Seven games in might not seem like the ideal time to write a review of the current Premier League season, but it’s what I’ve decided to do. I would have liked to wait until Crystal Palace found a goal from somewhere but it’s now international break again, followed by a visit to Selhurst Park from the champions, and so I can wait no longer. In truth, there’s not a lot to say about Palace that hasn’t already been said. With 7 games, 0 goals and 2 managers, memories of the proud Crystal Palace that Big Sam erected last year have been cast aside by Roy Hodgson’s flaccid crystal phallus.
So eye-catching has Roy’s phallus been, that Bournemouth have evaded the microscope that they probably deserve to be under. Their only win, along with Defoe’s only goal this season, came in a hard-fought 2-1 win against Brighton. Despite the misfortunes of Defoe and the sacking of everyone’s favourite wheeler-dealer, ‘Arry Redknapp, the largest member of Spurs’ holy trinity of 2009 had reason to celebrate last week.
Following Peter Crouch’s goal against Southampton, Mark Hughes said that the big man had a ‘huge role’ to play at Stoke. I imagine it is no coincidence that this sudden praise for Crouch has coincided with Saido Berahino’s Premier League form, with the former West Brom man shooting blanks for his 30th game on the bounce. Crouch, however, has publicly backed Berahino to come good, referencing his own barren run for Liverpool in support of the 24-year-old.
At the other end of the table, whatever they put in the water in Manchester seems to be working, with both City and United strolling towards a showdown for the title. There have been many similarities between the two clubs this season, however, the way in which both sides have broken down opponents differs substantially. While City have adopted a ‘death-by-speed’ approach in their fixtures, United seem content to beat opponents into submission. In fact, unless you’re winning by two goals going into the final 10 minutes at Old Trafford I am almost certain you are going to lose.
When United hosted Palace last weekend, the 2017/18 Premier League season was effectively summed up in one game. Palace’s single shot on target probably flattered the visitors, while Jose Mourinho once again boasted his strength in depth by leaving Martial on the bench until the final 15 minutes of the game. In truth, bringing the young Frenchman off the bench when you’re 3-0 up against Crystal Palace isn’t too dissimilar to releasing a bloodthirsty hound on a dying prisoner.
And so concludes what started, at least, as a (very) early season (sort of) review. Not a classic by any means, certainly not one that will live long in the memory and probably not something I’ll ever do again. Oh well, we live and Whelan.