I will start by talking about penguins. Saturday the 17th August, a date which has been in the minds of all football fans since the final day of the previous season, in which united romped home with an 11 point cushion. Saturday 17th August marks the start of the 2013/2014 English premier league. However on this day of days I was not sitting in a pub sipping a frosty beer watching Simon Mignolet save a penalty, nor was I perching on the edge of my sofa with a few pals nibbling on chip and dip witnessing Dazzer Welbeck doubling his previous seasons goal haul . On Saturday the 17th of August I was at west midlands safari park, with my face painted like a penguin. I also saw and fed other penguins. This left me frothing at the mouth for some EPL action, so Sunday lunch time I busted out the Sky Go to watch Tottenham Hotspur Vs newly promoted Crystal Palace in their opening game of the new season.
Similarly to my punditry colleague, I too will be articulating my opinions based on first impressions. Spurs have been busy little bees over the summer, with Daniel Levy raiding his Children’s college fund for just short of £60 million which was spent on central midfielders Capoue and Paulinho, winger Nacer Chadli and marque signing, la Liga stalwart Roberto Soldado. They also shipped out plenty of dead weight including David Bentley (He has 7 caps for England! That’s 7 more caps than both Lional Messi and Christiano Ronaldo combined, and their much better players). Promising young center-back Steven Caulker left for a dreary life in Cardiff, tough Texan Dempsey left for the Seattle Galaxy Heat 49ers red socks pepsi sounders and Tom Huddlestone and his hair moved to picturesque Hull for five mil.
Spurs, without most likely Madrid bound Gareth elf ears, gave debuts to new boys Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado in a 4-2-3-1 formation (a personal favourite of mine), Summer signing Capoue and Younes ‘mental eyes’ Kaboul, back from long term injury started on the bench.
Spurs started brightly, having most of the ball, speedsters Walker and Lennon looked like two peas in a pod down the right, they will no doubt be creating real carnage this season, especially with some of the utterly rubbish lumbering left backs we have playing in the league. Paulinho in midfield looked pretty tasty, industrious in his work ethic, much like early 19th century Britain. Soldado looked alright and even though he scored the winner from the penalty spot, it’s unlikely he will equal his 24 goal haul last season, he’s got good feet, can hold the ball up and has a good eye for goal, but whether he’s the fox in the box world class striker spurs needed is yet to be seen.
All in all, from what I have seen, I think spurs have the capabilities to nip into that final champion’s league place. Without Bale, they look a more balanced outfit. As a result of some useful acquisitions during the transfer window they now have a squad with abit of depth, additionally; they have a really sexy manager. As for the other main contenders for fourth place, Arsenal look dire, Wenger appears to have lost the plot and Liverpool aren’t quite there yet.