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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2022-23 - Matchday One

Premier League Review – Matchday One

Friday 5th August, 2022

Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal (20.00)

New signings Saliba, Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus impressed, so they say, but perhaps Palace just were not quite at the races. Martinelli opened the scoring for Arsenal and a Guehi own goal gave them a 2-0 win, after which the visiting fans chanted the name of their former idol Patrick Vieira. Arsenal went top of the one-match Premier League table, for one night only!

Saturday 6th August, 2022

Fulham 2-2 Liverpool (12.30)

Fulham surprised a lot of people, not least Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been with the London club for five and a half years now. The 27-year-old Serbian hit a record Championship tally of 43 goals to help Fulham’s promotion last season but was not so much in favour in their last Premier League relegation season. Mitrovic had a great start to this season with both Fulham goals. One was a header when he simply over-powered Trent Alexander-Arnold with a back post header. The other was a penalty which he won and scored. Liverpool protested the decision of course, but their argument fell on stony ground.

Liverpool’s star signing Nunez good start continues. Last week, after coming off the bench in the second half of the Community Shield, he won a penalty and scored an added time goal to seal a 3-1 win against Champions Manchester City. The Uruguayan star came off the bench at Craven Cottage and scored another clever goal to equalise Mitrovic’s first goal. Salah scored Liverpool’s second goal to gain a point, at least.

Bournemouth 2-0 Aston Villa (15.00)

Bournemouth are one of the favourites to return to The Championship, but they beat an unimpressive Villa side 2-0. Steve Gerrard had previously announced that Tyrone Mings would lose the captaincy in favour of john McGinn, but Mings was also made to sit out the game on the bench while Lerma (after only two minutes) and Kieffer Moore scored “The Cherries” goals in front of a delighted opening day crowd.

Leeds 2-1 Wolves (15.00)

After their close escape from relegation, Leeds lost Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City (he spent most of their match on the bench) and Raphinha to Barcelona. Jesse Marsch imported seven players including Tyler Adams from Leipzig and another USA midfielder – Brenden Aaronsen – from Salzburg.

Aaronsen thought he had scored the Leeds winner on his debut in the 74th minute, but that turned out to be an Ait-Nouri own goal. Wolves have Chiquinho out with a long-term injury and were also without Raul Jimenez. Conor Coady looked miffed to be sitting on the bench where he stayed. On Monday (8th August) the reason was disclosed. Coady has gone to Everton on a season-long loan.

Wolves took a 6th minute lead through Podence and Leeds’ 24th minute equaliser was scored by Rodrigo, converting a Harrison cross. Leeds also had a fully fit Bamford in the side. Traore is back at Molineux after a loan spell at Barcelona, but he was not fit for this game.

Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest (15.00)

Forest are back in the Premier League after 23 years. Their last top flight game was against Leicester on May 16th, 1999 when Ron Atkinson was their manager. Their last Premier League goal was scored in a 2-1 win at Ewood Park by Chris Bart-Williams.

Forest, led to promotion by Steve Cooper after Chris Hughton was sacked last year, haven’t added to their Premier League tally yet, and despite a massive overhaul with 12 new players, they lost this game 2-0.

Eddie Howe was only appointed 9 months ago, but he has a shiny new contract, and the Tyneside faithful are in good spirits these days. It took Newcastle until the second half to secure the win with a super strike by Fabian Schar and a clever finish by Callum Wilson from Joelinton’s pass in the 78th minute which sealed the points.

Spurs 4-1 Southampton (15.00)

There is no doubt that Dejan Kulusevski was the man of the match, but there were deserved plaudits for most members of the team. As mentioned in the match report, Eric Dier scored for the first time since May 2019. That was a third minute goal in a last day draw at home to Everton.

Eric’s song “We love Eric Dier” was sung with gusto, and I am not sure when it was last aired. Dier has been an unsung hero for a lot of his time at Tottenham. English born, but a Portuguese speaker, Eric arrived from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2014 and scored a sensational 93rd minute winning debut goal at Upton Park. Eric played at centre-back that day next to captain Younes Kaboul, but he and Hug Lloris are the only playing survivors in our team.

Eric has now made 238 Premier League appearances for Spurs and scored 11 league goals. In all Spurs games, he has now played in 320 games (including 48 in European games) and scored an FA Cup goal (at Colchester in 2016) to add to those in the league. A lot of his appearances were made as part of the defensive midfield duo, but he has truly settled down and established himself in the centre of Antonio Conte’s back three.

Eric’s 45 England caps have all been awarded as Spurs player. His senior international debut came against Spain in November 2015. He played in the 2018 World Cup and scored our winning penalty in a shoot-out to take us to the quarter-final. It is a travesty that Dier’s last England game was in November 2020. Eric appeared in each of England’s six World Cup games. He played every minute of his last six England games, as he has for almost every game he has played for club and country over the last three years.

Eric’s header against Southampton was sublimely executed. He has excellent defensive and passing skills. Now aged 28 he is in his prime and must surely play for England again – soon!

Our very first Premier League game in 1992 was away to Southampton and was drawn 0-0. We have now won 13 of our 31 opening games, three of which have been against Newcastle, where we obtained our first such win in 1993. As mentioned in the report, this was our best opening day win. This was only our eleventh home opener in the Premier League.

