Monday, 14 March 2011

More games, more goals

Recent competitiveness in the Premier League has been a breath of fresh air - and the main reason is belief.

Rory Delap's long throw. No one can stop it!
While money still talks and Manchester City's elevation to the big-time shows it, clubs with less resource go into 90 minutes against bigger opposition with larger stature; both mentally and physically.

Birmingham's Carling Cup victory over Arsenal and Bolton and Stoke's FA Cup semi-final berths show more than ever that graft and experience can undo clever gameplans and squad depth. I thought Koscielny and Szczesny's mistake gifting Martins his Wembley winner was made of Blues second half pressure.

Fergie's "Men Win Matches" approach is even more applicable in 2011. Tactics and beautiful play just don't count as much as they did three seasons ago. Arsenal are the main fall guys of this. Yes, they're in the title race but they'll have to play with more force and individual leadership if they're to topple United to vindicate Arsene Wenger's ideals.

And more goals are being scored because manager's are more open to winning matches than sitting on leads. There are definitely less clean sheets around. Isn't it Bloomfield Road where every match has resulted in at least one goal for both teams?
Martins winner was a deserved one
Money is still the decisive factor and the longer the Champions League pays such huge bounty (together with being top of the Premier League of course), the cartel will be tough to break. It's where the cream of star players want to play. But the clutch of Europa League wannabe clubs believe the gates aren't shut to them. 

And with UEFA Financial Fair Play coming into force in two years, expect an even bigger impact on competition in the coming seasons.

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