Friday, August 10, 2007

Typhoons + the last of the Premier League club season previews

At 14:30 local time, the typhoon signal no. 8 was hoisted in Hong Kong for the first time in three years. For those who don't know, it means people are advised to go home with school and most office work being cancelled. In essence, it is treated like a holiday by most Hong Kong people. It is rare for an actual typhoon to hit Hong Kong (that would be a typhoon signal no. 10), so there is not threat of imminent danger. That is how most people in Hong Kong consider typhoons - a day off work and surfers can go to the beach for some killer waves. Us Hong Kong people probably don't treat this force of nature with the proper respect, unlike the tornados in USA, the hurricanes in the Caribbean or the monsoons in South Asia.

That said (or is it wrote?), I am rather glad I was going home before the rush happened. It was chaotic scene in the underground and the bus stops, with everybody in Hong Kong trying to get home. Think rush hour times ten. The arrangements were very poor by some transportation companies and in future, the government, the general public and the transportation companies may have better arrangements next time around. They need to have more frequent services just after the announcement has been made, especially for areas which are difficult to reach like the Outlying Islands of Hong Kong (Lantau Island, Lamma Island and Cheung Chau), while it may be better to leave later to avoid the rush. Just a thought.


Since the Barclays Premier League is starting tomorrow, I better finish off my club season previews with West Ham United and Wigan Athletic.

The Hammer were fortunate to remain in the Premier League, both on and off the pitch. Now that the Carlos Tevez saga has been put behind us, it remains to be seen what Alan Curbishley can really do with this team. Virtually handed a free checkbook by the owners (I really cannot spell his name) he has brought in the likes of Ljungberg, Parker and Bellamy. Whether or not they will achieve success is another matter. It will take time for the team to gel and for Curbishley to have his first eleven sorted out. There are still some issues, such as too many defenders at the club. That said, I don't believe they will be in the relegation dogfight like last season but I think it is too early for them to challenge for the top six.


Wigan Athletic on the other hand seem doomed for the drop. I just cannot see them staying in the league. They don't have the quality in terms of manager or players. Chris Hutchings previous job after taking over from Paul Jewell was at Bradford City (in similar circumstances), which lead to Bradford being relegated, later going into administration and suffering a further relegation. Could the same happen for the Latics?

They lost a great deal of good players. Baines, McCulloch and De Zeeuw have left and in have come the likes of Melchiot and Bramble - not really setting the pulses racing. The only players of good quality who could keep them up are Koumas (who has yet to be prove that he is capable of playing at this level) and Camara (who could be going anyway). Two players are not enough to keep the team in this league. The only way they are going to stay in this league is sheer hard work and some luck... even a miracle.

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