Welcome to the Premier League Review for Oct. 16 – 18. That’s right folks, after an International break that did nothing but fill me up with even more apathy towards the home nations, it was time to get back to some proper footy, and boy, how did the Premier League deliver once again. There can be no argument about it anymore, the Premier League is the greatest league in the world and anyone that says otherwise needs to seriously think about seeing a shrink, as denial ain’t just a river in da Egypt.
Watford 0 Liverpool 5
And talking of Egypt – tenuous links, I’ve got them – Mo Salah proved, once again, why he is currently the best player in the world. This was a masterclass from the Egyptian King, from the first moment when he played Sadio Mane in for the opening goal with a pass that was as gorgeous as Scarlett Johansson, to the point that he tore the Watford defense apart with a drag back, followed by a dribble that had the ball glued to his foot, taking out around about 700 Watford players and sitting at least a half dozen of them on their asses before stroking the ball home – and all points in between – he ran the whole damn show. It was such a fantastic display of genius for the entire match that nobody seems to be talking about the fact that Bobby Firmino bagged himself a hat-trick on the day, which should tell you all you need to know about where Mo Salah is right now. He is on another level. As brilliant as Salah and Liverpool were – and they were – Watford were just awful. It’s okay to say “Well, it was Liverpool so it’s a free hit, really” but let’s not fool ourselves here. They are in serious trouble and if Newcastle pulls their finger out, gets rid of Bruce, and brings in a semi-decent manager, there’s a very good chance that The Hornets will find themselves dragged deep into a relegation battle they don’t seem to have the stomach for.
Aston Villa 2 Wolves 3
If anyone – and I mean anyone – tells you that they saw this result coming when Wolves were 2-0 down with just 10 minutes to play, you have my permission to spit in their faces. Actually, don’t do that, I’ll probably get into trouble. Still, there is no way that anyone – not even the most dedicated Wolves fan – could’ve foreseen the dramatic turnaround that happened. The game was over, Wolves hadn’t done anything of any real note up until that point, but a few forced substitutions from Dean Smith due to player fatigue, suddenly saw his team go from heroes to villains – see what I did there – in less time than it takes to grill a batch of sausages. Sorry, I’m hungry. Villa are on a run of three games without a win now, while Wolves are on a two-game bounce after a pretty up and down start to this season. I expect both teams to be fine come the end of the season, and if Wolves can carry on this upturn in form then they could put themselves in a good position for a European push before they have the back to back joy of facing both Liverpool and Man City at the start of December.
Leicester City 4 Man Utd 2
I had Twitter on in the background while this match played out and even when United were one up, #OleOut was already trending worldwide. When Patson Daka bundled over the fourth in the 94th minute, I thought the internet was going to explode. It’s hard to argue with that sentiment either as Ole Gunnar Solskjær is in way over his head. With the amount of money that United have spent in the past few transfer windows, and with the amount of talent that this has brought in, they shouldn’t be playing like a bunch of drunken grandma’s on a weekend jolly. It doesn’t appear as if the team has any tactical organization outside of Solskjær just telling them to put the ball in the back of the net before they head out to the pitch. It’s laughable. He’s trying to keep everyone happy, playing four attackers and hoping that they can win games for him, while not having a clue what kind of midfield he should field while ignoring the fact that his back four are about as strong as wet toilet tissue, even when Varane’s in the team. A world-class manager such as Conte would have this team challenging on all fronts. With Solskjær at the wheel, they’ll be lucky to win the Carabao Cup. Oh, wait, they’re not even in that anymore, are they? A quick mention of Leicester, who played brilliantly and were deserved winners. No need to worry Foxes fans, it seemed that you might be having a major wobble, but Brendan has figured it out. Expect to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season for the Champions League spots. Right up to the point where your squad bottles it. Again.
Man City 2 Burnley 0
Man City roll on and should’ve really put Burnley to the sword. It says a lot about the quality of Man City that when they have six shots on targets and only score two goals, people like me come out of the woodwork and wonder why the opposition didn’t get a good old-fashioned ass-whupping. Still, job done for Pep’s boys. Burnely, on the other hand, are in serious trouble. Three points from eight games would be a sackable offense for any other manager, yet Sean Dyche is still in a job and it doesn’t seem as if anyone is really calling for his head. There is a small group of Burnley fans that are unhappy with the way things are going at the moment, but the vast majority want to stand by their man. This is noble, of course, but it could also see them deep in the doo-doo come Christmas and cut adrift at in the bottom three. If they are going to act, then it has to be sooner rather than later, or else the damage might be irreversible.
