LASESARRE, SPAIN - AUGUST 5: Puma Orbita, the official match ball of LaLiga in detail prior the pre-season friendly match between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad on August 5, 2022 at Lasesarre Stadium in Barakaldo, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 195228971

Welcome to Heroes and Villains, a place where we look back at the Premier League action and try to figure out where our favourite footballers would fit in the storytelling universe. It would be super boring to just list a bunch of people under those two categories, so for this, we will be incorporating more than just the protagonist/antagonist labels.

There was quite a lot of action on Matchday 4. It seems crazy to not mention the Grealish “dive”, the Zouma own goal, or the fact that West Ham might not get relegated. These things all seem really important…

But then I remembered it was North London Derby Day and NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! 

Unleash the Kraken, Emery, you coward!

Alexandre Lacazette was abso-freaking-lutely the best offensive player on the pitch for almost 70 minutes. He was shredding Spurs potpourri defensive lineup, launching six solid shots that pushed Hugo Lloris to the brink. One of those strikes came off of an insane piece of skill as Laca double-tapped the ball past Jan Vertonghen before smashing it home with his left, cutting the deficit right before halftime. It was clear to almost everyone watching the game that of all the Gunners’ weapons, he gave Unai Emery the best possible chance of earning the three points.

And then he called himself off? Dude. WTF. 

But what’s worse is that his manager was cool with it! He wasn’t even hurt. Here is a line from England’s most reputable journalists at The Sun: After the draw, manager Emery revealed Lacazette picked up a knock. He said: “Yes, I think so. [But] It’s not [severe].”

If it is not severe, then PLAY him! 

I’ll never understand this line of thinking. If I’m Emery, there is no way I’m taking him out of the most important home match of the year. Unleash your greatest weapon on your greatest opponent. This sort of thing happens all the time in superhero movies and everyone constantly overlooks it. Like I watched Captain America stop Infinity Gauntlet-equipped Thanos’ fist in mid-air but he could barely handle some low-level SHIELD agents in hand-to-hand combat two movies earlier? 

Come on now. Why go conservative on us? Empty the tank. The only way to finally turn North London red once again is to unleash the Laca-Auba-Pepe-Ceballos combo every single game. Instead, we have seen it for 29 minutes this season. I don’t know about this Emery guy. Are we sure he knows what he’s doing?“ I think I’ll hold on to my secret weapon for just the right momen…oh, shoot. The games over?” 

As my grandpop used to say, “he’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.”


What a journey my guy Moose has been on the last few years! After buying the Frenchman from Newcastle United for an absurd 30 million, he struggled to make an impact for the better of two years. Then 2018-2019 happened. Sissoko became a Tottenham folk hero earning the utmost respect of Spurs supporters, just mere months after being mocked by his own fans with chants of, “who needs Bale when you’ve got Sissoko?” He has become universally beloved simply for his physicality. The dude would run through the locker room wall of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium if Poch asked him to. He is football’s very own Kool-Aid Man.

Which makes it so shocking that a starting midfielder on the team that was the runner-up of the entire continent of Europe simply can not shoot the ball. My dude does all the hard work, bruising past multiple defenders, and right when he is about to be the hero, his tire blows out, causing his entire body to snap backwards and the ball reaches orbital heights the world hasn’t seen on telly since the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The only explanation is that Moussa has some extreme allergies and loses total control of his nostril muscles when he gets in the box. Think of a Tottenham Hotspur game like that movie Jurassic Park and the goal isn’t to beat the other club, it’s to get the hell out of dodge as quietly and inconspicuously as possible. And you’ve done such a great job for almost 90 minutes. You survived your Jeep falling a few stories down a tree, perfectly timed the climbing of a high voltage fence, and outsmarted the most ferocious meat-eating dinosaur in history. You are about two minutes from safety if you just don’t do anything stupid and you can officially cement your place in history as the only group of people to ever make it through the reptilian version of The Purge. Then you drop a bunch of spoons in a kitchen alerting a bunch of ruthless and hungry velociraptors to your presence. Nice. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Moussa Sissoko on every shot attempt five yards out. 

Please, can someone get this man some Zyrtec, ASAP?

The midfield “hair”-apparent

Ok, ok, let’s pump the brakes a bit, people. I am not scared to admit that Matteo Guendouzi, or as my father calls him “the moving Chia pet”, put in a hell of a shift Sunday. 

Note: There was no reason to include this picture besides its cuteness.

When everything seemed to be going south for Arsenal, Guendouzi’s press on Spurs’ midfielders caused the turnover that led to Lacazette’s stoppage-time goal before halftime. His play only improved in the second half, as every single ball that made its way above his glorious lion’s mane of hair, seemed to drop right at his feet. Without his pin-point pass, there is no way Aubameyang would have scored the equalizer in the 71st minute. Imagine how different this international break would feel for Arsenal fans if Spurs had left the Emirates with all the points.

The 20-year-old most certainly had a big week, earning Man of the Match praise from supporters for his performance in the NLD and earning his first call-up to the French national team, despite being abruptly awakened from his afternoon nap to hear the news. (This is an absolute violation of nap-taking protocol, by the way. It is completely inappropriate. Leave a voicemail or a note or a memo or something. Don’t wake a man when he is counting sheep mid-afternoon. How rude!)

He is good and will cause issues for Spurs supporters for a long time. I’m totally here for the Winks-Guendouzi debates for the next decade.

But don’t boast too much about your mid-field, Gunner fans. You still have to deal with this bonehead:

Until next week, just remember that everyone can be a hero.

Nevermind, I just remembered about Xhaka! LOL.