1. For 90 minutes, fans at Craven Cottage could forget about the Clint Dempsey saga. The Cottagers destroyed Norwich City 5-0 and though that is great result, the better news is that Martin Jol may have found Dempsey’s replacement. Mladen Petric opened his 2012/13 account with two goals and added a clever backheel to set up Alex Kacaniklic’s 66th minute goal. Jol knew what he was getting when he acquired the Croatian international on a free transfer from Hamburg having coached there himself. At 31, Petric isn’t exactly the next big thing -but Fulham don’t need him to be special later, they need his goals now. So far so good.
2. Olivier Giroud missed his chance to help Gooners feel the same delight as their neighbors to the West. A perfectly weighted ball from Santi Cazorla – who was simply fantastic throughout the game – put Giroud through, alone with the keeper in the 82nd minute. The Frenchman failed to capitalize, and added fuel to the narrative that has reached a boiling point amongst Arsenal supporters and neutrals alike – who will score for the Gunners? It’s one game. Both Lukas Podolski and Giroud will need time to adapt their games to the Premiership. Replacing 2011/12 Robin van Persie with one player is not possible. Arsenal will need contributions from several players – and there were signs today that indicated it will happen.
3. Not a bad coaching debut for Michael Laudrup. Michu and Nathan Dyer each scored twice while Scott Sinclair added the fifth to cap the demolition at Loftus road. Swansea displayed quality that endeared them to neutrals last season. Pseudo Canadian Jonathan de Guzman did not look out of place in the top league in World Football. There will be bad times for the Swans, but today was sweet. One wonders what Tony Fernandes was thinking as he watched his expensive – yet horribly average – side get destroyed at home on opening day for the second consecutive year.
4. Zoltan Gera’s Golazo against Liverpool is your goal of the day
5. Tweet of the day:
That awkward moment Clint Dempsey, currently playing for Fulham, who beat Norwich 5-0, wants to go to Liverpool, who lost 3-0 to West Brom..
— TotallyArsenal (@TotallyArsenal) August 18, 2012
See you bright and early tomorrow. Chelsea-Wigan at 8:30 am is followed by Manchester City- Southampton at 11:00 am. While this weekend’s coverage will be EPL-centric, we aim to cover football around the world moving forward.