It’s not been the best week for the Merseyside clubs, Everton lost 5-2 to Arsenal and hence lost their manager while the Reds were thrashed 4-1 by Spurs at Wembley. One particular Croatian had a nightmare half an hour before Jurgen Klopp saw the light on Sunday afternoon. Saturday lunchtime saw Chelsea beat Watford 4-2 but a young Brazilian had a day to forget as he squandered two golden chances for the Hornets. Everton, Liverpool, and Watford all feature in Matchday Nine’s Wally of the Week shortlist.
We’ll start at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea came from behind to win their first game since the end of September. It has to be said, Watford’s young forward Richarlison was a constant threat to the Chelsea defence and played a key part in his team going in front. But, you can’t miss two sitters in one game and stay off this shortlist. The first came with the scores level at 1-1, Kiko Femenia got in behind Marcos Alonso and sent an excellent low cross to the back post where Richarlison was standing unmarked. He tried to convert the chance with his left foot but got it all wrong as he saw his effort fly past the far post with the goal gaping.
The second came from a similar distance, but this time Watford were actually 2-1 up, so it was a real chance to put his side further in front. It didn’t pan out that way. Roberto Pereyra’s cross found Richarlison who stood right in front of Thibaut Courtois’ goal and the Brazilian managed to get his header badly wrong and the ball went wide by some distance. Chelsea completed their comeback with goals from Michy Batshuayi and Cesar Azpilicueta and Richarlison won’t look back on that game with much fondness.
2. Dejan Lovren
The Croat produced one of the worst solo performances I’ve ever seen. Simple as that. He was at fault for both goals that Liverpool conceded while he was on the pitch and looked extremely uncomfortable when he wasn’t trudging back to the halfway line for kick off. Just three minutes in, he tried to play Harry Kane offside, forgetting that it wasn’t only him who could play him onside, neither Joel Matip or Joe Gomez stepped up because they have brains, and Kane ran through to score. Lovren didn’t even bother heading the ball that Kieran Trippier played to the Spurs striker, instead, he ran back appealing from offside.
Minutes later he missed a header on the halfway line, allowing Harry Kane to sprint into the Liverpool half, find Heung-Min Son and the Korean slotted past Simon Mignolet. In his post-match comments, Jurgen Klopp said he could’ve done better with his trainers and tracksuit on, no need to state the obvious Jurgen. Lovren was hooked off by Klopp in an attempt to salvage a result but Spurs went on to win comfortably to end their Wembley hoodoo once and for all.
1. Ronald Koeman
How can you spend over £140m and end up in the relegation zone, surely that’s a first? Everton’s awful start to the season was compounded by a damning defeat at the hands of Arsenal at Goodison Park. The Toffees went down 5-2 and Ronald Koeman paid with his job. Koeman had tried to defend Everton’s poor start on their tricky fixture list but after defeats to the likes of Burnley and Arsenal, it was clear to see something wasn’t right. They failed to replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer, bringing in three number 10’s and Sandro Ramirez who clearly isn’t Premier League standard. That transfer policy alone is enough to lose you your job because it’s simply incompetent. Now, I don’t know how much influence Ronald Koeman had on it but, as manager of the team, I suspect he was involved in some way. Before the end of last season, Koeman was being linked with the vacant job at Barcelona but after the events of this season, I think he’s more likely to manage Crystal Palace next than the Catalan giants.