1. Narva Trans are doing seriously
After two matchdays it is always too early too speak, however we might have underestimated Narva’s chances this season. The start, compared to 2014, it is really promising: 4 points compared to 2 and a famous point earned in Tallinn against the stuttering Champions. Additionally, striker Vitaljs Zils seems to be the long-time longed-for effective striker the Eastern Estonia club was looking for. A robin flying in the sky doesn’t immediately means it’s Spring, however Narva Trans are giving clear signals to all Premium Liiga rivals.
2. Referees or bureaucrats?
What happened at Sportland Arena on Friday the 13th (mind the date!) with Mashichev’s number…13 coming off his jersey, might set a worrying precedent in Premium Liiga. The notorious episode once again shows how our match officials in Premium Liiga tend to play more the role of the loyal bureaucrats rather than taking the more challenging position of the custodians of the game. With a bit of touch, Andrei Karhu could have showed more flexibility allowing Mashichev to continue the game knowing he was the only player on the pitch who lost his number en route. The unexperienced (he counts less than 10 games in Premium Liiga) referee opted to compel FC Infonet to take the most painful decision: replacing the then-so-far best player who created several problems to Flora’s defense. Did he jeopardize the sporting regularity of the game? He did.
3. Kalju kindel, meaning rock solid
They probably had the softest start of the big three as after Tammeka they took on another club from last season’s bottom five, however they played each game with the same focus and dedication as if they were playing against title contestant. Obviously, the class difference came out in full with the trio up front (Vosko, Purje and Kimbaloula) already showcasing (4 goals and 5 assists altogether in two games). With FC Flora taking on Sillamäe and Kalju receiving Viljandi, there is a concrete chance to take the lone lead before the international break.
4. Levadia, we have a problem
A new season, a new shocking start. If in 2014 Paide compelled Levadia to an embarrassing debut (0-1 loss in injury time), this time Levadia are making their life even more complicated with two points after the first 180’ minutes of the season. Obviously, it doesn’t mean much since Levadia have shown ability in coming back, however rivals are starting to dig space meaning that further faux pas are not allowed. Kristal described the defensive performance as ‘not satisfying’ confirming the pre-season impression: it will not be easy to put together and glue a back line made of new players (3/4). Kristal hopes not to lose points in the process and Tammeka might be the first chance to grab the first three points of the season.
5. Provincial football
Premium Liiga official average attendance in season 2014 was 256 people.
2015 week one recorded a below-average attendance of 205 people showing up at venues. Three of the five games where held in Tallinn, the capital and most-populated city of the country with a higher potential turnout.
However, it seems that football heat lies in the province.
On week 2, Pärnu had 510 spectators! Paide and newly promoted Viljandi contributed with 196 and 391 (!).
Tallinn? 150 people for Levadia-Trans and 220 for FC Infonet Flora making it on the podium notwithstanding the unfortunate date (Friday) and time (20:10) for a televised game.
Average attendance: 293 people.
They won’t challenge the capital for the title, but they will for passion.
By Angelo Palmeri