Premier League Round-Up: The Madness of December is Over, the Insanity of January is About to Begin

As the fixture lists thicken, so too does the plot. The Premier League has always prided itself on the brutality of its winter schedule, of the underlying feeling that, while any team can vault themselves into its upper echelons through no more than deep pockets, to scale its summit demands a resolve deeper still. Continue reading “Premier League Round-Up: The Madness of December is Over, the Insanity of January is About to Begin”

Premier League Round Up: Liverpool and Arsenal Serve Up Early Christmas Cracker

Christmas is a time to put your feet up and take it easy and it was in this spirit that both defences on show at the Emirates prematurely entered on Friday night. With last season’s 3-4 bonanza still fresh in the memory, Arsenal and Liverpool served up an early Christmas cracker which only underlined both how enjoyable the two are to watch and yet why neither are even relatively close to being of a title winning pedigree. Continue reading “Premier League Round Up: Liverpool and Arsenal Serve Up Early Christmas Cracker”

Premier League Review: Arnautovic Basks In Hate-Fueled Glory

The act of celebrating a goal is a rich and varied art. Do you play it cool or erupt in emotion? If you have a pregnancy to announce do you go the thumb-in-mouth route or for the the ball-stuffed-under-your-shirt? Which font on your tailor-made undershirt will be easiest for the cameras to pick up? For the superstars, meanwhile, the celebration has become just another extension of the personal brand, every goal stamped with an unmistakable visual jingle to remind you once more who this particular goal was brought to you by. However, for all this complication, the importance of how you mark finding the back of the net is never more delicate than when you do so against one of your former sides. Continue reading “Premier League Review: Arnautovic Basks In Hate-Fueled Glory”

Premier League Midweek Roundup: Claude’s Revenge

In the summer, the powers that be at St Mary’s concluded that an eighth place finish, complemented by narrow defeat in the League Cup final, fell so far short of expectations that it wasn’t even worth giving the architect of such a calamity a chance to turn things around. Maybe his meek demeanour persuaded them he wasn’t quite cut out for the brash brawl that is the Premier League? Maybe after seeing the previous two managers they’d headhunted desert them in pursuit of fancier projects (with very mixed results), the board just wanted to be the ones who got to dictate the terms of disengagement for once? “It’s not you Mr Puel. It’s us”… “We just don’t think we’re in a place where we can give you what you deserve right now”… “You’ll always hold a special place in our hearts”. Whatever the case, revenge is a dish best served Claude. Continue reading “Premier League Midweek Roundup: Claude’s Revenge”

City Sew Up Title as Moyes Throws Battle for England Number 1 Shirt Wide Open

Much like Christmas, Manchester derbies have in recent years taken on especially festive feel, a sense of operatic extravaganza that begins to unfold long before the two sides take to the pitch and, as reports from the Old Trafford tunnel attest, doesn’t reach its conclusion until well after the final whistle is blown. Continue reading “City Sew Up Title as Moyes Throws Battle for England Number 1 Shirt Wide Open”

Pardew and Allardyce the Only Winners as the Premier League’s Depressing Game of Musical Chairs Continues

Dust off your glitter-balls, whip out the flared trousers: the Premier League’s about to get its boogie back. Yes, Alan Pardew, last seen swinging his hips with trademark focus on the task at hand moments before his Crystal Palace side imploded in the FA Cup final, is back in the big time at West Brom. And as if that wasn’t enough to get you on your feet and fist pumping, Sam Allardyce, himself no stranger to being caught embracing the furious rhythm of the night, will also be cha-cha-chaing his way back to the dugout at Everton after cha-cha-charging a small fortune to pull the Toffees out of their present malaise. Continue reading “Pardew and Allardyce the Only Winners as the Premier League’s Depressing Game of Musical Chairs Continues”

Pulis Awaits New Canvas on Which to Paint His Singular Style

History’s greatest artists have each perceived the world in a unique manner. Picasso expressed it in cubism, Van Gough through swirling cacophonies of melancholia, Turner via nebulous explosions of light. Continue reading “Pulis Awaits New Canvas on Which to Paint His Singular Style”