Another week in football disappears and the every-seven-day struggle to find six items to put through the Super Six checkout is upon me. If only the Premier League consistently threw up six things worth pointing the finger of fun at each week, eh?
Oh, really? That happened? And that, too? And you reckon the reader would like to know about that as well? Fantastic, we are on folks, we are on.
Apparently, King Kloppo knew this mistake was coming after Alisson dinked the ball over a Brighton player and then laid it off ala Andres Iniesta in his prime last weekend. So why then, Jurgey lad, did you not instruct your £65m goalkeeper to try any funny stuff in his penalty area in the next match? The fact is, Alisson is as handy with his feet as he is with his hands but – and this is a big but – it is all very well looking good with your feet in Serie A where the term ‘pressing’ isn’t used widely in team talks and looking good with your feet when you have three Premier League players chasing down your every touch. It doesn’t really matter though, as Klopp put everyone’s minds at rest when he told the world Alisson will be playing in the Champions League.
#2 Adama Traore
It’s a funny old career that sees you start at Barcelona and then end up at Wolves via Middlesbrough. For a very long time now, it has been as though Adama Traore had a lot of pace and dribbling ability but absolutely zero end product. We are talking actually no end product at all – no assists or goals is normally the diet for Adama, but boy does he look good when he gets his head down and runs at people (typically into a blind alley, but hey – it does look good). So it was even more West Ham than usual to keep stepping off Traore in injury-time at the Athletics Stadium and see him rifle one into the back of the net. It gave us the Getting Sacked in the Morning phrase, “West Hahahahaham.”
#3 Anthony Martial
I tell you what, I’d like Anthony Martial’s agent to work for me, please. Whether Martial is happy at United or not, the simple fact is that when Jose does actually pick him, Anthony stinks the place out more than most. You can almost see Jose’s point – how can you pick a player that is so consistently bad for you, especially if you are not of the mind to coach said player and help him improve? Yet, incredibly, rather than ship him out for £75m or so over the summer, which would have made Mourinho a happy chappy and meant he only had to focus on bullying Rashford, United are offering Martial a five-year deal. This suggests the Frenchman is considered a bigger part of United’s future than the current Manchester United manager.
Watford are in the Champions League places after four matches. Yes, check it. It is true. And not just in the Champions League places. They are third. Joint-top, in fact. With more points than Manchester City. And they came from a goal down to beat Tottenham which is practically the least Watford-like thing to do, even in September. I know I have been peddling the whole “wait until they know they won’t get relegated” line since the first kick of the season, but what if Watford are this season’s Burnley? I don’t mean the Burnley we are seeing, already battered by a sojourn into the Europa League, I mean the Burnley we saw last season. Watford look well-organised, they clearly have a plan and if they are making Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart match-winners, then something interesting is in the coffee at Vicarage Road.
#5 Petr Cech
This is fun, isn’t it? Watching Petr Cech, about 15 years since his Premier League debut, being asked to play football as if he is as good on the ball as, er, Granit Xhaka. Hang on, that doesn’t work. As good on the ball as, er, Mesut Ozil. Oh, you get my point. There is a collective sharp intake of breath every time the ball is passed back to Cech right now, especially on the Arsenal bench. Come on, Unai. He can barely keep the ball out of the net nowadays, let alone take part in in-match Rondos. Get Leno in, that’s why you bought him.
#6 Christian Benteke
Anyone who thinks being a top-flight footballer isn’t 75% mental needs to watch Benteke’s performance at the weekend. There was a time he’d have buried all eleven of his clear-cut chances. Bizarrely, that time was when he was managed by Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa. Benteke is one of those rare cases of someone that has become a bad player overnight. His confidence is in tatters but his contract isn’t and Palace are going to struggle to find anyone daft enough to take this guy off their hands in January.