A First Time Footballer

So, the Premier League is back in full swing and it seems that everyone is very excited. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have already been inundated with messages of support, disappointment and joy surrounding the first few games of the season.  It would appear that some people have simply spent the past few months mourning the end of last season and eagerly awaiting the return of the Premier League – their lives incomplete without the competition.

Having not actually watched any of the matches thus far, I can’t say that I am one of those people.

Via twitter and Facebook, I did manage to work out that 1.) Aston Villa won their first game and didn’t play too badly against a favoured Stoke and 2.) Louis van Gaal and his team did not perform to the high expectations placed upon them. I can certainly appreciate the disappointment that fans must be feeling to lose their first game (apparently it was Man U’s first opening-day loss at home since 1972), however, I do feel a strong pang of sympathy for poor Louis. The Dutch manager, after a pretty successful World Cup campaign, was welcomed into Old Trafford by rapturous applause, and after only one (albeit disappointing) game, the fans seemed to turn on him. Football can certainly be a cruel industry sometimes. The pressure, plus injuries, plus the lack of decent arrivals over the summer, meant that Swansea swept into to steal a 2-1 win. It certainly wasn’t ALL Louis van Gaal’s fault, and he can hardly be judged purely on that one performance. It takes time for a new manager to settle into the job and get his team working as best as they can. Don’t be writing him off just yet, give him at least a few more games to prove himself. I’ve got my fingers crossed for poor Louis, I dread to think what even one more loss would do to the frenzied United fans…

Now, back onto furthering my football knowledge. With a solid 80% in my Premier League managers test, it’s time to take another baby step. This time, I’ll be looking to memorise the Premier League stadiums – a topic about which I know even less than football managers. I reckon I’ve got a total of two…

Villa Park (Aston Villa) and Old Trafford (Man United). Looks like I’ve got a bit of work to do over the next week.

Arsenal – Emirates Stadium

Aston Villa – Villa Park

Burnley – Turf Moor

Chelsea – Stamford Bridge

Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park

Everton – Goodison Park

Hull – KC Stadium

Leicester – King Power Stadium

Liverpool – Anfield

Manchester City – Etihad Stadium

Manchester United – Old Trafford

Newcastle – St James’ Park

QPR – Loftus Road

Southampton – St Mary’s Stadium

Sunderland – Stadium of Light

Stoke – Britannia Stadium

Swansea – Liberty Stadium

Tottenham – White Hart Lane

West Brom – The Hawthorns

West Ham – Upton Park

Having written them down, I realise that I actually recognise more of the names than I thought I would. It’s just a matter of matching them to their team PLUS recalling the names of the managers that I learnt 2 weeks ago. Let’s see how I get on next week…

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