Who remembers what the football world looked like last weekend then? Manchester United were clearly going to go the whole season winning every match, Jurgen Klopp was as much a genius as Arsene Wenger was very much past it as a manager and West Ham United were a complete joke. Well, the axis of the world has shifted in just seven days. Apart from the last bit. West Ham are still very much a complete joke.
It’s possibly fair to say it is time for King Klopp to head down to his local branch of Specsavers and put his hand in his pocket. Jurgen felt that Sadio Mane’s red card for nearly decapitating Ederson mid-way through the first half has a little harsh. In fact, the eight minutes injury time that was added was a double whammy for Liverpool, as Manchester City scored in it. Gabriel Jesus scored in the 45+8th minute and the 52nd minute, meaning his second goal was scored before his first goal. Let the Liverpool fans try and work that one out for a moment. With all the talk about other teams in the last couple of weeks and people still obsessing over the amount of money Pep Guardiola spent on a right back, one that seems to have wobbly legs at that, City have quietly gone about getting themselves joint top of the table. Jesus and Ageuro look more like Jesus and his old man and football romantics will be delighted to see a top-of-the-table side playing the traditional two men up top.
As for Arsene Wenger, who will have spent the week lamenting FFP, licking his wounds and giggling at how he has got away with signing nobody, he had a much better weekend. Sure, if you are coming off the back of a drubbing against a rival there is no better side to play than Bournemouth. In fact, is Eddie Howe in danger of becoming an English Wenger minus all the trophies? No matter who they are playing, Bournemouth go out and play Eddie’s way which can often lead to a bit of a walloping. Which is exactly what they got at the Emirates. That Lacazette looks decent, no? Maybe he should have played at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho refused to shake hands after Manchester United’s shock 2-2 draw at Stoke City. It would appear he has forgotten that Mark Hughes normally spends the entire 90 minutes telling the opposition manager where to go, even if it is Jose. Once again, it was a convenient excuse for Mourinho to slip into “we didn’t win and I need to distract everyone from the fact we were a bit rubbish today” mode. It’s still a great source of amusement to see the difference between Jose Mourinho, top of the table having won every game and Jose Mourinho, still top of the table but having thrown two points away at the Bet365 Stadium.
No matter what Alvaro Morata does or does not think about Spurs fans according to the Chelsea support, the striker signed from Real Madrid is filling that Diego Costa shaped hole. The Spanish striker scored his third for Chelsea in the 2-1 win over Leicester City that lifted the champions up to third in the table at the time of writing. N’Golo Kante, naturally, got the deciding goal continuing the totally improbable theory that players tend to score against their former clubs unless, of course, you are Joleon Lescott.
Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be requesting that they can start next season’s Premier League season in September and, if possible, not at Wembley if their new home is delayed. Harry Kane scored his first goal of the season on the 1st September, as his August curse dictates, and opened his Premier League account with a double at Goodison Park against Everton. Wayne Rooney still looked like he had one or two things on his mind as Spurs were rampant against yet another Everton side expected to “do great things” this season. Fernando Llorente probably looked on and thought, “oh, that’s why no other strikers wanted to join Tottenham”.
You could have asked me one hundred times to predict the score between Brighton and West Brom and I would have picked 1-0 to West Brom at least ninety-eight times. However, Brighton felt this was the ideal game in which to open their Premier League goal account and breached that watertight Pulis defence three times to register their first win. I guess that is the end of me calling them “top-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion” then and I have a sneaky suspicion that “Europa League chasing West Bromwich Albion” will have a short shelf life too.
In a parallel universe, Mauricio Pellegrino took over at Crystal Palace and Frank de Boer took over at Southampton and both teams are flying. Sadly, back here on planet earth, it didn’t work out that way.
I say it every week and I will keep saying it. How do you feel now you are trying to play this open, attractive, good to watch football eh, Southampton fans? The Saints failed to score at home yet again and slumped to yet another defeat, this time 2-0 to Watford. I know, Watford! It’s not as if they are getting beaten by Manchester City or anything. Southampton, a well-run club for so long, might get a little twitchy now. After all, they got rid of Claude Puel, a man who took them to Wembley, because they felt he was a bit too defensive in his outlook.
Over at Crystal Ajax, the experiment to bring the vibe of Johan Cruyff to Croydon is failing and failing quickly. Chris Wood, a man who probably got the WiFi password at Turf Moor off the internet, scored his second goal in about five minutes since signing from Leeds and got Burnley off to a flying start. And, obviously, with Palace being utterly incompetent and getting the ball near the opposition goal one goal was always going to be enough. Frank de Boer out and Roy Hodgson in? Haven’t the Palace fans suffered enough already this season?
It looks like Rafa Benitez has given up at Newcastle United. He was in hospital for “an operation” whilst his team took the park at Swansea City. Presumably, the operation was to remove Mike Ashley’s knife from his back? Wilfried Bony returned to Wales wearing the number two shirt. Yes, a striker wearing the number two shirt. I can only offer this as a reason why. It must signify the amount of goals Bony has scored since leaving Swansea last time. Ryan Giggs revealed he has been spending some of his free time “scouting” Renato Sanches. Why Ryan? No team in League Two will be able to afford him, and it looks like that’s where you’ll be starting that managerial career of yours. Anyway, Swansea unveiling their two new signings and Newcastle unveiling a wonderfully trimmed wage bill meant only one thing. Correct. A Newcastle win. All rise for the genius that is Mike Ashley.