Yet another week of football has passed us by and what has really changed? The Manchester clubs are still scoring for fun. Crystal Palace have changed their manager and remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Ronald Koeman looks like a manager who has spent a lot of money and has not got a clue. But who makes the Magnificent 7 this week?
#1 Arsene Wenger
Admit it, you missed him last week. I have to admire the balls of Arsene Wenger. Remember, this is a man who took Arsenal to Anfield and could not find a way through that backline. Yet, having snatched a 0-0 against Chelsea at the weekend he walked as tall as a man who had just proven all his doubters wrong. OK Arsene, most of us expected you to get hammered yet again. But don’t get too carried away, it was a 0-0 draw. This is hardly the start of the 502nd renaissance now, is it?
#2 Rafa Benitez/Mike Ashley
I wasn’t too sure who to put on the list as I am still unclear as to whom I should be crediting for the fact that Newcastle United sit 4th in the table. Is it Rafa for being able to squeeze every last drop out of what is clearly still a Championship squad? Or is it Mike Ashley for running the club superbly, and being completely vindicated in his methodology by the fact he owns a club currently 4th in the table? I don’t know, but it’s working for them right now.
#3 Slaven Bilic
The man is a tactical god. He has taken that bunch of ragtag journeymen (admittedly, he recruited all of them or was that David Sullivan?) and turned them into a watertight unit. That’s two clean sheets in a row for the Hammers now, gained against a Huddersfield Town side that were top of the table just a couple of weeks ago and a West Bromwich Albion side known for their attacking prowess and goalscoring flair. Any manager that can (a) get consecutive clean sheets out of Joe Hart and (b) feel Javier Hernandez is best used on the left of midfield is a god in my book.
#4 Everton FC
I would love to think that the Everton PR team were having a proper laugh in the meeting when they decided that they should announce Angry Birds as a sleeve sponsor on the day that Wayne Rooney was going to be in the spotlight as he was returning to Old Trafford. Hell, there is still life in this gag. Loose Women have probably gone nuclear about the way Wayne has treated Colleen, so maybe they arranged the deal?
#5 Pep Guardiola
Pep cuts the jib of a wife that was given the husband’s credit card and is very, very pleased with her shopping spree. The Manchester City manager said, after his side demolished Watford 12-0, that “I am happy with the balance” – I presume he means the total balance remaining on the credit card after he spent over £100m on three full backs. Well, if that’s what it takes to top the table after a handful of games, eh? Let’s see how happy Pep is once winter kicks in.
#6 Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp’s command of the English language is incredible, it really is. I don’t just mean being able to speak the language far better than most Scousers, I mean having this amazing ability to come up with endless excuses in his second tongue.This week Jurgen feels that “it is the weight of Liverpool’s history” that means his defenders turn to stone every single time the ball comes near their box.
#7 Sam Allardyce
You can picture him now. Big Sam sitting there watching Crystal Palace lose to Southampton chewing away with a big grin on his face. He knows he could keep them up blindfolded. He knows Roy Hodgson will take them down. He knows that his legacy with the Palace fans is very, very safe. What’s that? Birmingham City are on the phone?