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2022-23 Premier League Thread

Ed H in Pasadena

Well-known member
Today's match results
West Ham 0-2 Brentford
(Ivan Toney and Joshua DaSilva net first half tallies to lead Bees)
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester
(Wout Faes, Leicester's centre half, became the fourth player in Prem history to net two own goals, six-and-a-half minutes apart in the first half).
 
Really nice 2-0 win for Villa over Spurs. Luiz was spectacular before suffering a nasty looking injury. I really hope it's not as serious as it looked on one of many late dirty plays by spurs that went unpunished. Luiz looks so much better now that he's finally being used properly and I apologize for how trash I thought he was when he was being played as a single pivot DM.
 

jeffbear

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I mean, he's still trash at playing a lone defensive midfielder role. Or even as one of a dedicated DM pairing. He just can't properly defend or break up play. He's always been pretty good going forward, but the difference is that he finally has a manager that believes in him in that role. I'm a Scotland man, I love McGinn ... but the hard preference for him over Luiz in recent years has always puzzled me and yet up to now nobody seems to have been able to find a system where they can play together. What utter nonsense Villa have had from their managers.

Maybe if they can find an always-on winger to replace the "if I feel like" crap from Bailey then they'll be cooking with gas
 
Villa no showed the first hour against Wolves. Just an absolute nothing of a performance. To credit Emery, he made a lot of changes and the team all of a sudden looked completely different for the last half hour. They were able to get a goal to tie it up and had a real chance late in stoppage time from a beautiful ball from clear man of the match Ings that Bailey was unable to steer into the empty net. Not a sitter and it was on his weaker foot, but he knows he should be finishing those and he was clearly devastated by it. These are the kind of games we need to be winning. You're at home against a floundering team and just do not show up to the game and have to fight back to just save a point.
 

jeffbear

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A positive for me ... when Villa has pulled that no-show crap under Smith and Gerard over the last couple of years, no amount of adjusting ever seemed to do any good. Emery calmly pulled a couple of levers and get the boys going. A bigger concern is why this roster just keeps bouncing between strong performances and lifeless performance.
 
Absolutely, I liked that Emery made a change at half. It was only one substitution, but he also changed the formation in doing so, by not just changing like for like. They started to look better at the start of the second half due to the tactical change, but still were pretty lifeless until the big substitutions at the sixty minute mark. The only knock I could possibly put toward Emery is that Bailey moved from playing centrally in the first half to on the right wing in the second half, and he's more of a threat on the left wing. He's just so left footed that his only idea on the right side is to try to cut in every time and sadly he isn't Arjen Robben so that doesn't magically work.
 
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jeffbear

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I'm thinking that blown chance might end up being Bailey's Villa swan song. They need a more versatile, all action winger ... and honestly, those aren't that tough to find. He's just too casual for the Prem, Bailey. You can get away with floating for a couple of games in Germany where you play one serious match a month most of the time.
 

jeffbear

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This seems a good time to contemplate the drop zone. Relegation baby, and this year's candidate pool is impressive. We're basically halfway through the season, and 8 clubs sit within 5 points of DFL.

Leading the pack with 15 points, we've got the tiresome trio of Southampton, Everton and West Ham. Bournemouth sits one skinny point ahead of them in 17th, and then we find another trio at 17 points ... Wolves, Leeds and Leicester.

West Ham, of course, are the real odd man out here. They had designs on Europe after finishing 7th last season, but injuries, unsettled key players and David Moyes seemingly running out of steam in his redemption arc have left them down in the muck. 4 wins out of 19 is bad enough, but they aren't getting draws either. 12 losses with a goal diff of only -10 ... woof, that's efficient. The D is OK, but like a lot of Moyes' clubs they just can't score. 15 goals scored ties them for next to last in the Prem. Wolves and Leicester are also visiting the basement unexpectedly. Both had top 10 finishes last season and both should have been in relatively healthy shape ... but Wolves already sacked their manager while Leicester looks likely to follow suit sooner or later. And you're looking at mirror images with these two ... Wolves are DFL in goals scored while Foxes are just bleeding goals against. You have to figure at least two out of these three figure out their mess and start clicking off points. All of these clubs have budgets in line with European aspirations and the drop would be a disaster.

Speaking of disasters, we also can look at Everton, although theirs is more of the expected, slow motion variety. Barely surviving last season, they're still looking at a must stick scenario with that huge new stadium close to completion. Not only have the wheels remained off, the fans are now beyond agitated, having shifted gears into open revolt as of last weekend. It's ugly on both sides of Stanley Park, but much, much uglier on the blue side. Like the Hammers, Everton also just can't score and lose a lot of close matches. That's even more frustrating that just straight up being bad.

