Tag Archives: Sergio Agüero

Premier League Preview: Top 4, Bottom 3, Golden Boot and Fantasy

By, Kyle Gibson

It’s almost Christmas in August. The Premier League is finally upon us. New superstar managers, new superstar players, huge egos and more!

Let’s get into a quick preview, featuring the predictions Champions League sides, relegated sides, Golden Boot winner and my Fantasy EPL side.

Champions League Teams and Champions

4. Chelsea – Antonio Conte is a badass. His Italy team could have won the Euros if Germany did not beat them in penalties. I kept thinking they would win it, but I’m not sure of the back line.

3. Arsenal – Such a talented team, but Arsene Wenger still did not sign the top-of-the-line striker the club needs. Olivier Giroud looked so good at the Euros setting up Antoine Griezmann. Give him someone to work with!

2. Tottenham – “Lads (retches, sweating profusely) it’s…Tottenham.” That line from Alex Ferguson now has a different meaning. This Tottenham team is talented, deep, well drilled and only finished third last year on the final day. Spurs did not make huge changes over the summer, but did not need to.

Spurs needed a backup for Harry Kane and got that with Vincent Janssen, who scored 27 league goals for AZ last year. Adding Victor Wanyama also provides more steel in the midfield.

Many have seen the Spurs falling off, but I see the club improving.

1. Manchester United – I wish i wasn’t jinxing my favorite club. I’m just buying into the hype. Jose Mourinho has so much to prove, after the debacle last season with Chelsea.

The club worked through its central defense slightly with the emergence of Chris Smalling last year. Adding Eric Bailly in the off-season should really help.

Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrihk Mkhitaryan are the elite level signings the club has been lacking.

This all should culminate in a spellbinding year for United. Pau

Relegated Squads

20. Hull City – Ownership in turmoil. Manager Steve Bruce left just a few weeks ago. Selling their best players and not replacing them.

19. Burnley – I still think they are too small of a club, but they are a very solid team and probably the 21st best in England.

18. Swansea City – Sold the team’s heart and soul in Ashley Williams. Borja from Atletico was a solid signing, but too little. Plus, Swansea bought Leroy Fer, who relegates almost every EPL team he is with.

Golden Boot Race

Harry Kane – 24 Goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 22 Goals

Jamie Vardy – 20 Goals

Sergio Aguero – 20 Goals

 

My Fantasy EPL Team

I believe that I will win.

Goalkeepers – Kasper Schmeichel, Adrian

Defenders – Hector Bellerin, John Stones, Wes Morgan, Antonio Valencia, Patrick van Aanholt

Midfielders – Anthony Martial, Danny Drinkwater, Andre Ayew, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Phillipe Coutinho

Forwards – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Callum Wilson,Jermain Defoe

New Kicking It Podcast: EPL Wrap Up Edition!

On this week’s edition of the Kicking It Podcast, Kyle and Richard close the book on the English Premier League season by recapping the standings and naming a Player of the Year for the league, the top ten and a few from the loser bracket. Listen in, because Louis Van Gaal demands it!

You can listen via our Buzzsprout page, or by subscribing in iTunes!

New Post: Guest Blogger Carlos Rivas of @Studz_Up on the EPL’s Mining of Spanish and South American Talent

By, Carlos Rivas

Kyle’s note: Today’s post is by a soccer blogger pal of mine, Carlos Rivas of www.studzupblog.com. Rivas discusses the relatively recent impact of foreign players in the English Premier League, including many Spanish and South American players. The entire content below was submitted to me by Rivas. It’s a fun read that brings up plenty of old and new talent. Enjoy!

This post from The Football Vault made me reflect on the impact players from the Western Hemisphere have in the Premier League. Nowadays it seems easier for Spanish and Latin American players to find success in the Premier League

Back in the day players were hesitant to make the jump from the warm weather of their home clubs or a familiar culture. And of course, language was also a big barrier. And clubs, likewise, had the same mentality. One has to think really hard to remember the last player that had a superstar status with a Premier League club. Maradona, Batistuta, Recoba, Romario or Francescoli would have never thought on making the jump to the Premier League. The most prestigious leagues were Serie A and La Liga. And with the language being a big factor, in addition to the weather in some places, it was very common to see players from Argentina in Italy and no Spaniard will need to play outside La Liga.

But the new millennium has opened the diversification in the Premier League. And players from Spain and South America are now the bigger stars of a team, or at least a very important part. Maybe it is the globalization of markets. Maybe the purchase power and salary expectations are making the difference. Maybe the pond became too small to make it in Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or AC Milan.

And don’t get me wrong, Gus Poyet was very vital to the pre-Abramovich Chelsea. Faustino “Tino” Aspirilla scored some nice goals with Newcastle in the 90’s. But that is all we might remember.

We now see Diego Costa (Brazil/Spain), Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Kun Agüero leading the top scorers in the Premier League. Like the post from The Football Vault said, Luis Suarez was the top scorer last season. But goals are not only coming from Spanish versions. Di Maria was a blockbuster move, and with De Gea, Valencia, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata the Red Devils have a competitive team in Spanish. Now it is up to their boss to play them.

