Andy Townsend's boot room: Defoe can claim spot with Rooney
22 August 2009 02:01
A week into the season and already reputations are being made - and wrecked. Everton hit for six, United beaten at Burnley! SIMON CASS met our columnist and TV pundit Andy Townsend, to discuss the repercussions of a great start for some . . .
What do you think of the show so far, Andy?
What a brilliant start to the new season. We have seen highscoring games and fantastic goals already. Who could have predicted Burnley would topple the champions? It is great all three of the newly promoted sides are up and running with a win. It is a huge monkey off their backs.
Which player has impressed you the most?
Jermain Defoe has been absolutely electric. It doesn't matter whether they are dropping to him on his left or right. He can smash them in from outside the box and he can pinch a goal across someone at the near post. He has now got to show Harry Redknapp that he can do it consistently over the next 10 months. If he can, he will not only cement his place as Tottenham's main man, he could get a starting place alongside Wayne Rooney in the World Cup.
Spurs look impressive all over the park, don't they?
Tottenham look confident and organised and they have a good squad of players. They only had two points from eight games last season, but they look full value for their six points out of six. But despite their lightning start, I can see them only drawing at West Ham tomorrow.
Arsenal's place among the top four doesn't look under too much threat either, does it?
When they are scoring goals and their confidence is up, like against Everton, they are going to be impossible to stop. So far they have been bright and enterprising, everything that we want to see from Arsenal.
Could it be double figures against Portsmouth today?
The whole Sulaiman Al Fahim thing is an absolute shambles. He looked like one of The Rubettes sitting next to Peter Storrie in his white jacket. Pompey have lost their key men and I think Portsmouth are going to be in the bottom four or five all season. If Arsenal turn up in the fashion they did at Everton they will stick at least three past them.
Will Wigan boss Roberto Martinez be worried about a Manchester United revenge mission?
The last thing he wanted was for Burnley to turn United over and fire them up before the weekend. He gets his sides playing attractive football and won't compromise that.
Can lightning strike twice for Burnley against Everton?
I fancy Burnley to stay up much more than Wolves or Birmingham. Turf Moor is a very difficult place to go and play. United found that out the other night. They play good football and I really think they can survive. As for Everton and the Joleon Lescott scenario, I really admire David Moyes for digging his heels in but if the relationship has broken down then they will be looking to get as much money as they can. It wouldn't surprise me to see them get another point and four points in a week would be a great return. Lescott or no Lescott, City will have too much for Wolves, won't they?
One to watch
Gomez? Isn't he the Spurs goalkeeper who is out for several weeks with a thigh injury? No, that's Heurelho Gomes of Brazil. Jordi Gomez is Wigan's 24-year-old Spanish attacking midfielder. How much did he cost? A bargain £2million from Espanyol. What's so good about him? Well, he is a creative player with good technical ability and knows where the goal is. Last season, while on loan at Swansea, Gomez scored 14 goals in 51 appearances. Is he a Spanish international? No, but even Cesc Fabregas struggles to get a place in the Spanish midfield. What are they saying about him? It's been said that 'he has lovely ability to receive the ball in space or if he is marked tightly, find space after his first touch'. Which makes him worth how much? Well, he could cost in the region of £6m, plus add-ons.
Match of their days
Fulham v Chelsea
1983 The west London rivals met in October in the old Division Two. It was an eightgoal thriller with Chelsea eventually winning 5-3 at Craven Cottage, which must have helped a great deal, as they would later win the league title on goal difference.
2006 This was the first time Fulham defeated Chelsea at home since 1977. Luis Boa Morte's goal helped Chris Coleman's men to a vital victory over the then Premier League champions.
1967 Fulham held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. It was a season to remember for Fulham fans as they were relegated to the old Second Division.