The Flack

5 Players to Get Excited About in the New Premier League Season

Posted August 9, 2012 by Montgomery in Regular Items
5 Things to Get Excited

You could be mistaken for thinking that the Premier League had only just finished.

But you would of course be wrong – Football is back..

Champion’s League qualifiers have commenced, the Europa League is underway and we already know Celtic will win the SPL title…

And so it is time for those of us who care, of which there must be a few of us, being that it is apparently the most watched sporting league in the world, to get excited about EPL season 2012/13.

This season there is a lot to get excited about. While every season brings hope, that unfounded belief that your team will do better than logic seemingly dictates, this season there are some reasons to genuinely look forward to what will be on offer.

There looks like being some genuine competition at the top of the table, with at least three teams, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, who could be considered favourite. On top of them Arsenal is looking like being stronger than in previous years and should not be written off.

Perhaps it is unlikely that Newcastle will be able to repeat its efforts of last year, and Brendan Rogers might need more time to rebuild Liverpool, but Spurs fans at least should be feeling hopeful regarding their fortunes. AVB has a lot to prove and the squad is still a good one.

If nothing else, the competition for the Champions League spots will be tighter than ever.

But perhaps the most exciting thing about Season 2012/13 are some of the new players who will be running around in shiny new kits.

Even the most staunchly partisan fan can forgive themselves for getting a wee bit excited about some of the names who have signed on to play for teams they detest…

And so, to save you the time of having to YouTube them yourselves, here are five new players you will see in the EPL this season who hopefully will be exciting to watch.

And apologies for the soundtracks. Why is appalling techno de-riguer for these clips? It is one of the eternal, and annoying, mysteries of life.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

First off, it must be said Hazard looks like being an incredibly good player. I mean this guy out shone Joe Cole at Lille!

But it also must be said he looks like he is going to be hard to like. (This has been reflected on in an article not too far away from this one). It wasn’t quite Lebron going to Miami but the manner of his choosing Chelsea was indeed, tiresome.

Perhaps Chelsea is the best place for him. He now joins John Terry, Ashley Cole and Daniel Sturridge in a team of people you probably wouldn’t want to have a beer with.

Hazard is from Belgium and, as mentioned, played for Lille in the French League. A tremendous dribbler, his control in tight situations is wonderful to watch and has earned him comparisons to Messi.


Honestly, why do we have to give players names like that? Maybe I am just burned from being told Bruno Cheyrou was going to be the next Zidane, but these titles always seem to disappoint.


Eden has now also been joined by his younger brother at Chelsea, so hopefully for the Blues Hazard is French for Selwood rather than Cloke.

This is what 35 million pounds buys you:

Santi Cazorla – Arsenal

You have to feel sorry for Arsene Wenger. I mean besides the fact that he is extremely rich, good at his job, his job is coaching one of the best football teams in the world and he is a hero in Japan, you have to feel sorry for Arsene Wenger.

He signs great young players to build his team, they develop into brilliant players but then leave before the next batch of good young players come on enough to actually win something.

This off-season Arsene has gone a different route and splashed the cash on a ready made product. In Santi Cazorla he has a diminutive superstar. The only reason we have not seen more of him on the international stage is that he plays for Spain, a country that produces diminutive superstars like Australia used to produce swimmers.

By all accounts he is a decent human being as well. Indeed all of his comments post signing would indicate he knows how to get the fans on side.

He can play in almost any position in the midfield and looks like being capable of assisting the Gunners in having a very good season, regardless of whether Robin Van Persie goes to Man U or not …

So, enjoy:

Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United

Last season, despite fans and pundits alike thinking the retiring Paul Scholes needed to be replaced, Sir Alex didn’t make any major moves in the transfer market. Rumours of the truly great Dutchmen Wesley Sneijder signing amounted to nothing and no one else was brought in to replace, arguably, the greatest English player of his generation.

Then of course, half way through the season, Scholes was brought out of retirement to replace himself.

While Scholes is playing on for another year, Ferguson has now made a move for a new midfielder. And that new midfielder is the Japanese player Shinji Kagawa.

It might be unfair to compare Kagawa to Scholes (Kagawa is no Gerrard, after all), but he is known as a goal scoring midfielder with a keen eye for a pass. Arguably he also gets forward a bit more than Scholes. Hopefully he can tackle a bit better as well.

He has been signed from the German Champions, Borrusia Dortmund, where he was considered a vital cog in their successful year. Any concern about his size, and ability to adapt to the EPL should be tempered by the fact that he has done the business in the Bundesliga – hardly a competition of shrinking violets.

And hell, even if he doesn’t work out, his signing will mean a lot of Japanese kids are going to be wearing red gingham, an amusing fashion statement not normally associated with such aesthetically adept individuals.

Here is what Shinji looked like when he wore yellow:

Fabio Borini – Liverpool

Maybe not as exciting as Hazard, or as accomplished as Cazorla, Borini is nonetheless getting Liverpool fans excited. Arguably not that hard nowadays.

He was signed from Roma, a handy team at the moment, and has a history with the new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, having played under him when he looked after the yoof and Reserve systems at Chelsea. Rodgers also brought him in on loan during his time at Swansea.

He scored 9 goals in 24 appearances for Roma last season, which was presumably enough to convince Rodgers to reunite with the lad. What is certain is that it was enough for him to be selected to travel to the Euros with the Italian national team, but not enough to get any time on the pitch.

Fabio is, as you might have assumed, a striker. His goal celebration is a little odd, apparently it has something to do with his hand being a knife, and his idol is Filipo Inzaghi.

So if nothing else, hopefully he will manage to get under the skin of Sir Alex Ferguson as well. Inzaghi famously having raised the ire of the Red Nosed One.

He is also 21.

So, have a look at what young Fabio is capable of:

Brett Holman – Aston Villa

So apologies to any non-Australian readers.

Now that is out of the way, Brett is in this list because we of the Green and Gold really, really, really need him to take the next step as he plies his trade in the Premier League.

With Harry Kewell struggling to even find a club, and Tim Cahill trotting around the Big Apple, Brett is one of the players we need to be to step up.

Overly hopeful? Perhaps.

But he did well for us in the last World Cup, is reigning Australian PFA Player of the year and his runs from midfield can be quite exciting. While his move was sorted before the new manager (Paul Lambert) joined Villa, hopefully he will feature in his plans and become a truly international level player.

Anyway, have a look at the clip, there are some great near misses in it:




About the Author


As a teenager Montgomery was rescued from a refugee camp on the outskirts of the town of Owerri in the aftermath of the Biafran War (his father had been aide-de-camp to the leader of the Biafran forces, the inspiration for the Frederick Fortsyth novel The Dogs of War, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu). His deliverance was facilitated by the maid to a reasonably unintelligent KGB sponsored Belarusian investment banker named Kirill who was looking to start, ultimately unsuccessfully, a high tech synthetic industry in Nigeria. He made his way to Melbourne after studying only six months of a Business Ethics Degree at the Kyungpook National University in South Korea. The circumstances of his departure, whilst well publicized at the time, are not something Montgomery has ever discussed publicly and much mystery still surrounds the current location of the Golden Tiger. Upon arrival it did not take long for Montgomery to find his way. Shunning job offers in more traditional industries, he made his fortune writing books for children featuring a likeable, though somewhat dour, bandicoot and speculating on the Brazilian Real. Whilst his appreciation of Rugby Union has grown over the years, the rules that govern the game remain a mystery to him.