And in a flash, it has gone – the second week of Premier League action disappears as quickly as it appeared.
Already, things start to have a familiar feel – Manchester United went behind away from home before sorting themselves out to nick a point they may not have deserved. Norwich City got battered by one of the top sides. Burnley tried to kick Liverpool off the pitch but ultimately lost. Adama Traore failed hit to a bus with a banjo and an expensive Chelsea striker hit the ground running in their first game. Wait, what? That doesn’t sound right.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side kicked the weekend off at Anfield and Burnley, as mentioned, looked to kick Liverpool off Anfield as the former champions won 2-0.
Kloppo probably has a point when he takes on those that are pining for football to be like it was in the 70s and 80s – would we want to drive cars from back then? No, so why do we want to see tackles go in like they did back then? There has to be a balance though – we don’t want every team to be allowed three Terry Hurlocks but let’s not call every bit of contact a foul either.
Either way, Burnley will Burnley and you’re probably not going to change a player like Ashley Barnes this late in his career. It didn’t stop the Reds as young Harvey Elliott made an impressive first Premier League start – and it was the usual faces of Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane who did the goal-related damage. Naturally, Sean Dyche had a few moans of his own – thinking his side had been hard done by with a couple of rough Liverpool challenges. Sean Dyche will, after all, Sean Dyche.
Quite a few people are tipping Chelsea for the title (including me which almost guarantees it won’t happen) and now they’ve got a striker who might score goals (sorry, Timo) they are an even more frightening prospect. 14 minutes was all it took for Romelu Lukaku to bully Pablo Mari into an arm-flinging submission to the floor and open his second account for the club. Tony Adams, watching in a TV studio, would not have approved of that bit of defending from an Arsenal defender carrying on the legacy of back fours before him.
Bernd Leno might have chosen a good moment to make one of the finest reflex saves ever seen in the Premier League (wouldn’t be right at the top though, given the game was gone and this will not be remembered as a classic match). Given he now has an overpriced understudy itching to finally play some minutes that don’t lead to relegation (though don’t count that chicken just yet, Aaron), his tip on to the bar that denied Lukaku his second was about the best thing that happened to any Gunner at the Emirates.
Peppy G’s actual champions got their home campaign underway with the standard 5-0 drubbing of Norwich. Jack Grealish – he cost ONE HUNDRED MILLION if you’ve been living under a rock – scored his first City goal, whilst Gabby Jesus reminded everyone he is actually quite good (and a hell of a lot cheaper to run than Harry Kane). Raheem Sterling even managed to play and score but, as you’d suspect, City will face tougher challenges than Norwich this season.
Early pacesetters Man United failed to live up to the early expectations, coming from behind to take a point from Southampton at St Mary’s. Southampton did enough to take all three – United, really, did not. Still, nice to see Fred continue his goalscoring start to the season.
Nuno had an early return to Spurs and regardless of what happens to Harry Kane, could he finally be the manager to wake up Dele Alli? Alli scored the winner from the spot and Wolves looked toothless once again. Kane did come off the bench but, having seen the state of that away kit, can you blame him for wanting to get out? He missed a chance to make it 2-0 but if anyone was leaving Molineux disappointed they didn’t score it was Adama Traore (again).
Brighton ended the weekend with a 100% record so far this season – even with only two games gone I did not expect to be saying that. Once again, they were efficient and, once again, I did not expect to be saying that. I don’t think it can be written off as “only Watford” given that they did a number on Villa on the opening day, but given they’ve only beaten the Hornets and Burnley let’s not get too carried away with Graham Potter’s magic on the south coast.
It doesn’t seem to matter who Danny Ings is playing for, he’ll score – Ings’ scissor-kick for Villa against Newcastle is, apparently, an early contender for goal-of-the-season but, more realistically, we’ll all have forgotten it by the time everyone returns from the first international break.
Villa did need that win, however – how many more points before people stop mentioning the fact that they no longer have their former skipper?
As ever, there were goals in the Leeds match – which is even more impressive given they were playing an Everton side managed by Rafa Benitez. Do not be fooled – the Toffees having five goals in two matches does not point to a new carefree Rafa. It means that Michael Keane had better sort himself out or he won’t be seen again.
Crystal Palace fans could be in for a long season – if they thought watching a Roy Hogdson side was painful, it would be interesting to get their thoughts after they’ve suffered two months of Patrick Vieira’s tactical philosophy. The Eagles failed to soar higher than the Bees and it was a 0-0 draw with Brentford.
With a week remaining in this transfer window, the rumours get no less crazy.
Arsenal, the new big spenders of English football, claim not to be done despite adding Odegaard and Ramsdale for something in the region of £55m last week. Don’t let the fact that there’s a lack of concrete rumours linked to the Emirates right now, there’s still a while left for them to hit panic.
West Ham’s “one-of-their-own”, Declan Rice, is thought to be a little peeved that he is being valued at £100m. He knows as well as us that nobody is paying that for him.
Tanguy Ndombele’s time at Tottenham won’t be remembered for much other than an impromptu park session with former gaffer Jose Mourinho – he’s desperate to get away and would like to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. And Spurs thought they had issues with Harry Kane.
The previously mentioned Michael Keane should be worried about Everton being linked to taking Chelsea not-yet-seen defender Malang Sarr on loan.
If you remember Tiemoue Bakayoko, you’ll be delighted to learn he might be about to join AC Milan permanently.
Finally, Steve Bruce is listening to Newcastle fans’ desire to play non-stop attacking football regardless of that meaning certain relegation. As a result, he’s in for Everton’s James Rodriguez which is, frankly, bonkers.