Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ozil and the Reds Revival ... That's How to Entertain

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ozil and the Reds Revival ... That's How to Entertain

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Barclay on Monday

WOULD you really want all matches to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday? Don't you prefer the long weekend that has become a tradition of the Premier League age, with the first match starting at lunchtime and the last ending just before 10 on a Monday night? We the viewers pay for elite football as it has become -- if the game had to rely on the turnstile customer, it would not be able to attract the likes of Mesut Ozil -- and an unfolding, drawn-out drama is what we get back.

Or what we hope for -- this weekend, culminating in Brendan Rodgers's return to Swansea as manager of prospective title challengers, promises to be a rather good case in point.

It was always going to be a refreshing return for the League because, with the transfer window so belatedly closed, there were new entertainers to savour such as Ozil, making a dream of a debut for Arsenal at Sunderland, and Christian Eriksen, whom White Hart Lane took to their hearts before Gareth Who had so much as laced his fluorescent yellow boots at Villarreal.

Everything Andre Villas-Boas needed from Eriksen was near-instantly supplied.

Here was the link between Spurs's abundance of midfielders and Roberto Soldado at the front.

But perhaps the best indicator of how well the Bale money had been used was Spurs's bench, from which Sandro, Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela rose.

Jermain Defoe and Younes Kaboul were not needed and while Villas-Boas may not quite have the best squad in the League yet -- not with question marks almost all the way across the back four -- he is arguably in possession of the deepest, which suggests that Spurs could sustain their challenge through the long campaign.

The overrunning of Norwich helped to cheer up their support after the derby defeat, even if highlights of the Arsenal match must have left the white section of north London almost as frustrated as Paolo di Canio, whose side were denied both a goal and numerical advantage by very poor refereeing. …

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