clubs as they thrashed Celtic over two legs, and clubs, players, and fans are all gearing up for yet another Champions League campaign. With the draw happening  later today, the speculation can begin.

D is for Davies. Curtis Davies was one of the most influential players on the pitch as he led Aston Villa to an unlikely 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield. Davies not only played well in the back to contain Liverpool, but his neat header gave Aston Villa some breathing room.

E is for Everton. How could I mention Burnley but ignore Everton? Quite simply, Everton has had an awful start to the season. Two losses in two matches leave them at the bottom of the table, but once the injuries clear up David Moyes should be able to sort things out. Oh yeah, that unhappy defender is gone now, too.

F is for finally. Portsmouth fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the club’s takeover is finally complete. Sulaiman Al Fahim has announced that he has completed his takeover at Fratton Park, and fears of financial collapse can now go away. Can Portsmouth change their on-pitch fortunes now?

G is for goals. Arsenal fans and Manchester United fans will fondly look back at this weekend’s action. Both clubs scored goals galore in their matches, as Arsenal put four past Portsmouth at the Emirates and United banged in five second half goals against Wigan at the DW Stadium.

H is for Hull City. Hull picked up a crucial three points at the weekend against Bolton Wanderers as they won 1-0 at home. Phil Brown has already dismissed claims of a second-season slump, but after two losses during the first week of Premiership action, this win against Bolton was necessary.

I is for insanity. Football took a turn for the worse this week as fans at Upton Park went insane. Millwall was of course there for the occasion as the two rivals clashed in the second round of the Carling Cup, and the FA is now working hard to bring the offenders to justice.

J is for Joleon Lescott. So the big man finally got his move. Everton reluctanctly sold Lescott to Manchester City this week, and the England hopeful can now focus on his football again. Just in time for the World Cup campaign!

K is for Kenwyne Jones. This man knows how to score. If he wasn’t injured so much last season we would have seen his name on the scoresheet a lot more, but Jones isn’t wasting any time this season. Two goals against Blackburn on Saturday brought Sunderland from 1-0 down to 2-1 victors, and Jones is helping Steve Bruce have a successful spell at the Stadium of Light.

L is for Lennon. Anyone who watched Spurs take on West Ham at Upton Park could have predicted this one. Aaron Lennon was one of the best players on the pitch on Sunday as Tottenham came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1, and it was Lennon himself who scored the game winner.

M is for Michael Owen. I hate to bring this man up for not doing much, but scoring his first competitive goal for Manchester United deserves a mention. It may not have been significant in the grand scheme of things as United ran away with the match, but Owen getting back on track is only a good thing for England. Mr. Capello, are you watching?

N is for Nani. The Portuguese winger was United’s most influential player on Saturday. Whether he was running at defenders, whipping crosses in, assisting Michael Owen, or netting from a freekick, Nani did it all. Should be an automatic starter for the Red Devils.

O is for oops. Just as Fernando Torres brought Liverpool back into touching distance of Villa (his goal made it 2-1), Steven Gerrard committed a silly mistake. It may not have been malicious, but Gerrard’s outstretched legs clumsily gifted Villa a penalty. Ashley Young stuck it in the back of the net, and Rafa was left scratching his head.

P is for poor performance. Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva had a day to forget on Monday night as his own goal set Aston Villa on their way at Anfield. The young Brazilian’s performance was nothing to write home about, and in the absence of Xabi Alonso, Rafa Benitez has a lot to figure out. Judging by this performance Lucas isn’t quite ready, but the potential is there. He has time to improve, but for Liverpool’s sake I hope he does so soon.

Q is for quiet. The transfer window closes in just five days, and all is quiet on the surface. Rumors continue to fly around the footballing world, but there hasn’t been much activity just yet.

R is for running rampant. Who do you view as the strongest side this season? I believe it’s Chelsea, and the Blues have been running rampant out of the gates. Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka just can’t be stopped up front, and this side remind me of a well maintained machine. There’s discipline and talent all over the pitch, and Chelsea still have a perfect record under Carlo Ancelotti.

S is for September 1st. We’re all used to the transfer window closing on August 31st, but if your club hasn’t done any business on the night of the 31st, have no fear! The transfer window for Premier League clubs closes on September 1st this year.

T is for Thierry Henry. Perhaps I’m overreacting or perhaps I’m just not seeing straight, but is Emmanuel Adebayor looking like a good Thierry Henry replacement? The Premier League has been missing a pure goalscorer since Henry left (Ronaldo was as close as it got, but his goals came from the midfield), but Adebayor looks like a real force up top. He scored again at the weekend for City, and if the goals keep coming then his numbers could be up there with Henry’s.

U is for underrated. Speaking of Adebayor and City, have they been vastly underrated leading up to the season? Mark Hughes has put together quite a decent side at the City of Manchester Stadium, and while their rivals are struggling they are quietly stringing together wins. Hmm…

V is for victories. There were victories all around the Premier League this week. Out of the ten matches that were played, nine of them saw a victor, with only Birmingham and Stoke City playing out to a draw.

W is for Wayne Rooney. England’s savior joined an elite club this past weekend as he broke through the 100 goals for Manchester United barrier. It wasn’t enough for the young man, as he went on to score his 101st goal against Wigan as well.

X is for xtra strength ref. Howard Webb showed the world that he’s more than just a man behind a whistle. As Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega went ballistic and lunged towards Nemanja Vidic, Webb single-handedly held back the striker and prevented a brawl.

Y is for Younes Kaboul. Kaboul scored the first goal for Portsmouth this season as he netted against Arsenal at the Emirates. With his team down and out and winless in their first ┬áthree matches, at least it looks like they’re trying.

Z is for Zain Alvi. My Premiership Talk colleague published a pretty stunning and meaningful article about this weekend’s violence at Upton Park, racism in football, and professionalism, and everyone should take some time to read it. Check it out right here.

Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. Zain Alvi says:

    Haha so not only did I accidentally post the same comment twice, but I also couldn't get things across clearly. About Henry – I don't mean to say that he doesn't deserve the praise. He certainly does – I was just surprised to see a Man United fan singing his praises. And about the Adebayor part, that's where I agree that you might be overreacting as he's certainly got a long way to go before being put in that elite league.

  2. Thomas O'Loughl says:

    What an amazing contrast between Nani this season and Nani last season, what did Ferguson do to him, if only he could get Anderson now to start showing his ability on a consistent basis. Also Man City have had a very nice start to the season in fairness, it'll be interesting when some bench-warmers get frustrated at their lack of match time with no european compeition to give everyone games.

  3. Zain Alvi says:

    Wow Brian I am flattered to see myself in this countdown – I really appreciate it! I also have to say, I can't believe you praised TH14 the way you did – you might be overreacting indeed. About Kenwyne Jones, I can't agree more. In 2007-08 when I went to the Emirates to see Arsenal play the Black Cats, we went 2-0 up inside six minutes, only to see Jones bring Sunderland level by half-time. So I agree, him and Darren Bent could really push Steve Bruce's Teesiders towards a Europa League spot.

  4. Zain Alvi says:

    Wow Brian I am flattered to see myself in this countdown – I really appreciate it! I also have to say, I can't believe you praised TH14 the way you did – you might be overreacting indeed. About Kenwyne Jones, I can't agree more. In 2007-08 when I went to the Emirates to see Arsenal play the Black Cats, we went 2-0 up inside six minutes, only to see Jones bring Sunderland level by half-time. So I agree, him and Darren Bent could really push the Teesiders towards a Europa League spot!

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