How was your Deadline Day? Well, depending on what team you support, you probably had very different feelings on the matter, so let’s jump in.
Gael Kakuta (loan) and David Ngog to Bolton. Excellent bit of business for Owen Coyle’s men who really lack a striker and some creativity in the absence of CY Lee and Stu Holden. Kakuta and Ngog can help loads there.
Tottenham Exodus (Jenas, Crouch, Bentley, Palacios all leave but Modric stays). Probably a victory for Tottenham here but still missed out on adding that striker they need long-term. Emmanuel Adebayor will have to carry the load for now.
Raul Meireles to Chelsea. This one seemed to appear out of the blue but is a pretty solid signing by Chelsea. I am not sure how great his role will be, but he seems to have a classy game so he should be fine at Stamford Bridge. Though they didn’t get Modric, Meireles isn’t a bad addition.
Mikel Arteta, Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun (loan) to Arsenal. Not a bad set of moves but I think they are pretty clearly 5th best in the EPL and that is not good enough for a club that expects so much. The Arteta move is a nice move for Arsenal but a potential dagger for Everton who added nothing.
This Week’s Fixtures (Home team comes first)
Everton v Aston Villa
Don’t expect many goals here as Everton (always) lack a striker and Villa are not much better. Should be interesting to see how Everton adjust to life without Arteta, but I expect their early season struggles to continue. They were truly fortunate to escape with a win last week after two missed penalties and a penalty of their own they converted at the death. Aston Villa takes it 2-0 with a late one to stow away the points.
Manchester City v Wigan
Manchester City have scored 12 goals in 3 games. As Charles Barkley once said about Angola, “They (Wigan) are in a lot of trouble”. The embarrassment of riches on City’s side should more than help create an embarrassment on the pitch for Wigan. City 4-0.
Wolves v Tottenham
Tottenham have struggled thus far, but any team would after facing Manchester United and City to start the season. Now they get to run Adebayor, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart and more out there against a Wolves team that, while off to a good start, looked horrid against Villa last week. I’m not sold that Tottenham is fixed yet, but they will take this one. Spurs 3-1.
Sunderland v Chelsea
Chelsea have been almost as bad as Arsenal so far. They really did scrape by agaisnt Norwich though the scoreline ended up looking more comfortable and I have yet to see them play well. Sunderland has been alright, and frankly I think that is all they need to grab a goal and close up shop against a Chelsea team severely lacking in creativity. I will take a 1-1 draw.
Stoke v Liverpool
A few important things here. Liverpool have looked really good but they do not strike me as the most physically tough team. Stoke on the other hand will bludgeon you to death and are extremely difficult to break down at home. I am taking the 1-1 draw in a classic Stoke-parks-the-bus game.
Arsenal v Swansea
The Swans showed me a little last week against Sunderland, but Arsenal have got to let their talent do the talking at some point, right? They were embarrassed last time out and should take full advantage of a Swansea side that likes to keep possession almost as much as they do. I don’t expect a blowout but I do expect Arsenal to take care of business 2-0.
Bolton v Manchester United
Bolton is the latest side to have to face City and United back to back and I don’t envy them. They will not have their new signings yet, but frankly it wouldn’t matter. United will run rampant, even against a side that is technically a regional foe. United 3-0.
Norwich v West Bromwich Albion
Ummmmmm. Won’t be watching this one. I thought WBA could be decent but they didn’t exactly impress last week and Norwich looked alright against Chelsea. Give me a Norwich win 1-0 courtesy of…
Fulham v Blackburn
You will be hard pressed to find me pick Blackburn to win a game this year. They will win, but I will not see it coming at any point. Fulham have been a bit disappointing but should take it here 2-0.
QPR v Newcastle
Barton vs his old club should be fun, well at least until he is sent off in the 2nd minute. I like QPR at home here even though I think it is a pretty even game and Newcastle probably have a bit more quality. They have just let too much go to be taken too seriously at the moment.
As I am in the middle of OTC’s NFL Preview, I am just going to leave it at this for now but expect more in the coming weeks!