Title contenders get most of the limelight when April comes. In a dichotomy fitting of a league with such little parity at the top, so does the battle to stay up. Relegation tussles usually gain traction towards the latter half of March. If titles can be decided by a mid December clash at Old Trafford, why can’t the same be said for the bottom of the table? With that, relegation watch begins.
watching qpr is like a dislocated elbow,painful and takes ages to heal.
— adrian clark (@qprade) December 1, 2012
Good news: After going down early thanks to a Brett Holman goal in the eight minute, Jamie Mackie responded ten minutes later. The Rangers had the majority of the possession and pummeled Villa’s goal with shots. Park Ji-sung rekindled the glory days with strong play in the midfield. Clint Hill didn’t look his age.
Bad News: Just about everything else. They haven’t won a game in their first 15 matches — a putrid start mirrored only by a 1993/94 Swindon side that redefined the word suck. Harry Redknapp looked thoroughly defeated in the post match presser — he’s managed them for three games. Apparently ‘Arry will not spend in January. What would be the point.
Reading FC is really good, to be honest.
— Bolu Oluwagbesan (@boludmaestro) December 1, 2012
Good news: They went down to the heavyweights early, but Brian McDermott’s side did not go down easily. The opening 34 minutes of the Royals clash with Manchester United were manic. Seven goals, a penalty, horrific defending and a wonderful birthday present for Adam Le Fondre marked an exhilarating first half at Madejski Stadium.
Bad News: Like so many things in life, the good times would come to an end. The second half was dismal. Manchester United’s lead should’ve been two as Robin Van Persie’s strike inside the six yard box cleared the goal line — an incredibly difficult decision for the official to make in real time. Reading’s defensive struggles continue to neutralize an otherwise promising offensive attack.
— aap³ Saints (@aap3saints) December 1, 2012
Good news: Paulo Gazzaniga was great. Rickie Lambert’s 35 yard strike nearly stole a goal for the visitors. Gaston Ramirez overcame a porous first half to assert himself in the final 45.
Bad news: The 1-0 scoreline was charitable, Liverpool dominated. 23 shots, an 85% pass success rate and 64% possession — the Saints were thoroughly outplayed. Talent wise, Nigel Adkins squad relies far too heavily on Lambert to score goals. Avoiding relegation may mean finding someone to help ease the load up front.