What We're Reading

Gap in Quality, Professionalism, in Premier League

Rob Hughes, writing for the New York Times, takes issue with the Premier League's image as the most competitive league on earth. "In truth," writes Hughes, "the gulf between the elite and the struggling clubs is getting so wide that it is no longer one league, but two."

As evidence, Hughes looks at Chelsea's clinical display against Blackburn. In a 5-0 romp, Chelsea "gave a performance of ominous power, exuberance and class," Hughes says. Meanwhile, "at the bottom [of the league], Hull City and Portsmouth slugged out a goalless draw that had fear and timidity written all over it."

In a tangent, Hughes weighs the classy comeback of Chelsea player Joe Cole against the lack of professionalism shown by Hull City's American youngster Jozy Altidore this past weekend. Cole, who waited 10 months to return to action with Chelsea, produced a dynamic performance playing at the top of Chelsea's midfield diamond. After the game, he expressed his gratitude for getting a chance to return to a club like Chelsea: "I'm so excited about playing again. I counted every day back in training as a blessing. I'm at a club where there's great competition for a place in the team, and I'm a very lucky feller if I can get back in the team and the England team as well."

Altidore, on the other hand, showed up so late for Hull City's game that Manager Phil Brown dropped him from the bench roster. Altidore expressed his emotions a little differently than Cole. He tweeted his regrets to his fans: "Apologies to all of you," he said on his Twitter page. "I showed up late. Made a big mistake. I'm very sorry."

Read the whole story at New York Times »

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