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Feared for West Brom pre-season after the appointment of Irvine, who had failed in previous posts at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday. Those concerns were realised as Irvine, a gentleman and a fine coach if not a manager, lost his job in December after only seven months with West Brom in 16th place.
Wolves v Liverpool: The Big Match Preview
Again, there’s a parallel to the Premier League. VAR’s introduction has been a mess. One of the few ways to save it at this point: open it up to the public and offer full transparency.
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It’s not epoch defining comebacks like Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0. It isn’t Istanbul. Football without fans is the under 23s fannying about hoping that someone is watching them on YouTube. Football without fans is chips without salt, Punch without Judy, people without love.
Montagna suspected that when Bruce invited Williams to the club at the end of last year, he misjudged Williams’ abilities. The 26-year-old promised a predominant midfield role in the club, rather than most halfback spots. Of his 113 games against Greater Western Sydney.
Thunderbirds won the Toss and took fielding first in the final against the Hyderabad Deccan Cricket Club. The Hyderabad Deccan Cricket Club put on a total of 224 runs. Cricket team played a wonderful performance. They played strokes all over the field. That's kind of a game of when champions are made. But none of the Thunderbirds batsmen managed to play long innings to chase the huge target and they were all out for 169 runs.
Or, if they have bad seats, they can move elsewhere! But they get to follow the team from their spot, seeing the game in the angle they’re used too. Maybe they’re suspicious, maybe they like being able to see down the tunnel, maybe there are little tells they know based on the geographic alignment of the court they see from their spot. Maybe they just want to still feel apart of the community surrounding their seats when they’re out on the road and unable to make that night’s game.
Final grade: B Did have a couple of clunkers in there but was generally one of the better players on the field when he played. His ability to receive the ball under pressure and move it, either by passing or dribbling, to a good spot is very impressive. Would’ve liked to see him demand the ball more often, but he was still quite good.
Pundits of the season
What a first year in Serie A for the 22-year-old. We were all excited to see him after he’d excelled at Cremonese in Serie B for two seasons—at this site, we’d previously compared him to Borja Valero—but he wound up being far more dynamic in possession than the ex-West Bromwich Albion man. Tanino was second in the league in pretty much every dribbling stat behind Jeremie Boga, but also ranked just two spots behind Pulgar in pressures, which highlights his defensive contribution as well.
The victory over Leipzig was hugely instructive. We learnt that we have to play centre backs in centre back positions and not compromise midfield potency trying to cover for inefficiencies further back.
After being touted for a move to Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, when the £25m midfielder rocked up at Aldershot Town last summer for a Fulham pre-season friendly, his arrival was greeted with considerable fanfare. Seri’s signing was supposed to be a major coup but, barring the odd glimpse of class, Fulham must feel short-changed. Before a ball had been kicked, Fulham fans were giddy at the prospect of Seri, and the raft of new faces, catapulting them into the upper echelons of the Premier League.
Carlton was placed under the microscope after further disappointment under the direction of David Teague. There is a question mark about recruiting the club and using Captain Patrick Clips when the match played against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
Liverpool players applaud the supporters after the Premier League match against Wolves at Anfield
Best moment: It’s tempting to say it was the 1-2 win at Sassuolo, when he scored one and assisted the other, but I thought his effort at Torino in the 2-1 loss was even better. On the third watch (after I’d written the match report), he was just absurd: 6/6 on dribbles, created 5 pretty clear opportunities, passed the ball forward really well, and added a really good defensive shift.
The Wolves aren’t what they were, and what they were relied heavily on the backing of a feverish home crowd. I think The Reds will have too much for them.
A shocking season from first to last. Hopeless under Harry Redknapp and not much better under Chris Ramsey. Looked a relegated side for most of the season.
Which means that their start to the season is already an imperceptible spec in the rear-view mirror. Just 12 points from their opening eight fixtures suggested City might fall short again, but that reaction now looks like it may've been premature, both with hindsight and when you consider they had to face Liverpool, Leicester, Spurs and Arsenal in a tricky set of opening fixtures.
Youngsters making their mark
It is easy to forget that many people tipped the Scot to win nothing but the sack race in his first gig as a No1. But it transpired that West Brom had made another shrewd appointment and rather than struggle against relegation they confirmed they are a proper Premier League club, capable of bothering the heavyweights while balancing the books.
Liverpool will win first Premier League title with asterisk, but it only underlines their dominance
They boosted the crowd sound and switched up where the mics were for different parts of the game. Obviously, it didn’t re-create the feeling of being at Anfield, but it was a welcome reprieve from some of the dopey commentary we are often subjected too.
