With the opening weekend done and dusted, Premier League clubs now need to sit down and start drafting long haul battle plans and tactics, because the Premiership is a marathon and not a sprint.
Liverpool have a few lessons to draw from their opening match against Arsenal. For much of the match, after Ngog’s goal a minute from the break, the Merseysiders led.
But it was surprising to see a team that’s keen on regaining its European cup slot just sit back and do nothing in the second half, especially against an attack oriented team like Arsenal.
In fact, Liverpool were lucky to get away with a draw on the day, regardless of the fortuitous nature of the equalizer, for Arsenal.
That said, Liverpool started the game on a positive note, with Dirk Kuyt creating an early opportunity that Almunia between the Arsenal sticks found easy to stave off.
That was followed by a solo run through the Gunners’ midfield by the new Anfield import Milan Jovanovic, and Kuyt’s shot off Jovanovic’s pass again found Almunia’s safe hands.
For Liverpool, the absence of Joe Cole, red carded in the Arsenal game, is a blow, ahead of their match against Manchester City.
Torres, in as a second half sub against the gunners, was just a shadow of his real self. So we could see Ngog continuing to fill in for Torres till the Spaniard regains his match fitness fully.
Liverpool will look to Gerrard to play an incisive game from ข่าวลิเวอร์พูล the wing, against City, as opposed to keeping the ball in the middle of the park as they did against Arsenal.
Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel, who is likely to fill in for Cole, will play crucial roles in the middle to spray the ball around.
Goalie Joe Hart starred for Manchester City who drew 0-0, against Tottenham. City have been in the news recently for their ambitious shopping spree.
And much was expected of them against Tottenham, who, contrastingly, are strapped for funds and their manager, Redknapp, hasn’t been able to import the players he wants.
For City, the arrival of midfielders Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan and James Milner from Aston Villa’s bodes well, ahead of the Liverpool game.
For coach, Mancini, it also means an embarrassment of riches, and team selection hassles.
On paper, at least, Manchester appear to have too many guns for Liverpool’s comfort. That said, it takes time for players to gel together, no matter how accomplished they are. And these are early days…