Once again the Premier League just starts hitting its funky beat and it gets taken away by the curse that is international football. You have to feel for the club managers, Frank de Boer was just starting to feel like he was getting used to life in England. Anyway, who are this week’s Magnificent 7?
#1 Arsene Wenger
Shall I just stick him at number one each week until he finally retires? What on earth could Arsene be on the list for this week, I wonder? How about blaming the players he picked and signed for that shambles at Anfield? Arsene, it is simple. You buy them. You train them. You sort out the “tactics”. You motivate them. So if they aren’t performing (again) the buck kinda stops with you. Again. Two defeats in the opening three games having just signed that new two-year deal and having had a week off from Champions League qualifying duty? It’s no wonder the guys on Arsenal Fan TV have high blood pressure.
#2 Sam Allardyce
I would imagine Big Sam is sitting by his phone right now. I would imagine Steve Parrish is still practising exactly what he will say when he starts unofficial proceedings to try and convince Allardyce to return to Selhurst Park. Allardyce is playing the game beautifully. He holds all the cards now, and Palace are becoming more desperate every second. Sam casually dropped into the press last week suggesting that a foreigner turning up in the English Premier League probably needs to show it more respect than just trying to play total football from the off, strangely omitting that trying to do it with a squad carved out to play HoofBall was tantamount to crazy. Could Allardyce actually return? If you pay him enough, of course!
#3 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Having wisely decided against a career arm wrestling mythical figures, Zlatan is back at Old Trafford willing his knee to heal quickly. If anyone things Zlatan is coming back to play second fiddle, think again. He wants to be the main man, yet again. The pressure is already starting to tell on Romelu Lukaku, crippled by the sound of knives being sharpened by Zlatan behind him, his back starting to get itchy. You don’t believe me? Zlatan wouldn’t have missed that penalty, right?
#4 Andros Townsend
It’s not a bad life being Andros Townsend. He and his agent have got a cracking little business going. 10 or 20% of each transfer will do very nicely thank you, if that’s how these deals work. Townsend moves for lots of millions every 18 months – I presume there is a hefty signing on fee in there too. Nice work if you can get it. Leicester City want to pay £25m for him now. Here’s an idea Leicester. Why not save the £25m and play Demerai Gray instead? I mean, he is better than Townsend and all that. But that money needs to be spent somehow, hey?
#5 The Liverpool Transfer Committee
I can imagine the meeting. “Yeah, announce it tomorrow. All the fans will still be high on life after we beat that rabble 4-0”. Announce what, you ask? The fact that Liverpool failed to secure their main midfield target for the summer this season. And the fact that RB Leipzig convinced them to pay more for him next season. Twelve months is a long time in football, but the Liverpool guys have done a fine job of getting everyone very excited about signing a player they only know about through Twitter for more than he is worth in a years time. Meanwhile, everyone else will scout sensibly and buy someone for better value next summer. Actually, that last bit is a lie. Everyone will go and play silly money for someone else too.
#6 Chris Wood
That’s not a bad way to introduce yourself to the Premier League, is it? Tottenham were actually starting to believe that they might win a game at Wembley before the big New Zealander popped up with a very, very late equaliser to deny them yet again. But of course, it has nothing to do with Wembley at all, that won’t be on the player’s minds whatsoever, eh?
#7 Wayne Rooney
The Rooney PR team have played an absolute blinder, they really have. Two reasonable games, reasonable when you compare it to the crap he’s been serving up for the last two seasons anyway, convinced Gareth Southgate that Wayne was needed for an awayday in Malta. The Rooney machine are not stupid, they know he is done and they are simply picking up their retirement fund from the kind people at Everton Football Club. To go back and play international matches would expose Rooney to the fact that he really isn’t very good anymore, so why not take this golden opportunity to “retire” and be thought of as a hero. And, if by any kind of luck, he is still in the Everton team come the end of the season and even scoring here and there he can make the kind of heroic comeback a boxer would be proud of and play in Russia 2018 after all. Clever, really clever.