Scott McTominay scored twice in the opening three minutes as Man Utd beat Leeds 6-2. They went on to take 10 points from their following four matches and moved top of the table in mid-January.
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this review (https://aprel-vologda.ru/content/uploads/files/download/premier-league-season-review-hack.zip), let’s spare a thought for Hull City, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland who were relegated to the Championship. Two of those sides changed managers during the season, that’s almost always a recipe for disaster. There are few managers who can come in and get things jump-started midway through the season but it keeps happening and the high stakes world of the English Premier League (https://aprel-vologda.ru/hack/?patch=1010) keeps chewing managers up and spitting them out.
Goals for next year: It’s hard to see a regular role for Benassi with Amrabat, Castrovilli, Pulgar, and Duncan all in the fold and a spate of rumors linking the Viola to new midfielders. With a contract that runs until 2021, though, Marco’s best chance for playing time may be a loan move away; he could stick around and offer the threat of midfield goals off the bench, but that seems like a bit of a waste for everyone.
The Premier League could amplify it to even another level
Ultimately, King said that if the results did not change, there would inevitably be pressure on Teague. Carlton has a reputation for unplugging senior coaches who may be worried about the 40-year-old.
A general view of Molineux, the home of Wolves, before the Premier League match against Liverpool
With this unusual broadcast situation comes opportunity. So much of sports TV is outdate or, frankly, poor. Things are done because they’ve always been done. They are the way because they’re the way. That’s no way to operate in a modern, flexible, competing-against-YouTube-and-second-screens environment. Old-school networks will now be forced to adapt. And while it may look or sound clunky or awful in the short term, it should lead to better, more versatile experiences for fans in the future.
Anyone want the lottery numbers? Ok, to be fair, there's still a chance that Edouard Mendy could run away with the Golden Glove this season, but I think this a pretty strong start to proceedings.
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With no crowds, the no-commentary option is out. What should be available, though, either through the red button or online companion streams, is a host of different options, at least for the biggest games.
Gripes of the season
Bruno Fernandes has continued his excellent form since signing in January last year, serving up chances for the United attack with the regularity that Marcus Rashford serves half-term dinners. Fernandes has been the creative cog and link player between the midfield and attack that had been missing from the United side for years, and his performances have put him firmly in the conversation for the end-of-season player of the year award.
Premier League 2021-20: How did your team - and our chief football writer - get on this season
Another factor is that Liverpool are scoring slightly behind expectation in both attack and defence in 2021/21. Turns out this team is from Planet Earth after all, despite their near-perfect showing last time out suggesting otherwise.
We predicted the Premier League Team of the Season in September - and it looks wild now
Rodgers and his transfer committee have had a poor return for an outlay of more than £100m, armed with £75m just from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Now they must work out how to replace iconic captain Steven Gerrard and solve the unrest surrounding Raheem Sterling.
Photo: Premier League to introduce new ‘Flight’ ball from Friday night’s fixture
Digging deeper, Montagna questioned the output of Zack Williams and Adam Saadi. Bruce coughed the latter Pick 8 when two prominent new hires were brought to the club for a fortune during last year’s trading period.
After Fiorentina supporters allegedly (and, this being Italy, almost certainly) targeted him with racist chants in the home fixture, Duncan was perhaps the most awkward possible purchase in January. To his immense credit, he settled in and got to work.
Leicester are third and at the speed they’re picking up points are rightly considered contenders, though they’re coming off less impressive metrics than their competition. Their expected goal difference is just above zero without penalties, but that comes with the caveat that they haven’t had to be as productive in open play due to their rate of winning spot-kicks, which at a 1-in-every-2-games rate is currently the highest in the Premier League and also the highest since the 2021/17 iteration of Leicester City.
Fabinho during the Premier League match between Wolves and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium
Comedians: Some days I’m in the mood for super nerdy, tactical discussions. But if I’m watching Burnley vs. Spurs, for example, I kind of just want to enjoy the match and to have a laugh. A stream that offers a similar down-the-pub experience with a few funny people having a few drinks and shooting the bleep would be welcome. Though you just know this would turn into some overly stage-managed, Sky-plus-John-Bishop nonsense.
The latest destination on our traverse around the Big 5 European Leagues sees us land in England. The Premier League pendulum could be swinging back across the North-West, it's halcyon days if you wear claret-and-blue, whilst a couple of yo-yos appear to be unwinding at the bottom.
Matheus Pereira scored two goals and set up two more as West Brom triumphed 5-2 at Chelsea. The Blues had kept a clean sheet in their first five home matches under Thomas Tuchel, a Premier League record for a new head coach.
