There was no Shearer this weekend but we did get the not-too-terrible Danny Murphy and Ian Wright combo – an unlikely double act if there ever was one.
We were off to Anfield first where Liverpool’s implosion was met by a Spurs side full of promise that was destined for a catastrophic implosion of its own. Football Twitter was salivating at the thought of this one too. “Just imagine how many blog articles I could write all about gegendefending and counter-crossing,” they collectively thought into WordPress.
As you’ll all know by now, Liverpool finally got a league win in 2017 with Sadio Mane getting both to get tabloid journalists in the press box all hot and bothered about all the “main Mane” puns they can make. Apart from The S*n. I imagine they were shaking their fists at a comically small TV, cursing Liverpool Football Club.
This was a repeat of the Manchester City draw for Spurs where they were incapable of basic defending however, in sad news for Spurs, Liverpool played with two actual defenders as opposed to one. Jurgen Klopp though was understandably delighted, bopping around like an excitable puppy at the door when you arrive home. Pochettino looked more like his puppy had died. He only had himself to blame when Vincent Janssen is your only option to turn to when chasing a game.
Unfortunately, Murphy and Wrighty are actually competent pundits so their analysis was pretty spot on. No really. There’s no punchline here. Move on.
It was to Martin Fisher’s “coupon busters” Sunderland next where Moysey’s party bus was finally pulling out of the relegation zone. They were facing Claude Puel’s coach trip that was reversing its way towards danger. Southampton do love a good surname confusion up front, first with Pelle and now with Gabbiadini. What do you mean you’ve never heard of Sunderland legend Marco Gabbiadini? No, I didn’t Google him after Martin made the point at the start of the highlights. Anyway, Sunderland couldn’t handle Manolo who really didn’t have to try too hard to score twice with the Sunderland defence only capable of sleepwalking their way through the game. At least they managed to even out all of their good work of last week.
Thankfully Moyesy managed to sum the problems on the party bus – “we didn’t play as well as last week” and “we made a couple of defensive mistakes”. The biggest defensive mistake was actually having his back four step foot on the pitch. If they don’t get relegated at the end of the season I’ll eat all of my shoes.
It was Arsenal next who were taking on Hull. You know, that team with the foreign boy in charge. It’s been all about Arsene Wenger’s future though with Wrighty managing to send Piers Morgan into a joy meltdown by suggesting Wenger might leave at the end of the season. It’s not been great for Arsenal recently with tantrums from Alexis and consecutive defeats but why else would we talk about Arsenal?
It wasn’t entirely convincing from Arsenal with Kieran Gibbs escaping a red like a true Manchester United player and Alexis Sanchez’s volleyball spike being counted. Hull are actually one of the more interesting teams in the Premier League right now with the foreign boy doing wonders and making people like Rannocchia, Niasse and Markovic look like semi-competent footballers. This foreign boy really does know what he’s doing.
To the Theatre of Silence next where Jose’s Manchester United took on Serie A’s unwanted toys, Watford. Incredibly Watford have used nineteen different nationalities this season, about as many as Trump will probably try to ban from the USA.
If you looked up routine home win then that game is what you would find. Despite United’s players trying to do their best Six Nations impression, they did manage to put two of their chances in the back of the net with even Anthony Martial getting in on the act. If you’re a United fan then be happy. If you’re a Watford fan, move along.
TONY PULIS’ WALL ALERT! It was time for Tactics Tony next who had spent the previous week triggering Stoke City. In fairness, if you’re going to pick a fight with anyone then it really wouldn’t be Tony. Just ask James Beattie. They were taking on West Ham who are more inconsistent than something really inconsistent. I never promised you excellent metaphors all the time did I?
It seems that while you may get through Tony’s wall twice, you can never truly defeat it. West Ham had plenty of chances with Algeria’s Steve Stone and Manuel Lanzini at the forefront of everything good for the Hammers. At least they spent £10 million on someone to take set pieces. Even more impressive from Tony’s Wall is that Salomon Rondon has scored a total of about three goals up front for them. Slav wasn’t best pleased though.
We got a nice video package about some community work involving Swansea. No joke here. It was dead nice and full of Welsh accents.
We were off to Stokealona next where Big Sam’s pints of wine brigade are bumbling towards relegation and Stoke are attempting to finish ninth. Because that’s all they do now. Poor Palace spent millions in the summer to get relegated with the resurgences of Swansea and Hull surely concerning Big Sam. It seems he might not actually be able to deliver for an agreed price this time around.
Joe Allen might just be John Motson’s favourite striker. He spent the entire highlights banging on about how good he was at finishing and how he was a poacher despite Joe making his name as the Welsh Xavi. Last I checked that meant he played in midfield. It was another bad day for Palace with not even World’s Best Player (patent pending) James Tomkins being able to score. Although when you’re relying on James Tomkins to pull off a van Basten-esque volley then you know you’ve got problems.
We finished off at Middlesbrough where the world’s most boring team took on Repo Man’s favourite team Everton. There is literally nothing to say about Boro. They are incredibly boring. Rather quietly Romelu Lukaku is Premier League top scorer which is one of the key reasons for Everton’s silent resurgence. Am I stalling because I have nothing to say about this? Yes.
It finished 0-0 and here are my thoughts in order:
• Middlesbrough are boring
• Adama Traore is a decent player
• Oh wow, a foul throw
• Oh hey, a save
And that was it. Boro are boring their way to safety.
So it’s time to call this one a wrap. What have we learned on this week’s Pan The Pundits? Well, Joe Allen is Motty’s favourite striker, Tony Pulis’ wall is never truly defeated, Algeria’s Steve Stone is still around, Middlesbrough are boring and half of Watford’s squad, at some point, will be banned from entering the USA.
Football really is a funny old game, ain’t it?