English Premier League - Part 4: Winners of the first weekend

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English Premier League - Part 4: Winners of the first weekend
Some really bright young players, turned out to be outstanding as far as their performances were concerned. These individuals are a must to look out for the rest of the season. One of these youngsters is Phil Jones. Jones was entrusted by his manager, Sam Allardyce to play as a defensive midfielder in Blackburn’s opening match of the league season against Everton. The encounter took place at Ewood Park which is Blackburn’s current home stadium.
Defensive midfielder’s position is one of the toughest to play in football. Not only does one need tremendous amounts of stamina and determination but it is a role which demands patience in practice and discipline in action. Mostly, managers do not entrust such crucial midfield positions to debutants and considering it was the first league match of the season, Phil’s debut gained special importance as it is thought that it is critical to start the new season off with a win.
Jones not only held his own in Blackburn’s opening day win over Everton but also gained praise from his manager, in the post match comments to the media. Phil joined Blackburn Rovers in 2002 as a youth trainee and spent seven years in the Rover’s youth team till 2009. In his post match comments, Sam Allardyce stated that one doesn’t need a trained eye like his to see what a quality player Phil Jones is. Jones is indeed a special talent but most football fans were left confused as to why, Big Sam had to add in a few words of self appraisal as well.
Gareth Bale did himself a world of good after putting in an almost match winning performance against Manchester City. In perhaps the first big encounter between two of the top teams in the English Premier League, Tottenham took on Manchester City on the opening day of the season. City have spent buckets full of cash in the transfer window so far. They have bought the likes of Mario Balotelli, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng. On the other hand, Tottenham have not bought any big name players so far. Hotspurs had the home advantage as the match was taking place at the White hart lane.
Bale, who usually plays on the left wing, was signed by Tottenham from Southampton in 2007. However the Welsh youngster was useful in the 2009-2010 season as he gave match winning performances against Chelsea in the last few weeks of the season. Bale is considered by many as the future of Welsh football and there were doubts about his capability to reproduce the same performances he gave last season for Tottenham. Nevertheless Gareth was outstanding for Tottenham in their opening match of the season, a match that ended as a draw only because of Joe Hart’s heroics.
It might be a bold statement to make but considering the fact that Bale is finally fulfilling his potential Tottenham might be better off saving money on signing a left winger. How things have changed for the 21 year old left footed footballer, who was rumoured to be on his way to Nottingham Forest just a few months ago in January, 2010.
The ultimate winner as far as individuals are concerned is Joe Hart. Hart is perhaps England’s only goal keeping hope as far as European Championships of 2012 are concerned. His performance against Tottenham in the opening match of the season for Manchester City only reinforce the belief that Hart has the potential to be as good as Shilton or Banks. It is crucial that Joe maintains a first team spot at City because if he rots on the bench then he will not be included in Capello’s plans for England’s qualification campaign for Euro 2012.
Another ironic fact to be noted is that out of all the high profile players that played for Manchester City at the White Hart Lane, Hart proved to be the most critical man as the £600,000 pound signing from Shrewsbury helped City escape with a point from the London based club.



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