Premier League blog - Aug 21

21 August 2010 03:25
TEAMtalk reflects on the second weekend of the Premier League season on a day when both Chelsea and Arsenal enjoyed the joy of six.

Goal of the Day: Less than a year ago, Gareth Bale was known as the Spurs jinx, having played 24 times for the club in the Premier League without ever helping them to three points. Fast forward 11 months, and the Welsh winger has become the winning ticket for Tottenham. After bundling in the opener in the 2-1 victory at Stoke off his rosy-cheeked face, the balletic Bale produced a pirouette power-drive from Aaron Lennon's floated pass and saw his shot sail past Thomas Sorensen into the top corner. Of Spurs' last 10 league goals, Bale has grabbed half of them - and this one proved enough to secure the points at the Britannia Stadium, if only because.

Goalline Technology Controversy #827: .referee Chris Foy and his linesmen couldn't be sure Jonathan Walters' shot had crossed the line when he blasted the ball into Peter Crouch's midriff late in the game, so the officials waved play on amid the usual scenes of apoplexia from players, management and fans. So there's yet another complaint to be filed to Sepp Blatter and the International FA Board, who'll be meeting in Cardiff in October to have another chat about football's thorniest issue. Put the Potters down for the inevitable protest march, along with England's World Cup flops, Pedro Mendes, Freddie Sears and countless others from years gone by. (Jon Holmes)

Move of the Day: While Bale is fast becoming a hero to Spurs fans, his fellow Southampton academy graduate Theo Walcott is much loved by supporters on the other side of the north London divide. After the jet-heeled winger's hat-trick for Arsenal on Saturday, Arsene Wenger described Walcott as "electric", and his first goal certainly lit up The Emirates following a move of craft and élan. Arshavin to Chamakh down the left; a lay-off to Rosicky; a neat pass rolled back to Arshavin; and the killer ball presented to Walcott, who finished sweetly past Matt Gilks. Thereafter, Theo and his team-mates tormented the Tangerines on what proved to be a relaxing afternoon for the home fans. (JH)

Dunce of the Day: Carlton Cole. He's spent the week updating his 'Carlton Cole iPhone app', but someone should remind the big Hammers number nine that his first job is playing for West Ham and, hopefully, scoring a few goals.

Clearly after his penalty miss against Bolton, in which he seemingly forgot how to do the very basics - that is kick a football with any kind of force towards goal - he's spent too long pondering how to become even more interactive with his fans.

For anyone who's had the pleasure of seeing the app, Carlton has promised fans that it'll be 'no holes barred'. It's just a shame that the phrase is 'no holds barred'. Back to school for you, Carlton. Oh, and while you are there, see if there's a PE teacher who can teach you about taking penalties too. (James Marshment)

Disconsolate Figure of the Day: Avram Grant. The Israeli seemed to sink lower and lower into his seat in the dug-out at Upton Park on Saturday - and who can blame him as his West Ham side pressed the self-destruct button time after time against Bolton. Hopes were high of a decent season for the Hammers but just two games in and the accusations and finger-pointing seem to have started in earnest.

Grant, who oversaw a season of doom at Fratton Park last season, probably thought he'd escaped to sunnier climes by moving to east London. But sadly for him - and for the Irons faithful - he appears to have swapped one relegation scrap for another. Ouch. (JM)

Missed Chance to be an Instant Hero: Peter Odemwingie completed his move to West Brom from Lokomotiv Moscow on Friday in time to make his debut as a lone striker against Sunderland on Saturday.

Within minutes of kick-off, Chris Brunt sent him scampering clean through on goal with a delicious pass which gifted him a one-on-one chance and an opportunity to become an instant Albion hero. But sadly for Baggies fans holding their breath in anticipation, he showed the predatory instincts of a rabbit and dragged a right-footed shot inches wide of the upright. (Simon Wilkes)

Taken Chance to be an Instant Hero: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Odemwingie endeared himself to Albion fans on his debut, running his socks off up front. And he got his reward with nine minutes remaining at The Hawthorns, latching onto a fine pass from James Morrison and poking the ball into the net to spark jubilant scenes amongst the home support. (SW)

Save of the Day: Ben Foster's penalty save v Blackburn. Whatever you do, make sure you see this on MOTD or Goals on Sunday as it's different gravy. Michael Oliver, who at 25 became the Premier League's youngest referee, gave a spot-kick with the scoreline 0-0 at St Andrew's and Morten Gamst Pedersen decided he'd take responsibility. He stepped up and smashed a powerful, left-footed strike towards the top corner, only to see Foster fling himself to his left and fingertip the ball onto the crossbar. Rovers took the lead not long after, but two goals from Craig Gardner ensured Foster's save was a match-defining one. (SW)

Debut of the Day: That man Odemwingie pushed the winner of this category close, but take a bow Craig Bellamy for living up to Cardiff's great expectations in a dazzling debut. The Welshman has dropped down to the Championship to play for the Bluebirds on loan for a season - and after scoring and setting up two goals in a 4-0 demolition of Doncaster, it looks like he's going to terrorise the division and possibly lead Dave Jones' men to automatic promotion if he manages to stay fit. (SW)

Source: Team_Talk