Football 3 years ago

EPL Week #1 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  • EPL Week #1 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
  • EPL Week #1 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
  • EPL Week #1 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
  • EPL Week #1 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
Manchester City's 0-3 victory over West Brom this morning signalled the close of the first week of Premier League football. After a long off-season it was great to have the most exciting league in the world back in action. While there have only been ten matches played there is already so much for fans to talk about and discuss. Let's do a quick summation and go through the good, bad, and ugly of week one.

The Good

West Ham United.

This was an easy selection in the end. The Hammers claimed the best win of the round as they travelled to the Emirates to beat their much more highly fancied opponents, Arsenal. Although the Gunners had been continuously talked up as potential title challengers this season, this didn't deter Hammers manager Slaven Bilic and his team. West Ham executed a brilliant performance to claim all three points and get their season off to the best possible start.

While the collective performed well there was also special praise for new signing Dimitri Payet. Payet joined West Ham from French side Olympique de Marseille during this transfer window and made an immediate impression. He demonstrated great pace, technique, and skill all game against the Gunners and looked like a player who can launch West Ham further up the EPL table. Payet created 134 chances last season (more than anyone else in Europe's top five leagues) and looks set to continue that form in England.

The Bad

The quality of football.

Not every game deserves to fall under this label as there were some very impressive performances by certain sides. However there were also a number of teams who struggled to get out of 2nd gear, with the blockbuster season opener between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur being the best example of this.

It took the Red Devils until the 60th minute to register their first shot on target on Saturday. There was also a distinct lack of chemistry and flow between the team as a lot of the new signings are still finding their feet in the new environment. However United were not the only big team that struggled to get their game going.

Liverpool struggled to create good chances against a stubborn Stoke City team and it took until the 86th minute for Philippe Coutinho to break the deadlock with a magnificent strike. However aside from the Brazilian's moment of magic the game was a tepid affair with both teams combining for just seven shots on target.

The quality of football will improve league-wide once the teams get a few matches under their belt. Until that time the most important thing is for sides to collect as many points as they can while playing badly.

The Ugly

Petr Cech.

It's hard to go past Arsenal as a collective because the Gunners did misfire badly in their season opener to West Ham. However special consideration must go to Petr Cech who experienced a horror EPL debut for his new side. After a good performance for Arsenal in the Community Shield the talk was that the signing of Cech could be the best bit of business that occurred over the summer. Chelsea captain John Terry suggested that the Czech 'keeper could win Arsenal 12-15 points on his own. But it was hard to believe that these people were talking about the same Petr Cech after witnessing his performance against West Ham.

Cech has to take a lot of responsibility for both of the goals that Arsenal gave up. For the first he found himself stranded after electing to come for a Dimitri Payet's freekick but getting nowhere near it. His decision was the wrong one as Cheikhou Kouyate nodded the ball home into an empty net to give the Hammers the lead.

Another Cech mistake in the 57th minute secured the victory for West Ham. A poor defensive clearance saw the ball fall to Mauro Zarate a good distance from goal. However the Argentine tried his luck and hit a low strike from distance that found its way into the net at Cech's right hand post. Initially Cech moved to his left but realised quickly that he had gone the wrong way. A half-hearted attempt to correct the mistake was futile as the ball rolled into the goal, making Cech's debut one he would like to forget.

As always the Cech performance caused a stir on social media where the hashtag 'CechMate' began trending. 


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