#1 Mark Hughes
You know what they say about the best-laid plans and all that. Mark Hughes pretty much threw the game at Chelsea, putting all his eggs in the Newcastle United basket. The only problem was, his players weren’t as focused on winning the match as he was and they slumped to a 1-0 win. Who could have seen this coming? Mark Hughes ending up with a squad of overpaid has-beens with no real attachment to the cause? Clearly, they didn’t bother speaking to QPR when they appointed him.
#2 Shane Long
The last time Shane Long scored for Southampton the Beatles were number one, Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Des Lynam still presented Match of the Day and Matt Le Tissier was still scoring thunderbastards from midfield. OK, maybe not but it has been a while, right? So when he opened the scoring against Crystal Palace you could see the brilliance of Roy Hodgson’s draw against City fading away quickly. Palace had stopped Messrs Aguero, Jesus, De Bruyne, Sterling, Silva and Toure but had shipped one in five minutes to the Irishman who had seen Roy Keane score more recently.
#3 Arsene Wenger
Wahey, Arsene’s back. Now Mr Wenger, I completely agree that the penalty awarded against you against West Bromwich Albion was an utter joke. However, that does not mean that all decisions that get given against you are wrong. Hector Bellerin did foul Eden Hazard in the area, and this is why Hector Bellerin is a very, very bad defender. Arsene would no doubt point to the stunning equaliser from Bellerin but I am sure most Arsenal fans would rather have a Lee Dixon type who could actually defend rather than score one-in-a-hundred half-volleys from distance.
#4 Jack Wilshere
Wahey again, Jack’s back. If he’s not huffing and puffing around the midfield he is diving over tackles and somehow avoiding second yellow cards! Credit to Jack though, if he’d known to cut our dairy and gluten a decade ago we might actually have had the English version on Xavi on our hands rather than a slightly more injury-prone left-footed Ray Wilkins. It wasn’t a bad strike though, I’ll give him that.
#5 David Silva
David Silva is, rightfully, thought to be one of the best guys in football. He’s adapted to the Premier League, there’s never any drama or histrionics and he has become crucial to Pep Guardiola. It is sad to hear about his son being born so prematurely and the absolute dignity in which he, and Manchester City to be fair, have handled it has been exemplary.
#6 Jake Livermore
Another young man who suffered where his child was concerned is Jake Livermore. Livermore tragically lost his child back in 2014. This fact was cruelly used against him by an individual in the West Ham crowd in their recent match leading to Livermore looking to remonstrate a little closer with the idiot. As pundit Jim Beglin put perfectly, “I do not condone violence but this is one of the rare occasions it is a shame Livermore didn’t get closer to his target”. Well said Jim, and let’s hope the FA apply a little common sense and take the matter no further.
#7 Luka Milivojevic
The Crystal Palace midfielder could have been the man to score the first Premier League winning goal against Manchester City, It was injury-time at Selhurst Park and Wilfried Zaha had taken another tumble. The only problem was, Palace don’t have a good track record of scoring injury-time penalties to claim all three points. Milivoevic saw his awful effort saved by Ederson. Just days later the Serbian was a hero though, smashing a winner against Southampton to keep Palace on the rise. What a comeback yet again by Palace and their players.