As doubtful as it was, Arsenal succumbed their premier league unbeaten run at the Theater of Dreams, as Sir Bobby Charlton often referred to Old Trafford like so. On Saturday I presume very many people were upset because Arsenal commands a very large following not only in Kenya but in Africa as well. Although most of their supporters went to Chelsea during Mourinho’s era, the defectors usually come back in full force when their team is up against the red devils. If they win, it’s usually a reunion orchestrated by cheerful gestures as they make their way back at the Emirates, on the flip side if they lose, they console each other and look for another London team to support. It can either be Chelsea or Tottenham, the intense rivalry they have against the latter makes Stamford Bridge a better place to look for a seat.
The lose on to their bitter arch-rivals became more painfully when Van Persie’s injury time goal was disallowed for being offside. Man U have a way of breaking Arsenal unbeaten records, it happened last Saturday just like it happened when Arsenal had gone 49 matches unbeaten a few seasons ago. Whether the Gunners were unlucky or not, once a team loses its anchor in defense, their backline is never the same. Arsenal shouldn’t let this defeat rip them apart, the season is still at its infancy stage, and if they want sweet revenge they should pursue it January 30th next year, when they host the red devils, instead of lamenting how the referee was unfair in handing them 6 yellow cards. As the Chinese say,” you cant run full speed when you are constantly looking behind.”
Among the big four, the only team which has demonstrated a good defensive mechanism is Chelsea. Carlo Ancelloti as a player and coach of an Italian team knows it more than anyone, a team’s heart and soul is defense because in Italy the game is quite often defensive play as opposed to English which inclined on attack. Burnley shocking triumph against Man U meant that Chelsea was prepared to deal with such possibilities and they did in spectacular winning style. As it stands Chelsea are looking very strong and they might go all the way.
Liverpool ended their week on a high note thanks to Bolton who twice gave-up a lead to lose at their Reebok Stadium. The performance of Liverpool is still worrying, they need to get their rhythm back otherwise they can’t afford to lose another match. Portsmouth, the team with the smallest stadium in terms of spectators’ capacity is at the bottom having played four games, lost four matches and conceded four goals. Ironically they are playing well but the striking force needs immediate sharpening, if they are to get out of the relegation zone uncomfortable heat.
This weekend the premiership takes a break to allow the international matches to be played, for the winning teams it’s usually not a good thing since it breaks their ascending tempo while losing teams couldn’t have wished for anything more. So as it stands two London based clubs stand on top of the premiership, Chelsea and Tottenham, both keeping a 100% clean sheet. One or both of them shall have to relinquish that clean sheet when the two teams face each other later this month. The European transfer window officially closed on Monday midnight with no major surprises.
In Italy, just about sixty minutes after Man U won their match, the highly anticipated derby saw AC Milan getting their worst defeat in recent times at the expense of Inter Milan. Matters became more worse when Gennaro Gatuso was shown a red card. The heavy defeat aroused concerns if Milan is able to step up a worthy challenge for the Serie A title having lost their most successful coach, their influential striker and long serving captain. In Spain, the La liga, is the last European league to end because they begin their season later than the others. Nevertheless their season got to a blistering start when new signings off Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively found the net as they helped their teams win their games. Most people can’t wait to see those two rivals playing in the El Classico,
In South America, football is really a passion as evidenced in Argentina and Brazil. Earlier this last month the President of Argentina was accused by her Political opponents for seeking votes unlawful when she announced that all the matches played in the Argentina league will be broadcast free of charge in the national television while in Brazil a president job is considered secure if his relation with the national team is doing fine. If he falls out with the national team he falls out with the country.