I appealed my betting ban and, fortunately, the powers that be have allowed me to continue doing Pan The Pundits. Although after last week’s snoozefest, I feel like this could be more a punishment than anything else. Gary welcomed us once more by stating that Spurs have finally stopped kidding us on and kindly bottled whatever title charge they were apparently mounting. He was joined by the “dynamic duo” Danny Murphy and Kevin Kilbane. Fun fact – that’s the first time Kevin Kilbane has ever been described as dynamic.
We began at the Etihad where not as good as you think Pep Guardiola decided to revolutionise tactics once again by playing two centre backs at centre back. The man’s lunacy knows no bounds. Unfortunately for Palace, Big Sam was too busy drinking pints of wine and negotiating speaking arrangements to get this new tactic so he decided to put three full backs in the centre of his defence.
So, it turns out this centre back nonsense actually works. City were fairly comfortable and good value for the win although they probably have Wayne Hennessey to thank for the extra gloss on the scoreline. His paper fingers for De Bruyne’s goal were something you’d be disappointed to see in Sunday League. He didn’t even try for Otamendi’s goal, moving his hand slightly towards it like a moody teenager. David Silva tore poor Palace apart mostly because they were as tough as a pile of wet paper.
Danny Murphy pretty much may be the best analyst Match of the Day employs. Once again, he’s articulate, intelligent and, shockingly for MotD, insightful. Kevin Kilbane wasn’t terrible either. Better than Trevor Sinclair anyway.
It was to Hull next where the Foreign Guy was looking forward to an easy three points against Moyesy’s relegated party bus. Moyes has been busy this week telling the world that he wants to stay on Wearside so he can verbally threaten every female reporter he can find, even if they have already gone down. Hull were pretty much nailed on for three points here, there’s no way they could have lost this one.
Dammit Sunderland! Of all the times and teams you could do this too, it had to be the team that I’ve repeatedly pegged as being brilliant in PTP. Even Billy Jones was a bit apologetic when he scored, giving the Sunderland fans a cheeky thumbs-up before running off for obligatory high-fives with those people he has to work with. Jermain Defoe scored too with a “big hint of offside” according to commentary. That big hint being the fact he was blatantly offside. Props to the camera people that really earned their money with the fifteen different shots of the Foreign Guy looking pensive.
The natural progression then was to head to Swansea, managed by sacked former Derby manager Paul Clement, who had a chance to get out of the relegation zone if they could beat Everton. Ronald Koeman spoke this week of wanting to manage Barcelona after getting Everton into the Champions League. So, that would be never then…
Everton are a bit crap, aren’t they? Even Romelu Lukaku couldn’t be arsed trying. Swansea were more than good value for their win, even managing to get a smile from Claude Makelele on the bench. Gareth Barry may be “no mug” but he could probably have stopped Jordan Ayew’s cross for Llorente’s winner.
Oooh, we got a package for Goal of the Month. Wait, it’s on MotD2? Forget it, I’m not staying up on a Sunday to watch that.
NO WAY! We were off to the Generic Modern Stadium where Spurs were still pretending to challenge for the title. Meanwhile, West Ham couldn’t figure out whether or not they were going to be in a relegation battle. One week they were woeful, the next they’re dull and then they splurged money on Robert Snodgrass so they probably get what they deserve.
Oh Spurs, not again. Just when you think they’re going to have a chance, they snatch all hope away from themselves. West Ham finally turned up, around 30-odd games too late for their fans’ liking probably. Manuel Lanzini is clearly their best player, maybe even better than that French boy they used to have.
Leicester were next, where mid-table mediocrity is the order of the day. They had the chance to pick up another three points against the United Nations. Mazzarri’s men have been woeful since they mathematically made themselves safe about five years ago and the Italian responded by fielding just the 36 different nationalities this time.
Jesus the UN are awful. Not since two weeks ago have I seen a team so shambolic with and without the ball. Jamie Vardy had his traditional party like he was a rep in Ibiza, Riyad Mahrez looked like he was a semi-decent footballer while Etienne Capoue gave away more in one game than the majority of the world has to charity.
Here we go, a “proper” football contest. By proper, I, of course, mean two teams that have pronounceable player names and like to kick it far. Tactics Tony took his travelling wall to visit Onyx and Burnley. Both sides had very little to play for with The Wall comfortably sitting somewhere in the table and Burnley basically safe. Cue the excitement then.
I’m probably going to say some pretty shocking things for this game. Firstly, Salomon Rondon scored an actual goal. Like he got the ball and put it in the net. That’s not a joke. He actually did. Secondly, there was a piece of excellent refereeing leading up to Burnley’s opener when the referee played advantage on a stonewall penalty, allowing Sam Vokes to score. Ben Foster can get in the bin though for his part in Burnley’s equaliser.
We finished this week at Bournemouth who are basically safe, hosting Stoke who are just fulfilling their fixtures at this point. I have literally nothing interesting to say about either side at this point so let’s just move on to the game, shall we?
Well then, that was more exciting than I thought it would be. Harry Arter may have been lucky to not be shown a straight red for his tackle on Joe Allen but it looked worse than it actually was. Own goals happened (Shawcross’ should have been ruled out) and, most shockingly, Mame Biram Diouf scored a goal. A striker that has just scored his first goal of the season. Maybe he could teach Saido Berahino something.
So to sum up – Everton and the UN are crap, strange things have been happening in the Premier League and can somebody just send Sunderland away already?! They’re ruining my fun.