The same thing could be said about City. In addition to Agüero, Jesus Navas, David Silva, Zabaleta and Fernandinho are important pieces to another South American voice: Pelligrini.

Like Jim Collins said in Good To Great. The Spanish success did not happen overnight in the Premier League. There were a series of events that had to take place for the flywheel to continue moving. Maybe Tevez and Mascherano were the pioneers. Maybe it was the defining move that saw 16-year-old Fabregas leave Barcelona for Arsenal. Maybe it was Liverpool’s gamble on taking a chance on a young Xabi Alonso.

Or maybe, it was the Premier League’s ability to expand to new markets, land better television deals and player’s agents seeing the opportunity to tap into new markets. Regardless, Spanish players are now breaking into a new territory in the Premier League: Superstar status. And Football fans around the world are grateful to enjoy even less known players like Joel Campbell (Costa Rica/Arsenal) and Leonardo Ulloa (Argentina/Leicester) overcome the odds of a new language, new culture, new weather and reach success.

For the complete list of Premier League scorers, I found this link. It’s pretty informative, check it out.

And if you feel like remembering El Tino Aspirilla, you can relive his hat-trick against FC Barcelona in the 1997/1998 season. Yes, that is the Barcelona coached by MUFC boss Louis van Gaal and with players like Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Luis Figo and Rivaldo, just to name a few.

This post was originally posted on http://www.studzupblog.com. You can follow @Studz_Up on Twitter and add +Studzupblog on Google+ for more football content.

New Post: David Moyes, Liverpool, Sergio Aguero, Clint Dempsey, Champions League Draws

Welcome to another edition of soccer’s favorite bit of analysis, Introspection Tuesday! In Introspective Tuesday, everything is made up and the points don’t matter.

  1. Clint Dempsey needs Fulham…and vice versa- The Guardian is one of my favorite EPL newspapers, along with the Daily Mirror. Let’s just say the Guardian was on its game this weekend. On Sunday the paper reported that U.S. soccer captain Clint Dempsey would be returning to Fulham starting January 1 on a 2 month loan. Dempsey scored 50 goals in 184 appearances from 2007-12 at Craven Cottage, a form he has yet to capture anywhere else. Dempsey struggled…bad this summer at Seattle, scoring just one goal on the season and appearing to be ineffectual in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Fulham is entrenched in a relegation battle this season. When Dempsey was in London, the team was playing quality Europa League matches and finishing in the top half of the table. This looks like a match made in heaven.
  2. David Moyes Wins, then does an Alex Ferguson impression-  Growing up a crazy Man United fan, I would read stories each week in which Sir Alex Ferguson would go after refs and try to make sure his team got the calls, succeeding even better than Phil Jackson, who is much taller and creepier. On Sunday, after a 3-0 victory at Villa Park, David Moyes did a SAF impression in saying it was a shame that refs did not better protect Adnan Januzaj.

Via ITV

“It is terrible what they (the officials) are allowing to go on at the moment. They (opposition players) are queuing up to see who can kick him next.

“(Matthew) Lowton was booked but there were that many tackles on him from different players.

“It is a recurring theme and it’s the referees’ job to sort it out. You would hope they would recognise that.”

Makes us United fans get all sentimental. Our crazy manager frothing at the mouth over a referee? Home sweet home.

3. Sergio Aguero will be sorely missed with his calf injury- It was announced today that Manchester City star striker Sergio Aguero would be missing anywhere from 4-6 weeks with a calf injury suffered in the 6-3 demolition of Arsenal. A few quick stats. Aguero has 13 goals in all EPL games this season, not quite Suarez, but still very impressive. Also, Aguero has scored first the first or only for City in 6 EPL goals this season and in each of the last 3 EPL games. This is the guy that gets the offense started and had the hot boot. He will be missed by Citizens and soccer fans alike.

4. Love him or hate him, Luis Suarez is just a damn good soccer player. And he’s only 26, which means, barring injury, there will be 6-8 more quality years of Luis Suarez. All the goal scoring, Ivanovic biting (a link to a gif, you’re welcome) and crazy antics we’ve come to love or hate. Honestly, you can hate the guy all you want, but watch a game without bias. Great work rate and skill for days. Iago Aspas needs to touch a hem of his clothing. Maybe then he shall achieve Anfield Greatness.

5. We have a beautiful Champions League Round of 16. Neutrals delight! The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw produced some real beauties. There are four especially that stick out.

Manchester City v Barcelona- Messi and Aguero will be back

AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid- Hipsters, Unite!

Galatasaray vs Chelsea- Didier Drogba against the club he made his name at.

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich- Right now these two teams are tops of the table in their respective leagues.

This is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving! Too bad we have to wait until February 18.

-Follow me on Twitter @kyleisgibson and @kickingit10