David Moyes’ old Club, Everton under Roberto Martinez can’t stop winning and David Moyes with his new club Manchester United can’t stop losing. Moyes without his two impact players, Rooney and Persie, beat Swansea 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Manchester United is struggling to be Manchester United of the Sir Alex Ferguson era. Moyes can at anytime put eleven solid players on the pitch but there is no chemistry. Their defense this season has been shaky and the mid-field is not creative.
Against Swansea, Welbeck, Valencia and Kagwa had good games in the second half. But are they a Championship team? Can they finish in the top four? Other teams such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton appear to be more competitive. Without Rooney and Van Persie, Manchester United lack individual brilliance.
Chelsea vs Hull City
Jose Mourinho has zeroed in on his starting line-up and it does not include Juan Mata. Nonetheless, in the first half, Chelsea looked sleepy and passed the football carelessly. The three young musketeers, Willian, Hazard and Oscar played like they were playing for the first time. In the second half, there was better chemistry and Chelsea got goals from Hazard and Torres.
Mourinho started David Luiz in mid-field and Chelsea is a more dynamic and exciting team when the Brazilian is on the field. Interestingly, the Portuguese manager started four Brazilians, Oscar, Willian, Luiz and Ramires. Mourinho gave John Terry a new lease on life and for the remainder of the season it will be interesting to see the fate of Frank Lampard.
Tottenham vs Crystal Palace
Tim Sherwood is off to a decent start as an inexperienced manager. His experimentation with who to play where continues. Soldado continues to disappoint and as the commentators for the game pointed out, neither Adebayor nor Soldado runs off the ball adroitly. Great strikers like Aguero, Van Persie and Suarez are geniuses at finding pockets of space.
Sherwood’s defense, although not conceding a goal, was far from impervious. Tottenham is still a work in progress and as presently constituted will not fare too well against the giants in the Premier League.
Race to the Bottom
West Ham has temporarily haltered their skid to the bottom by beating Cardiff City. The return of Andy Carrol should be a boost for the remainder of the season but West Ham and Sam Allerdyce are not out of the woods.
Cardiff City travails have not been helped by the conflict between owner and manager. Fulham is in a free fall and the acquisition of Dempsey will not be able to arrest the descent. Crystal Palace has shown some improvement and Sunderland is showing some resiliency. If I had to predict at this stage the three teams that will exit from the Premier League, they will be Cardiff City, Fulham and Sunderland.
Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks