Kieran Davies looks back on another hectic week that saw two high-profile sackings and ding dong battles.
“Just leave my pay in a brown envelope at the main gates in un-marked bills!” No Sam, that’s not how we do things at the FA, the bills are ALWAYS marked! The idiot that is Sam Allardyce has ruined his chances of his so called dream job not through entrapment but being as bent as a £7 note! Greed is one of the worst traits of mankind and it looks like Sam will have to hit the Jabba the Hut lookie-likey scene again to earn his money! It will be interesting to see who else is implicated in this exposé but the governing bodies need to act and deal with all concerned with all the powers at their disposal. This incident has really left a bitter taste with all and tarnished the game we love and it needs cleaning up.
The early kick off this weekend saw the under pressure Swansea City manager face Jurgen Klopps in form Liverpool. The Anfield outfit seemed in generous mood in the first half as they failed to turn up and allowed the home side to boss the game. They needed a reality check from the big German at half time to get them to wake up and turn up for the first time in this game. I wouldn’t fancy going into that changing room if his passion on the touchline is anything to go by. Liverpool having had no shots on target in the first half started testing the Welsh outfit in the opening stages of the first half with Coutinho going close from range. It was now more a case of when, not if, they scored. Goals from Firmino and the iceman, James Milner, again from the penalty spot condemned Swansea to another defeat and in a bizarre twist, Swansea have since announced their manager’s sacking and his replacement in the same tweet. Liverpool won ugly here but these three points could be important come the end of the season.
Chelsea bounced back to winning ways with a routine win at Hull. It took them a while to open the scoring but once they did, they soon scored a second and managed to put the demons of back to back defeats behind them. Meanwhile bottom of the table Sunderland still chase that elusive first win of the season but this time it was them who managed to score a late equaliser to save a point against West Brom. They already find themselves in a relegation battle and unless something drastic changes, David Moyes may have a new thing to add to his CV…….getting a side relegated!
West Ham would’ve fancied their chances of turning their poor form around with a home game against Middlesbrough but they have been about as successful at the London Stadium as Afghanistan were in the actual 2012 Olympics. After falling behind to Middlesbrough a sublime Payet goal was enough to earn them a point but unrest amongst Hammers fans grew even more. It won’t be long before they start arranging days out with the other half on a Saturday afternoon as a day of being dragged around the shops would be far less emotional than watching Bilic’s side currently.
A real ding dong battle took place at Vicarage Road as Watford faced Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. Howe’s team twice went ahead in this one and will feel they should’ve really taken all the spoils but a resilient Watford made sure they got something out of this game. If Bournemouth are going to secure their safety in the Premier League they will need to learn to see these games out.
Manchester City took their perfect start to White Hart Lane this weekend and while pundits up and down the country had pretty much already handed the title to Guardiola’s side, Pochettino’s Spurs showed to all their achilles heel…..their defence! If you get at this City team with a high intensity game you will open them up. Tottenham did this time and time again and inflicted Pep’s first defeat in his City tenure. To be fair to Spurs it could have been more as they even could afford the luxury of missing a penalty as Lamela saw Bravo save his spot kick. This victory is good for a lot of teams as Spurs showed that City are beatable and they are not going to run away with anything if teams actually take them on rather than trying to keep them out at the other end.
The only thing that will have cheered up fans from the blue side of Manchester will have been a late Joe Allen goal that denied Mourinho’s side three points at Old Trafford. Considering all the hype surrounding the arrival of The Special One and the money he has spent, his side have looked very ordinary this season and Jose has already started making excuses for their next game, a trip to Anfield to face Klopp’s Liverpool.
Champions Leicester City were made to look anything but by Southampton at home this weekend. Ranieri’s men only managed a single shot on target in the entire game. Finding themselves in 12th position, this season is turning into a reality check for The Foxes. Meanwhile Arsenal left it to the last kick of the game to get a win away to Burnley with a very heavily debated goal. Whether you like or hate Wenger’s men, you can’t argue that such a late victory could prove pivotal in their season. The league is taking shape now with a top four of Man City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool and from what we have seen so far you couldn’t argue that these teams won’t be in the mix at the end of the season. Unfortunately, we have to wait two weeks now until we get our taste buds treated to more delights as we have to endure another international break.