Last weekend’s Premier League action certainly sparked some debate amongst the football community and some of it sparked outrage on a certain YouTube channel. Garth Crooks, the insightful pundit we all love, described the action of one of these nominees ‘the worst in 40 years’ and slammed another nominee ‘the world’s most prolific spoiler’. So, who are these people that have made Crooks so angry and what did they do? Find out in this week’s Wally of the Week.
3. Miguel Britos
Now I’m a fan of the occasional strong challenge but this took it to whole new levels. In Watford’s 0-0 draw with Brighton at Vicarage Road, Britos was sent off for an unbelievably terrible tackle on Anthony Knockaert. The Uruguayan flew into the Frenchman’s leg when he really wasn’t going anywhere and sent him into the advertising boards on the side of the pitch. Both of Britos’ legs left the ground and his right studs made contact with the side of Knockaert’s leg so the straight red was thoroughly deserved – even Watford fans would’ve been pleased to see their rash defender walk. That’s 3 Premier League red cards in just 2 full seasons for Britos but even for him, a challenge as bad as that was shocking. After his penalty miss that led to Troy Deeney’s infamous goal in the play offs, Anthony Knockaert won’t have fond memories of Vicarage Road after he retires and it’s amazing he wasn’t seriously injured.
2. Mike Dean
Now I know that Mike Dean isn’t responsible for the rule that is in place but I’m sure he won’t mind being in the spotlight. He probably deserves the criticism anyway. Raheem Sterling had just scored the winner 7 minutes into added time against Bournemouth so, in complete ecstasy, he runs to the away fans to celebrate. The City fans piled over the advertising boards and celebrated with several City players who had joined Sterling. After the jubilation in the away end had calmed down and the players went back to restart the game, Mike Dean went over to Sterling to hand him a second yellow card and therefore sent him off. By the letter of the law, Dean was right to send off Sterling for going into the crowd, but surely, if Dean had any common sense or understanding of happiness, he could’ve let it blow over but no, he wanted the headlines. The response from many pundits was why had the other City players not been booked for following Sterling into the crowd? Dean had effectively sent Sterling off for scoring a winner – why else would he book just Sterling?
1. Arsene Wenger
Where do I start? People are saying that it’s the board’s fault for Arsenal’s demise over recent years but Wenger’s the one, despite the hatred and protests, despite the player contract mess and despite the need for change, who signed the 2-year deal that was offered to him. Some people have blamed the players for their poor performances but Wenger has brought ALL the players currently at the club, in himself, so surely, he knew their limitations? For whatever reason, Wenger left record signing, Alexandre Lacazette, on the bench for the trip to Anfield and it didn’t pay off. His team selection and formation was naïve and Liverpool exploited it in emphatic fashion. Jurgen Klopp’s side outfought, outran and thrashed Arsenal by 4 goals to nil and it was an embarrassing day for Wenger who didn’t seem to know the answer as his team fell apart in front of his eyes. Gary Neville called the defeat a ‘shambles’ and ‘disgraceful’ but these words don’t compare to the ones used on Arsenal Fan TV. After just 3 games of the season, the fans have already turned on Wenger and the club and, with the expected departures of Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shkodran Mustafi and Kieran Gibbs, the squad isn’t getting any stronger. Things could get a whole lot worse before they get better I’m afraid Arsenal fans.