Pan the Pundits

After last week’s lazily thrown together FA Cup and Premier League mashup, we were back to normal with Gary in the hot seat. The only lazy thing on the set was the lazily whitened teeth of Alan Shearer and Graeme Le Saux in the pundit’s chairs.

We started this week at The Wall where Tactics Tony was up against his nemesis, that pesky foreign Arsene Wenger. Poor Tony was seeing his Wall beginning to leak with two consecutive defeats while Arsene was in the middle of crisis number fifty-two this week. He might be the first ever manager to have gotten a plane flown over a ground in support of him though so even after twenty plus years in charge, he’s still a trailblazer in English football.

Crisis 64 is now in full effect! Poor Arsenal. Usually their mid-season collapse ends about now but things just seem to be getting worse. If you want a summation of their current state, just watch the opening highlight. Walking onomatopoeia Allan Nyom (I can sense you all making the sound of a race car in your head) managed to run near 60 yards and perform a successful step-over. And Tony didn’t even hook him for it either. True to Pulis form, it took a brace from defender Craig Dawson to fix the cracks beginning to appear in the Wall. Maybe he can fix the “unique situation” for Arsene.

I wanted to pan Graeme Le Saux for saying the immortal line, “West Brom know who they are”. However, he actually provided genuinely insightful analysis on how West Brom set up. It feels weird being nice.

We were treated to a trip to Stoke next where the Terminators were the visitors. It has become a bit of foregone conclusion this title race malarkey and they might even decide they want the FA Cup too. Stoke are mid-table. There’s not much else to say really.

I wish I knew more about the Terminator franchise to be able to make some kind of poorly constructed metaphor about how you never truly have them beaten. Alas, all I can really say is that Phil Bardsley played and he kicked Diego Costa so hard that the angry man decided to have intimate relations with the pitch. He also got sent off for having a seat on Cesc Fabregas. It was nice to see Jon Walters get a goal but, in the end, the Chel-bots got the job done.

It was to the Generic Stadium where Andy Carroll got a start and a right back played at right back. They were hosting Champions League quarter finalists Leicester whose Shakespearean triumph continued in midweek. They’re still mired in the relegation battle though but silver linings and all that.

West Ham are a bit rubbish at defending, aren’t they? The three Leicester goals were comedically awful with Mark Albrighton even finding the time and the ability for an outside of the foot cross. In fairness, the Hammers did attempt to come back but even the world’s greatest injury Andy Carroll couldn’t get them a point in this one. Manuel Lanzini is a bit good as well.

We were sent to sneaky Everton who this week haven’t managed to tie down Romelu Lukaku. Ronald Koeman is reportedly looking at alternatives to a contract – ropes and steel beams are being considered but handcuffs (not specified if fluffy) are the early favourites with the bookies. They were hosting the best team in the league right now, Hull, with their ragtag bunch of players and random foreign man in charge. They’re excellent, brilliant, top notch.

They lost. Of course, they did. My constant praise of Hull was bound to backfire at some point. Admittedly, they weren’t help by Tom Huddlestone’s red card but when Enner Valencia is able to look like a quality footballer then something went very wrong. Although, Huddlestone should have only got a yellow but that does not excuse a Valencia goal. Nobody has seen move that quickly since his child support payments were due.

It was to Bournemouth next where failed Derby manager Paul Clement led his Swans into battle against a bunch of Cherries. The Swans have been in a form of resurgence since Clement’s arrival while Bournemouth have decided to stop being terrible recently, much to the delight of every fan with heart problems.

The revival of Bournemouth continued. It was nice of Benik Afobe to read his job description this week and bang in some goals. That dastardly Alfie Mawson stole one from poor Benik though, that mean mean man. Still, Swansea were lifeless and dull. Much like Paul Clement’s Derby side. Coincidence? I’ll leave that up to you.

It was time for Big Sam next who was up against the United Nations this time. That sentence doesn’t sound too far-fetched to be fair. Big Sam is the type of guy who would end up fighting a major organisation if the cash was right. He’s got bigger fish to fry with Palace still battling to stay up this season. He only chose to play fifteen of his left backs did Sam while Mazzarri could only muster up eighty-four different nationalities for this game.

It seems Large Samuel has been gifted one there. Troy Deeney managed to get confused and put through his own net after about twelve different scraps on the pitch. It was like the Royal Rumble at times and I’m pretty sure I saw James Tomkins bust out a Tombstone at one point. Palace were the last team standing at the end, getting a crucial three points.

We finished off at the Stadium of Light where we got to hop on board the Party Bus that’s reversing ever quicker into the abyss. Moyesey had the chance to get into first as he was visited by Onyx’s Burnley, a team that is worse at travelling than Dennis Bergkamp. Curiously, the Moyesinator decided to drop Jermain Defoe and opt for Pro Evolution Soccer legend Castolo up front, a joke probably inspired by Tales’ David Black.

Even without Middlesbrough, there’s still a game that bores me to death. Sunderland are terrible, they’re getting relegated and it’s about three years too late.

So what have we learned on this week’s PTP? Well, James Tomkins knows how to Tombstone Piledriver a striker, Sunderland are getting relegated, Castolo’s signed for Sunderland, Arsenal have more crises than I have hot dinners, Graeme Le Saux is actually good at punditry and if you have a joke that’s good, I’ll definitely “borrow” it.