The Premier League reached it’s ten-game landmark in typically controversial fashion last weekend with players coming under the spotlight for doing ridiculous and thoughtless things. One Hammer failed to keep the ball in one place, one Hornet picked on the opposition’s smallest player and one scouser called another scouser out for his weight – it’s the Wally of the Week shortlist.
3. Joey Barton
The ex-Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Burnley midfielder is currently serving a one-year ban for breaking betting regulations so he’s used his time wisely and taken on a role in broadcasting with talkSPORT radio station. He’s had his fair share of questionable moments, from speaking English in a French accent in a press conference to kneeing Sergio Aguero up the backside. So, naturally he’s a perfect fit for talkSPORT and its host of quality pundits such as Jason Cundy. After Everton’s defeat to Leicester on Sunday, Barton vented his spleen on national radio at the Everton caretaker manager, David Unsworth calling him a ‘glorified PE teacher’ and questioning how he could motivate players to exert themselves when he’s ‘out of shape’. I think we can say that a manager’s weight has got nothing to do with how successful he is in the role and I’m sure the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Sam Allardyce would agree with me. That renders Barton’s comments pointless and embarrassing – sounds like his playing career.
2. MIchail Antonio
Don’t get me wrong, the West Ham winger is one of the best English midfielders around and possesses the quality to play for his national side but he might need a bit of guidance when it comes to managing games. The Irons were 2-1 up in added time thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew and their opponents, lowly Crystal Palace, were pressing for an equaliser. However, Antonio had the ball up the other end by the corner flag and all he had to do was keep it there for a couple more minutes and earn his side a valuable three points. But all that seemed a bit too mainstream for Michail Antonio; he attempted to cross the ball to a couple of his teammates who were waiting in the middle but found James Tomkins who chested the tame cross back to Julian Speroni in the Palace goal. 15 seconds later and the ball was in the back of Joe Hart’s net and Wilfried Zaha’s goal earned Palace a point at Selhurst Park while West Ham and Antonio hung their heads in shame.
1. Troy Deeney
If I were the captain of a Premier League football club, gripping an opposing player by the face and smiling menacingly into his eyes isn’t the first thing I’d look to do. But that’s exactly what Watford skipper Troy Deeney decided to do as tempers flared in their match with Stoke at Vicarage Road. With his side a goal down late into the game, frustration got the better of Deeney as he smashed the ball at Joe Allen from close range and it flew away for a thrown in. Allen took issue to this, maybe he’s the wally for picking a fight with Troy Deeney, and squared up to the Watford striker. Deeney grasped little Allen’s face by the cheeks and squeezed it hard – it was like gauging his cheekbones. Both players were booked and the match ended 1-0 to Stoke. As you’d expect the FA have taken action against Deeney and he’s been charged with violent conduct and will now serve a three-match ban, missing games against Everton, West Ham and Newcastle. Maybe he was trying to prove he had cojones, who knows?