Did we actually learn anything new this weekend? Manchester United and Manchester City still being allergic to conceding goals, Harry Kane loving a London derby and Crystal Palace being terrible is old news. In terms of new stuff? Not so much.
So who’s on the magical list this week?
#1 Oumar Niasse
I love this story. Oumar Niasse has been told, repeatedly, by Ronald Koeman that is not very good at the job he is paid to do – namely, play football. Niasse was banished to the U23s and then sent out on loan to Hull last season, as punishment for this very judgement by Ronald. The fact that Niasse acted professionally and actually did alright for Hull under Marco Silva did not impress the wannabe-Barcelona-boss. Oh no. Oumar returned and was told, again, to find another club. His peg is still in the U23 changing rooms and he hasn’t been named in Everton’s Europa League squad. But Oumar refuses to go away. Somehow he found himself on the Everton bench at the weekend, and with Wayne Rooney blowing out of his probably still hungover and guilty backside Koeman found himself with no other option than to give Oumar 15 minutes. And what a 15 minutes it was, with the striker scoring twice and possibly saving Koeman’s job. I’d sack him for not realising this guy has goals in him.
#2 Slaven Bilic
He’s on to something, is Slaven. Javier Hernandez has hardly set the world alight for the Hammers playing centrally, so Bilic’s cunning plan to move him to the left of midfield might just be a stroke of genius. Hell, when you’ve got one of the most natural penalty box players in the world at your disposal you want him tracking the opposition full back, no? But it worked dammit, it worked. Chicharito popped up at the far stick to give West Ham a fighting chance against Tottenham. The main problem is, West Ham do not know how to fight.
#3 Serge Aurier
The former PSG right back made his Tottenham debut in the same game and looks like he is going to be great value for money. Not value for the transfer fee exactly, but entertainment value. Aurier, as David Pleat observed, “loves a slide tackle” as he demonstrated in one goal-preventing moment in the first half. However it appears Serge also loves a yellow card, as he picked up two in quick succession.
#4 Slide tackles
Speaking of slide tackles, there were a couple of crackers in Scotland this weekend. Firstly, Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha ended up flat on his back in the Old Firm derby after one of his players went through him studs up. I am guessing the player in question isn’t a fan? Chris Sutton took to social media to have his usual say, and then BT Sport conducted an impromptu parody of the situation with Stephen Craigan doing what many a football fan, and Robbie Savage, would love to do. When filming a segway into the next piece, Sutton was walking along the touchline before Craigan appeared from nowhere, taking the former Celtic man out two-footed. It was probably the best thing BT Sport have done this season.
#5 Jose Mourinho
I have a theory on Jose, it might surprise you to know. The Special One is known to be a little paranoid around the treatment he gets from referees. I reckon he is trying to push the envelope a little, and see if they will send him to the stands for the most pedantic of reasons. Jose loves defending a 1-0 lead more than Pep enjoys a classy quick break and pass into an open net. So, when he spotted a few too many of his back seven pushing forward in injury time at St Mary’s his passion saw him put his little toe on the pitch. Red card that, eh?
#6 Roy Hodgson
I think Roy might end up taking Arsene’s weekly slot you know. The old boy called it as it was when asked if he could take any positives from Palace’s 5-0 hammering at the hands of City. Good on him for calling the question “frankly ridiculous” which it was, almost as “frankly ridiculous” as some of Palace’s defending.
#7 The Harlem Globetrotters
You really don’t hear enough about them nowadays, so thank you Jurgen Klopp.