It’s one the Premier League’s broadcast partners should be looking to nab right away
And American Football broadcasts have started to integrate more and more live All-22 into their shows: as second-screen experiences; on online streams; or as full broadcast. The NFL even had a full, primetime game that completely shifted the optics of the sport: rather than film from the sideline, they ran an entire game with the “sky cam” right behind the line-of-scrimmage. It offered a whole new vantage point.
There’s a tendency to over analyse the defensive arts. It’s mainly about concentrating and getting in the way of things. Nat Phillips, to his enormous credit, has recognised that truth and is quietly transforming himself into a high level defender.
Teague said Williams was slightly injured during the match after the match, but the former giant finished with just nine touches, Saadi finished with 12 with 42% efficiency, and Dogs refused to use him. We worked together to achieve this.
Managers of the season
The Chilean was one of the first signings of the season but met with a rather muted response. While Vincenzo Montella insisted on using him as a box-to-box runner to accommodate Milan Badelj, Pulgar was a bit awkward; while his defensive contribution was excellent, he seemed a bit clunky on the ball. Some of that might’ve been Vinnie’s influence, as the whole team was pretty feckless, but a move to the holding role under Giuseppe Iachini brought out his best.
Goals for next year: Learn how to shoot a dang soccer ball so that it goes into the back of the other team’s net. Really ought to have scored 7ish goals based on his opportunities this season, so let’s see if he can add that to his game, because with Pulgar and Sofyan Amrabat behind him, he should have a lot more freedom to get forward.
Best moment: It really is a matter of moments with Benassi, who rarely turns in a full 90 minutes, so I’ll go with the platonic ideal of a looping volley from outside the box he scored at Bologna. You won’t see a better hit all year.
How much difference do fans make to results? The football world has mused on this for a century plus.
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The old crest was replaced in 2009 at the point the Clarets began their first foray into Premier League life
That there is, a rather cruel, 10-minute montage of Mustafi’s mistakes doing the rounds speaks volumes. The Arsenal defender has too often proved a defensive liability, typified by his hopeless display in defeat against Crystal Palace, when he gifted away not one but three goals. On the face of it, signing Mustafi for £35m three seasons ago appeared a masterstroke, a player Arsène Wenger had been crying out for. Arsenal had snapped up a World Cup winner, someone with – stereotypically at least – all of the desired attributes synonymous with a German centre-back. He seemed a cure to their decade-long defensive woes. What Arsenal really acquired was a flimsy imitation of a top-quality defender. For Mustafi, along with Denis Suárez, who mustered up just four substitute appearances after being borrowed from Barcelona in January, it has been a poor campaign.
We also discovered in Budapest that Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips aren’t the worst central defensive pairing ever to represent LFC. Quite the contrary, the duo looked like something approaching ‘the real deal’.
Arsenal became the third team in 2021/21 to battle back from three goals down and avoid defeat, doing so at West Ham. This was the first season for a decade to have so many three-goal comebacks.
Worst moment: He was, without question, the worst player on the pitch in the 1-3 loss to Sassuolo. Constantly lost the ball, constantly gave away fouls, handed the Neroverdi two goals just by himself, and provided nothing going forward. It was probably more exhaustion than anything, though, so you can’t be that mad at him.
In came Tony Pulis and the relegation worries drifted away. Pulis, whose work is so often underrated, organised West Brom brilliantly and the landmark win at Old Trafford was a testimony to his expertise.
Innovations needed for the next season
I think if they win the Europa League (https://aprel-vologda.ru/hack/?patch=2143) then it's job well done. Two trophies, albeit one with the help of a linesman, then plus Champions League qualification, which would have been the remit. It's maybe not the way they wanted to do it but there's more than one way to skin a cat, although they will certainly be expecting a better league performance next season.
No cup runs to offer hope and little of the excitement of last season. Big summer ahead for Martinez as Everton must keep star turns such as Romelu Lukaku, James McCarthy, Ross Barkley and John Stones while rebuilding to challenge the top six again.
The Dane took over a successful Swansea side and made them better. With astute signings and bold tactical tweaks, the Swans became a greater attacking threat while retaining their elegant solidity and, of course, lifted their first major trophy.
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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson scored a stoppage-time winner at West Brom as the Reds won their final five matches to finish in the top four. It was the first header, and the first winner, to be scored by a goalkeeper in the Premier League.
Interactive Season Review: Premier League 2021/20
Worst moment: Like so many other players, this comes down to the 5-2 loss at Cagliari, the 1-4 to AS Roma, or the 1-3 to Sassuolo. For me, the first was his low point, but I won’t argue if you think it’s either of the other two.