And we’re back! Despite all the drama in the Nations League, there ain’t no drama like Premier League drama. After all, some of the greatest Broadway calibre actors strut their stuff in the Premier League, don’t they? There’s Jose Mourinho, who’s playing Michael Keaton in Birdman. Then there’s Mark Hughes, Hulk-ing his way through Southampton’s relegation campaign. And who could forget Rafa Benitez, playing the role of a fly stuck in poo, to perfection? Anyway, on to the real thing.
Manchester City: I’m contractually obligated to call it ‘A Five-Star Performance’ because of the number of goals they scored. One more goal, and it would have been a ‘Six Shoe Shellacking’, which doesn’t sound as classy. They’re still the team to beat, if you ignore the premature crowing from Merseyside and London.
Riyad Mahrez: A rocket from Riyad (not to be confused with a rocket from Riyadh, which is infinitely more powerful, kills more than just the opponents’ morale and destroys more than just the goalkeeper’s ego).
Cardiff: Finally popped their head from the pile of deep doodoo they’ve been stuck in forever. Time will tell if they’ll be able to extricate themselves from said pile or fall back in, headfirst.
Liverpool and Mohamed Salah: Keeping pace with the Champions at the top of the table, until they realise the futility of it all and succumb to self-loathing, self-pity and depression. Wait… Who put this copy of Liverpool’s 2013-14 season review on my table?
Chelsea and Manchester United: A point apiece, which kept Chelsea’s unbeaten record intact and Mourinho in a job. A draw that’s a win-win? You don’t see those very often.
Ross Barkley: Ross ‘The Boss’ Barkley could be the new Lampard. There, I’ve said it. Now watch his form nosedive before he is loaned out to Vitesse in January.
Jose Mourinho: On any other day, Jose would have poked the Chelsea staff member’s eye out. But he maintained his dignity by going after the guy like a mad dog chasing a car and then doing nothing else. And then, much like the canine, he sat down at his spot as if nothing happened. Kudos for self-control.
Antony Martial: If Manchester United let the Frenchman slip from between their fingers, no number of official French Toast partners will be able to make up for it.
Brighton and Chris Hughton: Revenge is a dish best served cold and with hope that the recipient chokes on it. Every time Newcastle face Chris Hughton’s Brighton, Mike Ashley’s face grows redder with embarrassment.
Tottenham: Fourth in the table and level on points with the neutrals’ new favourite, Chelsea. Crisis? What crisis? Oh, you mean the incomplete stadium that looks like a toilet seat, the lack of a stand-in for Harry Kane and the fact that Moussa Sissoko is still at the club? Yeah, I see your point.
Erik Lamela: I forgot he even existed beyond records in the hospital.
Everton: Three in a row for Marco Silva’s men. There’s a sentence you won’t hear again until January.
Jordan Pickford: A penalty save that was a hundred times more useful than that Cruyff turn. You know the one I’m talking about.
Watford: I’d place a bet on them finishing in the top six, if I had bigger cojones. But I don’t, so I’ll just stick to praising them from afar.
Burnley: Getting stuffed by City is nothing to be ashamed of. Consider it as an ass-kicking by a bully who is ten sizes bigger than you. Once you’re resigned to your painful fate, it becomes so much easier to move on.
Newcastle United: When people say “It could be worse,” they’re usually trying to comfort you, telling you to be optimistic about your situation. In this case, they’d be absolutely right; it could be worse and pretty soon, it will be.
Rafa Benitez: He knew what he was getting into. The sympathy card has outlived its validity.
Paul Pogba: His reaction upon losing Antonio Rudiger for Chelsea’s opener was that of a man sh*t-scared of going back into the dressing room and facing his manager.
Huddersfield: Being chummy with Klopp won’t keep Wagner’s team in the division.
Fulham: We all thought they’ll be able to handle themselves well in the Premier League, but so far they’ve been rotten like the half-eaten fruits in Big Sam’s backyard. Unless they buy defenders who can defend, they’ll be back in the Championship by May.
Fulham’s Defence: I wouldn’t hire them to defend a slice of cheese from a rodent.
Mad Mark’s Southampton: Pray for Manolo Gabbiadini, is all I’m saying about that.
West Ham: Two steps forward, one step back would have been enough to keep them safely in mid-table. But the injury to Yarmolenko must have felt like a punch to the gut. Or a twisted ankle.
Crystal Palace: Three losses in a row for the Eagles. I sense something about a wing and a prayer coming.
Luka Milivojevic: Tough luck, Luka. If it makes you feel any better, at least your penalty remained within the confines of the Earth’s atmosphere.