It’s a huge weekend for…Andre Villas-Boas, Paul Lambert, Nuri Sahin and Real Madrid
After his rebuilding job was undermined by impatience at Chelsea, there was a feeling that Spurs was a more natural fit for the Portuguese manager, but the problem with following the media’s darling is that any slip-ups will be criticised ferociously. There was nothing criminal about losing to a Newcastle side that were actually outplayed by Spurs at times, but the dropped points at home to West Brom were a different matter.
Tottenham face Norwich at home this weekend and, after an impressive last few days in the transfer window following the end of the Luka Modric saga, all eyes will be on AVB to see if he can inspire his team. Three points are greatly needed.
Another new manager looking for his first win in charge, Paul Lambert would surely have hoped for better than two games (against West Ham and Everton), no points, one goal scored, four conceded? It doesn’t get any easier either, and a trip to St James Park will have Villa fans worried that they will be bottom of the Premier League by the end of the weekend. Thankfully, Villa have lost their last three games on Tyneside by an aggregate of 10-1. It is only now that we realise just how f*cked they could be.
After impressing football connoisseurs during his time at Borussia Dortmund, but his big move to Madrid simply didn’t pay off. In an injury-hit season, the Turkish international played just ten games in all competitions, but there is no doubt that Liverpool have got themselves a real talent. Given that Lucas has been ruled out for three months just days after Sahin has come on board provides an ideal opportunity to impress, but given Liverpool’s central midfield signings recently (Adam, Henderson, Aquilani, Poulsen) if he can hit the ground running, Sahin will win over the fans with ease. A debut at home to the club you almost signed for simply gives Sunday’s game an added edge.
It is three-and-a-half years since Real Madrid last went three league games without a win, and it led to the sacking of Juande Ramos. That’s how disappointing their start to this season is, letting leads slip in all three of their games this season. But if the draw to Valencia was annoying and the defeat to Barcelona by a single goal slightly predictable, the loss to Getafe last weekend will have hurt Mourinho’s men. In a league containing Barcelona, Real will need to respond with a winning streak. A league game at home to Granada should probably do the trick, particularly as Barca must face Valencia.