It’s a Huge Weekend for…Adkins, Hughes, Manchester City, Koscielny and dreariness
Since labelling Luis Suarez a diver and a cheat, Koscielny’s form has declined considerably. He was fantastic at times last season, but several high-profile mistakes have led to criticism from supporters. Tuesday’s mental Capital One Cup game summed it up completely. The defender did score, but left Jason Roberts alone for Reading’s first, scored an own goal for the second and was out-jumped by Noel Hunt for the fourth.
Those with any sort of memory will remember Arsenal’s debacle at Old Trafford last season, so the Frenchman will need to be in much better nick by Saturday lunchtime.
Fans of dreariness
If you are tired of watching paint dry in your hallway, then why not trot along to the Stadium of Light this weekend? On one side you have Sunderland, who have had just twelve shots on target in eight games this season. Their eight games have contained 14 goals.
On the other side you have Aston Villa, one win in 16 Premier League games, a refusal to start their best striker, and the scorers of just seven goals in nine games.
Sometimes these stats lead to a batshit mental 3-3 draw, but I’m preparing to Sky+ and skip through this particular example of ‘this wonderful league of ours’.
I feel awfully sorry for Nigel Adkins, because after having achieved consecutive promotions with Southampton, his job security is under considerate pressure. He has made tactical errors (refusing to switch from 4-3-3 or start Rickie Lambert in every game), but this is a man that has never coached at the top level before. Should he not be given time to adapt?
Monday Night Football travels to the Hawthorns. I genuinely hope that we are not viewing the last days of his Southampton reign.
A strange one, really. Quite a lot of people have been queuing up to have a pop at Manchester City recently, but this is the only unbeaten side in the Premier League, and they sit one point off the top. Only three teams have scored more goals, and only three teams have conceded less goals, so this isn’t exactly panic stations. And yet Roberto Mancini is the third favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.
A trip to West Ham is a difficult trip, solely because of their opponent’s style. Given that the Champions League have revealed a soft underbelly to the champions, Big Sam will surely set up his side to allow Andy Carroll to feature predominantly. It will test out City’s sturdiness, that’s for sure.
A quick one, because it’s getting stupid: Hughes is appearing in this column as much as Steve Kean did last season. But this time, finally, Mark Hughes will be sacked if his side lose live on television to Reading on Sunday afternoon. A draw and this shoddy soap opera may continue for another week, but win and Mark Hughes may finally begin to commence QPR’s overdue rehabilitation.