The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Nil Satis Nisi Opprobium

We’re almost there. It’s only nine more games to go for this season to end, with The Best Ever Premier League TeamTM nailed on to win The Best League In The WorldTM with The Largest Ever Points GapTM. But we must give the also-ran-but-limped-offs their due, because it’s because of them that we have such a competitive title race this year. It’s at the bottom of the league, for the title of The Worst Team To Go Down Despite Having A British ManagerTM. Ba-dum-tish!

You must forgive me for making up so many awards; it’s Oscars night and I’m sick of them having a monopoly on making it up as they go along. Here’s my attempt to upset the status quo.

The Good

Manchester City: A defeat, however unlikely, would not have scuppered their title charge. Aguero could have played in flip-flops, Ederson could have taken a nap on a hammock between the posts while David Silva could have sat Bernardo Silva down in the centre-circle and shaved his head while the opposition attacked, and they would still win the league. But they turned up, if only to re-emphasise the point that money can buy you love if you spend it on the right stuff.

Brighton: The Seagulls brightened the day of the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade by their ruthless dismantling of the remains of a bygone era.

Swansea: It was only West Ham, but the Swans are now sat comfortably on the branch above seven other teams and the water is rising fast.

Andre Ayew: Ayew upset about how your former team treated you? Ayew playing them soon? Ayew ready to turn in a Man Of The Match performance and get a standing ovation? Ayew tired of the Ayew puns yet?

Troy Deeney: There’s two in a pair, and Colonel Cojones finds himself in this section for the second time running after scoring another winner!

Burnley: Considering how shambolic North London Red are, I wouldn’t put it past Burnley to overtake the misfiring Gunners and Dyche their way into the Europa League next season. Ashley Barnes lining up for the Europa League anthem. That is the dream.

Sadio Mane: No longer a sad man, Mane emerged from the shadow of Salah and put one past a hapless Newcastle side. If this were the Oscars, he’d get the sympathy vote.

Heung-Min Son: A brace to keep Spurs in the top four race. Expect him to be referred to as “The South Korean Ace” in the tabloids.

Riyad Mahrez: He’s put his ring back on his finger and showed his commitment by bringing home the bacon. The ring might still come off when he’s out and about, but for now, he’s back.

Mauricio Pochettino: 100 Premier League victories as manager. Does that count as a trophy yet?

The Bad

Chelsea: Antonio Conte’s team might as well have worn brown shorts, because they crapped their pants as soon as they took the field. But it could be worse. They could be…

Arsenal: It is quite ironic, that after years of controlled spending and qualifying for the Champions League they might not even make the Europa League despite breaking their transfer record twice in the same season.

Arsene Wenger: The camel died under the weight of the straws long ago; they’re just needlessly piling on more straws now. The only question that remains is, will Arsene jump or will he be pushed?

West Brom: The travelling points piñata, going from stadium to stadium, spreading cheer amongst the masses. It takes just one well-placed blow to break ‘er up, folks. Step right up, have a go!

Alan Pardew: Still in a job, thanks to the owners who might be looking for the parachute payments to arrive so they can pay him off.

West Ham United: All for one, 1-4 all? That’s two consecutive 4-1 away defeats for the Hammers. They’re still waiting for that decisive win that would put a few more teams between them and the relegation zone. Too bad Sunderland aren’t in the Premier League anymore. I wonder why…

Everton: A team that is the outcome of having more money than sense. Then they hired Sam Allardyce to prove that two wrongs don’t make a right. Nil Satis, nisi opprobrium.

Sam Allardyce: Should have stayed in retirement. If getting sacked by England in disgrace was not enough, Big Sam might lose the Everton job with the fans’ boos still ringing in his years.

Southampton and Stoke: A classic lose-lose game that both teams managed to draw. The clock showed 90 minutes when both were still engaged in verbal jousting and daring the other to lay a finger on them.

The Ugly

Chelsea’ Tactics: Of course, you don’t want to suffer the same fate as Arsenal. That would not be tolerated at any club other than Arsenal. Especially if you’re Chelsea where a heavy loss results in your owner losing face in his country and you losing your job. Antonio Conte collected every piece of furniture in his living room and stacked it against the door to prevent City from barging through it and having their way with his team. Despite their best efforts, City did manage to hit them, if only once. Still, Chelsea remained huddled behind the furniture without having as much as a shot on target, hoping City would go away when the clock shows 90 minutes. Chelsea’s tactics reduced this game of football to a choreographed surrender where both parties can feel good about themselves. City, for having broken the deadlock, and Chelsea for having only conceded one goal. What a shame.