Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who are not what they seem?

We might exhaust the man's film catalogue before the international break ends, but "Kubrick Movie Stills Week" continues here at Match Pricks with a look at those Premier League upstarts who have caught everyone by surprise. Are they for real? Or are these teams not exactly what they seem to be? There's a few choice candidates, but let's start with the most innocent scrappers on the scene.

• Hull City, 7 played, 14 points, 3rd in the table
Whoa sweet baby! Nobody saw this on the horizon. In England's 4th Division less than a decade ago, Hull is now among those lofty heights that place teams in European competition (provided they've paid all their bills).
But can they maintain it? At this point, I'd hate to commit to the permanent record any kind of statement condemning Hull to a quick freefall. Sure, it could happen. Of course it's insane to imagine Hull playing a Champions League qualifying match in August 2009 against Fiorentina. But 6 points out of 6 from two visits to North London sounded equally daft a month ago.
It still seems few teams will take them completely seriously, and they're likely to pick up valuable points against the relegation battlers. You can't doubt them much now. Europe is likely still an outrageous longshot, though. Hull will continue to be an underrated experience whose presence will drag on for some time.
Hull City are: Barry Lyndon.

• Liverpool, 7 played, 17 points, 2nd in table (on inferior goal differential)
Well what do you know?! The old boy has some life left in him! And there's a few surprising characters popping up in unfamiliar roles to really help the side shine. With an experienced master in the middle of it all, and a tour de force upfront delivering a R. Lee Emery-worthy performance that takes your breath away, I dare not project any future greatness. But I'll tell you what, this has been one hell of an amazing start.
Liverpool are: the first 45 minutes of Full Metal Jacket.

• Spurs, 7 played, 2 points, bottom of the table
Ha! Everything about this is wrong, despite the side's pretensions toward sexy play and desperate hope that everything is just going to be, you know, A-OK. It's been wrong from the start, it's wrong as it's happening and it can only end in an unfortunate manner that leaves everyone involved feeling generally creepy.
Spurs are: Lolita.

• Manchester City, 7 played, 9 points, 11th in table
Three Brazilians run around for City on a regular basis, and in Mark Hughes, there's a calm force at the center of the Abu Dhabi-inspired chaos. Foreigners have encroached on solemn land ... or have they? Their interference has been welcomed with open arms. Children at Eastlands attend matches like this:

Will it work? It's far too early to tell. If it all goes wrong, we might look back on it as one of the most devastating satires of the mega-rich era in football.
Manchester City are: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

This has been too much fun – almost criminally so. In the future, we'll dial it down a notch with Bergman Movie Stills Week for the relegation battle.

1 comment:

Colin said...

Unbelievably good work here. The Lolita reference is gold. And how about a hand for the Strangelove nod, "or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb." So true for these teams that latch onto Sugar Daddies.

Kudos as well for finding a way to shoehorn in Barry Lyndon.