The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Roy Hodgson’s High Flying Birds

Huzzah! Premier League football is back and we can now go back to watching Starter Saturday, Super Sunday and Might-As-Well-Watch-It Monday football, for the next few weeks, at least. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get down to it.

The Good

Crystal Palace: The Eagles swooped in on a dull and lifeless Chelsea, preyed on their weaknesses and got themselves their first win of the season. Roy Hodgson, in his peculiar sense of humour, likened it to finding caviar while you’re out looking for crumbs.

Manchester City: Looking ominous with each game, almost as if they really, really want their investment in Pep and the plethora of prime players to pay off. Their blistering attack kicked Stoke City into the middle of next week by putting SEVEN past them. Even someone like Mark Hughes, who isn’t exactly short on self-belief, might find it a bit difficult to recover from this humiliation.

Kevin De Bruyne: We’ve learnt, through unreliable sources, that Antonio Conte types this text on his phone every night before erasing it and crying himself to sleep: “Jose? Is Antonio. Vaffanculo!!!”

Gabriel Jesus: The lord and saviour of Pep’s City project, now that Aguero is out of action for some time.

Tottenham: A win at Wembley is worth its weight in whatever’s the newest currency fad going around.

David De Gea: Dave saves, protecting Jose’s bus from taking any hits against Liverpool. Despite the new big-money arrivals, he is still United’s most valuable asset. Although we must stress, looking at his facial hair, it’s about time Dave shaves too.

Watford: Fourth in the table after an utterly predictable win over Arsenal. Even someone as out of touch with modern football as Phil T. and Paul M. could have seen this coming.

Tammy Abraham: No Twitter arguments with gaming companies, no witty memes, just going about his business of putting the ball in the net for Swansea. Chelsea might have sent the wrong striker out on loan if we were to judge simply on the basis of maturity and professionalism.

Manolo Gabbiadini: Found his shooting boots at just the right time for Southampton. Yeah, that’s about it, I guess.

Wayne Rooney: In here simply because of his boots. Look at them. Just look at them!

The Bad

Chelsea: That’s two losses in a row, now. It won’t be long before Abramovich’s trigger finger starts getting itchy.

Michy Batshuayi: Did nothing of note except screaming out in frustration when his number went up. Perhaps next time he could do a Balotelli and lift his shirt to reveal “Why always me?” as he is subbed.

Manchester United: They might have hoped to finally play ‘The United Way’ against their traditional foes, but all they got was a classic, homebrew Jose Mourinho Away PerformanceTM.

Arsenal: There’s nothing like a kick in the gonads to shatter any hopes of a pleasant conclusion to a blind date. That’s what this Arsenal team does to their fans, who turn up for a game full of hope after a win, only to find reality’s steel-toed boot approaching their nether region at an alarming pace. Oof.

Granit Xhaka: Go on, pick your nose, fella. I’m sure that’s much more important than sticking with the guy who’s in your box and about to score a last-minute winner for his team.

Bournemouth: Could this be the season Eddie Howe’s magic runs out and they slide back into the second tier?

Everton: Ronald Koeman is proving to be the opposite of a chequebook manager. You give him enough money and he’ll, somehow, make your team worse.

The Ugly

Andy Carroll and His Elbows: The pony-tailed blunder decided to do the chicken dance whenever he was around Burnley defenders to distract them, but the referee acted as a killjoy and sent him off for two bookable offences committed within 99 seconds of each other. Reports suggesting that the striker’s intelligence compares unfavourably to poultry are, as yet, unconfirmed.