Norwich 0 Brighton 0
Brighton needs a goal scorer. It’s all fine and dandy playing attractive football, but if you don’t have someone who can stick the ball in the back of the net then you’re never going to win games. If they can get someone in whose good for even 10 goals a season and pair them up with Maupay, then they stand a good chance of pushing into the Europa League spots. Yes, I know they’re currently sat in a Champions League spot but there are still 30 games to go and they ain’t gonna be there very much longer. And unless they get someone who knows what a goal actually looks like in their team, they’re going to drop faster than Neymar whenever someone goes near him. As for Norwich, they’re boned. Simple as that really.
Southampton 1 Leeds 0
Southampton needs a goal scorer. Sorry to repeat myself, but it’s true. They battered Leeds and yet only managed to score once and have five on target the whole game. From a total of 19 shots. That’s a terrible stat. I’ve been saying for a while now that they would regret not replacing Danny ings in the summer, and even though they finally picked up their first win of the season, I stand by it. Mark my words, they’re in a relegation dogfight and that’s where they’re going to stay all season. Goals win games and Southampton doesn’t have that in them. Leeds are in trouble as well and seems to be suffering second-season syndrome. Their only shining light so far has been Raphinha, but with rumors of Liverpool sniffing around a decent bid in January could snuff that light out, and without him to at least bag a few goals and change a few matches, it’s going to be a tougher ride than it is already.
Brentford 0 Chelsea 1
There’s an old saying that goes “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky” and make no mistake, Chelsea were lucky to walk away with the three points in the late kick-off. If it hadn’t been for Edouard Mendy – who, like Salah, is the best in the world at what he does currently – then they’d have been lucky to walk away with even a point. We’ve seen that kind of twenty-minute spell towards the end of a game on more than one occasion – where a team chasing the match just batters the opponent – but usually, it’d be Chelsea throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the opposition, not being the ones n the receiving end of a hammering. Brentford will feel robbed, and the culprit was the Senegal national team’s number one. It was a breathtaking, one-man performance and whatever they’re paying him isn’t enough.
Everton 0 West Ham 1
Everton’s unbeaten home start to the season is over and it wasn’t without its controversy. The question on everybody’s lips is “Should the corner that led to the goal been given as a free-kick to Everton?” to which I will now answer “No, it shouldn’t have, don’t ask such stupid bloody questions”. To suggest that Jordan Pickford had been fouled and that he hadn’t just gotten it entirely wrong – as usual – is so stupid that just by writing that sentence I felt a few brain cells die. There was minimal contact at best and what actually happened is that he once again put in the kind of performance that would get you fired from a regular job. I’m sorry, but Pickford is a clown. He’s far too overrated, just because he’s English. If Ederson or Allison put in the kind of performances that Pickford seems to drop at least once a month then they’d be crucified by press and fans alike, but if England’s number one does it’s just brushed under the carpet. The only reason he’s the nation’s first choice is that Dean Henderson has seemingly decided to commit career suicide and rot away on the United bench, instead of pushing for a move to put him back in the spotlight. After all, who else is there? Aaron Ramsdale? That boy couldn’t catch a cold.
Newcastle 2 Tottenham 3
If you haven’t seen this match and just took the score at face value, you’d think that it was a close affair. It wasn’t. Not even slightly. Oh sure, Newcastle got their new regime up and running by taking the lead, and for the first 20 minutes or so actually resembled a team who could play football, but after that initial rush, they crumbled like a forgotten souffle. Yup, still hungry. Harry Kane finally scored. Y’know, the same Harry Kane who promised that he was all in for the Spurs cause this season and hasn’t spent the last three months sulking around the pitch because his move to Man City didn’t come off. The same Harry Kane who was so goddamn awful against Hungary during the International break, the England captain found himself hauled off. Yeah, old Harry’s on the score sheet again and soon he’ll be banging in another 30 goals. Or, he’ll go back to being about as useless as a chocolate teapot and throw another strop, go missing, and total screw up his chances of anyone wanting to sign him next summer. I’m thinking the latter. Shout out to the players, medics, and Doctors watching the match who saved a fan’s life after the guy collapsed from a heart attack. Quick thinking from all involved means this bloke will get to see another day. Top work, all involved.
Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 2
Patrick Viera said after the game, that he felt as if his Crystal Palace team had dropped two points. He’s right, they did. The last-minute equalizer from Alexandre Lacazette must’ve been a massive kick in the kadiddle-hopper for The Eagles, especially considering they’d done most of the hard work – coming back from a goal down to lead with just seconds remaining – only to not be able to clear the ball from a corner and get punished for it. It seems to be the story of their season so far, but I’m impressed with how Palace looks, especially as an attacking threat, under Viera and fully expect him to sort out their defensive problems as well. As for Arsenal, well, sh*t, I have no idea what to expect. A few weeks ago they battered Spurs in the North London derby and seemed to have turned a corner. Since then they’ve struggled against Brighton and Palace and it seems as if nothing’s really changed. I doubt very much that Arteta will get the hook any time soon, but if there isn’t even a hint of European football next season come the end of May, this might be his last one in charge of The Gooners.
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