Well it’s only been three weeks and we have already reached a break this weekend with the Premier League. The good news is that Manchester United can’t really disappoint anyone; the bad news is that we have a week to wait for more Premier League action.
Now don’t get me wrong, the season is still very young, but even still there have been some interesting storylines popping up and I thought I would list my Top Three so far starting with…..
Number 3: Mario Balotelli Signing With Liverpool FC
Mario Balotelli hasn’t bitten anyone yet, but that hasn’t stopped a large portion of soccer fans from hating him as much as (sometimes more than) the King Biter himself, Luis Suarez. That said, Balotelli does have a large enough group of fans to go along with the “haters” and we all know what he is capable of as a striker, but is the risk worth the reward for a team like Liverpool who is likely a top contender this season?
He’s only been a Red for a few weeks and the convoy of controversy that seems to have a habit of following the Italian international has already caught up to him. It was alleged that Balotelli headbutted a Wolverhampton player this week during a friendly with the Wolves which has brought attention to the striker in all the wrong ways.
Personally, I think signing Balotelli was a terrible idea. Sure he has talent, sure he’ll sell some tickets, but let’s be honest….he becomes the show and nothing good can come out of that. Time can only tell, but at this point, I have little faith in this move.
Number 2: Manchester United FC Winless Against Limited Opposition
It’s funny because in an earlier article I wrote, I think some readers reached the assumption I was a Man U fan who was terribly partial with my predictions. I rarely state my personal favorite teams or my least favorites for that matter, but in this case I will make an exception and state that I am NOT a Manchester United fan, not even in the slightest! I try to have a nonpartisan respect for all teams (even when it’s extremely hard to do so), but personally the only time I talk about the Red Devils is when I am giving my friends who are fans a hard time about them.
So with that all said, back to being nonpartisan/professional. I was drinking the offseason Kool-Aid, I won’t lie. I figured Van Gaal would right a ship that Moyes ran into an iceberg with an arsenal of explosives inside. Looking at Manchester United’s roster, they still have a reasonable amount of talent. I understand many find Rooney overrated, but I mean the guy can still score and with other names like Fellaini, Mata, Van Persie and Young, it doesn’t seem that off the wall to think of Man U as a title contender, even if there defense is a bit suspect.
However, so far Man U has looked like anything, but a top Premier League team. There troubles have included an opening week loss to Swansea City, a draw with last year’s cellar dwellers, Sunderland and another draw with newly promoted Burnley FC. Three matches that Manchester United should have at the very least, one win out of.
There was a lot of fanfare surrounding Van Gaal being named manager and as I stated earlier, even I got caught up a bit in it, but if things keep going the way they have been, the Red Devils of 2014-15 might be even more of a mess than 2013-14’s squad.
Recent deadline acquisitions like Di Maria and Falcao could very well give Man U the jolt they need, but even those headlines came with some comedy that only seemed all too fitting for the way this team is headed.
Who knows what the rest of the season will bring. I made a bold prediction based on hype at the beginning of the season and I now look stupid. Perhaps now that I have lost all faith in Van Gaal and the gang, they will find a way to make me look stupid again.
Number 1: Swansea City
Take one look at Swansea’s roster and you’ll be hard pressed to find a name that you’ve heard thrown around the pubs back here in the states. The Welsh based squad finished 12th last season and it is still likely they will find themselves back in that area by the time this season ends. But for now the team is one of only two who has a perfect nine points on the season so far.
The other team who has gone three for three this year is none other than Chelsea FC which isn’t a total shock, but what’s so exciting about this is that the two teams will meet next week in a battle of perennial favorites and a potential for a Cinderella story side.
A result of any kind against Chelsea would be huge for Swansea. Sure they beat Man U which was big and a 1-0 win against Burnley was great, but relatively expected, 3-0 over West Brom was impressive regardless of the opposition, but holding Chelsea to a draw or better yet beating the Blues? That would be something. Especially since Swansea has a date with Sunderland the next week which should be a walk in the park in comparison.
I don’t know how long it will last, but while it’s happening I am going to enjoy it. Swansea is making noise and their fans are lapping it up. I say? Good for them.