I have to be honest. I’m like a kid in a candy store this morning.
It’s an overcast dawn here in SF (nothing new really); justification to stay in side.
Man U and Man City are playing…..on different channels! I am pressing the “last” button on my remote more than if the Superbowl and World Series were on at the same time. I never had Setanta just Fox Sports so this is the first time this was possible for me.
I’m mostly watching the game at Old Trafford this morning. I want to see how the AIG’ers play without Ronaldo.
Some observations this morning across both games:
At the City of Manchester Stadium, Man City is already up 1-0 on a Adebayor poke 20mins in about. Watching a few minutes of this game against Wolverhampton (another idea for my first son’s name), it’s clear to see against lesser competition this year Man City might just start pouring in goals. Today they are featuring Adebayor, Tevez and Robinho–Wolverhampton looks a second late to where the ball just was on the pitch.
Over at Wigan’s DW Stadium, your eyes are not deceiving you, this is not 1999, those are relics Paul Scholes and Gary Neville being featured by Sir Alex.
Man U’s defense, despite the return of player of the year candidate Nemanja Vidic is leaking…and leaking badly…and mostly from Neville’s side. Four times during the first half Wigan have rumbled down Man U’s left flank and forced Ben Foster into a save.
Wayne Rooney looks like an absolute world beater. Is he in better shape? Was it just the presence of Ronaldo? Rooney is all over the place and making exceedingly technical, and perfect, runs through the Wigan defense. Well done, Wayne.
Dimitar Berbatov is not a world beater. Signed for a record sum by Ferguson last year, the striker has had chances (I can attest to watching them last year) and against today and he just does not put the effort in to finish.
Though not a beat 3-guys-type of guy, but Ronaldo’s replacement Antonio Valencia (who featured at Wigan last year) is a player. He’s extremely adroit at creating space and then driving a perfectly placed cross. Seems like a good pick-up thus far.
More later, exciting soccer morning….and it’s nary 8am out here.
Back after the interval…
- Matthew and I are trying to figure out why a qualifier for Wimbeldon is in goal for Wigan. Kirkland is rocking the all whites with a ball cap. Apparently his racket wasn’t big enough to stop Rooney’s 100th goal or a Berbetov’s effort.
- And a totally different story after the break, with Man U just depositing three in the bank (3-0). It’s going to take more than just one goal for me to say Berbatov is playing up to his level though. All I can imagine is that Ferguson called Bob Bradley at the half and asked him how to rally the troops and then did the exact opposite. Okay, that was bad, but I’m three cups of a coffee in.
- Despite the score now being 3-0, I’m still watching the Man U- Wigan match, the clashing colors of the uniforms in the Man City game are just too painful to watch for too long.
- Michael Owen is now warming up. Go back to the World Cup of 2002, would you ever have predicted that Owen would be coming off the bench when his team was up 3-0….and did you ever think that team could be from Old Trafford?!
- Owen, who my girlfriend has just witnessed and said, “oh, he’s cute”–damn him, with a beautiful run-on and chip off the right post. That’s vintage.
- Nani, closes out the scoring at 5-0, looking absolutely Ronaldo-like on a set piece….and then he pulls an Ozzie Smith for the crowd–picture perfect 2nd half for Ferguson.
- If you had asked me an hour ago, I would have predicted 5-0 Man City, not Man U.
- Other observations from around the league:
- Quick who’s got more goals this year: William Gallas or Frank Lampard? The former “captain” for Arsenal has knocked in another this morning as Arsenal is cruising 4-1.
- Kenwyne Jones, remember the name if you don’t know it already. The incredibly physically-gifted striker, out most of last year with an injury, has netted a brace for Sunderland this morning. You’ll see Jones again on September 10th, when he takes the pitch for his native Trinidad & Tobago against the USMNT along with Bobby Zamora (Fulham) and Jason Scotland (Wigan, though Scotland probably provides cover off the bench) . Jones and company will be more than a handful to deal with.
- Serie A: No Gooch, no need to worry yet.
- Onyewu stated rooted to the bench in AC Milan’s 2-1 win against Siena at Siena. No need to panic yet for playing time at Kaladze (Gooch’s main playing time competition) is apparently on the block as we discussed earlier this week and Milan was on the roads looking to get etch out a win against a lower side to begin season. Let’ see where we are in a few weeks.
- Oh and continuing on this game, two for the apple of Chelsea’s eye, Pato. You’ll be hearing Pato’s name a lot more this year, much like you heard Zidane, Kaka, and Ronaldhino. That is no hyperbole. Speaking of, check him out next week when the battle of Milan (A.C. vs. Inter) goes down on FSC if you have it.