A game by game analysis of all the opening weekends debutantes, including Cazorla at Arsenal, Petric at Fulham, Kightly at Stoke, and yes - Joe Allen at Liverpool.
Arsenal 0 v 0 Sunderland
Santi Cazorla dazzled on his Arsenal bow but did have a tendency to shoot when the pass was a better option. When he did slide one through he found Olivier Giroud, whose dismal effort summed up his performance. I think that’s it for Arsenal debutants, no wait Lukas Podolski played, apparently? Improvement needed. For Sunderland Carlos Cuellar had a blinding game at the back marshalling the defence well whilst Louis Saha made a 30 minute cameo.
Fulham 5 v 0 Norwich
Tale of two teams here as Fulham’s debutants shined and Norwich’s withered. HITC tipped Mladen Petric for big things this season and it would appear correct as he played a masterful game, scoring twice and assisting the Premier Leagues newest commentator nightmare Alex Kacaniklic for his goal. Sascha Riether was solid at right full back whilst Hugo Rodallega earned a penalty after a foul from Norwich’s woeful debutant Michael Turner. Robert Snodgrass was also invisible at Craven Cottage.
QPR 0 v 5 Swansea
Rob Green had a debut to forget; he should have saved Michu’s effort and looked terrible off his line, flapping away at the ball like a tourist at flies. Park Ji-Sung and Junior Hoilett seemed on a different wavelength to their teammates whilst Fabio was little more then appalling at left back. He needs to shed some pounds and buck up his ideas for the rest of the season. As for Swansea, another HITC tipped player bagged a brace in Michu whilst Jonathan De Guzman and Chico Flores had distinctly impressive debuts.
Reading 1 v 1 Stoke
Michael Kightly scored on his debut with a little help from a hapless Adam Federici. Chris Gunter should feel be pleased with his performance as should Danny Guthrie who played exceptionally well given the chance as a first team starter. Big signing Pavel Pogrebnyak languidly trotted through a forgettable performance and was outshone by substitute Gareth McCleary who earned the Royals a penalty in an impressive 20 minute salvo.
West Brom 3 v 0 Liverpool
On this performance it would be hard to decipher which midfield player cost nothing and which one set somebody back a cool £15million. Claudio Yacob took a little while getting into the game but once he settled he played a delightfully uneventful game of football even dispossessing Joe Allen on occasions. Allen had a mixed debut but Romelu Lukaku was a huge handful when he came on and even nodded home a debut goal and Fabio Borini was decidedly average on his Liverpool debut.
West Ham 1 v 0 Aston Villa
Mohamed Diame looked solid throughout his Upton Park premiere and Modibo Maiga will be pleased with his substitute appearance looking sharp and almost scoring for The Hammers. Ron Vlaar had a memorable debut, highlighting his hardman reputation after playing well after an early head injury. Karim El Ahmadi and Brett Holman struggled to make significant impacts and will look to improve quickly.
Newcastle 2 v 1 Tottenham
Gylfi Sigurdsson toiled away for Spurs but couldn’t get a result for all his efforts, but nonetheless a hopeful first appearance. As for Newcastle they relied on their old guard predominantly with Vurnon Anita coming off the bench and not putting a foot wrong in an assured performance.
Wigan 0 v 2 Chelsea
Ivan Ramis had an opening 10 minutes to forget, being skinned not once but twice by the pick of the weekend’s newboys Eden Hazard as Chelsea raced into an early lead. He did improve however, clearing Torres’s effort off the line and Wigan will hope the disastrous start was simply nerves. Arouna Kone and Oscar came off the bench; Kone’s pace looked troublesome whilst Oscar showed some deft touches.
Man City 3 v 2 Southampton
Jack Rodwell seemed to be having a solid game before giving the ball away leading to Southampton’s second goal scored by Steven Davis off the bench. Saints new boys Nathanial Clyne and Jay Rodriguez impressed in tireless displays.
What did you make of the Premier League’s newboys this weekend?