Ledley's Talking Points: Goal Droughts, Familiar Stories and the Managerial Conveyor Belt
7 Talking Points
Crystal Palace are pointless and goalless after three games in the Premier League. We all know that managers don’t last long in the modern game, but the talk that Frank De Boer's job already hangs in the balance and Sam Allardyce is being lined up as a possible replacement seems crazy. The Dutchman will need time for his players to adjust to his system, but it does appear their next game against Burnley is a must-win.
Brighton are also goalless after 3 games but have recorded a point after their draw against Watford on Saturday. The Seagulls desperately need to recruit a few more attacking options before the transfer window closes this week. Chris Houghton has acknowledged that it’s a difficult market, but the clock is ticking: “[The lack of goals] is a concern, because, on the balance of play and getting in areas we are, we should do better. We need to find a way to win these games.”
Arsenal were at the forefront of a lot of debate last season, with Wenger in or out dividing Gunners, and Arsenal Fan TV providing bags of entertainment for the neutral. They’ve had a summer to sort out their problems but the lessons haven’t been learnt. Wenger is Arsenal’s greatest ever manager, but things might just get uglier and more painful for the Frenchman this season. If so, fans might only start to truly appreciate him again after he has left.
Harry Kane has had another dry August, still without a Premier League goal in the opening month of any Premier league season. It’s possible this quirky statistic was playing on Kane’s mind going into the game against Burnley, but he looked as composed as ever in front of goal and Tom Heaton deserves all the credit for keeping him out. Kane has scored an average of 8.66 goals in each of the other PL months, and he’ll be back amongst the goals in no time.
Leeds moved up to 3rd in the Championship after their 2-0 win over Forest on Saturday. It has been a great start to the campaign for their new manager Thomas Christiansen, but this weekend’s result was more potent after the departure of Chris Wood who scored 27 league goals for Leeds last term. “Here there is no player who is more important than the others,” asserted Christiansen.
Bradford City threw away a 3-0 half-time lead against Walsall. It looked like they were cruising to a third league victory, but a quick double followed by an 87th-minute equaliser by Amadou Bakayoko meant they had to share the spoils. The full-time whistle was met with boos from the Bradford end, with the old cliché of a draw feeling like a loss springing to mind.
Neil Warnock’s CV is full of promotion stories. He has earned promotion no fewer than seven times during his managerial career, with the likes of Notts County, Huddersfield, Sheffield United and most recently QPR. But he could be making it eight this season if things continue as they are in Cardiff. The Bluebirds have now collected five wins from their opening five games in the Championship.
Nobody managed a full-house this time but Fatboy AKA Dean from Croydon, who has been playing the game since week 1 last season, grabbed the top spot in the individual competition. He scored 22 points along with Alfy, but Dean had a better goal difference of +15.
The Fun Draisers came out on top in the team competition with 77 points and a better goal difference than Channel 4 News Team who also had 77 points. The Fun Draisers are managed by Ann Moore who is one of the Sheffield Mums who won a bag load of cash playing 7OTB last season. More money for the kids' football team!
The Legends scored a very average (at best) 58 points this week, coming in at 46th in the weekly team competition. Bramble and Crouch had a shocker while Robbie Keane netted a solid 19 points. Despite a low scoring week the Legends are still 3rd in the overall team league table.
Ledley's Challengers scored a slightly better 63 points, finishing 33rd in the country this weekend. Mandy and Katie were joint top scorers with 17 points a piece.
Top Picked Wins
Man Utd (won 2-0)
Aberdeen (won 4-3)
Cardiff (won 2-1)
Rangers (won 3-1)
Swindon (lost 0-3)
Top Picked Draws
Chelsea 2-0 Everton
Palace 0-2 Swansea
Huddersfield 0-0 Southampton
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
Newcastle 3-0 West Ham
WBA 1-1 Stoke City
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