Everton 0-1 Chelsea (17.30)

Everton’s woes continue as Frank Lampard’s old team took the points with a Jorginho penalty nine minutes into first half added time after Doucoure had fouled Chilwell. Most of those additional minutes came as a result of a nasty (broken leg) injury to defender Ben Godfrey. Chelsea included new signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, but “The Toffees” were without a striker after Richarlison’s departure for Tottenham and another injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

It was a scrappy game. Another new signing Cucurella got on for the last fifteen minutes and players out on loan last season (Gallagher and Broja) also made substitute appearances. It could be another long and hard season for Everton, and their fans.

Sunday 7th August, 2022

Leicester 2-2 Brentford (14.00)

Only a week ago Leicester legend Kaspar Schmeichel left for Nice, so Danny Ward has been promoted to number one keeper. Leicester have made no summer signings and their fans are nervously watching the window in case any other big names such as Fofana, Tielemans, or Maddison also disappear. Brentford included former Burnley skipper Ben Mee, but he lasted just 59 minutes before he was replaced. By that time, "The Bees” were two down and no doubt missed the midfield mastery of Eriksen, who started out of position at Old Trafford.

Castagne had headed in a Maddison corner to give Leicester a first half lead, and Tielemans also hit the post with a shot from outside the area. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who had a good season last year gave his side a two-goal lead within 30 seconds of the restart, hitting an excellent 25-yard shot past Raya.

Leicester faded and Brentford came back, firstly through Ivan Toney’s left-foot shot from a Henry cross and secondly, minutes from the end when substitute Josh DaSilva was allowed to advance to the edge of the Leicester box and to score with a super left-footed strike. DaSilva had missed most of last season through injury and hadn’t scored since February 2021 at Reading.

Fofana also hit the woodwork for Leicester with a second half header.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton (14.00)

Despite the new manager, nothing seems to have changed at Old Trafford. Their fans are still protesting about their owners, and there was even a little upset in the stands as they argued with each other. Erik Ten Hag is the latest holder of the poisoned chalice of trying to bring the same level of success as did Sir Alex Ferguson, who (watching from the stand) must have been distressed with the performance.

Grumpy Ronaldo arrived late for pre-season training and doesn’t want to play for the club any more. He started on the bench whilst new signing Christian Eriksen began as a “false nine” which did not work. Little did work for United, whose defence remains inadequate, despite the big-money arrival of Lisandro Martinez from Ten Hag’s old club. Dalot at right back was exposed and there were plenty of moans about the midfield duo of McTominay and Fred. How Harry Maguire can be preferred for England over Eric Dier beats me.

Credit to Brighton and their much-admired coach Graham Potter. Despite the loss of high-profile players such as Cucurella and Bissouma, the remaining squad performed with great spirit, skill and application. At times they were all over United like a rash, especially when Pascal Gross scored both Brighton’s first half goals.

United were grateful to a second half Mac Allister own goal to keep them in the game. United’s Martial, who had been mooted as Ten Hag’s chosen striker missed the game due to a thigh injury. This was Brighton’s first league win at Old Trafford and the travelling fans chanted, “Just like Brighton, your city is blue!”

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City (16.30)

West Ham have managed to increase their capacity to some 62,500 and the attendance figure for this game was 62,443. Our official capacity is now 62,850. Quite a few “Hammers” fans left early after City’s new superstar striker Erling Haaland scored a second goal in the 65th minute. De Bruyne’s inch-perfect through pass was sublime.

Haaland had scored his first goal with the first shot on target in the 36th minute. That was from the penalty spot after substitute keeper Areola had brought the tall and fast Norwegian striker down in the area. Haaland has scored no less than 44 goals for club and country in the last calendar year, including three hat-tricks.

West Ham had their moments, but City played “keep-ball” for most of the game.

  
Fixtures & results - 05-07.08.22

Friday 5th August, 2022

C.Palace   0-2  Arsenal   (20.00)

Saturday 6th August, 2022

Fulham     2-2  Liverpool (12.30)
B'mouth    2-0  A. Villa  (15.00)
Leeds      2-1  Wolves    (15.00)
Newcastle  2-0  Nottm F'st(15.00)
Spurs      4-1  S'hampton (15.00)
Everton    0-1  Chelsea   (17.30)

Sunday 7th August, 2022

Leicester  2-2  Brentford (14.00)
Man Utd    1-2  Brighton  (14.00)
West Ham   0-2  Man City  (16.30)

            Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Spurs      1  1  0  0   4-1    3    3 
 2. Arsenal    1  1  0  0   2-0    2    3  
 3. B'mouth    1  1  0  0   2-0    2    3 
 4. Man City   1  1  0  0   2-0    2    3
==========================================
 5. Newcastle  1  1  0  0   2-0    2    3 
==========================================
 6. Brighton   1  1  0  0   2-1    1    3 
 7. Leeds      1  1  0  0   2-1    1    3
 8. Chelsea    1  1  0  0   1-0    1    3 
 9. Brentford  1  0  1  0   2-2    0    1
10. Fulham     1  0  1  0   2-2    0    1 
11. Leicester  1  0  1  0   2-2    0    1  
12. Liverpool  1  0  1  0   2-2    0    1   
13. Man Utd    1  0  0  1   1-2   -1    0  
14. Wolves     1  0  0  1   1-2   -1    0 
15. Everton    1  0  0  1   0-1   -1    0 
16. A. Villa   1  0  0  1   0-2   -2    0 
17. C. Palace  1  0  0  1   0-2   -2    0 
=========================================
18. Nottm F    1  0  0  1   0-2   -2    0  
19. West Ham   1  0  0  1   0-2   -2    0 
20. S'hampton  1  0  0  1   1-4   -3    0 

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