The rest were pretty much expected to be here or hereabouts. Leeds are the most consistent of the bunch but need to grab points from the lower half of the table to survive. It takes a lot out of a team to grind they way Leeds do. Can they find the legs to work that hard through the winter? I personally think both Bournemouth and Southampton are fairly dreadful, and likely to find their way to the bottom for good. Keep in mind that Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest are barely out of the danger zone and only a rough patch away from joining the fun. Both are quite capable of it, I think ... especially Forest. The relegation battle could be an absolute donnybrook. Fingers crossed.
 

andyt

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Crazy season so far. I expected Arsenal to be in a UCL spot. Did I expect them to be 8 points clear at the top of the table? No. And Newcastle tied for 3rd? Eddie Howe is a miracle worker.. Fulham and Brighton battling for Europe spots? Chelsea and Liverpool languishing in 9th and 10th?
 

jeffbear

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Newcastle came to life when Howe got his systems going after the transfer window last season. I'm not surprised they're doing well, but yeah ... Top 5 is a bit above their weight. Brighton has been building momentum as a program for some time now. I thought losing Potter would hurt more than it did, but that's a solid club. Fulham is the shocker for me. Mitrovic finally came into his own as a guy who can score in the Prem and not just the Championship, Tim Ream is reborn at age 35, Harrison Reed looks like a different player and they're even getting something out of freaking Willian. I did NOT see any of that coming, I'll be honest.

Liverpool have been surprising in the other direction, but Chelsea were always a mess so that's no great shock. I'd still love to know just what the plan is over at the Bridge. Other than spending buckets of money replacing guys who get hurt with even more expensive players, of course. I figured Liverpool would take a bit to transition after Mane's departure, but they have just been rough all season pretty much.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
The Championship is a few matches past halfway, most teams have played 27 matches. Burnley and Sheffield a United have opened up a sizable lead at the top of the table, with Burnley at 59 points, Sheffield at 54 and then a big gap to Watford in 3rd at 43. Watford, Middlesbrough, Blackburn and West Brom are in the playoff spots, Norwich have some work to do if they’re to continue their alternating years between the Prem and Championship, they’re 2 points behind the Baggies, tiled with Millwall and Luton. Huddersfield, Blackpool and Wigan occupy the relegation spots, but it’s tight with Cardiff, Stoke and Rotherham only a few points ahead.
 

jeffbear

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The Championship looks to be setting up for an absolute mosh pit for the playoff spots. As you said, Burnley and Sheffield are sprinting off into the distance and both rosters are pretty well constructed to hold that pace. From there though it's only a 5 point gap between 3rd and 11th and 6 points gets you all the way down to 14th, with plenty of pretty high class candidates ... along with a few Championship sloggers who are just good at their "craft." Either way, the center of gravity in the Prem looks like it'll be moving north. Likely, you're subtracting two south coast teams and adding some midlands and northern flavor ... with maybe a London suburbanite just for kicks. Don't sleep on West Brom. Daryl Dike is back firing and they look legit now that they can score.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
One more thing about Everton. Not only are they in another relegation scrap, their Board of Directors were told not to attend the match against Southampton due to a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”. The threats were primarily directed at Chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale. The club also disclosed that she had been put in a headlock at a recent match and her car was surrounded after another.
 

jeffbear

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Everton's situation is unhinged and out of control. It's an embarrassment to everyone involved.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
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Everton puts Frank Lampard out of his misery. No word on a replacement. They’re on 15 points, 19th in the table, 2 points from safety. But 14th in the table is only on 18 points so a couple of wins will move them quickly. Their next 4 matches are home to Arsenal, at Liverpool, home to Leeds, home to Villa.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
David Ornstein from The Athletic UK says that Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has had takes with Marcelo Bielsa about taking over as manager. No word on any other candidates, but Sean Dyche has to be cosnidered, no?
 

jeffbear

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David Ornstein from The Athletic UK says that Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has had takes with Marcelo Bielsa about taking over as manager. No word on any other candidates, but Sean Dyche has to be cosnidered, no?
Bielsa would be ... a choice. I fail to see how he's supposed to do anything like what he normally does in January, with that freaking lineup. Dyche would be safer, which means the idiots in charge at Everton will likely run the other way.
 
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