Let’s Give Rafa a Hug on the Pan The Pundits Anniversary

Pan the Pundits

Another Monday and another Pan The Pundits. However, this time it’s a bit of a special one. No, Jose hasn’t contributed to this as I want it to be interesting. It’s one year to this very day that the first PtP appeared on Tales. Well, it wasn’t called Pan The Pundits but this time last year we were all enjoying the start of a great journey so far. Back then Diego Costa was having a moan, Ranieri was the world’s best coach, Swansea had a new boss and Alexis Sanchez was, well, having a moan. Keep that in mind.

Gary was joined for this momentous occasion by Wrighty and Frank Lampard, a man with the personality of a plank.

We opened rather curiously with Huddersfield who have never been this high on a MotD in their life. They were hosting West Ham who seem to have refound David Moyes’ love for life and football. Not that the miserable arse will ever show it. Moyesy could only name six subs as, despite having 5000 players on the books, everyone is injured. Huddersfield put new signing Terence Kongolo on the bench shocking me. Mostly because they’d actually signed him.

Aw, poor Huddersfield. Mark Noble hasn’t moved that much for years and, of all the days, he chose that one to try really hard and score a goal. Joe Lolley was the man who lost the ball for that but he did tell West Ham to… ahem… suck it with a wonderful equaliser. The satisfaction of hitting the towel will resonate through the years with that one. The Hammers deserved to win though and they strolled to it with thanks to Marko Arnautovic. All it took to get him playing was a change in manager. Seems unsustainable if he loses form every so often. Huddersfield looked a little ropey and really crap going forward. I’m blaming Tom Ince who has been utterly pointless since his arrival in the summer.

Man robot Lampard is a solid analyst here but has a really ASMR voice.

It was Wembley next where Spurs have been a bit, well, meh. They were hosting Everton who have just spent £27 million on Cenk Tosun so maybe one day they can be like the other football teams and have a shot on target. I wouldn’t bet on it though the way they’re playing just now.

To say Spurs strolled to that is an insult to Spurs. They’d have been as quick not turning up Everton were so bad. Cuco Martina is wank, Mason Holgate is a nonce and wank and by the end of the game, their defensive line had become a defensive square. There are serious issues with that squad and I agree with Big Sam who essentially said his team were shite.

Third on the bill was West Brom hosting Brighton and I wanted to die. Alan Pardew’s big return has been a bit crap while Brighton are slowly ambling back towards the Championship. Curiously, commentary posed this question pre-game: “can Salomon Rondon get the goals to fire West Brom to safety?” No!

Seems Pards has finally found the way to win a game – just become a tactical innovator. This new ‘inverted XI’ seems to be working brilliant with two defenders scoring for him. Brighton seemed fine at the first then, BOOM. a wild Jonny Evans flies in to score. It could have been worse for Brighton too had Martin Atkinson noticed Glenn Murray giving the ball a stiff forearm in his own box. The only downer was the Jay Rodriguez/Gaetan Bong incident but thankfully the quiet and reserved James McClean had his say:

He’d better be right…

Thankfully the liquid football didn’t end there as we were treated to the Wevolution next. They were hosting Burnley who are slowly falling apart. I suppose that is what happens when you rely on scoring ten goals a season. Woy has got his boys playing and up into mid-table which is incredible for a club that looked set to doom themselves to the Sunderland position for the next few years.

This was mostly Palace thanks to the best footballer in the world Bakary Sako. He was very good, unlike Christian Benteke’s finishing. The big man is still on 1 for the B Striker Sweepstake which is good for second. That is basically last since Saido Berahino is guaranteed last. Wilfred Zaha is a bit of a walloper though. He tried to start a fight but did nothing because he’s a mouthy pussy. He’s basically the guy you accidentally bump into in a club who then has his boys hold him back while he threatens to kill you.

We were treated to the United Nations next who, like Burnley, are in a bit of a funk. They were hosting Southampton who are even worse than that. Seriously, how can any Saints fan choose to go to a game? I’d rather have my eyes scooped out with a hot knife.

Hey, this one wasn’t terrible. Southampton managed to score twice and look like a competent football team… for 45 minutes. That all changed when Troy Deeney was sent on, a man banned by his own manager from being a footballer and being relegated to just kicking people until Watford score. Andre Gray got a goal which doesn’t hide the face he’s as woeful as Southampton’s defence. I’m maybe being harsh on Southampton who were robbed late by the Right Hook of Doucoure. How the linesman never saw we’ll never know.

To Newcastle next where Rafa Benitez looks like he needs a bit of a hug. He was probably at Mike Ashley’s New Year party and saw some things you can’t unsee. They were hosting Swansea who have a new boss. Even after a year, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

A draw was probably fair in the end. Newcastle desperately need a striker that isn’t pants and Swansea desperately need players that aren’t shite. At least they have Jordan Ayew who is slowly developing a career as a relegation mercenary. If you need false hope, he is your man. Wilfred Bony is still on 2 by the way for the B Striker Sweepstake.

We finished this week at Stamford Bridge for the newly christened PtP Derby between Leicester and Chelsea. These two met in the very first game of PtP one year ago and here they are closing out our anniversary one year on. The more things change etc. etc.

Well, this one was a bit dull. Leicester were great without being deadly and Chelsea were bad while being, well, bad.

So, what have we learned this week? Well, for an anniversary episode this wasn’t terrible; Rafa needs a hug, Everton need to get good and the more things change, the more they sta… oh, you know what I mean.