Aston Villa and Wolverhampton discover the benefits of mutualism, intended or not; Arséne Wenger is rudely introduced to disaster capitalism; Viagra is not a Spanish word, but might as well be at Chelsea as Juan Mata looks to be the panacea (also not Spanish) for creative dysfunction; Tottenham, more Arsenal-esque than ever this season, fall short of equaling the humiliation.
Aston Villa 0—Wolverhampton 0
Television announcers almost always note Fabio Capello’s attendance at Premier League matches. In attendance to scout and judge, the either stern or frightening Capello contributes texture to the broadcast’s atmosphere. Capello’s reputation as stern or frightening is played up into the myth of some transcendent austerity that has finally begun to show cracks during his time as England manager. The characterization becomes the perfect setup to argue that only the supreme importance of the England national team could exert the necessary weight of pressure to crack this nut. But forty-six years since England won the World Cup is a diatnt menory that has moved past the burden of history into facoid. The reality is that England has been mediocre for some time. Ther should be much pressure to surpass this.
Capello is there at Villa Park. Thinking Okay, we’ll let’s have a look at him, the camera seeks him out of the crowd and we know he’s hard at work as he should be, if England is to sustain or emerge from mediocrity.
Much like the last time we saw him at some other game a week ago, he’s sitting motionless, staring out at a blade of grass, chin lying on his chest and hemmed by concentric rings of aged skin like a melted Elizabethan collar. If the apparent refusal to improve his poor English is a sign of unwillingness to integrate into English culture, then one should look elsewhere for proof of effort.
Arséne Wenger’s new project is to win the league with the reserve team; Kenny Dalglish needs to rethink his lineup; Manchester City proves the old addage that success can’t buy happiness, but then again who needs happiness; Manchester United’s experienced inexperienced youth; that Harry Redknapp sagging deadpan expression of being underwhelmed when overwhelmed sums up Tottenham nicely.
Arsenal 0—Liverpool 2
Depletion and woe weren’t deemed adequate punishment for Arsenal, so the Furies decided to toss in an injury crises and bad luck just to be safe. The home opener at the Emirates was witness to an Arsenal squad comprised of reserves and tyros with almost no Premier League experience. Liverpool should have won this game handily, but encountered a spirited Arsenal side reduced to 10 men after an impressive Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off for youthful zeal, which proved Liverpool is far from formidable.
Andy Carroll played about seventy minutes. It wasn’t his fault that Liverpool’s strategy devolved into kicking the ball toward his head to see what would happen. It didn’t take long to see that nothing came of this, yet Liverpool continued for another sixty minutes. Liverpool finally took control of the game when Luis Suarez and Raul Mierieles came on late and scored an offside goal. It’s a good sign that Miereles has established himself in the league, because Jordan Henderson clearly isn’t ready despite Kenny Dalglish’s insistence to start him.
Arsenal are suffering from a degree of misfortune that exceeds the fair amount they have brought upon themselves, while the emerging belief of restoration around Anfield should be kept in the shorts until results prove decisively alluring. The match is a good example that a win, no matter how unimpressive, can boost a club’s confidence, and that a loss, truly mitigated by handicap and misfortune, still can be a blow to the psyche.
Liverpool is a bunch of signings who have all been given the same red shirt; Sunderland remind us that being stubborn won’t solve a problem (unfortunately); Arsenal and Joey Barton produce the most unconventional romantic comedy about rage and affection; Manchester United’s alchemy is a form of puppetmastery; Newcomers QPR and Swansea City need to understand when Ian Holloway’s Blackpool is an idol, idle, an idyll, and false idol; Chelsea is still an idea and Stoke is still Stoke
Sunderland 1—Liverpool 1
The new Liverpool lacks cohesion, while the new Sunderland remains stubborn and difficult to beat.
The first opening day match featured two aspiring table climbers. It was important to show off their many new faces to make the claim that they belong in Europe the proof of clubs with serious aims and expectations to play in Europe.
Liverpool continues restoration under their re-anointed king. As an expression of rightful place and desperation, Liverpool followed the 58m spent on Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez with another 51m, spread among four players, including the market-bending16m for Jordan Henderson, which may just be the highest premium paid for “Englishness” in some time. Henderson doesn’t look unmistakably English and his name doesn’t sound unmistakably English (initially he could appear more American) as compared to the very English looking Phil Jones who, the market determined, is valued at the same price. The premium paid for English players is no less perverse than the market of which it’s a part. If Ashley Young is somewhat of a bargain at 16m, then Man U got another one with Phil Jones simply on the value of Englishness.