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David Hirshey's Best Prem XI, 2013-14

Blog - Kicking and Screaming May 12, 2014
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 Posted by David Hirshey
10 hours ago

A big win and their rivals' eye-opening failures gave Arsenal a super weekend

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop and Alejandro Moreno react to Manchester United's 5-3 loss against Leicester City.

As Premier League weekends go, it was one for the ages. I'd like to dip the past 48 hours in Lucite and place them on my mantelpiece next to my daughter's graduation photo and my signed pair of (slightly used) Thierry Henry compression shorts. Simply put, it was more fun than an Arsenal fan is allowed to have.

And I'm not just referring to those 179 seconds of pure Gooner ecstasy that resulted in a 3-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. The Claret and Blue started the day in second place before being struck...

 Posted by David Hirshey
7 days ago

What the first victory of the Louis van Gaal era says about Man United

Despite Manchester United's thrashing of QPR, ESPN FC's Craig Burley tells us why to not get excited about the Red Devils quite yet.

So all it took for Manchester United to get its first real win of the Louis van Gaal era was about a quarter of billion dollars -- not counting whatever insane amount of money they're paying their Dutch master.

That the breakthrough came in their fifth attempt and against a less-than-fierce opponent should not be held against them. As the saying goes, you can only beat what's in front of you, and United had so far failed to get three points off anybody, including some pretty low-rent competition....

 Posted by David Hirshey
Sep 1, 2014

Say goodbye to 'boring' Chelsea

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti's weighs in on Chelsea and Everton's free-scoring match, which saw some awful defence from both sides.

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who coined the maxim "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Having not lived through the Premier League era, Ben can be forgiven for not knowing life's other constant: "Chelsea matches are always boring."

But after Saturday, I can't even bank on that old chestnut anymore. If English soccer continues to be this wild and unpredictable, who knows? Someday Arsenal might even acquire a reliable striker who isn't a Man United cast-off.

...

 Posted by David Hirshey
Aug 25, 2014

Welcome back, Mario Balotelli

Former Liverpool player Steve Nicol expresses his concern regarding Mario Balotelli's move to Anfield.

Dear Mario,

On behalf of ESPN FC, let me welcome you back to the Prem. It's not all that different from the league you wreaked havoc upon during your last visit, except perhaps for the quantum physics anomaly that has Spurs sitting atop it. Fortunately, it is only two weeks into the new season so there's no real danger of Tottenham winning the title, unless there's a somewhat unanticipated asteroid strike that wipes out the 19 other teams.

Oh, there is one other tear in the space-time continuum....

 Posted by David Hirshey
Aug 18, 2014

A deceptive opening Prem weekend

The FC crew breaks down Arsenal and Tottenham's narrow victories.

I hate to be a buzzkill but after spending the past 48 hours in the fever dream grip of the Premier League's opening weekend, here are some things that I don't see happening this season:

-- Manchester United to be relegated
-- Spurs to finish in the top four
-- Sam Allardyce to be hoofed out the West Ham door by Labor Day
-- Liverpool to win the league
-- Yaya Sanogo to lead the Prem in scoring

And yet from my personally engraved perch at the bar of New York's Football Factory, I heard otherwise...




 Posted by David Hirshey
Aug 15, 2014

Burning Premier League questions

The ESPN FC panel preview the upcoming Premier League season and note what they're looking forward to.

It's finally here. The last day when we're all on equal terms and every fan's dream of Premier League glory remains alive until a ball is kicked in anger and Spurs collapse into their usual mewling mess.

Sometimes I think it would be more fun to just keep talking about the season than playing it, but then I remember the life-affirming sight in May of thousands of jubilant Manchester City fans invading the Etihad pitch to hug their title-winning heroes and try to touch Manuel Pellegrini's magnificent...