It seems that David Silva has now been accepted by the English media as another foreign player who seems to be quite good. Of course, there have been a good number before Silva and there will be more after.
Nonetheless, I continue to be amazed at how many pundits and commentators seem genuinely surprised that players who had success in their domestic leagues and internationally turn out to be so good – even better than some domestic players.
He is not a superstar and he is never going to be regarded as one of the best foreign players to grace the Barclays Premier League. But watching Sylvain Distin on Saturday for Everton against Manchester City it struck me that he has to be one of the most under appreciated players over the last decade.
Initially signed on loan by Newcastle United he opted for a permanent move to Manchester City at the start of the 2002 season. And since then whether it be during his five years at Manchester City, his two seasons at Portsmouth or at his present club Everton he has gone about his job in a no-fuss way.
He is good in the air, quick on the ground and never one to shirk responsibility.
Four times he has played in all 38 Premier League games and has never played in fewer than 31 in a season. City paid around $6.5M for him in 2002 and Everton paid around $8M to sign him from Portsmouth. Pompey got Distin on a Bosman.
There was much discussion about the reaction of Luis Suarez when he was substituted to make way for Steven Gerrard on Saturday against Wolves. The substitution came reasonably late in the game but Suarez was not pleased.
A sports drink bottle was dispatched as swiftly as he had taken his goal as he marched stroppily towards the Liverpool substitutes bench. The TV cameras then caught him sitting on the bench with arms crossed and a face that looked like he had lost a dollar and found a dime.
When a goalscorer pulls a stunt like that we usually hear that it just shows how hungry he is far goals. And of course his manager should be pleased that he doesn’t want to come off.
But surely it has nothing to do with whether or not a player is pleased at being substituted – let’s face any player at that level who is happy being taken off should not have made it that far. What is at issue is the selfishness and petulance.
Can you imagine Kenny Dalglish pulling a stunt like that on the likes of Jock Stein or Bob Paisley?
On Saturday Arsenal put in a first half that must have left some fans thinking that they may never see their team play well again. The second half was an improvement but not much more. A crisis of confidence is being bandied about liberally but it seems that there is one Arsenal player who seems happy to turn and run at defenders.
He just arrived from Lille during the summer but Gervinho brings a directness in attack that Arsenal have not had for some years.
With Ivan Klasnic suspended it was more than a little surprising that Kevin Davies was on the bench for Bolton against Arsenal. It was only the second time in 118 games that Davies had not started.
His absence was limited as his replacement David N’Gog had to leave the game after a couple of heavy knocks. But nonetheless when Davies came on he was largely ineffective against a side that he has consistently caused problems for over the years.
I noted that earlier in the season against Liverpool Davies was downright docile.
Aston Villa are unbeaten in six Premier League games this season. But based on their last two results goodness knows how they have managed it. Against Newcastle and QPR they held 1-0 leads only to have to settle for draws. But on both occasions they spent large periods of the games badly outplayed and dominated.
Robin Van Persie’s second goal against Bolton was his 100th for Arsenal – the 17th player to hit that landmark.
West Brom played to a 0-0 draw with Fulham. It was their first scoreless draw in league matches in 76 games.
Newcastle consolidated their very solid start to the season in beating Blackburn 3-1. It was their first win by more than a single goal in a dozen league matches.
Arsenal’s three goal second half against Bolton was the first time this season they have “won” the second half in a league game.
The red card issued by referee Mike Dean to Fernando Torres was the first he had given out this season.
Bolton’s loss makes it 13 out of their last 14 away matches.
Yes it was only Swansea’s 10th visit to Stamford Bridge since their last win there in 1925 but it is still a long time!
Swansea went in to the match against Chelsea having conceded only 31 fouls this season and having never hit double figures in a game. They broke that mark on Saturday conceding a dozen.
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