It's like Match of the Day, but with stickmen
The new season brought us a few shocks but reigning champions Chelsea picked up just where they had left off with a 6-0 drubbing of newly-promoted West Brom. Blues striker Didier Drogba scored the first hat-trick of the season, his third goal taking the kind of deflection that teammate Frank Lampard would have been proud of.
Earlier this month Drogba announced that he has been struggling with an injury for over half a decade; perhaps that’s why he feels the need to take a five-minute kip during every game. As for Albion, their fans should probably wait a while before buying Premier league patches for their replica shirts.
Meanwhile at White Hart Lane, all eyes were on big spenders Manchester City to see how they fared in their opener away to Tottenham. But it was Spurs who looked more like top four contenders, with only City keeper Joe Hart’s heroics keeping the scoreline at 0-0.
In fact the only Manchester City player who scored this weekend was James Milner in Villa’s easy win against West Ham. City manager Roberto Mancini quashed rumours of unrest in the camp before the match, but admitted he does have problems with his coaches – saying that he didn’t have enough of them to transport all of his midfielders down to London.
The performance of the weekend must surely go to everyone’s relegation favourites Blackpool, who astonishingly took Wigan apart 4-0 at the DW Stadium. After Blackpool’s Alex Baptiste slotted home the Seasiders' fourth in the 75th minute, the home fans were so disgusted by their team's showing that half of them headed for the exits, while the other two decided to stay and finish off their pies.
GOAL OF THE WEEKDuring Wolves’ 2-1 win over Stoke, David Jones pulled this beauty out of his locker; receiving a short free-kick, Jones chipped up the ball then belted it past Stoke’s helpless keeper Thomas Sorenson and in off the bar. Apparently the strike was so impressive that even Wolves manager Mick McCarthy’s eyebrows cracked a smile.
After drowning out the vuvuzelas during the World Cup with their constant complaints about the dreaded Jabulani football, goalkeepers all over the country welcomed the new Premier League Match ball. We’re told that its brightly coloured markings make it much easier for keepers to see the ball and judge its flight. Pepe Reina, Tim Howard, Manuel Almunia and Chris Kirkland, just wondering how it worked out for you?
CRAP KITS: Everton awayThe new season always throws up its fair share of classic shirts but it’s the truly awful ones that stick in the memory, and this “lightning pink” Everton away kit looks like it might literally have been “thrown up”.
"FUTURE OF FOOTBALL"-WATCHAnd finally, this season we’re keeping an eye on the three saviours of the English game; the youngsters who according to the “newspapers” should be picked alongside David Beckham in Capello’s international set-up.
During his side’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere played for just over 45 minutes and executed a tackle on Inter Milan's Javier Mascherano that, had the roles been reversed, would have had given Arsene Wenger something to complain about for six months. The teenage Zidane was lucky to escape at least a caution: as ex-Everton defender and TV’s co-commentator Matt Jackson so brilliantly admitted, “I’ve seen worse tackles get yellows.”
The other English supermen-in-waiting, Kieran Gibbs and Everton’s Jack Rodwell, warmed their respective benches. No doubt they were saving themselves for the Euro qualifiers next month.
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