Good day to you. On a weekend where I could have made a case for about 20 players to be in the side (not in a good way), I’ve managed to narrow it down to 11 and a manager to keep this rowdy lot in check. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the stupid.
Joe Hart – Move your feet Joe. Get your hands behind it, Joe. Joe? JOE! A bad Friday night for Joe who proved he really wasn’t worth it. Mind you, he wasn’t helped by having a team of strangers in front of him. Hart was only really at fault for the second goal but it’s incredible how far he has regressed from being one of the best keepers in the league a few years ago. Pep will do that to you.
Lewis Dunk – Brighton were exceptional on Friday night, even if they had to beat an apparent pub team. West Ham presumably forgot Andy Carroll was suspended as they spent 90 minutes lumping cross into Javier Hernandez, but Dunk and his pal Shane Duffy were imperious and ultimately impenetrable. The determination shown by the entire Brighton team to not concede was admirable and bodes well for Chris Hughton, who must be delighted with the start his side have made to top-flight life.
Victor Lindelof – Jose shelled out over £30 million for the centre-half but has preferred Phil Jones so far this season. Read into that what you will. However, with Jones off with his latest injury setback, this should have been Victor’s time to shine. Instead, he failed to get anything at all on a long ball from the opposition keeper and he could only look on in horror as his side slipped 2-0 behind. Nevermind though Victor, you’ll bounce back. It’s only Harry Kane next week.
Ryan Shawcross – Stoke were another team to have a shocker this weekend in front of their own fans, and captain Ryan was front row centre of the disaster by giving away a pen with a particularly stupid tackle in the first-half. My theory is that with Storm Brian ripping across Britain, Ryan knew he had to do something to grab a headline. I’ll help you out – STORM RYAN.
Dejan Lovren – Oh, Dejan. What have you become? The season just goes from bad to worse for the Croatian, once so solid under Pochettino at Southampton and now a laughing stock, subbed after just half an hour on Sunday having really helped Spurs overcome their goalscoring problems at Wembley. I would imagine his days at Anfield are numbered, it looks more costly every week that Liverpool messed up the Van Dijk pursuit in the summer.
Richarlison – If you’re going to miss two guilt edged chances at Stamford Bridge, you want to hope your team hold on to their lead rather than losing 4-2. A day to forget for the young Brazilian.
Riyad Mahrez – A return to form for Riyad, following up his goal on Monday with a pair of assists on Saturday. He looked like the title-winning Mahrez of old, Cruyff turning his way to three points. Maybe he just loves Michael Appleton, who will probably end up being his new manager unless Leicester bring a new name into the mix.
Sofiane Boufal – Even if BT Sport’s Darren Fletcher was determined to give this goal to Mario Lemina, it was definitely Boufal who ran three quarters the length of the field to stroke home the only goal of an atrocious game. Boufal has made minimal contribution to anything since arriving at Southampton but this was an unbelievable solo goal and possibly the start of better things for the winger…though celebrating by goading your manager is probably not a good idea.
Mesut Ozil – Sunday will forever be remembered as the day Ozil turned up for an away match and actually made a difference. Helped enormously by Everton defending like a school team, nothing quite sums up how poor you are defensively like Mesut Ozil scoring a header. Time is running out for Koeman and shipping 5 at home to Arsenal won’t help, but Ozil was excellent and fully deserved the man of the match award.
Glenn Murray – Every couple of years Glenn Murray turns up at a Premier League club – not always via promotion – and people start the age-old debate of whether he is good enough for the top level. Murray showed all of his nous on Friday night to score twice – albeit one a penalty. I love that one guy played their triple captain chip with Murray on FPL – I mean, who does that? Show yourself.
Michy Batshuayi – This kid seems to be constantly in my team for being awful or for days like this. His manager needed a hero and from the bench came Batshuayi to net twice and make 2-1 down 4-2 up. He’s still young and there’s plenty of time for consistency to come, but for now, he’ll have to make do with the super-sub tag.
David Wagner – Whilst I was tempted to include Slaven Bilic, Mark Hughes or Ronald Koeman for the struggles their respective sides are enduring at present, I have instead opted to heap praise on Huddersfield manager David Wagner. It’s fair to say Huddersfield weren’t fancied against unbeaten Manchester United but a superb win for Klopp’s best friend. I couldn’t find room for any individual in their team, so the manager can take the honours.
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back next week to see if anybody can redeem themselves. Toodles for now.