EVERYONE! Jurgey-lad would like to know if there is any better footballer in the world right now than Mo Salah. I spent a little time thumbing through the lists and, being honest, I’m struggling. Messi? Early retirement in Paris, last I heard. Ronaldo? Last seen storming down another tunnel after a United defeat. Kevin de Bruyne? Come back when you’ve won the Champions League, my friend.
King Klopp has been on fire with his very-quotable statements in the last seven days but this one actually makes sense. Pound for pound, it has to be Salah right now which is probably why Liverpool could cash in on him rather than pay him what the best footballer in the world tends to be paid in this day and age. Salah scored yet another worldy – albeit against Watford – and the goal managed to overshadow Bobby Firmino getting a hat-trick and Sadio Mane getting his 100th Premier League goal.
Watford brought Claudio Ranieri in to prevent them going down and if his cunning plan is to play Danny Rose in a back three then I am even more worried for the Hornets than I was a week ago.
At what point do we start to think that Ole Gunnar might have had long enough to come up with a coherent game plan for Manchester United? If I am being kind, possibly kinder than Paul Pogba, I could make a case for having too many attacking talents and therefore getting blinded by choice. But that’s rubbish really, isn’t it?
United fans might just about to be able to stomach the fact that City and Liverpool have better managers than them, Chelsea too – but Leicester? Brendan Rodgers has been linked, and distanced himself, from the chatter at Newcastle but if United are thinking that a change is needed then they need to be considering Rodgers – if he can sort out the last eight games of a season, he is a winner and, clearly, United have issues with more than the final eight games of a campaign.
Leicester’s win was won of the best Premier League matches in recent memory – classic goals, great saves and a central defender falling flat on his backside gifting the opposition a goal. In all fairness, the Foxes could and should have had seven. United did not really deserve their two, especially after committing the cardinal sin of conceding less than a minute after scoring.
Paul Pogba gave a blunt interview post-match summing up the issues he saw whilst, bizarrely naming each of the issues that he has been the poster boy for over the last few seasons. Needless to say, Solskajer didn’t agree and felt that United do not need to be more mature and stopped before it became a press conference game of ‘you grow up, no you grow up’.
The party atmosphere at Newcastle didn’t last very long, did it? Putting the unfortunate illness in the stands to one side, of course, two minutes into the game it felt like an entirely new era at St James’ Park. By the belated half time, not so much.
Steve Bruce came out fighting during the week, like someone who had a big birthday party being overshadowed by someone’s engagement announcement. “But it’s 1000 games, respect me” was very much the vibe as many silently noted, “but what have you actually achieved in those 1000 games, Steve?” Still, at the time of writing he’s still the manager of his hometown club. At the time of reading might be an entirely different scenario.
Harry Kane finally scored a Premier League goal again as Newcastle’s new owners were left with very little doubt that £200m in January probably won’t be enough. Jonjo Shelvey, I’m guessing, is as much part of the plans as Bruce himself. Eric Dier managed to take this weekend’s calamity award, inexplicably making the last five minutes way more stressful than they needed to be. Yet, neither Bruce, Shelvey or Dier was the biggest idiot on the day – that award went to the Newcastle fan screaming at Bruce to get “Gayley” on with cries of “you don’t know what you’re doing!” and “Brucey out”. Newcastle had, by this point, made all their subs – and they say Newcastle fans deserve better times?
Brentford absolutely battered Chelsea in the last 25 minutes of their clash. The only problem was, they kept hitting the post and finding Eddie Mendy in the way who was, frankly, ridiculous. Romelu Lukaku has now gone six matches without a goal but that won’t worry Tommy T too much as his side top the pile.
Raheem Sterling mentioned in the press that if he doesn’t get more games at City then he might have to leave – forcing Peppy G to pick him for the big one, Burnley at home. Sterling kinda played, but City didn’t hit their heady heights – not that they needed to to beat Sean Dyche’s lot. City normally win this one 5-0, so I guess a 2-0 defeat is progress for Dyche.
Ralph Hassenhuttl had warned that fans could not expect a 5-star dinner versus Leeds but turned up dressed for one just in case. Leeds were always going to struggle without Bamford, Phillips and Raphinha and struggle they did – Armando Broja scoring the winner for the Saints.
There was a lovely little derby day comeback from Wolves, beating Villa 3-2 having been 2-0 down. Dean Smith criticised Villa’s game management – you don’t say, Dean?
Norwich picked up their second point of the season and could have had all three had Josh Sargent chosen to kick the ball harder than the effort of a three-year-old against Brighton. Potter’s men should have had a penalty too and, here’s a sentence I didn’t expect to be writing in October, missed out on finishing the weekend level with City – mind you, they are still in the Champions League places so it’s not all doom and gloom.
I don’t think I am alone in believing Everton did not deserve anything from their match with West Ham purely for what Jordan Pickford was wearing. Short-sleeved and multi-coloured, it is quite possible the kit designer was having a USA 94 moment. Oh, Ogbonna scored the winner for the Hammers. They really are quite good, you know?