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So football is back! Back! Back! It’s been a long old summer but finally we once again have a focus in our dull, meaningless lives. Hurrah for the Premier League!
Fulham have a solid home record of recent seasons, we have not lost at home on the opening weekend of the Premier League season in living memory and Saturdays visitors had conceded at least a single goal on every one of their away travels last season. Three points were all but in the bag before the three o clock whistle had sounded. But that didn’t happen.
Though the visitors managed just a single shot on target during the whole 90 minutes our boys, save a few exceptions, didn’t look set to beat Shay Given had they played all night. He rightly got the man of the match award starting his first league game for 16 months. Bobby, AJ and Riise had good chances, but they were either waster or Given pulled off saves to deny us a flying start to the season proper. Still, we didn’t lose I suppose.
Last season it was Ballotelli who donned the red nose and spinning bow tie to entertain us all with his bonkers antics, and although he tried in pre-season to continue this trend, I think we may have a new court jester for this term. Enter Joey Barton. His hair may be enough, but mouthing off constantly on Twitter and causing all kinds of action of the football pitch is certainly good work in my eyes.
With everybody pretty much wanting to leave Arsenal at the moment, debutant Gervinho, and having only won two of their last 14 games it’s not exactly all Gravy at the Emirates. And a goalless bore draw at the other St James Park wont have done much to quell the shouts of a growing number of Gooners that perhaps its time Arsene Wenger moves on. It’s a Champions League qualifier for them next, imagine the turmoil should they fail to qualify with ease…
Man Yoo got the season underway by taking three points off Uncle Roy’s new lot. New Boy Ashley Young looked lively and with the help of a little deflection scored the winner at the Hawthorns. Although the visitors only officially had one shot on target in the entire match, Ben Foster managed to conceded two goals. It’s probably to be expected though bearing in mind he’s now conceded seven goals from just 11 United shots in 2011.
Kenny’s new look Liverpool shared the points with the Black Cats. Kieran Richardson gave away a controversial penalty early on to the hosts only for Suarez to blast it over the bar. He’d make amends shortly after though with his first of the season from new signing Charlie Adams cross. With a little over half an hour still on the clock the visitors drew level through Seb Larsson.
That lot down the road visited our old mates Stoke in the glorious potteries. With the new blues coach claiming the home sides “pushing and grabbing was out of this world” they returned to the capital with a point after a goaless draw with Torress starting to once again look like the player they forked over bundles of cash for last January.
The Premier League fixture computer arranged a nice bookend to the summer awithBlackburn and Wolves playing each other as the had done in the last game of last season. This time the boot was on the other foot with Wolves taking the pints winning by the odd goal in three.
The recently promoted teams had a mixed bag of results. Norwich made the trip to the DW Stadium and were rewarded with what could be a useful point come next May. Swansea had to wait until Monday evening to kick of their season with a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Man City. All was going well for an hour, and then the blues decided they’d had enough and went up the end and scored. Four times. Still, it could have been worse. Most people would have expected this kinda result away at City. It’d be a whole different kettle of fish had you been at home and facing a bottom half side. Getting dry humped in that situation would just be embarrassing wouldn’t it.  In demand defender Tim Cahil scored the pick of the trotters four and was the only player in the top division to score from outside the box this weekend.
Still, lets look on the bright side for our neighbours. At least they managed to get that difficult home game against Bolton out of the way early on.
Next up for the Whites in the league is a Sunday trip to the Black Country to take on Wolves at Molineux where I’m sure our skipper will once again get a warm midlands welcome. Before then we entertain some Ukrainians at the Cottage in the first leg of the final qualifying round for
the Europa League on Thursday night.And if you’re interested, we currently sit mid-table. Good times.