Friday night football. It’s a great idea…in theory. This past weekend, we had it in practice, and it made the weekend far too long. In fact, it made the weekend into almost a full week, and while that also sounds good in theory, in practice it’s a liver-destroying monster. It didn’t help that the Friday Night Football Feast was a putrid bowl of camel faeces (Aston Villa) topped off with a sickly sticky gloop of rancid rat urine (Manchester United). God almighty that match was an assault on all the senses – in particular the ‘common’ sense that Wayne Rooney is a world class player. He’s not. He never was. He’s a world-class potato-headed flat-track bully who thrives in great teams where the work is done for him. Anyway, I digress. United won ugly and all the world hails that as a sign of great things to come. Trust me, it’s not. It’s a sign that you’re playing sh*te.
Onto Saturday and the Saints got stuck by the Toffees. Everton looked very impressive, scoring goals of high quality, with Romelu Lukaku looking like a world-beater. That’s how bad Southampton were. Ronald ‘He’s going to chip one, he’s going to chip one, he’s going to chip one Taylor you cloth-eared flute’ Koeman did wonders last year to get a depleted squad firing on all cylinders. However, if you keep stripping away your best players, something has got to give – and that ended up being their dignity in losing 3-0 at home to Everton. The shame.
Swansea continued where they left off with a routine demolition of a poor Newcastle team who decided that the best form of defence was kicking attackers 70 yards from goal, and the best form of attack was not to bother. Swansea’s forward line is firing with another goal for BatterBurger Gomis and A-Yew beauty. The most entertaining player in the Premier League made another appearance, with Alex Mitrovic taking a full 2 minutes to get booked this week, after his 20 second booking the week before. It does appear that he thinks a substitution in football is like a tag in WWE Wrestling, so next week I expect him to take to the field with a chair and slam Wayne Rooney over the head with it.
It was the battle of the ‘W’s’ as Watford and West Brom both failed to score and made me lose the will to live. That’s enough about that.
Sunderland achieved a remarkable feat when they succeeded in making Wes Hoolahan look like Lionel Messi. ‘The Wes’ pulled all the strings for Norwich as they plundered the Stadium of Light to take the points 3-1. Dick must have been feeding his players Advocaat (it’s an alcoholic beverage, look it up) before the match, because if they weren’t drunk, then they’re shameless frauds. Van Aanholt was openly trolling the Sunderland fans by clearly not giving a flying f*ck as Norwich swept past him time and again.
Spurs raced into a two-goal lead at home to Stoke, despite being dire. What? Oh, his name is Dier? Right, sorry about that. With the game in the bag, they then conspired to ‘blow it all away’ when their ‘HarryKane’ *sigh* hobbled off injured. I apologise about that, but I’m trying to work on my puns. Anyhoo, Pochettino only then realised that he’d started the season with one striker. Oops. When Stoke realised that, they changed from 4-4-2 to 1-4-5, and plundered two goals to take a point. Mame Biram Diouf claimed a goal despite not *really* touching the ball. However, if you’ve seen him up close and personal, you’re not likely to argue with him, are you?
Finally on Saturday, the Hammers, fresh from their trouncing of the Gunners last week, did what every good West Ham team always does, and decided to revert to being a bit sh*t. They clearly underestimated Leicester City, figuring that the Foxes can’t be that good as it was ‘only’ Sunderland the week before. They failed to realise that Leicester themselves though it was ‘only’ West Ham this week, and Leicester were right. Albrighton and Mahrez continue to be drafted into every fecking Fantasy Football team in the world on the back of their exploits, with everyone failing to realise that they’ve played two crap teams. That’s what I keep telling myself when I see my FF team at the bottom of all the leagues I’m in.
Onto Sunday we marched…wearily, and first up was the Eagles at home to Arsene Wenger’s shell-shocked Gunners (are the puns getting any better?). Olivier Giroud caused hearts to flutter with a ‘nice’ goal, but I’ve a bone to pick with the Gallic God: While it was undoubtedly a good goal, you looked like you were falling over and you kicked it on the way down. Was it not possible for a flashy, stylish scissor action at some stage? Aesthetically, it would have been far superior. Let’s face it Olivier, you’re a man of style rather than substance. Palace equalised with a rasping shot from Joe Ward. It was so rasping that Laurent Koscielny was disgusted and turned his back on it, while Peter Cech took the unusual approach of trying to stop it with his face. It was a fine, full-length dive by the Czech stopper, but he was determined to save his arms for future activities. The match was finally won for Arsenal by Alexis Sanchez, who leapt 18 feet into the air to power a header against the shins of Damien Delaney, forcing the own goal. ‘Back On Track’ was the message from everyone associated with Arsenal. ‘The Track Hasn’t Even Started Yet’ was the response of those who reject league tables this early in the season.
Finally the BIG ONE was upon us. City v Chelsea. Arabs v Russians. Oil v Gas. Dollars v Roubles. New Plastic Fans v New Plastic Fans. We learned a lot from this one. We learned that Manchester City are BACK in a big way. Aguero is the best striker in the league. Begovic is better than Cech, and maybe Courtois. John Terry sulks like a spoiled 5 year old denied another Chicken McNugget. José Mourinho may actually be losing his mind. Diego Costa will eventually one day kill a man. Cecil Fibreglass should never play in central midfield. Raheem Sterling is a £ 49,000,000 fur coat with no knickers. Giraffes can stand up quicker than Yaya Touré. Vincent Kompany’s MASSIVE forehead is handy when attacking corners. Fernandinho has a cannon in his right boot. A veritable treasure-trove of knowledge from this match. In the end, City spanked Chelsea, walking away with the points.
Finally the weekend drew to a close, 4 days after it started, with Liverpool v Bournemouth. It was a real David v Goliath affair, with everyone rooting for the plucky underdog who were hoping to overcome all obstacles on their road to success. Yep, everyone wanted Liverpool to win. No? Fair enough. Liverpool won reasonably comfortably, 2-0. Not goals, dodgy refereeing decisions. The Cherries scored a fine header which was disallowed because nobody wanted to listen to the Liverpool fans give out about Lovren AGAIN. Then Liverpool scored a goal through Christian Benteke, marvellously assisted by Phil Coutinho who was only 6 yards offside. Eddie Howe left Anfield with his head held high, tears running down his cheeks, and snot hanging from his nose, as the big bully Brendan took all his points. Poor Eddie, it’s tough when you’re young.
And breathe…we’ll do it all again next weekend.