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New Year’s Day 2015: Your Running Commentary

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League


The new year opens with a full slate of Barclays Premier League games, and the day is topped off with a heated London derby.

Chelsea visit White Hart Lane to face a Tottenham team that is very different from the one they beat 3-0 in early December. Spurs are unbeaten in five games since that loss, including a valuable win over Swansea and a goalless draw against Manchester United.

The Red Devils start things off in the early game away to Stoke with a nine-game unbeaten streak on the line. Stoke themselves have notched up two consecutive wins and sit comfortably in the mid-table with eyes looking up.

Fourth placed Southampton welcome Arsenal to St. Mary’s, while Everton hope to get back in the win column against another out-of-form team in Hull.

If you will be watching today’s action, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

Here’s a look at the full New Year’s Day schedule:

7:45 a.m. – NBCSN – Stoke vs. Manchester United

10 a.m. – NBCSN – Southampton vs. Arsenal

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – Aston Villa vs. Crystal Palace

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – Hull vs. Everton

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – Liverpool vs. Leicester

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – Manchester City vs. Sunderland

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – Newcastle vs. Burnley

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – QPR vs. Swansea

10 a.m. – Premier League Extra Time – West Ham vs. West Brom

12:30 p.m. – NBCSN – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea


  1. is phil dowd really the best the epl has to offer? at least neither team can complain about favoritism, since his incompetence has gone both ways.

  2. An English player I can kinda like. The guy is really mobile. Kane is tearing it up. I hope he doesnt get bought by a big team.

    • Spurs ARE a big team. Only English side with Man U to win a major trophy in each of the last 6 decades. Huge North London rivalry with Arsenal and for most of that history, the Gunners have occupied the poorer, weaker half of that divide. Spurs have been THE prototypical wealthy London team most of their history. Only comparatively recently (since Abramovich) has Chelsea been a big spending club.

  3. Crazy idea of the day. Add a soccer game to the Tournament of Roses. The whole point of the ToR is to bring in tourists so staging a soccer game between, say, the MX Apertura champion and some Euro team on Winter break would serve nicely. There is enough Mexican fans in the LA area to ensure butts in seats initially and once the Euro’s get a nice televised look at SoCal on January 1st they’ll start making the trip as well just like all those Mid-westerners have done for about 100 years.

  4. FWIW, wickham was used in the main ST role today rather than the usual LW. He looked pretty useless but also was given terrible service. Sound familiar for a sunderland ST…. (But sayin sunderland give terrible service isn’t an excuse right?…)

      • At least the dude has 8 goals in the Premier League so he could probably cut it in the Championship. Dozy Antigol has like 2 in like 100 appearances. He is just not at that level.

      • well, i agree that wickham is better suited to sunderland than altidore. so yes, he’s scored more (8 in 4 years, as opposed to altidore’s 2 in 2 years); i mean, he’s a regular scoring machine.

        but you’re missing the larger point, which is that wickham didn’t score, so he’s lazy and he sucks. no nuance allowed.

      • Exactly Nate. At least u caught my point. Had jozy played exactly like wickham today, people would continue hating on him. I think me u GW and TomG are the only logical people on here

      • and goddammit, i just noticed your oh-so-clever nickname for altidore. i’ve wasted time on a troII.

      • You know that it is a trolls only job to come up with clever and disparaging remarks about other people while sitting in their mom’s basement laughing and amusing themselves at their only cleverness!

      • 7 league goals… 5 in 15 apps last season and 2 in 15 apps this season (one of those two he didn’t really score. The defender tried to clear it and it deflected off wickham into the goal. Hard to credit a ST for a goal when he doesn’t even swing his foot to shoot the ball…..)

        My only point here is people give wickh more credit than deserved. He has talent. But so does jozy. People see something wickham does as good when jozy does the same people hate on him. Next sunderland game watch connor as if he was jozy and then u should see the bias. Again I think both players are good just on a team not set up to their strengths. The difference in the two players are confidence not talent.

      • well, i disagree about wickham’s strengths: he’s good in the air, and that’s why he’s not been a flat-out failure at sunderland. jozy really needs to go to a team where they don’t see a big black guy and automatically think “emile heskey!”

      • As per wickhams strength, i agree yet sunderlands terrible crosses don’t help him thus he doesn’t fit the team well. Tht was more my point. But I feel u

      • I agree with the heskey part haha. I feel englanders looked at him and thought “lebron- big and fast” but he’s more just big with decent speed. More of a passing striker that is patient for an open shot. Not the beat players off the dribble. Both types can work just in the right system.

      • I’d say the latter. How would u support the former tho? A defensive sub when you’re down a goal doesn’t make much sense

      • a joke. (i think from Mystery Men)

        but subbing in a defender doesn’t necessarily have to be offensively negative–say, if you’re moving up a target man from the back.

        and to be fair, his first two subs were very good.

      • haha ok. tru on the first two subs. had the score been 2-2 then sure you bring on a defensive sub to hold the 1 point while playing an away game. but once lampard scored, Poyet should have been forced to use fletch or jozy

      • Why don’t we just conclude that Sunderlands third sub was made due to injury, instead of trying to pretend something else.

