Heroes and Zeros

It was Matchday 2 in the Premier League, with results going the way regular folk such as you and me would have predicted. Two London derbies were the highlight of the round. One of them was also a mouthful for pundits who have difficulty pronouncing names that are not Tom, Paul or John. When Cesar Azpilicueta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all on the field at the same time, most pundits should just get up and leave the studio. Nevertheless, here are your heroes and zeros from this round.

Heroes

Manchester City: Pep Guardiola’s relentless assault on the most competitive league in the world continues unabated. Just the six goals against a Huddersfield side who should seriously consider forfeiting their home game against the same opponent to avoid another humiliation.

Sergio Aguero: The ninth Premier League hat-trick for the Argentine striker who shows no signs of going down the Wayne Rooney path, having turned 30 in the summer.

Harry Kane: Finally conquered the calendar, adding the ‘Scored in August’ trophy to his collection of ‘Almost But Not Quite’ medals.

Neil Etheridge: Cardiff’s goalkeeper saved yet another penalty to rescue a point for his relegation-bound team. Yes, if you cannot score against the ten men of Newcastle, you will join them in the bottom three come the end of the season.

Chelsea: So this is what Sarriball looks like – relentless attacking and pressing in the first 30 minutes before tiring out and allowing the opposition to get back in the game, thanks to dunderheaded defending. Still, at least they won.

Brighton: Hammered three more nails in the coffin of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United career.

Glenn Murray: He’ll never score a goal as beautiful as that one. Probably best to just retire now.

Everton: Another win for Marco Silva’s Everton. Could this be their year? You know, the one where they actually manage to compete for Europe without imploding in the new year.

Richarlison: Like a hi-tech piece of equipment, Richarlison only works as advertised when used with the correct sequence of codes. That sequence, apparently, is known only to Marco Silva.

Bournemouth: It was only West ham, lads.

Watford: Marco Silva who?

Zeros

Manchester United: Their bitter rivals release a documentary that captures the imagination of the footballing world. They then score six on the same day United embarrass themselves against Brighton. We can’t wait for the next episode in Jose’s chronicle of his third season at United. Make sure you have enough popcorn.

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof: A Chuckle Brothers tribute act. Jose was not amused. Bailly also did that bit about the reverse Midas, turning everything he touched, into sh*t.

Fred: The latest player brought in to unlock Paul Pogba is yet another swing and a miss (quite literally, if you watched him towards the end of the game). Should have just paid a bit extra for the key when they bought the Frenchman, instead of hunting for aftermarket solutions.

Arsenal: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It was a classic Arsenal performance, full of defensive brain farts, profligacy in front of goal and tactical illiteracy. How long before the Arsenal faithful turn up with #EmeryOut placards in the stands?

Huddersfield: Sometimes you’re the pigeon and other times you’re the statue. And the rest of the time you’re having nightmares about City scoring yet again.

West Ham: Probably need a few more HR mandated team-building exercises before they stop playing like eleven random people who’ve been picked up from all over the world and released on the pitch.

Wolves: They expected a red carpet welcome to the Premier League. Instead, they’ve twice got their legs tangled and tripped. One hopes they find their feet soon, otherwise Mendes might look to move on some of his parked assets out of West Midlands.

Jamie Vardy: A rush of vodka and skittles to the head.

Newcastle United: They’re not exactly teeming with players, so to lose one of them to a red card is like losing the middle finger on your hand. You can’t even flip Mike Ashley the bird any more.

Harry Arter: Revenge is a dish best served cold, not piping hot under the referee’s nose.

Fulham: They came bearing the gift of three points for Spurs, who gladly accepted it.

Kenedy: Lucky boy, until the FA watches the footage and suspends him for three games. One for dangerous play and two for that atrocious penalty.