      • We could probably also figure that poyet wanted a player who could win a header from a set piece, which was probably going to be sunderlands best chance of scoring. The fact that the third sub was a fellow countryman of the coach did hurt either.

      • Due to injury? Vergini wasn’t injured… Their cdm was injured before game and bridcutt was still in concussion protocol. Had the defender subbed on to play cdm your comment would make sense. But judging by the game situation this sub wasn’t the best choice.

      • @dikranovich

        i’m not going to waste more time thinking about this, but i’ll just say that steven fletcher is maybe the best header in the league.

      • coates replaced vergini in the 78 minute, with the score 3-2. thats a defender for a defender switch. someone has already claimed on this board that sunderlands offense improved when the first two sunderland subs were made.

        im not sure where your beef is…. sunderland are trying to pick up a result, and going three defenders at the back in this situation put the odds in the favor of the home team picking up a forth, more than it does the visiting team picking up a third. not to mention the possession advantage man citeh was holding.

        you guys score a point for calling out fletcher as the worlds greatest header. other than that, youre misguided.

      • no real beef; poyet’s the expert–hence my “very smart or very dumb” comment–and as i said, i’m not wasting any more time thinking about it.

      • Dikr, who are u arguing with? Cite me saying that they should have gone with 3 defenders? I just mentioned that it would have somehow made more sense subbing in a defender into the midfield as a cdm; to release the other mids forward and inserting someone to regain possession in the middle of the pitch. But subbing def for def doesn’t address the situation: they needed a goal. Def for def subs are generally to hold a lead at home or to hold a draw on the road. WHen chasing a goal, esp on the road, it’s not uncommon to sub 3 at takin players tho.

      • According to the reports, vergini picked up a knock today. He was replaced by another defender. The fact of the matter is that Sunderland did not have either one of their top two defensive center mids even available today.

        I mean for gosh sakes, citeh was peppering the goal even after a defensive third sub was made.

      • I already mentioned the CDM issue. my only point was that, regardless of their decencies at CDM, bringing another defender doesn’t help you score goals. with 15 minutes left to play the logical thing was to bring in someone to help score.

      • I think it is hard to be logical drake, if you can’t look at the report and see that vergini picked up a knock in this game.

        You can be fantasmigorical and just make up stuff, but logic, I’m not so sure. Admit Sunderland were subbing out an injured player with the third sub, then we can continue with reasoned discussion.

      • if this is a win or go home game, then that third sub is fletcher. as it is, it wasn’t, so every point matters in the end, every point and every single goal.

      • Logic says put an attacking player on when chasing a goal late. The most logical thig to do in that situation would be to slide Larsson to fullback and bring on an attacker. This way u keep 4 in the back, and crossing from ur fullback and still have a solid attack. Larsson has done this before. Ur obviously just missing my point. Knock to Vergini or not, bring on an attacker.

      • Drake, I understand very well what youre trying to say. You want to move a player who is most promising at setting up a goal for Sunderland, and you want to move him into a defensive position he is not as familiar with, against a team that is most potent in attack. On the road no less, with his team sitting on a little more than 30 % possession.

        This is like trying to catch an inside straight in poker. In the long run, you end up a loser.

      • maybe he is just doing a decent job with what he has. but to a larger point, maybe it is about American fans ability to read the game as well. the nuance of the game, and of the situation.

  5. Shots : mci 23 – 4 sund

    Sums it up. A team doesn’t get 23 chances in only 72′ if they’re being marked….

  6. Aaaaaand city scores again. Why? Sunderland don’t know how to mark. Glichy had 3 chances to cross it and finally did right to lampards head. So frustrating to watch this poor of defense.

  7. Sunderland has the worst defense. Not becuase they give up goals. But because they rarely mark anyone. It’s like they try to just block the goal but don’t get within 10 yards of people.

    Roswell with a nice header there against his former team. Brigs sunderland to only a goal down

  8. Szcesny is a useless schmuck. Two of the stupidest plays I’ve ever seen in the same match. What could he possibly be thinking? What a maroon. I can’t believe this nimrod is playing top flight Premier League football. How does Wenger allow this? There are so many great keepers out there and year after year, he lines up this tool in net.

    • A swerving, unstoppable lightning bolt with a bit of the outside of his foot, making it curve in from outside the left post, around the defenders and nearly ripping a hole in the top corner. What a stirke.

      • Started watching 11 minutes in, and Cameron has looked good to me.
        after giving up the goal Stoke have really picked up the pace

    • I have to disagree. I think Stoke is executing their game plan well, and Killa Cam has been solid. We got a couple set piece goals, both coming as the only shot on goal for either team.

      • sounds weird, but i agree that stoke are executing their game plan. it’s just that they’re dropping both wingers back and both mids back, essentially playing a 44—–2. their defensive numbers, as well as man u’s wayward through-balls, are covering up the haphazard marking.

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